Team shaping up for Mangombe, but ...

During the period, Dynamos played three friendly matches against lower division and select sides, which they won comprehensively.

DYNAMOS coach Genesis Mangombe is happy with how his team is shaping up ahead of the start of the premier league season, although he remains wary of his strikers.

The Glamour Boys, who will be playing in the CAF Confederation Cup this term, returned from a two-week pre-season camp in Kariba a few days ago.

During the period, Dynamos played three friendly matches against lower division and select sides, which they won comprehensively.

On Saturday, they played a high-profile friendly match against fellow league side GreenFuel in Chisumbanje, winning the game 1-0 courtesy of a Donald Mudadi early goal.

Mangombe said he was excited about how his squad was adapting to his philosophy.

“The squad is shaping up nicely and I’m happy with the progress. There are a few areas that need to be perfected, otherwise, I’m happy with how things are shaping up,” Mangombe told NewsDay Sport yesterday.

The Harare giants were one of the busiest teams in the transfer market, bringing in over 10 new players to bolster the squad as they look to impress in the African Safari as well as winning the league title this season.

Notable players that joined the club include former FC Platinum left-back Nomore Chinyerere, Temptation Chiunga who was playing lower division football in South Africa last season, goalkeeper Tatenda Makoni and foreigners Fredrick Botchway from Ghana and former Namibia international striker Sadney UriKhob.

Mangombe has been impressed with most of the new arrivals, but picked Chinyerere, Tinotenda Makwinja and Botchway for praise.

“I can say the new players are gelling in very well generally. Chinyerere is a very good player. He is good both defensively and offensively. His game is good all-round,” Mangombe said.

“Makwinja is a beast. He is very aggressive and has done well so far. We played a strong and well-coached side in GreenFuel, but he did well. Botchway makes football look so simple. He is very good at keeping possession and dictating the tempo of the game. He is one of the best players in the team. He is that good.”

It is the strikers’ department that continues to worry the former Yadah coach.

The department proved to be the team’s Achilles heel last season as they went on to finish the league on third position.

Midfielder Mudadi and rookie striker Elton Chikona finished as the club’s joint leading goal scorers, with five goals each.

Mangombe reacted by shipping out all underperforming strikers, including Tinashe Makanda, Nyasha Chintuli and Jayden Bakari.

Makanda and Chintuli have resurfaced in Botswana and Eswatini, respectively, while Bakari has joined Caps United.

The experienced UriKhob was brought in to solve the goalscoring problems, and while he has shown some flashes of brilliance in the friendly matches he has played, Mangombe believes the veteran striker still has a lot of work to do.

“Maybe it’s because of the long layoff without playing competitive games. He is experienced and can produce some flashes of brilliance. You can see he is a good player and has an eye for a good pass,” the gaffer said.

“But I think he is taking time to really adapt to what we want and expect him to do. But he has all the signs of a very good striker. We will continue to work with him.”

Dynamos are expected to wrap up their pre-season with a match against rivals Caps United in the Mayor Challenge Cup scheduled for this weekend at Rufaro Stadium.

The Harare derby will be used to officially open the stadium in Mbare, which has been closed since 2019 for renovations.

The Chibuku Super Cup winners will then turn their focus to the season opening Castle Lager Challenge Cup match against Ngezi Platinum Stars on February 16 at Baobab Stadium.

The premier league season will kick off the following week.

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