Mandigora begins DeMbare tenure

Reigning Castle Lager Premier Soccer League champions Dynamos begin pre-season training in the capital today with head coach David Mandigora stating that he is under pressure to mould a team that can improve on the achievements of the last four years.

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NEW BROOM... Dynamos coach David Mandigora (fourth from left) admits he is under pressure to match up to his predecessor Kalisto Pasuwa’s achievements.

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The Glamour Boys have won the league title in the past four seasons under the tutelage of history-making gaffer Kalisto Pasuwa. Mandigora told The Zimbabwe Mail last that succeeding Pasuwa is a difficult task, but is determined to succeed at the Harare giants.

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The task was made even more challenging during his unveiling last month when club president Kenny Mubaiwa said he had given the veteran coach a target of 30 points from the first 15 league games this season.

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“The pressure is always there and there is nothing I can do about it. But this is the nature of the job and I have to deal with the pressure and see what I would have achieved at the end of the season. Every coach wants results and we have to try by all means to defend the (league) title this season and will not be an easy task,” said Mandigora, who has set his sights on continental success in the long term.

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“Just like any other coach I am looking for success and will do whatever is possible to steer the team to success. I hope that next year we will bounce back into the (Caf) Champions League. We have to start rebuilding the team though it was unfortunate that we could not play in the competition this season due to financial constraints.

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“I am looking at having national and continental success and that is some of the pressure that I will have in terms of what I want to achieve. But with the technical department that we have, I am confident that we will achieve the success that I am talking about,” he added.

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In his previous spell as Dynamos coach, Mandigora led the side to the semi-finals of the Caf Champions League in 2008, with the Harare giants eventually missing out on a place in the final after a 0-5 aggregate defeat by Cameroon side Cotonsport.

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Now assisted by Tonderayi Ndiraya who was part of the Dynamos side that reached the final of the 1998 edition of the Caf Champions League, Mandigora has already begun building towards his new mission, with five players having been snapped up by the Glamour Boys prior to the start of pre-season training.

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Goalkeeper Tonderayi Mateyaunga has made the switch from 2014 league runners-up ZPC Kariba and is expected to compete for the starting berth with Artwell Mukandi this season, while striker Kelvin Bulaji joined from arch-rivals Caps United.

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Fullback Godknows Murwira was acquired from relegated Shabanie Mine, while the duo of Nigel Gandari and Carlos Rusere, who are Dynamos’ junior products, have been recalled after loan spells at ZRP FC and DC Academy respectively.

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The seasoned gaffer believes the new additions will strengthen the team that won the league championship last season.

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“It’s normal that we will have to get new players at the beginning of each season. We just want to strengthen the team. Dynamos has won the league title in the last four years, so we are just trying to maintain a good squad that will challenge for honours on all fronts and continue to dominate in the local league,” he said.

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Despite last week’s unveiling of new players, Dynamos’ recruitment excersise may not be over just yet as the club might not be able to renew the contracts of a number of its players. Several players, among them Simba Sithole, Devon Chafa, Tafadzwa Rusike and Roderick Mutuma are still locked in negotiations with the club over possible new deals, with Dynamos secretary Webster Chikengezha last week stating that they had already tabled offers to the players.

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The club is also still waiting on the duo of Obey Mwerahari and Dominic Chungwa to sort out their contractual issues with their respective clubs before finalising deals with them.

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Mandigora said they were looking at playing a total of eight pre-season friendly matches before they begin their title defence later this year.