By Kevin Mapasure
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has attributed the injuries that have hit the team to low fitness levels, which he said shocked him when he took over following the departure of Lloyd Chigowe slightly over a week ago.
The new technical team, which also includes Biggie Zuze and Gift Muzadzi, conducted fitness tests for the players on Tuesday as they started their first full week of training in office.
Ndiraya said the results were shocking and they had started to work on the fitness of the players.
On Sunday, DeMbare take on ZPC Kariba in a Castle Lager Premier Soccer League match at Rufaro and they will be without Claude Junior Ngahan, popularly known as Neymar, as well as Herve Mbega, who are both nursing injuries.
Neymar is struggling with an ankle injury, while Mbega limped out of training yesterday with a suspected hamstring strain.
“We have had some of our key players getting injured. Neymar is injured, he has an ankle injury. He tried to come back, but on Tuesday, we had some fitness tests, which he failed,” Ndiraya said.
“We have Mbega, who also limped out of training with a suspected hamstring injury. He is still to be assessed, but I think it will be difficult for him to play this weekend.
“We had fitness tests on Tuesday. From that exercise, we got shocking results.”
He said the fitness levels were “way below standard” and they had immediately started working on the players’ levels of fitness, “particularly those we want to improve in certain areas”.
“Some of the players are picking up injuries because of the low fitness levels. We are doing what we can, but acquiring fitness will take time,” Ndiraya said.
“We are pushing the boys to the limit. Because of the intensity of the training sessions, some of the players are picking injuries, a clear sign that the fitness levels were not up to scratch.”
Having overseen the draw against TelOne on Sunday, Ndiraya said he was pleased with the improvements.
“There is a huge improvement in attitude, mentality and competition. We are trying to create competition among players so that we get some bit of quality from them. It’s looking promising, though I should say we have a long, long way to go,” he said.
“This weekend, we are expecting some improvement because of what we have done. But the whole process takes time, I must stress.”
The club will take action against vice-captain Godfrey Mukabi, who earned what Ndiraya termed an unnecessary red card in the last match and will miss the weekend action.
“We have lost Mukambi because of the red card that puts us in a difficult position. Senior players should not miss matches because of such unnecessary bookings,” Ndiraya said.
“We have made it clear to the whole team that we will not accept such nonsense. We will not tolerate it and for that reason, we are going to sanction Mukambi, we have made it clear to him.”