Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe believes he wants his team to dominate the home-based Warriors’ side and has challenged his players to raise their game to make the grade.
The Green Machine provided the bulk of the squad in 2009, which won the COSAFA Senior Challenge Cup on home soil after a stunning 3-1 win over Zambia in the final.
And Chitembwe wants a return to those good old days.
Addressing his players, as he evaluated yesterday’s training session at Barclays Sports Club, Chitembwe said he believed they had the quality, among the players in his squad, to dominate the home-based Warriors.
Currently, Harare City have the highest number of players in the home-based Warriors squad, with six players in Rwanda for the African Nations Championship.
CAPS United have provided three players — skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi, defender Stephen Makatuka and midfielder Joel “Josta” Ngodzo — to the side.
‘We want to be seen as a team with a big say in the national team. The quality we have here, the talent we have here is not being justified with the representation we have in the national team,” said Chitembwe.
“Remember last time we set targets that we want to be seen as a team difficult to beat, a team that is difficult to play against, a team with a big say in the national team.
“I don’t think that out there are players who train as hard as you do, if they are there then well done and good luck to them.
“We are saying with the quality we have and the amount of effort that you guys (players) are putting in, then there is no reason why we should be losing games.
“We might lose games but we should be able to compete and that is what I want because I enjoy working with players and teams that are able to compete.”
The club began their pre-season last week with the club president Farai Jere challenging them to win the league title this year.
The club has reunited with their former skipper Method Mwanjali, who rejoined the club last season, while Gilbert Mapemba and Tafadzwa Rusike are also training with the side.
Former How Mine and Dynamos midfielder Devon Chafa is close to completing a move to the club.
“Devon is training with us. He is happy to be training with us and we are equally happy he is here,” said Chitembwe.
“At the end of the day you need players who appreciate to be part of the system. Chances are there that he may join the team, any good team would want to have good players. He is a very good player.
“Gilbert, we have also given him an opportunity just like Devon and other players. I hope he gives us an indication he wants to play for us by what he does on the field of play.
“I am happy with the squad that did duty for us last season. We are not going to make wholesome changes unless a special player is available then we can have him and that is the reason why we still have so many slots to accommodate that special player.”
Former Soccer Star of the Year Dennis Dauda, Allen Gahadzikwa and Cabby Kamhapa are the club’s new signings.
Also returning into the Green Machine family is goalkeeper Edmore “Zikeeper” Sibanda and Ronald Pfumbidzai who is back after a six-month stint in Denmark.
“We don’t doubt their ability but obviously the way we do things here is different from the way they have been doing their stuff elsewhere,” said Chitembwe.
“So it will take a bit of time to adapt to the situation but I am quite optimistic that with the amount of enthusiasm that they have shown at training there are signs that they will do well at CAPS United.
“All the players are looking good considering we have only trained for six days and we have been working on the general fitness, conditioning of their bodies for them to take the load to do with tactical mental and physical fitness,” said Chitembwe.