By Sindiso Dube
After presiding over two training sessions and one match in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League, newly-appointed Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has cast doubts over his team competing for honours this season given the low calibre of players in the squad’s ranks.
Ndiraya is working with a side that was assembled by his predecessor Lloyd Chigowe, who was fired last week after overseeing three defeats from their first four league matches.
While Ndiraya is prepared to put in extra work to help the team realise its full potential, he doubts that the current team can compete for honours this season.
His observation is that the team lacks experience, which is abundant in rival teams such as FC Platinum and Caps United, which makes the task of out-competing them a difficult one.
In his first match at the weekend, Ndiraya watched his team battle to a one-all draw against new-boys TelOne at Barbourfields Stadium despite playing about a quarter of the match one man down after captain Godfrey Mukambi had been sent off.
Dynamos faithfuls believe that Ndiraya can turn things around, but the former Dynamos midlfielder says he needs a transfer window for him to shop for the much-needed experience that can be blended with the youth that is at the club.
DeMbare lost all, but four players from last season, with most of their stars seeking pastures anew as the club struggled financially.
The club has since secured good sponsorship which could help them attract quality players, or at least compete for them with other well-resourced teams.
But to those that were hoping for immediate good results, Ndiraya delivered some hard truths.
“We have a bunch of players full of potential and unfortunately at a big institute like Dynamos potential alone doesn’t really work. You have to blend older and new players and also give the youngsters time to develop,” he said.
“You have to have a strong team that can compete against other big boys like FC Platinum, Caps United, Highlanders and others. My honest opinion is that at the moment, we don’t have the players who can play at that level.
“We have a team with potential and I am hoping that we work on them, their fitness and everything so that we somehow try to compete, but quite frankly we don’t have a team that can compete in the league.”
The coach added that he has been working on the players’ mental state more than physical.
“When I got there last week, I found the boys shattered, they were low in confidence, so for the two days I trained with them I tried to bring back the zeal and moral within the camp and I think it’s working well,” he said.
DeMbare supporters who packed the Mpilo end stand at Barbourfields on Sunday saluted Ndiraya and the players after the match, presumably in appreciation of the effort and hunger they had exhibited.
With a lot of young players in the ranks, DeMbare rely mostly on captain Edward Sadomba, Mukambi and Jimmy Tigere for experience.
Dynamos signed foreign players to try and help strengthen the side with Ngandu Mangala, signed from Division One side GreenFuels, having produced some brilliance though in flashes.
Cameroonian Claude Junior Nkahan, also known as Neymar, has also shown that he can light up the local top-flight, but he has been affected by injuries.
Apart from the foreigners, DeMbare did most of their shopping at Aces Youth Academy where they picked up some talented, but inexperienced players.
DeMbare fans will be looking forward to seeking the team picking up maximum points, but their next assignment is not an easy one as they face ZPC Kariba at home before they take on struggling Yadah.