Murape to play on


HARARE – Dynamos captain Murape Murape has no plans to retire despite winning five league titles with the Glamour Boys.

Murape turned 33 in November and speculation was rife that the veteran midfielder would call time on his career at the end of the just-ended Castle Premiership season, which saw Dynamos extend their domination by winning a record 20th Zimbabwean league title.

NOTHING STOPPING ME: Murape Murape has written his name into Zimbabwean football folklore by winning a fifth league title with Dynamos.

The diminutive attacking midfielder once retired from football at the end of the 2011 season after he helped Dynamos secure a league and cup double before making a U-turn the following season.

A year on, Murape is not facing a difficult decision this time around.

“I can’t afford to spend time thinking about what is going to happen in the future, because I need to divert all my energies into playing for DeMbare and performing to my best,” Murape told the Daily News.

“I take every season as it comes now. If I am enjoying my football and I am fit then I will carry on. I feel I still have a lot to offer to my team and there is no way I should quit now.

“I felt good last season, especially after winning the title for a third straight year. I want go out and enjoy myself next year. People might say whatever they say, but I am working hard to do well next year. And for as long I feel fit, I will soldier on.”

Murape has only played for one other club in Zimbabwe, the now defunct Buymore, before enjoying a brief stint in Swaziland’s top-flight league.

His third spell with Dynamos has been his most successful.

“My target now is on the (African) Champions League,” Murape added.

“We have never won the Champions League and I think we can do better this time around. We need to keep at least 80 percent of the current squad then maybe bring in one or two quality players.

“We had a good squad last season. We only need to work hard. In football what’s important is continuity. It’s difficult to start every season with an almost different team. You only need few additions to add value to the team.

“It’s good to bring in new players but without losing the current ones. Most players are now used to the Dynamos culture.

“Players can do well at other clubs but when they come to Dynamos it is different. There is a lot of pressure at DeMbare. Every match is difficult — it’s like we are playing a cup final every time. There are no easy matches. Thus in Champions League there is no time to build a new squad.

“If we keep our players, we can have a mark in the Champions League.”

Murape began his career as a raw teenager, featuring in the Dynamos juniors and he rose through the club’s ranks to become the team’s captain in 2008.

In 2007, he was voted Soccer Star of the Year in what became the crowning moment in his career.

Born Murape Charles Murape in Chitungwiza, the inspirational DeMbare skipper has won five league titles in 1997, 2007, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and several pieces of silverware, making him one of the most decorated players in Zimbabwean domestic football history.

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