Ex-defender calls for CAPS refocus

HARARE - Former CAPS United defender Charles Sibanda has urged his former club to devise a new comprehensive plan to end the perennial relegation dogfights that have characterised the last few seasons.

Makepekepe, who face high-flying Castle Premiership novices Buffaloes at Sakubva Stadium today, are currently in 12th place on the log with 19 points.

They are just one point ahead of Gunners, who occupy the last relegation slot and with only 11 games before the end of the season, CAPS are in trouble.

To make matters worse, the four-time Zimbabwe champions have gone on a seven-game losing streak.

Last week, the club axed goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda and defender Nyasha Mukumbi for what the CAPS president Twine Phiri described as “dismissible offences” without giving further details.

“This is no longer a laughing matter,” said Sibanda, a qualified coach, who formed part of the all-conquering CAPS side of the late 70s and 80s.

“It is common knowledge the two directors have pumped in a lot of money into the club but the key question is: Is the money going down a bottomless pit?

“Questions have to be asked why the current CAPS players who were acquired at very great expense are not delivering. Does it mean that the club’s system of identifying and acquiring players is faulty?”

The 57-year-old Sibanda, who was known with the moniker “Raw Meat”, during his playing days because of his tough-tackling ability, urged CAPS directors to utilise the experience and expertise of its former players.

“Noone can question the commitment of the CAPS directors given the huge investments they have made into the club but something appears amiss. I am sure some of the ills in the CAPS system can be done away with by seeking the advice of CAPS legends,” he said.

“The legends can help the club interview shortlisted coaching candidates so that the club hires the right candidate. The legends can also be used by the club as scouts. The failure by the current players bought by the club means the wrong players were being targeted.”

Sibanda, a former CAPS assistant coach under Freddy Mkwesha, is critical of the continual hiring and firing of coaches at club.

Last month the club parted ways with Northern Irishman, Sean Connor and Lloyd Chitembwe and replaced the duo with Taurai Mangwiro and Mkhuphali Masuku.

The move has however, failed to stem the united decline with Mangwiro going on losing all the three matches he has taken charge of at the ailing Harare giants.    

“Sean Connor and Lloyd Chitembwe were with the team during the pre-season. They had a very good pre-season on paper. Despite all that results have not been forthcoming. We have not reached the expected standards,” said Sibanda.

“I would have been more ready to advise Chitembwe. He played a key role the previous season in saving the club from relegation. Instead of axing him, the club could have helped him solve the problems that he was facing. I am just a call away if the club directors need my advice on any matter.

“I think bringing in a new coach at this stage of the season could be very disruptive.”

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