By Tadious Manyepo
CAPS United would feel they should have won the Castle Lager Premiership football title which they lost on the last day of the 2019 season had coach Lloyd Chitembwe remained in charge of the club.
But it is reports that Chitembwe was not Harare City’s preferred man neither was he even the second in the municipal club’s wish-list that would leave the CAPS United faithful a dejected lot.
It has since emerged, the municipality club wanted to take on board Dynamos gaffer Tonderai Ndiraya but the latter suggested he would only be available after the 2019 season.
Apparently, Ndiraya feared a backlash from his boyhood team after he had been roped in to save the team from the relegation mess they had plunged into under the clueless Lloyd Chigowe. So desperate were Harare City to replace Mark Mathe they approached former Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa as the former posted more disappointing results.
But Chidzambwa is understood to have demanded too much from the team and they were left with no option but to settle for Chitembwe, who coincidentally was not a happy man at CAPS United due to some misunderstandings with certain board members.
Chitembwe was in charge of the Green Machine until September last year before he was offered a lucrative deal by Harare City, who were desperate to survive the dreaded chop. Darlington Dodo, who had been Chitembwe’s understudy since the beginning of the 2019 term, was left in charge of the team but failed to deliver the crown despite having shown some potential.
Harare City spokesperson Michael Chideme yesterday said it is natural that when a club is looking for a coach they contact several people before settling for the best.
Makepekepe are one of the most active clubs this transfer period as they aim to win the 2020 Premiership title.
They have secured Tatenda Tumba from Harare City and Leeroy Mavhunga from Yadah while former midfielder Devon Chafa is understood to be on his way back after he was released by FC Platinum last week.
But, it is in the goalkeeping and defensive department which Makepekepe will be expected to focus much attention on.
The team had the worst defence last year in the Premiership, conceding 42 goals in 34 matches in a season they finished third behind champions FC Platinum and Chicken Inn.
In fact, CAPS United have been one of the worst teams in the league defensively as they have let in an average of 27 goals every season in the past six years.
Even in 2016, when they won the league, they still didn’t command a good rearguard with then goalkeeper Jorum Muchambo and company conceding 21 times, six more than second-placed FC Platinum.
It is this department that the Green Machine will pay particular attention to this off-season. Already, they have released goalkeepers Prosper Chigumba and Chris Mverechena, who are regarded as two of the worst goalkeepers in the top- flight.
They have, however, retained Tonderai Mateyaunga, who showed some potential in the few games he was given the nod ahead of Chigumba, who had more expulsions than any member of the squad (four) in the past two seasons.
Makepekepe are in a close race with army side Black Rhinos to sign goalkeeper Talbert Shumba from relegated Chapungu.
Shumba, a member of the locally-based Warriors, was one of the standout players for the demoted Air Force of Zimbabwe side.
And sister club, Black Rhinos, themselves facing a similar crisis as CAPS United having parted company with goalie Ashley Reyners, have given Makepekepe some sleepless nights as they have cornered Shumba.
The goalkeeper himself is understood to be interested in joining the army team where there is less pressure but CAPS United administrator Morton Dodzo yesterday said his team needed to sign a reputable goalkeeper, confirming ing the club’s growing interest in Shumba.
“Obviously, we are going to continue beefing up the squad. We released goalkeepers, so we will obviously add some,” he said. The Herald