The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe/South Africa: Mutuma Closer to Celtic Move

CHAMPIONS Dynamos look set to lose another striker to South African Premiership following indications that Roderick Mutuma is inching closer to a switch to Bloemfontein Celtic after impressing the Free-state side during trials. Mutuma will complete his trial stint at Celtic this week, having arrived at the club on January 14 on the back of a strong finish to the 2012 season with Dynamos.

The lanky forward, scorer of a brace that sunk Monomotapa in the Mbada Diamonds final then won himself a chance to try his luck at Celtic who are currently ninth on the Absa Premiership table.

Mutuma's manager Edzai Kasinauyo said yesterday that although the striker still has this week to prove his worth, he had been impressive during the trials.

The Dynamos forward was first assessed for fitness on arrival before the Celtic coaches got down to the business of analysing his game.

Now his manager Kasinauyo, speaking from South Africa yesterday said he is convinced that the former Sporting Manhenga forward could yet secure a deal to move to Celtic in time for the restart of the Absa Premiership.

The South African top-flight is currently on a break to allow the country to successfully host the 2013 African Cup of Nations, which is currently underway and ends on February 10.

"Mutuma is still training and doing well and so far the report from Celtic is that he is doing well and they seem to like him.

"Everything is still at discussion level but now they want to open talks with Dynamos and establish what Dynamos' demands for the payer would b like.

"So this coming week will be crucial in that they would have to make a final decision on him. If they are to sign him, they would want time to process his paperwork early so that by the time the league in South Africa resumes around 13 February he would have been ready to play his first game," Kasinauyo said.

The former Warriors Ajax Cape Town and Moroka Swallows midfielder is also the business manger for the pair of Monomotapa ace Ronald Chitiyo and Gunners defender Byron Madzokere who are both at South African Premiership champions Orlando Pirates.

The duo of Chitiyo and Madzokore completed their trial stint at the Buccaneers when featuring for Orlando Pirates in a friendly match against Division One side Mpumalanga Black Aces.

Kasinauyo insisted that he would still not be worried if neither player secured a deal at Pirates, describing the trials as "huge stepping stone for the youngsters".

"Pirates played a game against Black Aces yesterday (Saturday) and the two youngster completed their trial after that match.

"The Pirates technical crew are now going to have a meeting on Tuesday and then they will come back to me.

"But I think it has been a fruitful visit. There is a lot to learn at Pirates, the level of the game is higher.

"There are a number of international players at the club and even if they do not make it has been a good learning experience and a stepping stone for them because they have been exposed to a different environment.

"Playing in the same team with an experienced player like Benny McCarthy in that friendly match against Black Aces was also an inspiration for them on its own," Kasinauyo said.

While securing Mutuma could help Celtic overcome their shortcomings in attack, the striker's departure could affect Dynamos' Champions League aspirations.

DeMbare have registered 25 players for the Champions League and Mutuma is one of the strikers on that list.

The Harare giants could also lose Simba Sithole to SuperSport United should the speedy striker who had an unhappy sting at Mamelodi Sundowns manage to convince Gavin Hunt and Kaitano Tembo to take him on board.

But it is not all that gloomy in the Glamour Boys camp.

There was an air of good news blowing in the Dynamos training camp with reports that Ugandan national Boban Ziruntusa has now joined training.

Ziruntusa's delay to join his new teammates for pre-season had appeared to cause some anxious moments for Dynamos.

The Ugandan forward just like Mutuma and Sithole has also been registered for the Champions League.

Dynamos last week lost the battle to sign Zambian defender Aaron Katebe with the centre back opting to join FC Platinum after initially agreeing to move from Hwange to Dembare.

Katebe had even agreed on a deal that would earn him US$7 000 in signing on fees but something then happened between the defender's trip from Lusaka to Harare as proceeded to Zvishavane to secure a deal with FC Platinum.

But there are no such problems over Ziruntusa who is now training with DeMbare.

Dynamos team manager Richard Chihoro confirmed Ziruntusa's arrival.

Ziruntusa had been holed up in his native Uganda since the end of last season where he had been playing for Twalumba in the Zifa Northern Region Division One.

The striker was given a run during a practice match between the Glamour Boys and Premiership returnees Black Rhinos at One Commando.

During the last two seasons, Ziruntusa has finished as the leading goal scorer at Twalumba with the giant striker finding the target nine times in 2011 and scoring 15 goals last year.

Ziruntusa has on a number of occasions received calls to play for his national team, the Uganda Cranes.

According to his profile, Ziruntusa started his football career at St Mary's Kitende and Standard High School in 2006. He later joined SC Villa, a top Ugandan side.

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