Kalisto Pasuwa, the championship winning Dynamos gaffer, stood almost transfixed at the shocking condition of Raylton sports club in Harare on January 16.
Report by John Mokwetsi
The overgrown grass, the uneven surface and the rainfall scars seen in the mud ponds that formed all over the ground, had been a sad testimony of the start of preparations for the new PSL season and worryingly the challenging CAF Champions’ League.
He sighed before he spoke. And when he finally did speak, he did so softly, almost apathetic.
His story was like a cliché, as he mentioned to reporters present at the training ground that he only had 15 players in the camp.
Time was of the essence and a lot was expected of him. He had joined Dynamos in classical fashion, two successful seasons away, replacing friend Lloyd Mutasa and probably creating an enemy in the process.
The accolades, for those two years, he could count with a smile on his face. On one hand his fingers could account for two PSL trophies, Bob89, the lucrative Mbada Cup and others.
Pasuwa stood transfixed by it all, as his players dribbled past each other in the mud ponds and navigated through knee-high grass.
His very headache had been the powerful board members denying the two players he wanted to sign for his team’s cause — Evans Gwekwerere and Benjamin Marere.
Dynamos is not a team to forgive the rational. The board members had spitefully remembered how the two left. The crime was simple; they had dared to look for jobs that put food on the table. Marere was hit hard by the ungrateful nature of the badly managed popular team when his pregnant wife was evicted from their lodging for non-payment of rentals. And he left for Platinum FC. Gwekwerere left for bitter rivals Caps United.
More bad news for Pasuwa would follow.
Word had filtered through that the backbone of his squad, the two strikers he depended on so religiously, had caught the eye of their football big brother — the Super Diski of South Africa. Simba Sithole and Rodrick Mutuma, whose contribution had given him a PSL trophy on goal difference after being tied on points with Highlanders, were leaving.
He could not have anticipated that Martin Vengesayi would also inform him that he could not sprint for him anymore. Harare City, Vengesayi is said to have intimated and dangled a carrot too big to ignore.
Yet in all this madness, the madness that defines Dynamos every season, the kind of madness the back pages tire now of writing about; Pasuwa is often reminded that chaos is the DNA by which this Harare-based team survives.
Today, his team will try to overturn a 3-0 deficit they suffered in the champions’ league against Tunisian side CA Birzetin. He would if he can, point to the shambolic start to preparations for this match. He may also want to speak of the indiscipline now said to be prevalent among top players.
However, the Dynamos blue and white faithful fans will remind him of a period in 1998 when Dynamos had to hastily assemble a side after firing key players. That team went on to reach the final.
Dynamos fans will remember that Mutasa had a team that beat an Algerian team at home 4-1. His solace might be that in the last three seasons starting 2011 his team has never had a perfect start.
Mismanagement, it is safe to say, is the fuel Dynamos supporters feel drives this team. Pasuwa’s failure this afternoon might not put into perspective anything else other than that he is not up to the task.