BY HENRY MHARA
RETURNING Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya says the Harare giants have lost the fear factor that previously made other Premier Soccer League teams tremble, and is on a mission to restore that in his second spell as the team’s tactician.
The Glamour Boys are the most successful team in the country in terms of the trophies won in the past, but Ndiraya says they currently “look like one of the small teams” because of their poor performances in recent times.
The former Dynamos midfielder was roped in this week to replace Lloyd Chigowe, who was fired following a string of poor results, which saw the team losing their last three matches.
Ndiraya, who is being assisted by Biggie Zuze and Gift Muzadzi, took charge of the squad for his second day yesterday following his appointment on Wednesday, and he gave a brutal assessment of the squad that he has found in place.
“I have seen some encouraging signs, but I was lashing at them (players) about the need to be committed, to fight more and I will continue to relay that message. At the moment, we look like we are one of the small teams, which is very dangerous, not just for Dynamos Football Club, but for football in general.
Dynamos are a big brand, a big brother and that tag should be transferred onto the pitch so that we get the results that we want,” Ndiraya said.
“A number of players here have come from lower divisions and most of the teams that we are playing against have players largely from those leagues as well, so somehow we have looked at the same level with those teams. That has not gone well with the demands of the institution and we have tried to lift the spirits of players, working on their psychology, and try to take them to the level of Dynamos Football Club, to the level of big brother.”
Dynamos are currently going through a rebuilding process, but the young squad assembled by Chigowe is struggling to handle the big expectations that come with playing for the club.
Analysts have already pointed out that half of the current squad doesn’t deserve to be in the first team, and predicted that Dynamos will struggle again this term.
Ndiraya, who coached the team four years ago, and finished second on the log before he left under a cloud, is motivated by the challenge.
“It’s that blast furnace which really motivated me to come back. I don’t want to be a coach who joins a team that is already doing well. There is no challenge in that. It’s that challenge to want to turn things around with players who have no experience that is driving me. Most of the players are coming from Division One and academies and there is a lot of work to do. That is what motivated me. I’m confident that we will turn things around and the team will start moving again.”
He had a long chat with a few senior players after the team’s training session yesterday, where they had a no-holds-barred meeting, as the inquest on their horrible start to the season continues.
“I personally believe that they are the leaders and when you have leaders in the team starting to look up to the youngsters then you know there is a huge problem. That is what I have been stressing upon them that they should be leading from the front. They are seniors, they have seen it all, they have played at the highest level so we want them to lead the youngsters and make sure that the team gets results.”
Ndiraya’s first assignment will be against TelOne at Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo tomorrow.