Zimbabwe: Dembare Tipped to Break Jinx Against Bosso

FORMER Dynamos winger Simon Chuma has urged the DeMbare class of 2022 to put their act together to end a six-year winless jinx against traditional foes Highlanders when the two giants clash in a high profile Castle Lager Premiership football match at Barbourfields this Sunday.

Chuma, who was a veteran of many battles between the two giants, is always following his childhood team because of the bond he formed with the Glamour Boys when he joined the juniors back in the 1980s as a mere 15-year-old.

The former midfielder, who of late has been shuttling between Harare and China, yesterday reminisced about the good old days when the stadium filled to the rafters every time they dated Bosso, and the value placed on the match by both sides.

He told The Herald from his base in China that the match against Highlanders was always the highlight of the season.

"It was always a pleasure to play against Highlanders because of the rivalry between the two great clubs. We were assured of a big crowd whenever we played against Bosso, which was always an extra motivation to showcase our talents.

"But these types of matches were easy for the coaches to prepare because we were self-motivated to play in such games.

"We used to train harder and to make sure we are in the right frame of mind for such an encounter. So the message to the boys is: be prepared and be ready for the battle. We are all behind them," said Chuma.

Dynamos go into the game on the back of a disappointing outing after they were held to a 1-1 home draw by Bulawayo City in their last game.

In fact, the Glamour Boys gave away the game as they conceded a last minute goal, after having also fluffed a good chance to increase their lead with a missed penalty late on.

But to their credit, DeMbare are sitting on top of the table and will go to Barbourfields chasing a 10-game unbeaten run.

They have started off their campaign far better than their Bosso opponents, who are currently facing pressure from the fans for their lack of consistent results.

Bosso have not won a Premiership game in their last five outings. But they boast of a seven-year unbeaten run against Dynamos. The Glamour Boys have not beaten their opponents since the 3-2 win at Rufaro in June 2015.

But DeMbare were handed a boardroom victory in 2017 after they were awarded the game on a 3-0 margin following the abandonment of their emotionally-charged clash at Barbourfields because of crowd trouble.

Sadly, both teams have not won the league title in a while. Bosso last tasted the championship 17 years ago while DeMbare's reign ended in 2014.

Chuma, however, believes the Glamour Boys are better-positioned to end the jinx this year under the tutelage of Tonderai Ndiraya.

"The campaign, so far so good. I am happy with progress and hoping they will win the league which has been elusive for some time now," said Chuma.

Chuma, who came through the DeMbare juniors, played for the senior team between 1989 and 1996 when he suffered a career-ending injury at the age of 26 years.

The Glamour Boys then had strong development structures, from where Chuma and a group of talented players like Memory "Mwendamberi" Mucherahowa, Vitalis "Digital" Takawira, Chamu "Baresi" Musanhu, Hope "Zviyo" Chihota, Tawurayi Mangwiro, Alois "Jibha" Godzi, Tichaona Diya, Ernest Masango-Chigama and Gari Mukangairwa, graduated to the senior team in the late '80s and early '90's.

He was only 19 years old when he secured his place in the first team. He went on to win four league titles during his time with DeMbare and travelled far and wide for continental football.

"I think we had the mental strength and the will to succeed. That's why we always won league championships. Besides, the management used to motivate us through incentives to win the big games like this coming one," said Chuma.

A proud product of the Dynamos juniors, Chuma started playing football at a young age in Gweru before his family relocated to Marondera.

In 1985 when he was 15-years-old, he joined the Dynamos juniors that were coached by Daniel "Dididi" Ncube, David "Broom Boy" George and Kuda "MaBla" Muchemeyi.

Chuma won the Dynamos Junior Player of the Year Award on several occasions and in 1992 he was rewarded with a month-long attachment at former English Premier League side Coventry City, alongside Highlanders prodigy, the late Benjamin Nkonjera.

Club legend Moses "Bambo" Chunga, who was making waves in Belgium then, was his biggest inspiration. He played for the DeMbare senior team from 1989 until a serious injury bowled him out in 1996.

Since he officially hung his boots in 2000, Chuma has had stints with Dynamos as juniors' coach. He was also roped in as assistant coach of the senior team in 2010.

The CAF B Coaching License holder briefly coached junior teams in China and came back when the Covid-19 pandemic started. He is back in the vast Asian country again.

But his heart bleeds when he sees the record-title holders Dynamos chasing shadows in the championship race.

Castle Lager Premiership Fixtures

Today

Yadah v FC Platinum (NSS).

Tomorrow

Ngezi Platinum v Tenax (Baobab, 1pm), Herentals v Bulawayo Chiefs (NSS), Bulawayo City v ZPC Kariba (Barbourfields), Whawha v Harare City (Ascot).

Sunday

CAPS Utd v Chicken Inn (NSS), Highlanders v Dynamos (Barbourfields), Manica Diamonds v Black Rhinos (Sakubva), Triangle v Cranborne Bullets (Gibbo).

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