CAPS target 2018 revival

HARARE - While much of the attention has been fixed on how FC Platinum are preparing for their African Champions League campaign or how Dynamos have landed some decent names thus far, Harare giants CAPS United are quietly going about their business.

The Green Machine, who finished fifth on the log table a distant 14 points behind eventual winners FC Platinum, appeared like a team in crisis at the end of last year with most of their players out of contract and feared to leave the club for free.

Predictably, Makepekepe went on to lose Golden Boot winner Dominic Chungwa, who signed for Absa Premiership side Polokwane City and goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda, who signed for another South African side Witbank Spurs in the National First Division.

Soccer Star of the Year finalist Devon Chafa and hardworking midfielder Moses Muchenje, whose contracts expired at the end of last year, are currently in Egypt where they are trying their luck.

But on their part, Makepekepe moved swiftly and renewed contracts of players like Joel Ngodzo, Valentine Musarurwa and Phineas Bhamusi among others.

Makepekepe also extended defender Godfrey Goriati's deal although he had attracted interest from several Premiership teams.

Goriati showed a lot of potential after he was registered by the club in the second half of last season, and reports of him leaving the Green Machine were growing loud by the day.

Former FC Platinum and Black Rhinos forward Brian Muzondiwa was the club’s first signing after he was released from his contract by the Zvishavane-based side.

If he loses some weight and gets some game time, Muzondiwa can regain the scoring touch which made him one of the most lethal strikers in the domestic league a couple of seasons ago.

Already utility player Oscar Machapa has completed his move after spending last year in limbo following his departure from DR Congo side AS Vita.

Makepekepe are also hoping to lure midfield hardman Dominic Mukandi after he was released by Ngezi Platinum Stars.

While the officials at Makepekepe are playing their cards close to their chests, the Daily News on Sunday understands negotiations have already started and a deal could be reached before the team begins their preparations for the new season this week.

CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is a huge fan of Mukandi who he once described as the best midfielder in the country when he was still with CAPS.

“He is one player who does the talking on the field of play. Generally people tend to focus more on skilful players but Mukandi deserves more.

“Dominic for me is probably the best defensive midfielder I have seen in the past five years. He is a rare talent with a lot of qualities. He has great physical quality, technically very sound and tactically astute which is a formula for any great midfielder.

“He has done exceptionally well for me. He has done what I expected of him and I feel he deserves more.  I believe he has a lot of potential and will go places if he keeps working hard. The future for him looks very bright,” said Chitembwe then.

The Daily News on Sunday is also reliably informed that the Green Machine have also made an audacious bid to bring to Harare, the How Mine pair of Milton Ncube and Praise Tonha.

Sources close to the deal revealed Ncube’s deal is imminent while the sticking point on Tonha’s deal is the signing on fee.

It is not only on the playing personnel that Makepekepe are making changes, the club has also been forced to make adjustments in their technical department.

Following the departure of assistant coach Mark Mathe to Harare City, Chitembwe is also looking for a replacement.

Chances of Tostao Kwashi sitting on the bench this season are increasingly looking uncertain due to Club Licensing requirements the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is implementing.

All coaches and their assistants are required to be holders of Caf A Coaching Licences in order to be allowed to sit on the bench during matches.

The Daily News on Sunday understands that Newsome Mutema might be coming in to be Chitembwe’s assistant.


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