BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS’ appetite for foreigners is showing no signs of abating with the Harare giants coach Lloyd Chigowe (pictured) yesterday revealing that the club is expecting two more players from Ivory Coast to join the team.
Expatriate players have been queuing to try their luck at the club currently going through a rebuilding exercise, with at least six having trained with them since the start of their pre-season preparations last month.
So far, Congolese striker Ngandu Mangala has signed a contract with Dynamos while Ghanaian, Robert Sackey has impressed at training and Chigowe has enlisted the defensive midfielder in his provisional squad.
Cameroonian midfielder Vincent Mbega Herve has also been training with the club in the past few days, and it appears he has done enough to secure a contract.
Chigowe yesterday said he is almost done with assembling his squad, with only two slots left, which would be filled by two Ivorians, who are expected in the country anytime soon.
“We have settled with the players we want and there is one or two we are expecting and that is if they can beat the registration deadline, but otherwise we are satisfied with what we have at hand. Five juniors are already in place and we have filled 23 slots and left with two which are probably for the foreign players. The two who are coming will not undergo trials. They are coming to fit into the squad and start competing for places in the team. If they don’t make it on time then we go ahead and do other business,” Chigowe said.
“We have assessed some foreign players, and we have released others. We are still assessing some, and naturally we want to give everyone a fair chance to express themselves, but they are facing stiff competition from our local boys here,” he added.
The club is building the squad almost from scratch after key players left due to varying reasons, among them non-payment of winning bonuses and signing-on fees.
From last season’s squad, they only managed to retain Jimmy Tigere, Godfrey Mukambi, Kudzanai Dhemere, Tawanda Macheke and goalkeeper Simba Chinani.
Edward Sadomba is one of the big name signings, and has been handed the captain’s armband, while another prodigal son, Archford Gutu has been training with the Harare giants.
He is expected to sign a contract anytime soon.
“I’m satisfied (with the team), but also there is still a lot of work to be done so that we become a highly competitive team. I want us to be a little bit more fluid, more compact, and one week before the season starts, we would be sure of where we really are. But the level of fitness is not bad, they (players) are high up there,” Chigowe said.
Dynamos played two friendly matches yesterday against lower league teams, and are expected to face Division One side ZRP at the weekend. However, the affable Chigowe will be given a stern test of how far he has gone with his project when his squad faces off with Caps United in the ZNA Charities Shield on February 24.
The tournament, which is a season opener, is yet to be officially announced, but sources told NewsDaySport that Highlanders and Chicken Inn will play in another semi-final in Bulawayo.
Chigowe said the big Harare Derby game will give his club’s supporters a chance to see how the rebuilding project is developing, ahead of the big season kick-off on March 30.
“We will give a glimpse of what is in store. The game is good for us in the sense that we will gauge how much progress we have made and how much work needs to be done. It’s like a reality check for us.”