The Sunday Mail
CAPS UNITED players will tell you Lloyd Chitembwe is a very hard gaffer to please; a man who will tell you to your face when he thinks you have not measured up to the standards he expects in a premier league soccer side.
Winning public praise from Papa Lodza is a rarity. And when it comes out, it leaves players bubbling inside.
Denver Mukamba arrived at Makepekepe with a lot of baggage but the midfielder has warmed his way into his new coach’s heart.
Chitembwe has been bowled over by Mukamba’s new found work ethic and the Makepekepe coach can’t wait for the day he will throw the former Dynamos star into action.
Although Chitembwe will not rush Mukamba into action when Caps face Harare City in their Caslte Lager Premier Soccer League opener at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon, everything is pointing to the former Dynamos man playing a key role at Makepekepe this term.
Twenty-five-year-old Mukamba clocks 12 days in the green half of the city this afternoon and has already surprised many.
“He is probably ahead of what I thought initially in terms of his fitness levels. I am sure he is way, way ahead of what I first thought of him,” remarked Chitembwe after his team’s Thursday morning training session at Alex Sports Club in Harare. “I am very happy, very encouraged by his mentality in training. At the end of the day it is the mind that controls everything and he has shown great amount of positiveness in terms of his application and conduct at training.
“We can’t wait to have him fully fit but Denver is one kind of a player who doesn’t need to be 100 percent fit to give us what we expect. Even if he is at 70 or 60 percent, you still have a good chance of him doing positive things. We are looking forward to seeing Denver in action in a few weeks to come.”
Caps United begin their quest for the 2018 Castle Lager PSL title against bogey side Harare City, the only team that has beaten Makepekepe on the opening day in the past 14 seasons.
Makepekepe have lost once in their opening fixture since 2004 and that defeat came against the Sunshine Boys who won 1-0 at Rufaro on March 28, 2013.