The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: World of Champions

HARARE giants Dynamos yesterday officially welcomed their new players into the family with coach Callisto Pasuwa hailing the team spirit in the Glamour Boys. The new players were welcomed at a bonding luncheon hosted by the club at a restaurant in the capital.

The Glamour Boys -- who appeared one happy family -- were joined by their new signings Sydney Linyama, Russel Madamombe, Artwell Mukandi, Stephen Alimenda, Morris Kadzola and young goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva, who graduated from the junior structures.

The players mixed with their new teammates led by veteran Murape Murape, Simba Sithole, Farai Mupasiri, Partson Jaure, George Chigova and Tawanda Muparati.

But the group was not complete without some of their prospective new members Ugandan Boban Zirintusa, Hwange striker Francesco Zekumbawire and Zambian defender Aaron Katebe, who were conspicuous by their absence.

Ziruntusa was expected to join the club any time yesterday while negotiations are still going on for the signatures of Zekumbawire and Katebe, who is now a huge doubt in the wake of interest by rivals FC Platinum.

However, the Dynamos leadership is still hoping to get the players into the fold before they set out for their proposed pre-season training camp in Kariba next week for team bonding.

Dynamos vice-chairman Webster Chikengezha yesterday said unity was key in achieving their goals this season, hence the executive's decision to hold a luncheon to bring the players and leadership together.

It was a refreshing moment for most of the DeMbare players, who apparently do not feel comfortable around their employers, given the poor relations that existed in the past.

Given that the DeMbare board of directors is virtually invisible to the players because of protocol and other commitments, the executive felt the need to get together with the players and also introduce the new recruits to the system.

Chikengezha yesterday said they would want to bridge the gap and break the perceived walls that exist between the players, the executive and the board of directors currently led by Freddy Mkwesha.

But sadly most of the members from the board of directors did not grace the occasion although they were represented by the board's secretary Chris Kasiyazi.

"We have got quite a number of new players coming in. So we needed a platform to introduce the new players to the executive and to the board and also to make it easy for them to get into the system.

"Dynamos, as an institution, is built from various people in different ranks, from the players up to the board of directors.

"We all need to be one-minded to achieve our goals hence the need to have such introductions and knowing each other better," said Chikengezha.

The DeMbare executive was well represented with chairman Kenny Mubaiwa and all his lieutenants available as they posed for group photos.

Coach Pasuwa hailed the executive's efforts and said they needed to have more of such events in the future.

"It's very important to have such moments where players and management get to mix and even share life stories.

"It's important to know each other personally as a team and it is something that fosters unity of purpose.

"We are one team from the players to the executive and we all have the same aspirations and same goals. All these things should unite us. "So if we meet frequently like this everyone will know that we are in this together," said Pasuwa.

DeMbare, who started their pre-season training last Monday, are hoping to make an impact this year in both the domestic competitions and the Champions League.

The Harare giants have failed to rise to their standards in the last two seasons in the African inter-club competitions despite their dominance at home.

Last season they managed to win the League and Cup double for the second year in succession.

DeMbare will begin their African Champions League campaign in the preliminary round against Lesotho Correctional Service next month.

They have a bigger test awaiting them if they make it to the first round as they are scheduled to play north African opposition in the winner between Libya's Etihad and Club Bizertin of Tunisia. An even tougher task is expected in the second round where a possible date with African champions Al Ahly is likely to lie in wait.

DeMbare's secretary of the board of directors, Kasiyazi, said the Glamour Boys were looking for a change of fortunes on the continent despite the difficulties they are facing.

"We are preparing our team so that come the beginning of the season, we will be ready for the challenges.

"We have tried our best to bring the players that we may have wanted."

Kasiyazi said constant communication was needed at all levels to maintain the winning spirit. "We would want to maintain the Dynamos spirit of old and I think we need to mingle with these players periodically to make them feel at home and discussing how best we can move forward.

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