The Herald (Harare)

4 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Player Exdous Looms At Caps

SOME senior players could be shown the exit at CAPS United during the off-season as the Harare giants look to adopt a new football philosophy based on injecting youth into the system in a fresh start to redeem their soiled brand next year.

The Green Machine's chief executive, Maxwell Mironga, yesterday outlined the club's new vision which points to long-term benefits following a disappointing campaign in the just-ended season.

Mironga said CAPS, who have often met with heartbreak in recent years despite their massive investment in players and technical team, are taking a new direction which would, however, require more patience from their fans.

He said CAPS United are seeking to build a new side that would compete for the championship, at least, in the next three years.

The Harare giants last achieved success in 2005 when they won back to back titles under Charles Mhlauri before taking a dip in form that has virtually left them a pale shadow of the former Cup Kings.

Mironga indicated that there could be some movements during the off-season as the technical team needs to come up with a young side to build their future on," said Mironga.

"Hopefully this project will work out accordingly and since this is a long-term thing, I appeal to our fans not to put the coaches under pressure.

"We should not expect instant results but in football the pressure is always there to do well as a team.

"So, we are aiming for decent performances, not necessarily winning the championship, maybe a top four finish.

"The coaches are working flat out to assemble a squad. We are going to recall some youngsters from our juniors who had been loaned out to some Division One clubs.

"The coaches will have a look at them to see if they can fit into their plans.

"As soon as the coaches decide on their squad we will then have to sit down with them.

"We have some players who will be out of contract at the end of the year and the decision whether to renew the contracts or not depends on the coaches.

"There are also those who still have running contracts but if the coaches decide otherwise, they may be loaned out to other clubs."

Mironga said it was disappointing that the Green Machine experienced one of their worst seasons this year when they ended 10th on the log table.

Ironically, CAPS United had placed themselves among the front runners during the pre-season when they swooped on some of the best players and even brought in a foreign coach in Sean Connor to build a competitive side that had an European flavour. CAPS invested in players like Blessing Zabula, Rahman Kutsanzira, Luckson Kaisa, Conrad Whitby and Obert Moyo.

They had also paid for the services of Darryl Nyandoro and Chris Samakweri but their money went down the drain as the pair misrepresented themselves as free agents when in fact they were still holding contracts with TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The club's management even went out of their way to ensure that the team would be well prepared by holding pre-season camps in Chiredzi and across the borders in South Africa where they played friendly games against Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards.

But despite all the commitment, results just did not go their way from the first game and they fought relegation in the later stages of the campaign.

The script was not different from the 2011 season when they were rescued from relegation by Lloyd Chitembwe following a poor run.

Mironga conceded that bringing in a foreign coach and hiring experienced players had failed to work at the Green Machine.

"We had aimed high as the kind of preparations we had bears testimony but in the end we had a very bad season. I think it was one of the worst in recent years.

"During the off season we had thought that if we could hire a foreign coach to join the institution and help bring in some European values of professionalism that would benefit the team.

"We wanted our boys to be exposed to the European style of coaching but unfortunately that didn't work.

"We had so many ups and downs to the extent that we ended up losing the entire technical team," said Mironga.

The Green Machine have also not given up on their coach Taurai Mangwiro who was slapped with a 10-year ban from football activities for his alleged role in the Asiagate scandal.

Mangwiro has since appealed the ruling, with support from the CAPS United management.

"Tau (Mangwiro) joined us when we were fighting relegation but when things were beginning to show some promise, that is when Asiagate struck.

"But he has appealed to Zifa and we are hoping and praying that all will be well," said Mironga.

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