Epoupa boost for DeMbare
Dynamos forward Joel Christian Epoupa, who was injured during trials at South Africa champions Bidvest two weeks ago, is back in the fold and has started training with the Harare giants.
The Cameroonian was given four weeks by doctors to recover fully after his trial stint ended prematurely with an ankle injury, dashing his hopes of making a move to the big money league during the current transfer window.
But two weeks on, Epoupa is back in the gym with the rest of the Glamour Boys, who started their pre-season training this week. The 24-year-old Cameroonian suffered an ankle injury just a few minutes into his first practice session at Bidvest Wits and had to return to Zimbabwe to see off the remaining year of his contract with Dynamos.
DeMbare team manager Richard Chihoro told The Herald that their top striker has been cleared by the doctors to start light training and should be joining his teammates today. “The doctors have been working on his ankle and they have recommended him to start some light exercises. So he is back in the gym. “It’s so sad he met such misfortune, but we are confident he will soon be 100 percent fit and we expect him to lead our strike force again this season,” said Chihoro.
Epoupa was reportedly being chased by a number of clubs, but he could not return to South Africa since he only had two weeks on his visa. The West African was the club’s leading scorer last season when he finished with 12 goals in the bag. But he could make another attempt during the July transfer window as he has been linked with clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs, Ajax Cape Town and Polokwane City.
The Cameroonian had a dream start to his career in Zimbabwe and capped the performances by making it among the eleven Soccer Star of the Year finalists. That his presence is guaranteed in the Glamour Boys dressing room when the season starts is a blessing to coach Lloyd Mutasa and his technical team. Dynamos are looking to launch a serious challenge for the title this year. The Harare giants were among the early birds for the 2018 pre-season as they have led the way in the preparations when most of the clubs are only expected to start next week.
Chihoro said the players have been confined to the gym this week and will be in the hands of fitness trainer — Tendai Chaipa — who will take them through various conditioning programmes to prepare for a long season ahead. “We had a very good turnout on the first day and it’s a very encouraging sign. We had over 25 players, only a few were missing because of reasons that have been communicated to the technical team.
“So we will spend the whole week in the gym and then next week that’s when we will go to the field,” said Chihoro. Most of the players from last season who include Quality Kangadze, Peace Makaha, Tonderai Mateyaunga, Valentine Ndaba, Tawanda Macheke, Romario Matova, Emmanuel Mandiranga, Blessing Mwandimutsira and Cleopas Kapupurika reported for duty.
They were joined by newcomers Marvelous Mukumba, Tatenda Dzumbunu, Raphael Manuvire, Jimmy Tigere and James Marufu. Returning defender Blessing Moyo also joined his teammates. But skipper Ocean Mushure and Denver Mukamba, who recently got a reprieve from the management are yet to turn up. Chihoro said Dynamos are not finished with bolstering their squad after parting ways with about 10 players so far during this off season break.
They are expected to hold trials next Tuesday with invited players. Dynamos are also looking for a goalkeeper to replace Ashley Reyners who was offloaded in a massive clear-out that also affected Carlos Rusere, King Nasama, Musa Madhiri, Takunda Sadiki and Thembinkosi Simango.