By Tadious Manyepo
Premiership soccer giants Caps United have reaffirmed their support for coach Lloyd Chitembwe whom they have since tasked with drafting his wish-list for next season, effectively putting to bed speculation that the gaffer was on his way out.
Chitembwe has for the last two seasons been linked with a move away from Caps United.
A frustrating season for Makepekepe, highlighted by such embarrassing defeats like the 1-4 drubbing by relegated Bulawayo City in the penultimate league assignment of 2018 thrust both the coach and his team under scrutiny.
Some of the vocal Caps fans even went further to call for Chitembwe’s head.
And with the Ngezi Platinum Stars job currently vacant, Chitembwe’s name was one of those mentioned as possible successors to the sacked Tonderai Ndiraya.
Makepekepe failed to give a decent fight for the league title in a year they were largely expected to be one of the front-runners for the championship which was won by FC Platinum.
Instead Caps United, who had a below-average performance by their standards, finished eighth on the log after managing just 12 wins and as many draws and losing on 10 occasions.
The Caps United management and the coaches have already begun a flurry of meetings aimed at coming back stronger next year.
Caps have also moved to back the mentor and his backroom staff with the club’s chief executive Cuthbert Chitima revealing that Chitembwe’s position will not be on the agenda at their major 2018 review meeting later this month.
Chitima said the former Warriors midfielder is guaranteed of his position and will actually be part of the season review meeting.
The Caps United chief executive also explained Chitembwe’s absence from the technical bench during their last game against Chapungu which he chose to watch from the National Sports Stadium terraces in the company of the club’s officials.
“I was actually surprised to read in the newspapers that Chitembwe was not at the game against Chapungu last week with the reports suggesting that he was on his way out.
“I would like to categorically state that Chitembwe is not going anywhere. On that particular day, I was seated right beside him. He wanted to watch from the stands and we were actually surprised to read that he was not at the match,” said Chitima.
He said the team’s management will sit down and review the season after the Christmas holidays but they are not faulting Chitembwe for the poor performance.
“Given the competition in the league in the just-ended season, the coach and his team did well and he will be retained to guide the ship next season.
“His position is not on the agenda in the team management next meeting.
“We are a professional team with goals to achieve.
“We know how to go about it and after a coach guides a team to a top-eight finish in an extremely competitive season, I think it will be ideal to retain his services.
“After all, Chitembwe is a fighter as he has already proven that. He has won us the league title and did well in the Caf Champions League.
“So there is definitely no doubting his credentials as a coach. We are yet to meet as management but, guaranteed, Chitembwe is staying put.” The Chronicle