Eddie Chikamhi Sports Reporter
CAPS United veteran forward Leonard Tsipa has been ruled out of the pre-season friendly match against Zambian side Kabwe Warriors at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon following a spate of injuries that has left five players grounded.
Tsipa, left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai, Simba Nhivi, Carlton Munzabwa and Kudzai Nyamupfukudza will not be part of the cast as Makepekepe look to give their fans their first treat in a competitive match this year.
The Green Machine have been training for one month and will parade some of their new signings.
Team manager Shakespeare Chinogwenya said it was still too early to make any judgment although the players were looking sharp in training.
“We had wanted all our players available for this match but it’s unfortunate those injured guys cannot make it,” said Chinogwenya.
“But we have a big squad and it’s a chance to the other players. Otherwise the team is looking sharp.”
Kabwe Warriors, under former Highlanders coach Mohamad Fathi, are touring Zimbabwe this week as part of their pre-season and they played their first match against Dynamos on Sunday and lost 2-0.
Fathi said he was looking at an improved performance from his charges against CAPS United.
Supporters will pay $3 for the rest of the ground while tickets for the VIP and VVIP sections will be going for $5 and $10.
Makepekepe have targeted winning the league championship this year.
They are also set to embark on a pre-season tour of South Africa later this month to play a couple of preparatory matches against giants Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits.
Makepekepe have retained most of their key players who include Joel Ngodzo, Stephen Makatuka, Moses Muchenje, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Dominic Chungwa.
Goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda is one of the former players returning to the side alongside Pfumbidzai, Gilbert Mapemba and Tafadzwa Rusike.
Sibanda will have to compete for the starting place with another veteran Joram Muchambo and youthful goalkeeper Chris Mverechena.
CAPS United have also signed midfielders Abbas Amidu, Allan Gahadzikwa, Cabby Kamhapa, Devon Chafa and ex-ZPC Kariba defender Dennis Dauda.
Mapemba and Rusike are still to sign their contracts but they are very much in the plans of coach Chitembwe.
“Honestly speaking there is never a coach who is satisfied with the squad that he has and I am not an exception,” said coach Lloyd Chitembwe.
“We are decent in terms of quality and so far so good.
“It’s the responsibility of every coach to make sure that he works on improving his squad so I am no exception. I will also try and improve the squad, especially the squad that we have.
“I am sure this squad will take care of things up until June mid-season transfer window. For now we are done with the transfers.
“The target is to try and do well, better than we did last year. That is a realistic target and I am sure that’s achievable,” said Chitembwe.