By Eddie Chikamhi
Rodreck Mutuma and Oscar Machapa have failed in their bid to make the grade at CAPS United who have settled for midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo in their squad for the 2018 season.
CAPS United have been busy this week as they also captured the signatures of former Dynamos midfielder Denver Mukamba on loan and returnees Dennis Dauda and Simba Nhivi.
But Mutuma, who has been training with the club for the last two weeks, was one of the biggest casualties along with Machapa as they had both hoped for a reunion with the Green Machine.
Attacking midfielder Crispen Machisi and Nigerian forward Abasirim Chidiebere have also been overlooked in a 29-member squad that also includes four Under-20 players acquired from Aces Youth Soccer Academy.
Club chief executive Cuthbert Chitima confirmed the quartet had been unsuccessful and said the technical team was happy with the squad they assembled.
“We could have taken them all but you cannot have all the good players for yourselves because of the squad limitations. The debate had been about who should be taken to fill the remaining spot that we had and it meant some tough decisions had to be made.
“So the technical team recommended Rio. He is someone that they have always wanted and that’s the reason we brought him from Bulawayo to have a closer look at him.
“For now, it’s final. Tough luck to those who couldn’t make the squad but we will always keep track of them probably for the future transfer windows,” said Chitima.
CAPS United have assembled a formidable side that is rich in experience.
Makepekepe are expected to open their campaign this season at home to Harare City before travelling to newboys Bulawayo Chiefs for the second match.
Chitembwe was satisfied with his new signings and has laid the ground rules for returning defender Dauda, who deserted the club last year to join Yadah, in controversial circumstances.
“He is here because we believe in his qualities and abilities. There is nothing that will change the way we view Dennis. He has always been a very good player.
“What’s so critical is the ability to understand that the team comes far ahead of personal interests and team is more important than the individual.
“I believe the team is the star, not one individual and it’s in those confinements that I really want Dennis to play under,” said Chitembwe.
He also spoke glowingly about Milton Ncube, who has had successful stints with Motor Action and Highlanders in the past.
Ncube has also played for Ajax Cape Town in South Africa between 2014 and 2016.
“Milton is one player I have always admired and I am sure he is a perfect fit to (Ronald) Pfumbidzai. He is obviously going to give us the balance.
“It’s good to have such kind of a player, with the amount of experience and the knowledge that he has acquired in football. So I am sure he is of great value to the team,” said Chitembwe.
But the CAPS United coach had to grudgingly let Mutuma go.
Chitembwe described Mutuma as one of the best finishers in Zimbabwe but could not find space for him.
“He is probably one of the best finishers around. But all you need to maximise from his exploits is making sure that he is in the right state of mind, he is in the right physical shape,” said Chitembwe.
The CAPS United coach was also excited by the teenagers from Aces Youth Academy — Nicholas Guyo (19), Tatenda “Tsvaitsvai” Mandiopera (19), Kelvin Ndebele (19) and Tinotenda Chiunye (17). Last year, Makepekepe did not register juniors.
CAPS Utd 2018 squad:
Goalkeepers: Munyaradzi Diya, Chris Mverechena, Prosper Chigumba
Defenders: Valentine Musarurwa, Zvikomborero Bizeki, Justice Jangano, Steven Makatuka, Godwin Goliath, Method Mwanjali, Carlton Munzabwa
Midfielders: Kudzai Nyamupfukudza, Dominic Mukandi, Joel Ngodzo, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Milton Ncube, Cabby Kamhapa, Praise Tonha, Ronald Chitiyo, Peter Moyo, Denver Mukamba.
Strikers: John Zhuwawu, Brian Muzondiwa, Wisdom Mutasa, Tony Fuga, Simba Nhivi.
CAPS United Under19 players
Nicholas Guyo, Tatenda Mandiopera, Kelvin Ndebele and Tinotenda Chiunye. The Herald