Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
THE CAPS United leadership projected a united front yesterday as the Green Machine started life after coach Lloyd Chitembwe, who moved across the pond to join Harare City.
Darlington Dodo was named caretaker coach, until the end of the season, and given the permission to recruit his backroom staff.
Club president Farai Jere, vice-president Nhamo Tutisani and former board chairman, Lewis Uriri, were at the CAPS United training session yesterday where they addressed the players.
Jere said the club’s focus remained to the same, to try and win the league championship, and while Chitembwe would be missed, life has to go on at the Green Machine.
“There is no question that we have a special relationship with Lloyd, but such things happen in football and CAPS United has always found a way to compete after such a high-profile departure,’’ said Jere.
“We have a history of supporting coaches, who had not won anything before, and transforming them into legends and we will provide Dodo with similar support and the challenge is for him to deliver.
“CAPS United will always be there, long after all of us have left, it’s the power of the institution and the task is for us to ensure we deliver what the fans and sponsors want and we are confident we will get where we want to be.
“The vice-president Tutisani also addressed the players and coaches and told them we expect nothing, but excellence and the Advocate (Uriri) also gave a powerful address in which he told the team they can make a huge statement by going all the way this year.
“The Advocate also facilitated $24 900 in cash, which was presented to the team, and also assured them that every month-end, he will facilitate the provision of hampers, which will include groceries, to the team.
“This was a remarkable show of unity by the club leadership and it’s now up to the players and the coaches to deliver.’’
Dodo has urged the Green Machine players to remain focussed on their quest to win the league championship.
“It (the changes) may have an effect on the players, they were used to the set-up and working well with all the coaches.
“But, I told the players today (yesterday) that everyone should carry on, continue with what they were doing when Chitembwe was here.
“Football is the same. Unity is key at the moment.
“The goal, which was set in January, from the technical team to the players, was winning the league title and I believe that hasn’t changed,” he said.
Dodo paid tribute to Chitembwe, who brought him to the club early this year.
“Firstly, I would like to thank the club leadership for believing in me and having faith that I can steer the ship at such a crucial stage,’’ said Dodo.
“They have shown great confidence in me and I promise to work hard with the team.
“I would like to thank Lodza, who brought me to CAPS United. He phoned me while I was in Swaziland and asked me to come and work with him when Mark Mathe left the club.
“He set the bar high at the club and has left the club strategically positioned to win the league.
“We still have the same players at the club and what has changed is the technical set-up.’’
The former Tsholotsho and Bulawayo City coach is still finalising on the composition of his assistant coaches.
Dodo also had coaching stints in Botswana and South Africa.