3 February 2013

Zimbabwe: Depleted Dembare for CAF Tourney

DYNAMOS coach Callisto Pasuwa will be hoping that today's training game against South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns at Gwanzura will provide new signings confidence ahead of the CAF Champions League clash against Lesotho Correctional Services.

The first leg of the preliminary round will be played on the weekend of February 15 to 17 in Harare with the return leg set for the weekend of March 1-3.

Pasuwa has been fretting over the replacements of a number of players among them twin strikers Simba Sithole and Roderick Mutuma who respectively joined South African sides Supersport United Bloemfontein Celtic.

The club also lost 2012 Soccer Star of the Year Denver Mukamba who joined Bidvest Wits and Martin Vengesai who is now at Harare City.

However, Dynamos managed to lure the services of Ugandan midfielder Boban Zirindusa, Gunners' Byron Madzokere, Sydney Linyama, Steven Alimenda, Artwell Mukandi, Morris Kadzola and little-known Allan Tavarwisa who was released by Hwange.

It is the strike force that has been troubling the coach and with the team struggling to pay US$15 000 being demanded by Hwange for the main target Francesco Zikumbawire, the club turned to Tavarwisa and former son Patrick Khumbula who had been loaned to Hippo Valley.

"Sunday's (today) game is good for us as it provides us the opportunity to assess our players. We have been crying over the issue of strikers and we currently have Tavarwisa from Hwange and Khumbula who are outright strikers. Zikumbawire is still to join us, so these are the only outright strikers whom we will be using in the Champions League," he said.

"The level of fitness is improving and the worrisome issue is that we have not been scoring goals as much as we would have wanted in the last friendly games. These training games are very helpful. We will also play Highlanders in the Bob 89 Cup before the Champions League game."

Khumbula and Tavarwisa trained with the rest of the team, but clearly lacked match fitness.

Pasuwa also added that injuries to Farai Mupasiri, Milton Makopa and Russel Madamombe have also given him sleepless nights.

The club however, managed to retain the services of George Chigova, Thomas Magorimbo, Partson Jaure, Murape Murape, Cliff Sekete and Tawanda Muparati.

Pasuwa added that the team might also sign former CAPS United striker Clive Kawinga but will not be able to use him in the preliminary stages of the Champions League.

"I have worked with Kawinga before at Eagles and CAPS United. He is a good player who just needs to work on his fitness. Once he regains his fitness, he is a very good player," said Pasuwa.

Sundowns are using the matches to keep in shape as the Absa Premiership is on a break. The Pitso Mosimane-coached side beat Highlanders 2-0 before hammering CAPS United 4-1 on Friday.

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