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DeMbare chase maiden Charities triumph

Harare giants Dynamos will be looking to begin the 2018 football season in style by lifting their first ever Zimbabwe National Army [ZNA] Charities Shield when they clash with rivals Highlanders in the final at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.

Dynamos are yet to lay hands on the preseason tournament trophy which is in its sixth season.

Sponsors have upped the stakes this season by increasing the prize money with the winners set to walk away with $15 000 while the runners-up settle for $10 000.

The Glamour Boys, going through yet another transitional year, remarkably dumped defending champions CAPS United out of the Charities Shield with a narrow win last week.

CAPS United have two shields in their cabinet after winning the inaugural competition in 2013.

Dynamos’ opponents this afternoon Bosso are gunning for a record third Charities Shield title after recording success in two consecutive seasons, winning in 2015 and 2016.

FC Platinum won the tournament in 2014 drubbing Caps United 6-0 in the decider at Mandava.

“It will be a tough match for sure, but when you get to the final you always want to give your fans something to cheer about.

Obviously as Dynamos we play every match to win so we are going to try to win the match and against opposition like Highlanders you can never have it easy,” Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa told Standardsport.

Mutasa hogged the limelight after he guided a largely inexperienced side to a famous victory over Makepekepe in the semi-final after the bulk of the players went on strike.

However, after the salaries and signing-on fees impasse between the Dynamos administration and players came to an end, Mutasa faces a difficult decision on whether to stick to the team that beat CAPS United last week or make wholesale changes in order to accommodate the experienced players.

“It’s a big decision, but the idea is not to make wholesale changes but just to improve our final 18 squad.

It’s important that some of the rookies who played so well last week get another chance to face a top side in a big match. In the end it’s all about finding a balance,” he said.

Man of the moment Kudzanai Dhemere who decided the semi-final against CAPS United with a brilliant strike, is certain to retain his place in the team.

The list of Dynamos players making a return to the squad include captain Ocean Gungwa Mushure, Christian Joel Epoupa Ntouba, Obey Mwerahari, Peace Makaha, Gift Saunyama, Quality Kangadze and Valentine Ndaba to mention but a few
New signings Jimmy Tigere, Raphael Manuvire and Marvelous Mukumba are also available for selection.

While Dynamos fielding a predominantly young side in the semi-final was by default, Highlanders under coach Madinda Ndlovu have embarked on a deliberate strategy to build a new team around young players.

Ndlovu’s young lads did not disappoint when they beat Chicken Inn in the other semi-final.

Bukhosi Ncube, Ray Lunga, Charlton Siamalonga, Godfrey Makaruse, Brian Banda, Thabo Lunga, Nigel Makumbe, Ben Musaka and Nkosana Ndlovu [who is Bosso great Bekithemba Ndlovu’s son] are names of youngsters to watch out for this season in the Highlanders black and white strip.

Another ZNA Charities Shield success for Bosso today should be a major endorsement of Ndlovu’s efforts so far.

“We want to win it, but I am not putting my players under any pressure to break a leg over a charity match.

It being a Dynamos versus Highlanders match, there is obviously going to be that spark and the players will be self-motivated,” Ndlovu said.

Ndlovu will be keen give players who didn’t feature against Chicken Inn an opportunity to have some minutes under their belt as the league season approaches.

“The approach is to try and work on certain aspects of the team that we need to strengthen while we have an opportunity to assess some of the players that didn’t play against Chicken Inn,” he added.

The ZNA targets to raise $50 000 from the tournament this year which will be channelled towards charity.
Kick-off is at 3pm while the cheapest ticket has been pegged at $3.

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