HARARE – Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa has admitted that he is facing a “positive” selection headache ahead of a possibly explosive ZNA Charity Shield final against rivals Highlanders at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
Mutasa had to play a negotiator’s role last week persuading the likes of Marshal Machazane, Blessing Mwandimutsira, Godfrey Mukambi and Cleopas Kapupurika to agree and play alongside the rookies in the semi-final against CAPS United after the senior players had refused to play until their outstanding dues from last year including the January salaries were paid.
The team did not disappoint, with the youngsters outshining the vastly-experienced and full strength CAPS United side.
The senior players only agreed to return to training on Thursday and Mutasa now faces a selection poser on whether to stick to the rookies who showed so much promise against CAPS or revert to his original first team made up of mainly senior players.
“Who doesn’t want a positive headache? I think it’s a better way to go, those youngsters who played gave it their best and they were a joy to watch and that can only but enhance the elders who are coming in to probably up their game and that will be better for our institution,” Mutasa told the Daily News on Sunday.
“…But over the past week we have been emphasising to the youngsters the need to keep their feet on the ground because in life, it’s very easy to forget and especially when you belong to Dynamos you can’t really live in the past.
“. . . the CAPS United match is already history and if the supporters were throwing sweets on them because of the victory they got against CAPS, if they don’t do well the next match they shouldn’t be surprised if they see stones coming to them…so it’s an element of when you play for Dynamos you always have to be on your toes and wanting to give your best so that you remain on top of the situation.”
The ex-DeMbare talisman said matches like these do not need any motivation for the players because they already know what is at stake and what is expected of each and every one of them.
“It’s not very much difficult (to motivate players) because they know that Highlanders is a big team so there’s no element of probably taking the game lightly as what they would do against other teams but I think…we have always emphasised that every team that plays in our league is a big team and I’m sure we will brace ourselves well knowing that we are going to play a strong Highlanders side and the only way we can beat them is by giving it a 100 percent effort if not 120,” Mutasa said.
“We welcome them back and it’s business as usual. It’s quite a boost…you would want to have all your personnel around and probably choose a team from a better pool… but they have been away for some time as well so probably we will try to integrate those who might probably add a new dimension…if you end up having the whole lot that have not been training might be a disadvantage so it’s a case of probably juggling around mixing those who have been training and those who might give us an edge though they were not training.”
Highlanders’ technical manager Madinda Ndlovu whose team saw off Chicken Inn 2-1 in a semi-final clash played over two venues and two days following heavy rains and lightning also echoed Mutasa’s sentiments that the players will be self-motivated.
“Dynamos being Dynamos against Highlanders, the spark will be there, the vibe will be there and also the players will be self-motivated.
“I am not putting my players under any pressure, will only ask them to do as they did against Chicken Inn. They must just showcase themselves. That’s the spirit that we want to put in them.
“Maybe it’s an opportunity for us to pocket our first silverware this year,” said Ndlovu.”