Tag: Champions League

Fulawo Reminisces The Good Old Days

Given a choice, former Dynamos defender Vint Fulawo would have chosen a long career in football and big rewards hencefrom. But considering what he gained from football, he will still take the career he had that ended at the green age of 27.

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Fulawo played competitive football for only nine years the highlight being an appearance in the CAF Champions League final against ASEC Mimosas in 1998.

He is not complaining about life after football as presently he boasts of a hardware store, two butcheries, a sports bar and is also into cattle ranching.

To Fulawo, the turning point of his career was being part of the trailblazing Dynamos side that lined up for the second leg of the continental final away in Ivory Coast against Asec Mimosas in 1998 at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny.

He remembers the tension that characterised the match, how captain Memory Mucherahowa was head butted just before the match and being rushed to hospital which then forced the then Dembare head coach Sunday Chidzambwa to make tactical changes drafting Fulawo into the starting line-up.

Now, he reflects the December 12 1998 incident with nostalgia.

“It was awesome being part of that great Dynamos team as well as playing in the Champions League final. It’s not something that happens every day to any footballer. I was supposed to be on the bench that day, but the coach chose to throw me into the fray,” Fulawo said.

“It was very bad though that Memo (Mucherahowa) got injured and we all did not like it, but on the other hand it was a blessing in disguise because I got to start,” he said.

Fulawo began his top-flight football career at the now-defunct Darryn T in 1992 after being identified by Wieslaw Grabowski at the age of 18 while playing for amateur side Cone Textiles in his home town Norton.

This was followed by a loan-spell at Black Aces after DT’s expulsion from the then National Premier Soccer League in 1995 when the Pole was accused of insubordination by the league.

At the end of the 1996 season after some impressive showing at Aces, Grabowski organised trials for Fulawo at Germany Bundesliga side FSV Mainz 05 who were then plying their trade in Bundesliga 2.

“Mainz wanted me as a direct replacement of an injured defender who was a star in the team. The club’s expectations of me were very high and coming from Africa, it was always going to be difficult for me to break into the team,” Fulawo said.

Another trial stint at another Bundesliga side, Hamburg SV turned out to be the worst moment of his career after he came close to inking a deal with the club but again, nothing materialised.

One could feel the pain in Fulawo’s voice as he narrated how the golden opportunity to break into Europe league slipped through his hands.

“Hamburg were interested in my services but they did not agree on terms with my representative, Grabowski.

“Grabowski came to me saying their offer was too little, but to me money did not matter. I did not care about money, but just wanted to play in Europe. I regret that I failed to play overseas.”

Fulawo came back home feeling his skills deserved a better stage and Dynamos presented him with such a platform in Africa’s most prestigious club competition, the Champions League.

The defender’s arrival at the Glamour Boys at the beginning of 1997 saw the beginning of a life where he was to traverse the length and breadth of the African continent in search of football glory.

His football career could be regarded as one of the shortest, but to him, it meant a lot as he managed to lay the foundation of life after retirement, which many football players have failed to do

Chidzambwa Calls It Quits

LEGENDARY former Dynamos and Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa has announced his retirement from football management with immediate effect.

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The 67-year old gaffer however said he will remain in the football trenches only as an advisor to practising coaches.

“I can say my days as a coach are over. I’m turning 68 this year, so sitting on the bench won’t be good for me, but I will offer an advisory role to help other coaches.

“Everything has to come to an end, even people can die. I played my part, if someone is not convinced, then that is his opinion, and if he respects it, that’s his opinion too.

“My time is up, I need to give others a chance, the young coaches who have modern ideas.”

Chidzambwa was born on the 4th of May 1952 and he played as a defender for Dembare, with whom he won five league championships.

He also played at international level for the Zimbabwe national team first appearing in a FIFA World Cup qualifying match in 1980.

After suffering a nasty injury, he retired as a player and went on to manage the Zimbabwe national team and became the first coach to lead the Warriors to the African Cup Of Nations in 2004.

He also managed South African side Umtata Bush Bucks, though briefly.

He was re-appointed manager of Zimbabwe Warriors in November 2008 before leaving in May 2010 to manage another South African side Free State Stars.

Chidzambwa quit Free State Stars in August 2010, later becoming manager of Black Leopards.

On 20 October 2012 he was found guilty of match-fixing and subsequently handed a 10-year ban from football management.

