There has been so much talk recently about the Dynamos executive buying players without consulting coach Tonderai Ndiraya. To make matters worse, the coach himself has not spoken publicly about this issue. This had raised fears among the club fans that another poor season beckons for the Glamour Boys.
But finally, Ndiraya has come out his shell and spoken about this and other issues. These are his words:
“BEFORE I dwell on the upcoming 2020 season, it is important for the Dynamos constituency to understand where we are coming from.
Of course, I would not want to say much about the background but the honest truth is that as a team, we had a bad 2019 season. It is against that background that we then ran around a bit early and came up with a wish list as a technical team, which we submitted to the executive.
So, the process of chasing the new players we want started before the 2019 season ended. We did not finish that season the way we wanted.
If you remember, we lost the last three games, that gave us a clear picture of what we had within our ranks, in terms of personnel. That obviously expedited the recruitment process.
Of course, we were a bit reluctant because of some of the potential we had seen in the team, but those three straight defeats pushed us against the wall. We all saw the need to really beef up our team with quality players.
That is what we have done.
We submitted the list and the management has since been so busy in trying to bring those players on board.
But in doing so, we have faced so many challenges.
It’s not a secret that we are competing against well-resourced teams. I would not want to mention names, but we all know those teams.
However, we must also give credit to the Dynamos’ executive, they are trying the best they can to get the players we have now.
They are trying the best they can to bring the other recommended players. But there is so much competition for players out there.
What is important is for us to have a good team in place for next season.
Last season I spoke repeatedly about the lack of quality players at DeMbare. As a result, we finished ninth, a place where we do not belong.
So we are looking at improving, we are looking at fighting with the big boys and hopefully, we will be able to run around as a team to bring on board the players that we think will bring back the smiles on our supporters’ faces.
Yes, I am very much involved.
In fact, after submitting my list, I went on holiday and left the management running around to look for those players I had recommended.
I am very much in control of the recruitment process.
I am aware there have been questions over the calibre of DeMbare’s signings so far. We have brought on board Partson Jaure, Nkosi Mhlanga, Lenox Mutsetse and Tanaka Chidhobha.
Apart from Jaure, the rest are unheralded. We have a reason for going this route.
If you look at the history of Dynamos closely, you will see that the club is known for marketing unknown talent.
History has also taught us that prominent players normally fail at Dynamos. It is against that background that we are going down this route.
We are looking at players with good talent, players who have real potential and can be marketed by our system.
That has always been the tradition at DeMbare.
Yes we had young players at Dynamos last year, but most of that potential is not the type of potential or quality we want at the club.
We had so many good youngsters last season.
Emmanuel Jalai, Jarisson Selemani Junior, Nigel Katawa and Tinotenda Muringai, to name but a few.
These youngsters need good experience for them to really become the players we want them to be.
They can not be good players if they do not have good experience, so I did not have a problem with young players last year because I understood their need to develop and grow.
But I was against the experience we had in the team and I was never shy on that. We did not have good experience, which would have really helped our youngsters.
If you look at our performance last year, we ended up relying on young players more than the seniors. Once a system is like that, it becomes dead.
It becomes dysfunctional.
That is the reason why we took the decision to let some of our senior players go, those we thought were not giving us good value.
That’s the position.
But I did not say we were only going to sign senior players during this window.
A team becomes a good team if it has good balance. We need both youngsters and senior players. If you blend the two, you will have a nice balance.
I do not remember saying we were going to bring heralded players on board, no.
If you look at Partson Jaure, he was here before, so we also looked at these players individually to see if there is still any value in them.
We saw that Jaure is still good, he can still impart a lot of good value to these youngsters in the team.
All the senior players that we will bring in, we are making sure they can really give this system good value.
We have very promising youngsters still to come.
It’s not ending with Lenox (Mutsetse) and Tanaka (Chidhobha), we are bringing in three more youngsters, not just youngsters but youngsters with great potential.
I think those who know Tanaka know his background. They know his potential since his days at Prince Edward High School. There is some history there, we did not just pluck Chidhobha straight from school.
He was playing Division One football for the past two years with FC Platinum’s Under-19 side, so was Lenox.
They are coming from FC Platinum, they are free agents now.
I was once at Prince Edward and I really know what Chidhobha has. When he became available, I did not think twice.
He is the kind of talent we must have in our system.
I assure people that this season they will get to see the quality in these boys. Hopefully, our system will shape them and get them to a level where they should be.
There are two sides to our system though.
If you are young, it can either build or destroy you.
We have also seen quite a number of good players who have failed to play at Dynamos. We are looking at all those things because of the experience we have had with the system.
Dynamos thrives with committed average players who put in a lot of effort. When you add the support we get from our fans, those players become very successful.
If you look at the players who have played for this team and went on to play in foreign leagues, they were not really exceptional talent, they were average players.
That’s what we are doing.
That’s the reason we are bringing in these unheralded players.
I believe in what I see and I really hope that these boys will rise to the occasion and give us what we want.
But I think what is important are the preparations.
In football, the critical phases of the football cycle is the recruitment and pre-season process. That’s what we are trying to correct this year.
I understand the team had a bad pre-season last year. In fact, it was a bad recruitment exercise. I am hoping we will have a different pre-season this year, one that will set the tone for our performances this year.
We are hoping that the six to eight weeks we will have with these boys will give us a team that will seriously compete with the big boys this year.
We are likely to start pre-season on January 20, but all that is going to be determined by how soon we complete the recruitment process.
We still have a couple of new faces coming in.
We have recruited four so far, but we should see more than four players coming on board as well.
Those we are bringing in are not coming in to make numbers, we have made sure that they are better than those we have or those we are going to release.
We never made it a secret to our players, that we were going to make changes come season end. This is not coming as a surprise, they know. Those who performed well last season are going to be with us this year.
I am sure we are justified in doing so.
Let’s see what happens, but like I have said, I believe in what I do.
I want to assure our fans and management that if we bring in the players that we have recommended, we will have a good 2020.
We are yet to confirm the players we will release.
Naturally, you can not release when you do not have. We are going to get the new players then release the old ones.
We are obviously hunting for a top striker to replace Evans Katema, who has indicated that he wants to try new things.
Of course, it is a big blow, you always want to have your best players and no doubt Evans was one of our best players last year despite joining during the mid-season transfer window.
But I think it’s a chance for him to develop his career further. He is not growing any younger, so if there’s an opportunity for him to grow and make more money, why should we deny him the chance?
If a player expresses his interest to leave, there is nothing we as a team can do to hang on to him. Otherwise, he will not give his best.
We could have stopped him because he has a contract, but we would have denied him a lifetime chance.
After all, that’s what Dynamos is all about – it markets players.
Evans came in and in less than five months he is gone.
Hopefully, we can also attract good players so that they get this opportunity to be marketed. We may not be amongst the top paying teams in the country, but as the biggest team on the land, we are good at marketing players.
We just need to find Evans’ replacement soon. I know it’s going to be difficult, especially given the fact that the country is grappling with a deficiency in terms of the production of strikers, but we have to find another Evans Katema somewhere.
If we do not a get a reputable striker, we will find an unpolished diamond.”