By Henry Mhara
Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya has picked bitter rivals Caps United among the teams that he believes will challenge for the league title, despite the Green Machine’s slow start to the campaign where they are yet to record a win after three matches.
Caps United have also been embroiled in in-house problems stemming from financial difficulties and they lost a couple of key players as a result.
But Ndiraya believes the Lloyd Chitembwe side will still pose a threat for the league’s championship.
He predicted an open race for the title with no less than six teams pushing hard to claim the big prize at the end of the season.
“This year the title race is a bit open, Ndiraya said. The traditional big teams, that is FC Platinum, Highlanders, Caps United, Ngezi and Manica Diamonds have a big shout. Quite a number of these teams really have a great chance of winning the title. You can’t really predict which team is going to win it but what I can confirm is that we are going to be in the mix and we are confident about that. We are confident that this year could be our year.”
FC Platinum have dominated the local league and coasted to their third straight league title in 2019 before last season’s campaign was washed away by the coronavirus pandemic.
But in the wake of Dynamos, Ngezi Platinum, Highlanders and Manica Diamonds’ spending spree last year and in the current transfer window, Ndiraya believes FC Platinum could face a sterner challenge this time around.
Meanwhile, Ndiraya has challenged the club’s management to improve the players’ winning bonuses to match what their rivals are paying.
Dynamos players reportedly earn US$100 as a winning bonus per match paid in local currency using the day’s prevailing interbank rate.
A draw is reportedly pegged at US$50. The players have often complained that the money is also not paid on time.
In comparison, some of their rivals pay their players as high as US$400 in winning bonuses per match, paid in hard currency.
“After assembling what we can call a good squad, what is important now is the motivation part of the game. We are talking about a host of intrinsic motivational factors that can really push our team, push the players to want to be winning each and every game and the management are looking into that. Hopefully by the time we play our games that area would be sorted. We continue to be hopeful that this could be an exciting season for the club and all our fans,” Ndiraya said.
Dynamos will resume their league campaign with a trip to a wounded FC Platinum side on Saturday, a game which Ndiraya says would be tough.