HARARE – Holders Dynamos travel to the Lowveld to face Tripple B while Highlanders host Triangle at Barbourfields Stadium on a packed weekend of Mbada Diamonds Cup first week action on Saturday and Sunday.
Dynamos have dominated the country’s most prestigious Cup competition with sheer power and ruthlessness, winning the first two editions of the tournament with relative ease.
It is hard to fathom that any other club can have its name engraved on the trophy looking at how this tournament brings the best out of the famous Harare giants.
Following an indifferent start to the season which might have given their rivals hope that an era of domination was nearing its end, Dynamos have sent a chilling warning to their rivals in the later stages of the season, with the 19-times Zimbabwean champions showing that they are in no mood to let go their dominance of local football.
Having stuttered in the defence of their title with six straight draws, DeMbare are now back in familiar position, at the summit of the Castle Premiership table, and they have now set their sights on a an unprecedented third league and Cup double in three successive years.
One man who will be key once again in their quest is their coach, the ever-shrewd Calisto Pasuwa, who has led them to their last two league and Cup double glory.
The Glamour Boy’s rivals will be scratching their heads again as to how a Dynamos team led by this modest but efficient coach will be toppled from their perch at the helm of club football in this country.
But there is some hope on the horizon for pretenders to the Mbada throne after Shabanie Mine seemed to demystify DeMbare by ousting them out of the BancABC Sup8r competition this season.
Shabanie deservedly went on to lift the BancABC following their penalty shoot-out win in the final over cross-town nemesis FC Platinum, but their shock win over Dynamos was no less an achievement.
While that result has sunk in, this might be the time for other clubs to share notes with Shabanie and see how well they can emulate the miners in ending in what is fast becoming an inescapable, if not disturbing reality, that Dynamos will conquer.
Dynamos’ team chemistry is truly brilliant and it is testament to the fact that their players have been playing together for so many seasons and have gelled into an invincible unit despite the departure in the last two seasons of several key players like Cuthbert Malajila, Rodreck Mutuma, Takesure Chinyama, amongst others.
So, which teams are capable of stopping Dynamos, both on the Cup and league fronts?
Highlanders, their chief rivals of the last two seasons?
Disappointingly, Bosso have not been as formidable as in the last two seasons, their in-house problems perhaps taking toll on the team.
Both Mbada and the league have eluded them in the last two seasons, despite the presence of a very, very good coach in Kelvin Kaindu.
Kaindu stresses on strict discipline with even the creative players performing defensive duties and this is what has worked wonders for him, though not without the desired end results.
Whether they can turn a substandard season into a happy ending remains to be season in the business end of the season.
CAPS United? They too are overburdened by off-field disturbances, although in Taurai Mangwiro they have a well-respected, cultured coach who seems to get the best out of his players.
Let the leopard to roar!