HARARE - Mark Harrison was yesterday unveiled as the new CAPS United coach on a three-year deal barely 24 hours after quitting South African Division One side Black Leopards.
The 54-year-old Briton takes over from Taurai Mangwiro, who resigned from the club last December to join Harare City, and will be assisted by former Makepekepe players Brenna Msiska and Tostao Kwashi.
George Gumbo is the new Makepekepe team manager and takes over from Luis Maio, who has been elevated to the post of business development manager.
According to Makepekepe CEO Joe Makuvire, more appointments will be made in due course to beef up Harrison’s backroom staff.
Harrison played professional football as a goalkeeper for Southampton and Pot Vale in his native England. His immediate task will be to put in place a sound development structure at the club and ensure the senior team remains competitive and challenges for trophies.
CAPS’s financial problems have been well-documented in recent seasons.
Player strikes and threats not to fulfil fixtures were the order of the day at the club last season but that did not deter Harrison from taking up the post at the cash-strapped Harare club.
“To tell you the truth it’s not about the money why I decide to come to CAPS United. If it was about money I would have stayed in Europe or in South Africa,” Harrison told reporters yesterday.
“But after the discussions I had with Mr Phiri and the vision he has for the club, I thought this will be the best club for me to join.
“It’s not all about the first team but I will be working right down to the babies. If we have a sound development structure then CAPS will not have to buy success anymore.
“When we require players, we will just have to recruit from the development programme we would like to put in place.”
Harrison, who also had coaching stints with Super Diski clubs Chippa United and Golden Arrows, says he is well versed with Zimbabwean football and knows the great desire the CAPS fans have of winning trophies.
“I know all the dynamics of Zimbabwean football. I followed the Premiership on television and I know all the dynamics between CAPS United and Dynamos and even Highlanders.
“I know the mentality of Zimbabwean players after having worked with a number of them in South Africa; they have a strong character and determination. If you have players with such character you will have a good chance to succeed.”
CAPS president Twine Phiri said the club decided to appoint Harrison after a careful recruitment drive that lasted almost a month.
“I would like to apologise to the CAPS United family for the delay we made in naming a new coach. It was necessary because after losing a good coach like Taurai (Mangwiro) we could not rush to make a decision,” said Phiri.
“After careful consideration we opted for Harrison because we settled for a financial structure that suited both parties in relation to the financial position the club is at right now.”