Dynamos’ decision to part ways in particular with the trio of Sydney Linyama, Stephen Alimenda and Roderick Mutuma at the beginning of the season could have been a hot subject for an in-house debate at the club but somehow the Glamour Boys technical team got away with it on the pretext that the trio were bad apples that could end up spoiling Lloyd Mutasa’s rebuilding project.
There is no doubt about their talent and leadership qualities.
Jacob Muzokomba, who was the fourth player to be shown the exit, had failed to raise his game six months after signing for the giants.
But for Mutuma, Linyama and Alimenda, who found themselves gradually being frozen out of the team in favour of greenhorns before they were offloaded, it would appear that their release by giants could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
It’s usually difficult to convince the supporters if you make a bold move like what Mutuma did by crossing the Great Divide from Dynamos.
Mutuma is ready to face his former paymasters in the upcoming Battle of Zimbabwe.
With Mutuma in the black and white strip and playing at his favourite Barbourfields stadium this Sunday, the match between Highlanders and Dynamos is likely to have some interesting sub-plot.
He has made regular starts for Highlanders and has a goal to show for his industry.
The Highlanders family is happy with him, especially the combination that he has struck with young Prince Dube.
Highlanders coach Erol Akbay is satisfied. He has not raised the red flag yet about the self-anointed prince’s discipline.
“So far so good with Roderick. I think he is one of the best attackers we have in the league and we have seen how he has contributed to some of the goals that we have scored.
“We are happy with him and I’m sure he will do well. If you are a striker it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to score all the goals by yourself.
“It’s still okay with me if he doesn’t score but he is giving pressure on the opponents and making it possible for the other guys to score,” said Akbay.
Highlanders are currently second on the table and have been touted among the favourites to win this year’s championship.
The lanky defender was always at loggerheads with the technical team at Dynamos since the days of Callisto Pasuwa because of truancy and disciplinary problems.
Mutasa did not have the kind of patience that Pasuwa had and decided to give him marching orders.
However, the Mbare-born player appears to have transformed himself ever since he moved to the army side Black Rhinos whose hallmark is discipline.
He has left behind the untidy and disorganised character for a more acceptable, orderly professional.
Rhinos coach Stanford Mtizwa is happy to have Linyama in his fold.
He has not encountered difficulties with him. In fact, he said he was surprised by the stories he heard and read about Linyama’s problems.
“You never really know with these players but sometimes you would tend to think that these things are a bit of an exaggeration. We have heard a lot about Linyama’s disciplinary problems but I tell you we have never had any incident with this boy.
“You can see that he has fit into the system and he has responded quite well to the way we deal with each and every one of our players with no problem at all,” said Mtizwa.
Linyama’s progress has been showing as he has become a vital part of the virtually impenetrable Chauya Chipembere backline.
Rhinos have the most frugal defence so far having conceded two goals in six games.
Mtizwa gives credit to his players for this feat especially to Linyama and skipper Bruce Homora who have apparently struck a telepathic relationship in the heart of the team.
Linyama has even gone further than his defensive mandate and has chipped in with two of Rhinos’ six goals.
“Our defence is playing very well, especially the combination between Linyama and Bruce. I think they have struck a very good understanding and their play is very commendable. They have helped steady things and I just hope they will continue like that through to the end of the season,” said Mtizwa.
Triangle coach Taurayi Mangwiro believes he has picked up a real gem in Alimenda.
The former ZIFA technical director was quick to show his appreciation when he appointed him a vice-captain as he feels his experience and leadership qualities in a career spanning over a decade are priceless.
“Stephen has done very well ever since he joined us. He is one guy whose experience is proving to be very vital to us. We made him vice-captain to Nhamo Lameck because we wanted to fuse the experience that he got from playing at different clubs with what we have here.
“So far he has not disappointed. He has very good leadership qualities and has demonstrated that on the field of play.
“Unlike the reports that we heard about his ill-discipline, I can tell you we haven’t experienced anything bad with him and we are actually happy to have him as our vice-captain,” said Mangwiro.
Alimenda, who was the Dynamos captain until his release, is excited by the new challenges and the responsibilities that he has been given as a team leader.
“It shows that the coaches and executive have trust in me, of course it’s not a new thing to me because I have been a leader at one of the biggest clubs in the country and it’s a new challenge here at Triangle and I like it,” said Alimenda.