CAPS embark on Malawi tour

HARARE - CAPS United – aiming to end their trophy drought after years of underachievement – will take their pre-season preparations to Malawi for a four-team tournament this weekend as the Green Machine look to try out new combinations ahead of the new season.

The other three teams taking part in the tourney are reigning Malawi champions Silver Strikers, MTL Wanderers and Big Bullets, who were selected by a fan vote via an SMS platform.

Topsport are organising the tournament, which will be called the Zambezi Soccer Challenge Cup and is scheduled to be held at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre starting from Saturday.

The organisers held the draw for the semi-finals yesterday and Makepekepe were paired to take on Silver Strikers while Big Bullets take on Wanderers in the other semi.

Makepekepe president Twine Phiri was pleased with the opportunity for the four-time Zimbabwe champions to play against foreign opposition.

“We are very honoured indeed to have been invited to take part in such a tournament. It shows that other teams in the Southern African region value us,” Phiri, who is also the chairperson of the Castle Premiership board of governors, told the Daily News yesterday.

“This is very good for our coaches because it gives them the opportunity to assess their squad and the new players that they have brought in.”

Phiri said Makepekepe will not be under any pressure to make a mark at the tournament but they will use it as an opportunity try out new combinations.

“Obviously it won’t be easy for us since we are coming in from the off-season,” he said.

“The coaches will use this tournament as a barometer to see how the team is shaping up. This will give us an indication of whether we are good enough or not.

“We are also going to take all the players that we are assessing for the tournament to see how good they are.”

One of the players currently training with the Green Machine and hoping to catch coach Taurai Mangwiro’s eye is Malawian striker Ishmael Thindwa from Epac FC.

Thindwa is a two-time winner of the Malawian Golden Boot and has been earmarked to lead the Makepekepe frontline in the upcoming season.

Kevin Moyo of Topsport, the organisers of the tournament, said they chose to invite Makepekepe because the Zimbabwean side is very popular in Malawi.

“The purpose of holding this tournament is because since 2004 our Malawian teams have not been competing in Caf competitions so we needed to give them a feeling of what it is like to play against foreign teams,” Moyo told the Daily News.

“Initially we wanted to invite two foreign teams; CAPS united from Zimbabwe and Liga Muculmana the Mozambican champions but that didn’t work out because Liga are currently playing in the Champions League.

“We then settled for three local teams and CAPS United in the end. CAPS have shown a great interest in Malawian teams in the past.

“It’s a team that most Malawians are familiar with and if you remember they took Josephy Kamwendo a while back and he later would go on to be first foreigner to win the Zimbabwe Soccer Star of the Year award.”

CAPS are expected to leave Harare tomorrow by road and the Zimbabwean side will receive K4 million which is approximately $10 000 if they win the tournament.

Comments (1)

Twine just want to shoulder himself with his countrymen hoping to snatch players from Malawi top teams.That has always been his source of supply.Good Luck.

Tom Nyirenda - 12 February 2014

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