DYNAMOS coach Kalisto Pasuwa is back in the pressure cooker as the champions begin their quest for the BancABC Sup8r Trophy, silverware which his bosses have demanded.
After he was given a “blank cheque” in the mid-season transfer window to spend and reinforce the squad, the least Pasuwa is expected do is to win the silverware on offer, namely the BancABC Sup8r Trophy, the Mbada Diamonds Cup and the league title.
The Mbada Diamonds Cup, like every other competition, has been delayed due to national team commitments but will be launched soon.
DeMbare signed Oscar Machapa, a free agent from Moroka Swallows, Victor Kamhuka, Sydney Linyama and Milton Makopa. The executive demanded all silverware in return for Pasuwa’s replenishment of his squad.
Whether he delivers remains to be seen on Sunday when the Glamour Boys take on Shabanie in the semi-finals of the eight-team tournament.
The tournament has been bedeviled by numerous postponements due to the national team’s busy schedule in both the Cosafa tournament and the Africa Nations Championship (Chan) qualifiers.
But the two finalists will be decided with FC Platinum taking on Monomotapa in the other semi-final.
Wary of what is expected of him this season, Pasuwa will not take anything for granted and has prepared his charges for the best yet.
“This is an important cup game,” said Pasuwa. “We want to progress and go all the way. We are not taking anything for granted. Shabanie have shown that they are a good side and are not in the semi-final by luck. They are a strong side and they have shown they are really up to the challenge.
“Our main task has been to try and tell the players to focus and not look at names. Sometimes we tend to underestimate certain teams and we sometimes get punished. We want to approach this match with the mindset that we have to win at all costs.”
Save for left-back Augustine Mbara, DeMbare have a clean bill of health with those previously injured having recovered during the long break from domestic football.
Pasuwa said he has respect for Shabanie coach Luke Masomere and his team and has been preparing for this match as if life depended on it.
“We have respect for their technical team and the players. They are a good team, so we have to apply ourselves fully if our good run is to continue. We are at a crucial stage of the season now, so we need total focus in every match.”
Having been humbled by a 1-1 draw in the first leg after committing the cardinal sin of going to sleep in the second half of a match they had dominated, DeMbare will be at their best.
But it will not be easy against an astute coach like Masomere and his committed squad.
Norman Maroto may debut for the asbestos miners while their usual stars Caleb Masocha and Pervington Zimunya should shine.