Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
FREE-WHEELING former Dynamos defender Sydney Linyama has found a new haven in the Democratic Republic of Congo after signing with that country’s top-flight football club St. Eloi Lupopo. Linyama, who is among a clique of Zimbabwean players that have been trekking to the vast Central African country of late, has been unattached since August last year when he was off-loaded by ambitious Mutare side Manica Diamonds during their pursuit for Premiership promotion.
His father, Leon “Tingo” Linyama, confirmed the lanky defender has now settled in the DRC.
“Sydney moved to Lupopo last month and he has indicated that he has now settled down there and is happy quite happy playing football in the DRC,” said Leon Linyama, a former goalkeeper of the now-defunct Premiership side Black Aces. He also played for ex-Northern Region Division One side ProNutro.
Sydney Linyama moved to the DRC last month where he was signed by the Lubumbashi-based side that also has Zimbabwean striker Rodreck Mutuma in their ranks.
Lupopo recently made a wholesale change of personnel in their quest to be competitive by bringing in 10 new players during the Linafoot mid-season transfer window. They also signed former Highlanders left-back Julius Daudi while another former Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum player Walter Mukanga has been strongly linked with a move.
Mutuma has been playing regularly for the side and has scored some vital goals in the last month. He was again in the starting line-up yesterday when they played champions AS Vita Club in a Lubumbashi derby.
Defender Sydney Linyama, however, is still to make his debut for his new team. The 26-year-old has had several run–ins with his previous employers back home and was thrice kicked out because of his bad boy behaviour.
Sydney Linyama failed to realise his full potential at Dynamos, Black Rhinos and Division One side Manica Diamonds despite his immense talent.
He was shown the exit by Luke Masomere last year after going AWOL for six weeks. St. Eloi Lupopo are currently seventh on the log standings. They last won a league title back in 2002 and have since been playing in the shadows of TP Mazembe and current champions AS Vita Club.
They also signed Ghanaian forward Mutawakil Abubakar from Zambia’s Buildcon and Cameroonian winger Kovoh Dicka Olivier.
Lupopo trail log leaders TP Mazembe by a massive 25 points but they still cherish hopes of finishing in the top four. They are also hoping to return to the CAF inter-club competitions. They last played Champions League in 2010 and they have also disappointed in the Confederation Cup with first round exits in the 2012 and 2016 editions.