BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Harare giants CAPS United have revealed that they are still far from reaching the target of 40 new players who they have tasked coach Darlington Dodo to identify for recruitment as the club moves to make big business from buying and selling of players.
The club has of late been criticised for bringing in at least 17 players during the current off-season transfer window after agonisingly missing out on the championship on the final day last season.
Makepekepe have captured some of the best talent in local football including the Harare City trio of Ishmael Wadi, Tatenda Tumba and Munyaradzi Diro-Nyenye.
Warriors starlet Leeroy Mavhunga and talented former Chicken Inn player Innocent Mucheneka, among others, have also joined the great trek to join the Green Machine.
The 2016 champions have retained just 12 players from the lot that featured for the club last season as they seek to bring in more new recruits ahead of the start of the 2020 football season.
“The players we have added so far are too few compared to the number that we initially wanted.
“We had tasked coach Dodo to identify 40 talented players that we are going to develop as a club. There are a lot of players we would have wanted, but we lost out to our competitors because all clubs want good players,” CAPS United vice-chairman Nhamo Tutisani told Standardsport.
“It’s a pity that we are only allowed to register a limited number of players, but we have to consider things like injuries and suspensions that occur in the game.
“It’s not always best to sign new players during the mid-season window,” Tutisani added.
According to the firebrand club vice-president, CAPS United have a vision to establish a commercially driven entity.
“Our vision is to have a CAPS United run on a commercial basis where there is a return on investment, be it money, sponsorship, resources or even emotions. We want to be commercially attractive to our stakeholders, which is our primary goal,” Tutisani said.
Last season, CAPS United made an astute piece of business when they brought in Gabriel Nyoni at the start of the season and sold him to South African premiership side Maritzburg United six months later.
The move could also have cost the club the championship as Nyoni was one of the top performers during the first half of the season after striking an exciting combination with eventual Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo.
“We would want to see our players go on to play in better leagues. Many people are saying we lost Ngodzo to the Zambian league, but he went to a better league in terms of money. He also didn’t fit in our bracket anymore because of his age. We don’t want players who want to come to CAPS United to get old there, but we are happy to see Josta and (Dominic) Chungwa move to a better league,” Tutisani said.
Tutisani also dispelled rumours that the club was looking to replace Dodo as coach before the start of the season.
“Dodo is not going anywhere at the moment. He is qualified like any other coach in Zimbabwe and we want to create a good environment for him to produce desired results for the club. If you notice his statistics are better than those of his predecessor, which makes him statistically a better coach.
“Our players also didn’t have the right mindset last season so we have engaged psychologists to work with our players this season. We are also looking to engage a technical director to oversee player development at the club,” he said.
CAPS United have a running junior football partnership with Mt Pleasant High School and have employed former top marksman Stewart Murisa as the club’s assistant development manager.
While some sections of the club’s supporters are worried about the CAPS United’s ability to compete for silverware on all fronts, Tutisani said the target for the club this season is a top-four finish.
“For CAPS United the target is always a top-four finish and this is what our sponsors have also demanded of us. Winning the league will be icing on the cake.
Instead of putting pressure on our players and coaches by demanding the league title, we want them to say they want to win it for the club. Ours is to make sure they have everything they need to achieve what they want to achieve for the club,” Tutisani said.
CAPS United will be looking to add a few more players this week as they look to tie up their transfer business ahead of the new season.
According to Tutisani, the club has received a number of invitations for pre-season tours outside the country.