Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
WHEN Cameroonian footballer Christian Joel Epoupa arrived at Dynamos two years ago, he received a mixed reception, with some questioning whether he was worth the investment. But the big forward erased all the lingering doubts with superb performances that earned him a place on the Soccer Stars of the Year calendar.
Epoupa also scored some fine goals for DeMbare to finish as the first runner-up in the Golden Boot race with 12 goals in the bag.
This season, Dynamos have four foreign players.
They are the Cameroonian pair of Harve Vincent Mbega and Ngahan Claude Junior, Ghanaian Robert Sackey and Ngandu Mangala from Democratic Republic of Congo.
Apart from Mangala, who thrilled the DeMbare faithful with a brilliant show in a pre-season charity match against CAPS United last week, not much is known about the rest.
Mangala said he was only starting.
“I haven’t started, this was just training, and you will see good football. This season I’m looking at the top goal scorer, why not?,’’ said the forward.
“In Division One, I did well, but not to the best of my abilities because I wasn’t fit.
‘’But, this year I feel everything is okay.
‘’The fans have just seen what we can do, the will enjoy a lot.’’
Midfielder Mbega, who has played professional football in Spain at Mallorca B, arrived with a rich curriculum vitae that included featuring for the Indomitable Lions’ Under-20 team at the 2011 World Cup.
Claude Junior has been hailed by DeMbare coach Lloyd Chigowe as a fine talent.
“He is showing great promise and I don’t want to say much at the moment.
“I think I will have much to say when he has sparkled in the league’,’’ he said.
‘’But he is a very good prospect.’
Dynamos are working round the clock to secure the clearances for their foreign contingent before the season kicks off.
Mbega, Claude Junior and Sackey failed to feature in last week’s Charity Cup battle because their papers were not yet in order.
DeMbare travel to Ascot this weekend to play newboys TelOne.
Meanwhile, CAPS United take on newboys Mushowani Stars in Trojan tomorrow in another pre-season friendly.
Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri and his Information Communication Technology and Courier Services counterpart Kazembe Kazembe, are expected to attend the match.
‘’We are in Mashonaland Central on Sunday and the two ministers, who are from that province, have said they are set to be among the fans during the match,’’ said CAPS United boss Farai Jere.