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Dembare bank on imports

by Staff reporter
25 Feb 2022 at 07:15hrs | Views
DYNAMOS coach Tonderai Ndiraya says the lack of high calibre centre forwards in the country has forced his club to import strikers from outside, which he is hopeful will help win the league championship this year.

The Harare giants, who already have Cameroonian Albert Eonde in their ranks, brought in three more foreign attackers during the transfer window after signing Alex Orotomal from Nigeria and two Ghanaians Emmanuel Paga and Martin Ofori.

Paga impressed on his debut against FC Platinum at the weekend, while the highly-rated Orotomal and Ofori are set to wait a little bit longer as they are yet to be cleared to play for Dynamos.

Speaking at a Press conference on Thursday, Ndiraya said the lack of proven strikers on the local market was worrying, and he was hopeful that their foreign investment would solve the goalscoring problems at the club.

"It's a national problem, because if you want to look at the statistics, how many goals do our top goalscorers score a season?" he asked rhetorically.

Former Dynamos striker Norman Maroto was the last forward to breach the 20-goal mark in the local league when he scored 22 goals for the now-defunct Gunners in 2010.

Since then, no striker has managed to score 15 goals or more.

Clive Augusto came close to reaching that mark when he netted 14 goals before departing for South Africa midway through the 2019 season.

"When you consider that he scored 14 goals in the first half of the season and still no one managed to catch up, then you will agree with me that the statistics are not good. If you look around for a lethal striker on the local market, you will not find any, so we had to import, supposedly import goals from outside," Ndiraya said.

He said that he was currently working with youngsters at the club, which he believed were developing into very good strikers which they could count on in the near future.

"When you fail to find answers from the current generation, then you have to look at the younger generation and that is what we are doing. So in the meantime, we have imported goals and hopefully the players can quickly get into the groove and start giving us goals. Importing is one thing and playing and scoring is another," Ndiraya said.

"So it is our hope that we made the right decision and that these foreign players will give us goals. If what we saw in Paga is what they can give us, I have no doubt that these foreign players will really add something special to the team."

Dynamos have also brought back striker Evans Katema, whom Ndiraya is hoping can add experience in their attack. The dreadlocked striker last played for the club in 2019 before he moved to Zambia.

"It's quite a long time back, but we believe in him and hopefully, he can live up to the billing. There isn't much scoring on the local market and that has been coupled by the fact that our league hasn't been active for a long time. We have not been playing games, so trying to find a local striker in scoring form is going to be difficult," the DeMbare mentor said.

Ndiraya revealed that the club was running against time to have Orotomal and Ofori available for their weekend clash against Chicken Inn.

"The office is running around to get the papers sorted. It is doing everything it can to put the papers of those two players in order. It's not going to be automatic for them to get into the team. We brought them in to strengthen the team."

Ndiraya is perceived as a defensive coach, but the former midfielder has defended his conservative tactics.

"People are entitled to their own opinion, but I believe that football is changing, is improving and tactics are changing. It's now to do with the technical and tactical side of the game more than anything else," he said.

"Yes, you want to attack, but you can't just attack carelessly without being disciplined in terms of defending. They always say that defence will win you the title and the strikers can win you games. You got to focus on both, but in the end, it's about getting something out of a particular game."

Ndiraya is hoping to build on the good performance from his side in the goalless draw against FC Platinum last week.

"We have been preparing with a good feeling obviously because of the point that we brought back from Mandava. It was not what we really wanted, but it really gave us a lot of confidence and that has ignited a lot of belief and energy into our players. No doubt it was a very difficult match for us but we managed that game so well," he said.

"People will agree with me that getting a point from Mandava is quite a difficult thing to do. Not many teams can come out of that game with a result like what we did, so that has pushed us on. The mood is so different in training, everyone is pushing and the belief is there that we can do something this year as a team."

Ndiraya is expecting a tough match against Chicken Inn on Sunday.

"We are playing former champions, a very good, strong and solid team, which has won its past two games, so we have been preparing with that in mind. We got a good result in our previous game, but this is a new game altogether and we are playing another tough team," he said.

"It's unfortunate that we have to play two difficult teams in succession, but this is what we have and we are fully preparing for that difficult fixture list. We are also getting confidence that we are playing at home, and hopefully we will have a large crowd on Sunday to come and push the boys."

The match will be Dynamos' first home game in 2022, and Ndiraya expect fans to come in their numbers to watch the new players on show.

"I'm sure our people are eager to see their team, and the new players that we brought in live on the pitch. This is giving us a lot of excitement and I'm sure our fans will come in their numbers and push the boys home," Ndiraya said.

"I know where the anxiety and excitement is coming from (because) they are foreigners and the decent performance that came from Paga last week has brought anxiety to people. They want to see how the other two foreigners will perform."

Source - NewsDay Zimbabwe
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