16 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Caps United Regroup

HARARE giants CAPS United will get down to business this morning when they begin their preparations for the new season with hopes high for a change of fortunes this year. The Green Machine have been

uncharacteristically quiet during the off-season and the club's management have indicated that they will reveal their plans at a press conference tomorrow.

But they have made it clear that they would want to build a new-look side in the wake of disappointing results in the previous seasons.

Some senior players could be shown the exit at CAPS United as the Harare giants now want to adopt a new football philosophy based on injecting youth into the system in a fresh start to redeem their soiled brand.

The club's chief executive, Maxwell Mironga, said the Green Machine did not perform to their potential last year.

"As you know last season we didn't do quite well. We are hoping for improved performances and we hope with the coming in of new players it is going to be better this year.

"We are holding a press conference on Thursday (tomorrow) and that is when we will reveal our position on which players are joining us and who is leaving the club," said Mironga.

The Green Machine will start the ball rolling under the tutelage of Mkhupali Masuku and Brenna Msiska as they are still waiting the fate of their coach Taurai Mangwiro who was handed a 10-year ban for his alleged involvement in the Asiagate scandal.

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

The hearings could begin in the next few weeks although a technicality still exists given that the cases didn't go through the primary channel of a disciplinary committee.

The way the sanctions were handed, without a primary disciplinary hearing being held, complicates the appeals' procedure and has been the stumbling block in Fifa endorsing the decisions since, without a disciplinary hearing being held, the process falls short of satisfying the Fifa Disciplinary Code.

CAPS United are seeking to build a new side that would compete for the championship, at least, within 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.

CAPS, who hold trials next week, will recall some of their young players who had been loaned out to some Division One clubs.

Mironga said it was disappointing that the Green Machine experienced one of their worst seasons last 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.

CAPS invested in good players as 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 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 border in South Africa where they played friendly games against Mamelodi Sundowns and Black Leopards.

But despite all this commitment, results just did not go their way from the first game and they needed to fight 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.

The former Warriors midfielder, however, found it difficult to bring out his best when Connor was brought into the technical set-up.

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

He believes investing in the juniors is the way forward.

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