DYNAMOS star signing King Nadolo has predicted a very competitive soccer season ahead, but champions FC Platinum, Chicken Inn and his former team Highlanders do not feature in his list of title favourites.
BY HENRY MHARA
Nadolo, who moved from relegated TelOne to the Harare giants in what was arguably the biggest move in the last player transfer window, has gone against public opinion leaving out the trio from the teams that he thinks have the pedigree to win the title in the upcoming season, which has been delayed due to the fight against COVID-19.
Instead, he picked his new side Dynamos, their city rivals Caps United and Ngezi Platinum Stars as the teams to watch in the upcoming season.
Asked by NewsDay Sport to pick the teams that he believe will fight for the league title, Nadolo said: “Dynamos, Caps United and Ngezi Platinum Stars. Those (teams) are looking good.”
The three are some of the teams who were very busy in the transfer market.
Dynamos signed a total of 30 players to beef up their squad with Nadolo, Jeansmith Mutudza and Partson Jaure headlining the list of the new recruits.
Jaure, named captain by the club on rejoining, was last month involved in a car accident and is unlikely to feature for the club next season.
“It’s a very good squad that I believe in,” Nadolo said about the Dynamos new squad.
“It has got all the qualities to win any match against any team, so yes it’s capable of winning things.”
Ngezi Platinum Stars were, as usual, also very active in the transfer market, bringing in 12 new names including 2012 Soccer Star of the Year Denver Mukamba and Devon Chafa.
Caps United, who came agonisingly close to winning the league last year, made a wholesale change to their squad with the likes of Ian Nyoni strengthening the already strong-looking team.
Nadolo had trained with his new team for a few weeks in pre-season before their training was halted by the coronavirus outbreak.
But in that short time that he was with the squad, there were quite a few individuals in the team that caught his eye and which he believes will be very key on the team’s success in the upcoming season.
“I was impressed by a lot of guys, but let me just mention Juan (Mutudza) and Barnabas (Mushunje). I think they are doing well and if they continue to work hard can be key to the team,” Nadolo said.
However, a lot will be expected from Nadolo himself by the Dynamos faithful after arriving at the club with a huge reputation.
The forward joined TelOne from South Africa in the second half of the season, and took the league by storm.
He scored an incredible 11 league goals in the second half of the season, three shy of the league’s top goalscorer.
However, his goals could not help TelOne to survive relegation, but were enough to see Nadolo voted as one of the best 11 players of the season.
He also wished Jaure a quick recovery after the defender underwent a surgery last month following a car crash. He sustained head injuries and is expected to miss next season.
“It’s going to affect us because he is a leader and his experience would have given us that extra advantage on the pitch,” Nadolo said on the possible absence of Jaure from the squad.
“I want to wish a speedy recovery to my captain,” he added.
Nadolo, who revealed that Caps United and a host of other clubs showed interest in signing him, but he opted for Dynamos, will have to wait a little bit before he can make his debut for the former champions after the start of the season was suspended indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak which has infected more than one million and killed over 80 000 people globally.
All local league clubs who were winding up their pre-season preparations ahead of the new season which had been scheduled to kick off at the end of March were forced to break.
Just like all the other local clubs, Dynamos gave its players individual programmes to follow to keep themselves fit during the 21-day national lockdown period ordered by President Emmerson Mnangangwa to arrest the spread of coronavirus.
The virus has infected 11 people locally with two deaths.
“My message to the Dynamos fans and Zimbabweans at large is to stay at home and be safe. We all have things to do and have life to live . . . to go out, work and enjoy, but for now let’s stay at home and be safe,” Nadolo said.