Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United newboy Allen Gahadzikwa believes there is stiff competition in the team with everyone working extra hard to catch the eye of the coaches ahead of the start of the season next month.
The Green Machine have gone on a massive recruitment drive and acquired a number of players who are fighting for a place in the team.
Tomorrow, CAPS United take on Harare City in the Zimbabwe National Army Charities Shield and Gahadzikwa said he was ready to make his mark.
For the past two weeks the club was in Mozambique for a pre-season tour which Gahadzikwa said brought everyone closer.
“The competition is there and everyone is working very hard so that they get a chance to play and I believe this will work to the club’s advantage as there is no room to relax. I think it is a big challenge for the players and we are here to fight.
“The tour helped us and there was team work and unity and the old players welcomed us warmly and we are feeling at home. The focus is now on playing and winning matches,” said Gahadzikwa.
The former FC Platinum midfielder said he is not at the club to make up the numbers but want to win medals.
“I think I joined this team to win medals not to add numbers. I want to add value, achieve success and I am hungry for that,” he said.
Gahadzikwa will fight for a place in a midfield department which also has new arrivals in the form of Devon Chafa, Cabby Kamhapa, Abbas Amidu, Archford Gutu and prodigal son Tafadzwa Rusike.
Former ZPC Kariba defender Dennis Dauda said they have set their sights on winning the trophy.
“It is a crucial game and our first competitive match. We have to win the Cup and we will fight for it. It would be a tough game though.
“Personally, I am not promising much but I will help fight for the league title,” said Dauda.
The former Soccer Star of the Year said he is already in the groove and no longer feels like a new man at the club.
Former Triangle midfielder Kamhapa said they know Harare City will throw everything at them.
“As you can see they have been playing very well and scoring a lot of goals in the Confederation Cup, so we have to be at our best.
“We have good and experienced players who can carry the day for us,” he said.
The Green Machine coach Lloyd Chitembwe said all the players are available for selection expect for striker Simba Nhivi, who is struggling with a toothache.
Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro expects a tough match.
“It is a game in which we would want to do well and it is our first local competitive game. We have the advantage that we have played in the Confederation Cup but this is a different ball altogether.
“We will go in there with a strong squad and we will give it our best,” he said.
There are a lot of sub-plots going into this match with Harare City gaffer Mangwiro being a former CAPS United coach while his assistant Mkhupali “Mr Cooper” also had a stint at the Green Machine.
A number of players such as Tendai Samanja and Tafadzwa Dube also crossed the floor with Mangwiro to Town House.
“We will be rivals for 90 minutes but there is no animosity. I served CAPS United with all my heart and there are no hard no feelings.
“They lost players to Harare City and we also lost Phineas Bamusi to them, so it is game on,” said Mangwiro.
Mangwiro said he will miss the strike force pair of Francesco Zekumbawire and Kuda Kumwala who picked some injuries in Madagascar.
In Bulawayo, Highlanders have a date against Chicken Inn at Barbourfields tomorrow while FC Platinum host How Mine at Mandava.
Chicken Inn impressed many neutrals with a hearty performance in their CAF Champions League debut and their pacy forwards could give Bosso a tough time.
Former Bosso coach Kelvin Kaindu, recruited by How Mine to win trophies, takes his men to Mandava where they face a tough battle against Norman Mapeza’s men who are difficult to beat in their backyard.