BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai believes his side has fallen far behind FC Platinum, would be “very lucky” to get a draw against the champions when the two teams clash at Mandava Stadium this afternoon.
The two teams meet at a time the Harare giants are beginning to find their feet following a horrible start to the season, while the platinum miners are among the title contenders.
Ahead of the clash, Ndiraya showered praise on Norman Mapeza’s team, which was promoted to the topflight only 10 years ago.
“Quite frankly, we are way below the quality of FC Platinum. It’s sad that this is where we find ourselves and there is nothing we can do except pushing on, working hard and trying to get better,” he said.
“At the moment, we are not where we want to be. We have young players in the team and our best players currently are the youngsters.”
Ndiraya picked right-back Emmanuel Jalayi and winger Jarrison Selemani, both 20, and 19-year-old left-back Tinotenda Muringani as some of his outstanding players so far.
“Clearly, you can see they are still developing, and it will take some time for them to get to the level which befits a huge brand like that of Dynamos. We are hoping the experience they are getting will help them to get the team somewhere.”
Ndiraya is hoping to add some quality and experienced players in the club during the midseason transfer window, which opens in July.
“We need experience in the team, players who have been playing in the league for some time, because at the moment, if you look at the individual quality in the team, it’s not in the required standard” he said.
“And we are playing a team which has been together for almost five seasons, a team which was in the Confederation of African Football Champions League recently and a team which is the current champions. So if you put all those things together, it really shows the amount of work we have before us.”
History also favours FC Platinum in this clash, and Ndiraya would be happy if his side can come away with at least a point.
Dynamos have won only once at Mandava Stadium against FC Platinum, way back in 2011 when a Daniel Vheremu own goal decided the contest, and ultimately the title race.
“That is a bad record for a team of our stature. Luckily, I was part of the system then when we last tasted that success and I’m hoping that luck, will be on our side once again so that we get a good result. But quite frankly, it’s not going to be an easy match for us. But we are banking on the fact that this is a new game altogether in a new era when I have taken over the team,” Ndiraya said.
“FC Platinum have so much quality in their squad, and we don’t have that in our team so we are going to rely much on team effort. They have so many match winners within their ranks, so we are actually going there to contain the champions more than anything else.”
FC Platinum are going into the match with their tails up, having won their last two games against Yadah and ZPC Kariba. But Mapeza is still wary of the threat posed by DeMbare.
“It’s always a huge game when you play against Dynamos because they have a huge following. Dynamos will always be Dynamos. They remain one of the biggest clubs despite their challenges, so we need to give them respect,” the Pure Platinum Play mentor said.
Castle Lager Premier Soccer League fixtures
Today: Bulawayo Chiefs v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Luveve), FC Platinum v Dynamos (Mandava), Black Rhinos v Herentals (National Sports Stadium), Harare City v Hwange (Rufaro), Manica Diamonds v Yadah (Gibbo)
Tomorrow: Triangle v Mushowani Stars (Gibbo), Highlanders v ZPC Kariba (Barbourfields), Chapungu v TelOne (Mandava), Caps United v Chicken Inn (National Sports Stadium)