All quiet and peaceful at capital’s green half

29 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
All quiet and peaceful at capital’s green half

The Sunday Mail

Langton Nyakwenda

WITH the chaos that rocked their camp for the better part of last season, one would have naturally expected an explosive pre-season at CAPS United this time around.

However, it has been unusually quiet at the green half of the capital.

Maybe, it is a case of calm before the storm.

However, for now, there is tranquillity at Makepekepe, who have so far retained the bulk of the squad that did duty during a tumultuous 2021/2022 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.

The first 11 that faced Dynamos in the last round of the season are still intact.

These include goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga, Ben Musaka, Thulani Joseph, Pavel Govere, Devon Chafa, Joel Ngodzo, Ian Nyoni, William Manondo, Tichaona Chipunza and Emmanuel Mandiranga, who all started for CAPS United when they drew 1-1 against DeMbare.

They were all pitching up for training last week.

Lloyd Chitembwe is still firmly in charge and has typically been going about his business quietly.

He has, so far, not made any major additions.

Former Dynamos star Godknows Murwira, Innocent Zambezi and Admiral Matope are the only confirmed new signings at CAPS United.

Zambezi joined from Harare City, while Matope was with relegated WhaWha last season.

Former Dynamos and Ngezi Platinum Stars winger Tichaona Mabvura is also training with Makepekepe, hoping to impress Chitembwe and his technical team.

CAPS United struggled to pay their players last season as the club almost failed to fulfil a number of fixtures.

Players boycotted training sessions regularly, and, at some point, the club had to fire some senior players who were fingered as the ring leaders of the infamous player revolt ahead of United’s 0-2 loss to Cranborne Bullets on May 1.

Clive Augusto, Ronald Chitiyo, Dennis Dauda, Rodwell Chinyengetere and Chafa were shown the door, but Chinyengetere and Chafa were later forgiven.

But it looks like things have turned for the better at the club.

Salary arrears have been cleared and outstanding signing-on fees have also been paid.

New arrivals like Murwira have been paid their dues.

“The preseason has been going on well.

“The players are attending training; they are happy and we are okay,” said club chief executive officer Charlie Jones.

“We have added some new players, not really high-profile, though, except for Godknows Murwira, who came from Dynamos.

“But we expect to make more signings.”

Unheralded centre-back Zambezi comes in as a direct replacement for Marshal Machazane, who has left Makepekepe.

Valentine Musarurwa and Kelvin Bulaji have also departed.

Musarurwa is being linked with a move to newly promoted side Simba Bhora.

CAPS United owner Farai Jere has remained steadfast and resolute despite incessant attacks by those who feel he should sell the club.

“I want you to know that CAPS United will come back stronger in 2023.

“We have a plan, and we know where we are going with the CAPS United brand,” Jere told The Sunday Mail Sport in October.

Then, CAPS United were fighting relegation and the future of coach Chitembwe was also a subject of speculation.

Makepekepe eventually finished 11th, five points above the relegation zone, and Chitembwe committed his future to the club that he led to the title in 2016.

Since 2016, Makepekepe have managed a top-four finish only once, in 2019, when they were under Darlington Dodo after Chitembwe had left for Harare City.

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