Zimbabwe: Pardoned Rooney Still to Commit to Caps United

MIDFIELDER Ronald "Rooney" Chitiyo is still to re-join his CAPS United teammates more than a week after he was pardoned for leading a treasonous revolt at the Premiership football club.

The diminutive player was one of the six seniors who were initially chucked out of the team following a paralysing strike which forced Makepekepe's league tie against Cranborne Bullets to endure a 45-minute delay two weeks ago.

Chitiyo, Dennis Dauda, Clive Augusto, Simba Chinani, Devon Chafa and Rodwell Chinyengetere were sacrificed for their role in the whole saga and were subsequently handed clearance letters by the team.

But barely 24 hours later, Chitiyo, Chinyengetere and Chafa were given another bite at the cherry on condition they won't be involved in any mutinous behaviour.

Augusto and Chinani have since nailed contracts with other teams with the former re-joining his ex-club Chicken Inn while Chinani is now in the books of Northern Region Division One Soccer League leaders Simba Bhora.

Chitiyo was closer to signing a deal with Simba Bhora hours after his brief sacking by the Green Machine.

And The Herald understands he is still in touch with the Division One side who are keen to add him onto their roster that is dominated by former top-flight players.

It wasn't clear yesterday whether Chitiyo has handed back the clearance he was given by Makepekepe in exchange for a bargain but he has not been training with the club.

The 32-year-old did not travel with the rest of the squad for their match against FC Platinum at Mandava last Saturday and he was conspicuous by his absence at training yesterday.

Chitiyo is said to have passed by Makepekepe's training venue on Tuesday where he hinted a close family member wasn't feeling well and has barely been reachable on his mobile phone since then.

Efforts to get an official comment from club administrator Morton Dodzo were fruitless yesterday.

Makepekepe's house has not been in order for a while now with things getting nasty two weeks ago when the players nearly boycotted the match against Cranborne Bullets as they demanded winning bonuses from their two previous games as well as a salary review.

Predictably, Makepekepe lost that tie 0-2 and followed that up with a 0-3 humbling at the hands of FC Platinum last weekend.

And things have seemingly gotten back to normal at the club with another bumper fixture against Chicken Inn coming at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday. Coach Lloyd Chitembwe said his team should be able to put the disturbances which engulfed the squad in the past two weeks behind them and get a positive result on Sunday.

"The preparations have been good and I believe this week we have had better preparations unlike in the past two weeks.

"What we experienced in the past two weeks was expected considering the way we did prepare for those matches (against Cranborne Bullets and FC Platinum). "Honestly speaking, you can't stand a chance when the house is in a bit of trouble and obviously experiencing the turbulence we were facing in the past two weeks," said Chitembwe.

"But I think it has to stop at some point and I am very happy with the attitude that I have seen in training and I just hope it will take us out of this situation and it is something very doable because the capacity is there."

Chitembwe said he has been working to improve the overall performance of his team who are stuck in mid-table on the log standings.

"We are working on improving the team in totality in everything to do with the game, there is never a perfect team as I have always said.

"It's difficult to attain perfection in football so we are never perfect and obviously that is the reason why we train and work hard every day to try and improve important aspects of the game.

"Come Sunday, you know mistakes do happen in a game and it is not something that happens to us only even at the highest level of the game it happens.

"So we are trying to work on those areas which will allow us to dominate and control the game so that ultimately we can get the result."

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