ONE of Dynamos’ loyal sons Tonderai Ndiraya is having fun in the sun coaching Mhondoro-based premier league debutants Ngezi Platinum Stars.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Ndiraya has gained iconic status since his arrival in Mashonaland West taking the team on an eight match unbeaten run, which was brought to a grinding halt by How Mine a fortnight ago.
Even the Mhondoro community dared to believe that the youthful gaffer would deliver the Castle Lager Premier League title to the mining community this season.
Now for the first time in his coaching career Ndiraya faces an eerie yet gargantuan task of plotting the downfall of a team that gave him a name, the only other team he has ever coached, Dynamos at the Baobab Stadium this afternoon.
It’s a match which he reckons will be emotional to say the least.
“It will be very strange for me to sit in the opposite dugout against Dynamos. It’s my first time to coach any team against DeMbare so it’s going to be an emotional game for me and other players who have played for Dynamos before, but we will have to do the job that we are paid to do and we will give it our best to win the match,” he said in an interview with The Standardsport.
Ngezi Platinum has become a haven for former Dynamos players such as Partson Jaure, Walter Mukanga, Kelvin Bulaji, Zivanai Mhanda and Tichaona Mabvura a factor which is certainly going to raise the stakes in the match-up.
Ndiraya added: “It’s an exciting mood in the team and the community at large to be hosting Dynamos at the Boabab Stadium. This team is a new team formed recently and you can tell that most of our supporters used to support Dynamos so there is going to be a conflict of allegiance.”
Last season Ndiraya led the Glamour Boys to a second place finish in the league having taken over midseason, but was snubbed by the Harare Giants this year who opted to bring in a foreigner Paolo Jorge Silva, who has since been fired.
“Life in Ngezi has been amazing for me and my family especially with the support I am getting from my employers, my team and the fans. The only worry is when you play a big team like Dynamos you have to be mentally prepared or else you will pay, but I can safely say we are ready,” he said.
A few weeks ago Ngezi Platinum reached as high as sixth position in their debut until two consecutive defeats pegged them back to 11th place, a position they currently occupy.
Interestingly, former Dynamos defender Jaure, who was on the brink of joining the Mbare-based side before choosing Ngezi at the 11th hour during the mid-season transfer window has lost the two matches he has played for the league debutants.
“Jaure is a top player who has added quality to the team, but sadly for him the team has been losing since he started playing. He will be looking to win his first match in Ngezi colours against Dynamos,” Ndiraya said.
Dynamos on the other hand ended a six match winless run with a win over Harare City at Rufaro last week.
The Lloyd Mutasa-coached side will be hoping to put a turbulent last couple of months firmly behind them with a second consecutive win.
“When you are playing against Dynamos every game is like a cup final, so we are taking this game as such. We have done our homework and we are going out to collect maximum points. We, as Dynamos want to try and will win all our remaining matches so that we can finish as high as possible,” he said.
Mutasa said he was wary of facing former Dynamos player and coach Ndiraya, who has transformed Ngezi Platinum into a formidable side in the last two months.
“Ndiraya is a very good coach. He may know a little bit about Dynamos, but a lot has changed since he was here and also we have our different kind of play so it’s going to be an interesting battle,” he said.
DeMbare will be missing the services of vice-captain Ocean Mushure, who is suspended.