BITTER football rivals Dynamos and Caps United are set for another encounter that will serve as the final dress rehearsal for the 2018 Castle Lager Premiership campaign amid reports that an invitational tournament that will also include Zambian teams is being organised.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
One of the organisers of the tournament, Blessing Piki, said yesterday he had already sounded out both Dynamos and Caps United through their coaches Lloyd Mutasa and Lloyd Chitembwe respectively.
The international friendly matches to be played at the giant National Sports Stadium, which has already been booked, have been tentatively set for March 4.
Although the finer details of the tournament are yet to disclosed, two Zambian teams that will take part in the tournament are Lusaka Dynamos and Power Dynamos.
Piki said both Zambian teams had already confirmed their participation and what was now left was official confirmation by the Harare teams.
“I have spoken to both coaches Mutasa and Chitembwe. They have expressed interest to take part in the tournament. I have also officially written to the two clubs and we are now just waiting for confirmation. This is more than just a friendly, there is something for the teams. Zambian teams Lusaka Dynamos and Power Dynamos have already confirmed their participation,” said Piki.
Dynamos secretary Webster Marechera said they had not yet received formal notification. “It’s difficult for us to confirm when we haven’t received the letter. Once we receive the letter, we will be in a position to talk about it,” said Marechera.
The invitational tournament will come after the Harare giants’ clash in the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Charity Shield scheduled for February 18.
The ZNA Charity Shield tournament, which will include four teams, will see Highlanders and Chicken Inn facing off on the same day in Bulawayo.
Last season, Caps United pocketed $12 000 for winning the tournament, while runners-up Highlanders got $8 000.
The ZNA Charity Shield, the curtain raiser to the Premier Soccer League season, is often seen as an opportunity for coaches to test the condition of their players ahead of the gruelling season.
However, there will be little love lost especially between the Harare giants, as they go head-to-head for the first time this year. The two rivals were paired against each other at this stage of the season, Caps United getting the better of their old foes, on their way to winning the tournament after a penalty shootout against Highlanders in the final.
Both teams will be eager to make a statement for the new season as well as getting the early bragging rights, with the winner gaining a considerable amount of confidence going into the season proper.
There could be plenty of new faces on show when the two clash, with both teams very much involved in the transfer window.
Caps United appear the busier of the two, with at least nine players having already joined the club. Dynamos, on the other hand, have acquired the likes of Blessing Moyo, Jimmy Tigere and Raphael Manuvire, while a striker from Cameroon is expected to join this week.
As for Highlanders, the match presents new coach Madinda Ndlovu an early opportunity to impress the club’s success-starved supporters.
For Chicken Inn, they will look to beat Highlanders and avenge the 4-0 drubbing they received at the hands of Bosso late in the season last year, a result that effectively ended their charge for the league title.