DYNAMOS captain Ocean Mushure says the club’s senior players are desperate to perform well after their juniors put up a splendid performance to beat Caps United in the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Cup semi-final last week.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Harare giants were forced to field a largely inexperienced side against their number one enemy, who they overcame 1-0, after Mushure and other senior players boycotted the match in protest over unpaid salaries, winning allowances and signing-on fees.
But despite being thrown in at the deep end, the DeMbare kids outshone their bitter rivals, who fielded their strongest squad, with midfielder Kudzanai Dhemere the outstanding performer.
The senior players resumed training this week after part of their demands were met, and are expected to be drafted back into the team.
“The youngsters did what many least expected, but we were not surprised really,” Mushure said.
“They did very well, exceptional, if we can put it that way. Our supporters are curious on how the team will perform now that we (the seniors) are back in the squad. The fact that they (juniors) did well, means that we will have to do better. I can’t say we are under pressure to perform per se, but we will need to improve from what we saw last weekend,” Mushure said.
The Dynamos veterans downed tools on Tuesday last week to force the club’s executive to address their grievances.
Players had been receiving half salaries since January last year, and are owed over $2 500 each in winning bonuses from last season, and varying amounts in signing-on fees.
The club has since cleared the salary arrears, and made a payment plan to clear the winning bonuses and signing fees balances, a proposal which has been accepted by the players.
“We are grateful to the executive and our sponsors for resolving the problem. They have promised that they will pay the signing-on fees and winning bonuses when the season starts because they get most of their revenue from gate takings. We had a meeting and we were told everyone has to perform this season because they have promised to meet their part of the bargain,” he said.
Still on the juniors’ solid performance against Caps United, Mushure said that display gives him an exciting feeling and hopes for a brighter future.
“It is an indicator that our squad this year is stronger than last season. The junior players are doing well and I have no doubt in the abilities of the senior players. So unlike last year, I think we have depth this season and I think we will do very well.”
Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa assembled a makeshift squad last year but still managed to finish second on the log standings, two points behind eventual winners FC Platinum.
Mutasa said he will make a few adjustments to the team that delighted against Caps with Mushure, his vice Obey Mwerahari, and striker Christian Ntouba, the more likely to be retained in the starting line-up.
New arrivals Raphael Manuvire, Jimmy Tigere and Marvellous Mukumba could also be given a run.
A win tomorrow, Mushure reckons, will be the much-needed boost to their season start, which is expected to kick-off in just over two weeks’ time.
“The supporters want a win, especially against Highlanders, so we have to win and get our first trophy of the season. The mood in the camp has returned to normal, everyone is happy and can’t wait to play, so we should be able to win this one. The supporters should come and support us, they should not boo us because some of the players are new and need their maximum support. Besides getting a trophy, a win will be a good confidence booster going into the new season.”