DYNAMOS’ major new signing so far, Kelvin Bulaji, looked at home straight away as he took part in the club’s first pre-season training session yesterday on a day several senior players failed to pitch up and 34-year-old Newton Katanha attended.
The 23-year-old Bulaji, clad in a Dynamos Adidas top and green Caps United shorts, as if to remind everyone in attendance as to where he was coming from, looked very comfortable in the new environment as he joined his new workmates in their first training session at the National Sports Stadium ahead of the new season.
Speaking to our sister paper NewsDay Sport, Bulaji, who is expected to lead the Dynamos attack this coming season, said he was looking forward to the huge challenge ahead.
“I’m so happy to have joined Dynamos and to be part of this group,” he said.
“It has always been my wish to play for Dynamos because I supported this team since I was very young. The financial problems at Caps United forced me to join Dynamos, but the big reason why I’m here now is because I have always wanted to.
“This is not to say I did not put all the effort when we played Dynamos last season. I was very professional and did my best against the team. I’m looking forward to the new season and my target is to score as many goals for Dynamos and win trophies, including retaining the league title.”
Bulaji led a cast of four new players into the dressing room which included Godknows Murwira snapped from Shabanie Mine, Carlos Rusere from DC Academy, goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga who joined from ZPC Kariba while junior product Nigel Gandari has been promoted into the senior team.
The five were part of 23 players who pitched up for the first day of training under new coach David Mandigora.
But it was assistant coach Tonderai Ndiraya who was in charge of the first team session where they were mainly doing fitness tests while Mandigora was conducting trials at the other pitch for some prospective players.
The session was, however, overshadowed by the absence of a number of senior players from last season. At least 15 of them did not pitch up for different reasons.
Devon Chafa, Tafadzwa Rusike, Simba Sithole, Rodreck Mutuma, Russel Madamombe, Thomas Magorimbo and Murape Murape’s contracts expired at the end of the year and were in a no-show although it is understood some of them are negotiating with the club to renew.
Tawanda Muparati and Temba Ndhlovu have already joined new clubs How Mine and Harare City respectively, while Ronald Chitiyo is already in South Africa with second tier division team Royal Eagles.
Striker Washington Pakamisa, who is reported to have signed for Liga Muculmana was also absent, heightening fears that he has indeed joined the Mozambican side.
In an interview, Pakamisa said he was in Marondera at her sister’s place and would join with the rest of the squad anytime this week although a source told to the paper that he is actually in Maputo.
Ocean Mushure was given a compassionate leave to attend to some family problems while Stephen Alimenda and Cliff Sekete were said to be out of town. They are expected to attend today’s session.
Democratic Republic of Congo import Fabrice Mbimba spent some few minutes at the venue before excusing himself saying he was not feeling well.
Meanwhile, at least 50 players pitched up for trials at the venue yesterday.
Some of the big names who were trying to impress Mandigora and get contracts include former Warriors striker Katanha, Misheck Mburayi and Charles Mutero who were with Harare City and Chicken Inn respectively.
Katanha has been up and about across the world and officially turns 31 on February 3. The former Zimbabwe international was officially 22 when he signed for Petaling Jaya Municipal Council in Malaysia in 2004, having been expelled from Germany for falsifying his age.