However he was to be absolved of the crime for lack of evidence and returned to the national team as one of three Zimbabwe national team coaches in July 2017.

He eventually resigned in July 2019.

Chidzambwa won the Cosafa Cup an individual record 3 times.

The gaffer also led Dynamos to the final of the CAF Champions League final in 1998.

Mucherahowa Blasts Dembare Buying Spree

United Kingdom-based former Dynamos captain Memory Mucherahowa has attacked the club leaders for the current player-buying spree which he says is a consequence of the dearth of the club’s junior policy tradition.

Dynamos, who struggled to a ninth-place finish in the league last year, have been on an aggressive player recruitment drive which has seen the club bring in at least 11 new players in a bid to restore the glory day at the Harare giants.

The man, popularly known as Mwendamberi, who led Dynamos to the 1998 African Champions League final, castigated the Glamour Boys for abandoning the junior policy which was the heartbeat of the club from Independence until the early 2000s.

“It is a good thing that Dynamos is strengthening the team. I hope they will do well. My only worry is whether these players will cope with the demands of such a big institution,” the 50-year-old former captain said from his UK base.

“Dynamos used to rely on its junior policy and the youngsters would play in curtain raisers. By the time they graduated into the senior team, they would be aware of the demands of the team’s supporters.

“The fans knew their youngsters. They would form the core of the team with only one or two additions and not more than seven players,” he said.

Dynamos have so far signed 11 players, including Patson Jaure, Tanaka Chidhobha, Nkosi Mhlanga and Lennox Mutsetse early on in the transfer window.

The club also added Byron Madzokere, Tymon Mvula, Jeansmith Mutudza, David Temwanjira, Barnabas Mushunje, Tinotenda Chiunye and, lately, Sylvester K Appiah to the 2020 squad.

Coach Tonderai Ndiraya is looking to build a team that will compete for the Premier Soccer League title which the club last won six years ago.

However, Dynamos have made significant strides in trying to make sure that they revive junior football at the club as they now have a developmental side playing Division Two football.

“We had the generation of Kuda Muchemeyi, Shaw Handriade, Edward Katsvere, David Mandigora, then Clayton Munemo’s generation. We also had my generation followed by Simon Chuma’s and then Chamu Musanhu’s generation. We carried the Dynamos culture and got used to the fans’ demands before we graduated into the senior team,” Mucherahowa said.

 

Dembare To Bring In Two More Players

Dynamos FC Marketing And Public Relations Executive Tinashe Farawo has reiterated their full support for Coach Tonderayi Ndiraya in his quest to reposition the Glamour Boys at the summit of local football.

Dembare has undertaken a massive recruitment exercise that has so far seen 11 players joining the 21-time Zimbabwe champions. This, however, fuelled speculation among fans, media and observers that the Executive were hoarding players without the input of the coaching personnel.

With the first batch of new players being signed during the festive holidays when Ndiraya was away on holiday, speculation was rife that the Executive had panicked and were imposing players on Ndiraya.

However Ndiraya, on his return, was quick to give his seal of approval to everything the Executive was doing. Training commenced last Monday and most of the new players were available adding to Ndiraya’s bliss.

But Dembare are not done yet with Farawo revealing that Ndiraya still needs about 2 more strikers.

“We have been ticking the boxes and we are probably left with one or two strikers to complete our task. We are just working according to the list submitted by the coach and I think we are almost through with it,’’ said Farawo.

“I am sure the coach and his technical team are happy with what we have done so far because we have given them what they have asked for. The coach requested for the players, and we have given him the players, and we think we have delivered on our mandate. Now it’s left to him to work with the resources availed to him. This year should be our year. Our aim is to get to the top and play Champions League football again.’’

Farawo refused to divulge the 2 players left on their list, though it is believed Caps Utd speedy winger Phineas Bamusi is one of them.

But he took time to address fans’ concerns about the culture of acquiring many players each and every season, which used to be unheard of at Dembare.

“We are going to invest more into our development programme. That is why we have Dynamos age-group teams in our structures, and a Dynamos reserve side that is playing in the ZIFA Division Two league.

“We want it to be a big business enterprise, considering the huge potential that this team is sitting on. Dynamos is a club with a rich history, and that should reflect in every aspect.

“Almost every player dreamt of playing for Dynamos, but that hasn’t been the case, of late because of the mistakes of the past.The leadership is addressing those mistakes, and Dynamos will be a team of choice again in terms of winning trophies and marketing players abroad.’’