DYNAMOS coach Herbert Maruwa is wary of the threat posed by newbies Simba Bhora saying they “have a point to prove”, ahead of their Premier Soccer League clash at the National Sports Stadium (NSS) tomorrow.
The Shamva-based side, which has had a difficult start to topflight life, was built mostly from DeMbare “rejects”, including its technical and management staff.
“It’s a tough match because a lot of guys who are there including the coach and the chairman were here, so they have a point to prove,” Maruwa said.
Coach Tonderai Ndiraya and chairperson Isaiah Mupfurutsa left for Simba Bhora where they took up similar roles after severing ties with DeMbare at the end of last year.
A number of players, deemed excess baggage by the Harare giants at the end of the season, including Patson Jaure, Keith Murera, Stephen Chatikobo, Claivert Tshuma and Luke Musikiri, have also found a home at Simba.
The ambitious club also recruited Blessing Moyo, Tichaona Chipunza, Ronald Chitiyo and goalkeeper Simba Chinani who all made their names at Dynamos.
“We will need to have our performance up there for us to get maximum points,” said Maruwa, who bragged that his lads are in good space after their opening two wins of the season.
“So far so good. The mood is good because we won the two matches, but it’s now water under the bridge. We have to focus on the next match which I’m sure is going to be tough. It’s not going to be an easy match,” he emphasised.
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DeMbare started off with a 1-0 victory over league returnees Hwange a fortnight ago, before brushing off newly-promoted side Sheasham 4-0 to move to the top of the log.
Simba Bhora surrendered a goal lead to succumb to a 2-1 defeat against defending champions FC Platinum in their maiden league game two weeks ago.
Last week, they lost 1-0 to last season’s league runners-up Chicken Inn, making tomorrow’s match a must-win for them.
Ndiraya admitted it has been a baptism of fire for his side which he said was rather “unfortunate” to play the top three from last term in their first three matches.
“We have been unfortunate to get three strong teams in our first three games and that is really testing our character,” he said.
"We just have to put our act together and take the game to Dynamos and try to get a result. We are playing at home, although really it won’t be an advantage. I think in terms of presence, we won’t be travelling so we hope to take the game to Dynamos and get that result. It has been a difficult two weeks for us, but I think it is a test of character. We need to be very strong and make sure that we get a result against Dynamos.”
Simba Bhora are using the NSS as their home ground after they failed to get their Shamva base Wadzanani Stadium ready in time for the start of the season.
The good news for Ndiraya is the return to fitness of star player Talent Chawapiwa, who picked an injury in the match against FC Platinum.
He subsequently missed the trip to Chicken Inn.
However, the forward was back at training with the rest of the squad at their training base this week, suggesting he is fit and available for tomorrow’s crucial clash.
Dynamos, meanwhile, will be without striker Tinashe Makanda, who hobbled off against Sheasham with a rib injury.
Maruwa revealed that there are other players who are carrying some minor knocks.
We are still assessing. We still have two days of training, so we can’t definitely rule them out.”
Matchday 3 fixtures
Today: Herentals v Manica Diamonds (NSS).
Tomorrow: Simba Bhora v Dynamos (NSS), Sheasham v Yadah (Mandava), Bulawayo Chiefs v Black Rhinos (Luveve), Cranborne Bullets v Chicken Inn (Baobab)
Sunday: Caps United v Zpc Kariba (NSS), Highlanders v Fc Platinum (BF), Triangle v Ngezi Platinum Stars (Gibbo), Hwange v GreenFuels (Luveve)