Home » Sports » City Raid Dembare. . .sunshine Boys Snatch Defender Themba Ndlovu

AMBITIOUS Harare City — keen on avoiding the ignominy of fighting against relegation instead of the championship — have wasted no time in getting their drive to strengthen their 2015 squad underway by swooping on tough-tackling Dynamos defender Themba Ndlovu. Harare City, who came perilously close to winning the championship last year before sliding into third place, found themselves having to fight for their Premiership survival in the 2014 season after struggling to fully recover from an indifferent start to the term.

That poor start to the season that not only cost coach Bigboy Mawiwi his job, also claimed the scalp of club chairman Leslie Gwindi, who was replaced by Alois Masepe.

Stung by that near embarrassment, Masepe’s management crew then assembled a “Dream Team” coaching structure that is long on experience and includes mentors for the junior sides and the academy such as Elvis Chiweshe and David George.

The Sunshine Boys also prized Taurai Mangwiro away from CAPS United and from under the noses of Dynamos, who had been targeted by DeMbare and the former Monomotapa gaffer will be in charge of the first team next year.

But at a time when many teams have taken a break from the game ahead of the festive season and seeking to resume football business early next year, Harare City, who on Friday night also rewarded their outstanding players at a glittering awards ceremony, have not sat on their laurels and ensured that by the weekend they had sealed one of their biggest deals by bringing in Ndlovu.

There are also indications that Harare City have targeted such players like seasoned goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, midfield workhorse Tendai Samanja and ZPC Kariba’s Soccer Star of the Year Dennis Dauda.

While Dube and Samanja might still be lining up a move to link up with their coaches Mangwiro and his assistant Mike Madzivanyika at the Sunshine Boys and while it all is still speculation about Dauda crossing the floor, The Herald can reveal that Ndlovu’s deal has been virtually sealed.

Although Mangwiro, who has been assisting in conducting the on-going CAF A-Licence course at the Zifa Village, could not shed much light on the players, sources last night indicated that Dynamos had as they often do with their player acquisitions, dragged their feet in tying Ndlovu down to a new deal.

“Since being unveiled as coach I have not had much time to settle yet at Harare City because I have been involved with the Caf A Licence and the secretary-general Mathew Marara has been leading the team that is on the ground in working on such issues as player acquisition,” Mangwiro said.

Marara could not be reached for comment despite repeated efforts to do so last night, while Ndlovu was reluctant to discuss much expect to say that “we are still finalising some issues with Harare City and I will be able to say much about this around 30 or 31 December”

Ndlovu’s contract with Dynamos officially ends on December 31 but that the Glamour Boys failed to negotiate with the player before the final six months of his contract meant that the former Buffaloes man became free to engage into talks with prospective clubs.

And along came Harare City, who wasted no time getting their man amid indications that the Sunshine Boys had been impressed by the manner in which Ndlovu held fort in the Dynamos defence, playing a key role in the 29 league matches that he featured in as Callisto Pasuwa’s men powered to their fourth successive Premiership title.

Ndlovu’s consistent performances in which he also featured in all Dynamos’ cup games won him a place on the Castle Soccer Stars calendar.

The 30-year-old defender is one of a host of the Dynamos championship winning side who might be leaving as DeMbare look set to assemble a new squad that will now be under the guidance of David Mandigora.

Diminutive winger Ronald Citiyo has already signed for big-spending South African Division One side Royal Eagles while a huge cloud of uncertainty surrounds the future of veteran skipper Murape Murape, gritty midfielder Devon Chafa and strikers Simba Sithole and Roderick Mutuma, whose contracts will be coming to an end next week.

Sithole had been linked with a move to Zimbabwe’s representatives in the Confederation Cup FC Platinum but his manager Gibson Mahachi disputed that the former Mamelodi Sundowns forward had joined another club.

Mahachi, who also manages Russell Madamombe and Chafa, said he was still awaiting Dynamos to open contract talks with him over the trio.

“Platinum have never said that they want Simba. It is just fortunate that it is pure speculation, which surprisingly is coming from within the Dynamos executive. We are yet to sit down with the Dynamos executive over the player’s contract.

“They have not said when we can meet.

“Of course they have the first option to retain him, but I am still waiting for the date and place of the meeting to hear if they have a proposal. It is the same story for Madamombe.

“As for Devon, we are also back to the same problem we had earlier this year where Dynamos still have an outstanding loan fee of US$2 000 which they have to pay to DC Academy for the player’s services for the 2014 season.

“If they (Dynamos) are not careful players will leave because every player knows the importance of securing his future first and most of these deals should have been sealed some months back,” Mahachi said.

Source : The Herald