DAVID “Diva” Kutyauripo, no stranger to controversy during his playing career, will again raise a few eyebrows in the corridors of power at Dynamos after writing off his old club’s Castle Lager Premier Soccer League title chances and casting doubt on the ability of the new crop of players to restore the club’s greatness.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
After enduring six barren years since winning four successive Premiership titles from 2011 to 2014, when they were under the tutelage of Kalisto Pasuwa, Dynamos head into the new season with high hopes of finally ending their title drought.
The 21-time Zimbabwean league champions have embarked on a massive recruitment exercise, bringing in 13 new signings for the upcoming season, thanks to the sponsorship from Gold Leaf Tobacco.
Headlined by Soccer Star of the Year finalist King Nadolo, the long list of new acquisitions at the popular Harare club includes seasoned defender Partson Jaure, rising star Tanaka Chidhobha, former Hwange goalkeeper Taimon Mvula, rock-steady defender Sylvester Appiah and midfielder Jean Mutudza.
The other new faces at DeMbare are defender Byron Madzokere and midfielder Nkosi Mhlanga, both signed from Yadah Stars, Lenox Phineas Mutsetse, Barnabus Mushunje and Tinotenda Chiunye, former ZPC Munyati striker Takunda Mawarire, David Temwanjira and Cameroonian forward Albert Eonde.
Despite the spending spree, which has generated a lot of excitement among the Dynamos fans, Kutyauripo, who had two stints at the Mbare club, does not fancy the chances of his former team to mount a strong title challenge.
The former Warriors defender and now fitness trainer at a popular gym in the capital is instead tipping the quartet of CAPS United, FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars and Chicken Inn to challenge for the championship.
“From the look of things this year, I think there will be more competition for the championship, but I am putting my money on CAPS United Football Club, FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars and Chicken Inn whom I believe will give us a good run,” Kutyauripo told StandardSport in an interview.
“Looking at my beloved Dynamos Football Club, this year they have blended senior and junior guys, which is okay with me, but my main worry is that it will be a new team altogether, so there might be no continuity. So it is like they are starting to build again.”
Kutyauripo, who had two stints at both Dynamos and their rivals CAPS United after returning from Cyprus, questioned the commitment of modern-day footballers.
“There is a difference between this current generation of players and our generation during our playing days as we used to play for the love of the game unlike this new crop of players. “They appear to be after money, nothing else as there is zero commitment. If they lose, it’s normal to them,” he said.
Kutyauripo also curiously ruled out FC Platinum from this year’s title race despite their recent dominance of Zimbabwean football where they have won the last three successive Premier Soccer League titles.
The former Harare City player reckons Dutch coach Hendrik Pieter de Jongh will not be able to replicate the same success brought to the club by Norman Mapeza.
De Jong, however, made a statement of intent recently after guiding FC Platinum to the Castle Challenge Cup following their victory over Highlanders at Barbourfields.
“I think FC Platinum rushed to appoint Pieter De Jongh as their coach. I think he doesn’t know the culture of this team, so it can be a problem for him,” he said.
Kutyauripo’s predictions for the new season come at a time the league’s kickoff date remains uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All PSL clubs were last week forced to abandon their pre-season preparations following a 60-day government ban on sporting activities.