'CAPS will rise again'

HARARE - As one of the most sought-after free agents during this current transfer window, Gabriel Nyoni has now set his sights on helping CAPS United return to their glory days.

Nyoni signed for Makepekepe towards the end of last month after prolonged negotiations with various clubs which all played out in the public sphere.

After six years at Highlanders, the winger’s contract with the Bulawayo giants came to an end last December.

However, due to football regulations, Nyoni was effectively a free agent in the last six months of his contract with Bosso allowing him to discuss or sign a pre-contract with other clubs.

Ngezi Platinum Stars were also in the picture offering a possible reunion with his former coach Erol Akbay and even made an enticing offer for him.

Makepekepe, on the other hand, also made the winger one of their top targets in this transfer window ahead of the start of the 2019 Castle Lager Premiership season.

In the end, Nyoni finally chose to go green, joining Makepekepe and going by the modern trends in world football, the winger took to Twitter to announce the deal earlier this month.

It was a perfect end to a transfer saga that had gripped local football since the end of last season.

“I remained calm throughout the negotiations,” Nyoni told the Daily News. 

“What people don’t know is that I was in discussions since November.

“I had different offers but I just took my time to make the right decision for my future. CAPS were very forthcoming and honoured everything they were promising me during the negotiations.”

There was also a sentimental attachment to the club which made Nyoni sign on the dotted line for the Green Machine.

He used to turn out for the Makepekepe junior teams about 10 years ago before moving to Bosso.

Nyoni believes he has made the right decision by joining the five-time Zimbabwe champions, who are on a rebuilding exercise after an under-whelming 2018 campaign.

Makepekepe finished last season in a lowly eighth place on the log, some 30 points behind back-to-back champions FC Platinum.

United were actually closer to the relegation zone than they were challenging for the title last season.

At the end of the season, United showed the exit door to a number of their senior players and have been very active in the transfer market.

Besides Nyoni, the club has also been reunited with winger Phenias Bamusi, who spent last season on the books of Triangle United.

The club has also managed to retain the services of midfielder Joel Ngodzo despite interest from various other clubs.

Midfielder Ronald Chitiyo, who did not kick a ball for the whole of 2018, has also recovered from a knee injury and will probably be like a new signing for United after the long lay-off.

With everything that is happening in and around the club, Nyoni feels Makepekepe are poised for great things in 2019.

“CAPS is a big club and we cannot afford to have two bad seasons. This year, they are doing things very differently at CAPS United,” he said.

“We are starting our pre-season training this week and we need to work hard to put back the club where it deserves to be.

“Our bosses want us to win the league, the coaches want us to win the league and as players that is our goal as well but we need to work hard.”   

Although he is now on the books of United, Nyoni also paid tribute to the wonderful six years he enjoyed at Highlanders.

“I will always be grateful for everything Highlanders did for me. It was a good six years with Highlanders,” he said.

“I do not know how I can repay them back for everything that they did for me during my stay there.”   


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