Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
GIANTS CAPS United’s ship has been rocked by a massive shake-up which could leave coach Lloyd Chitembwe to start all over again to rebuild a new team for the 2018 season.
Makepekepe have so far lost their chief striker Dominic Chungwa and goalkeeper Edmore Sibanda who were signed by South African clubs as free agents last week.
There is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the Harare giants’ current squad as more players are expected to move outside the borders in search of greener pastures with the Green Machine paying the price for their decent Champions League run.
Chungwa was officially unveiled at Polokwane City yesterday.
The 31-year old was in sizzling form last season when he bagged 17 goals to win the Golden Boot award. He is likely to end his career in South Africa after clinching a three-year deal with the move to Polokwane.
Rise and Shine are hoping for an improved second half of the campaign after they started the 2017/2018 season badly. They also announced the signing of defender Sibusiso Sikhosana.
The club posted pictures on their Twitter account accompanied by the message: “BOOM! We are happy to announce addition to our playing personnel Central Defender: Sibusiso Sikhosana #33 from Witbank Spurs and Striker: Dominic Chungwa #9 from Caps United.”
Makepekepe are also likely to lose another striker John Zhuwawu who was a revelation in the green and white strip last season with his goal scoring prowess that has attracted interests from the Supa Disk.
Big goalkeeper Sibanda has since been confirmed as one of the new signings for National First Division side Witbank Spurs.
The 31-year old goalkeeper was a key figure in Makepekepe’s Champions League campaign last season after settling well on his return from the Asiagate ban.
Sibanda had been linked with Premiership side Yadah but he decided to move to the South Africa second tier at the expiry of his contract.
Other key players set to move include combative midfielder Devon Chafa and former captain Moses Muchenje who are also set for trials in North Africa this week. With the pair still to commit themselves to the Premiership giants, there are genuine fears that they could leave CAPS United as free agents.
Chitembwe, who has committed himself to the CAPS United cause after resisting overtures from ZPC Kariba, will have to put up with the reality that the core of the team that won the title in 2016 is all but gone.
The Green Machine paid earlier started paying a heavy price for their successes when they lost some of their best players such as Ronald Chityo, Ronald Pfumbidzai and Abbas Amidu following their brave showing in the Champions League where they reached the group stage, for the first time in the club’s history.
That feat was achieved at the expense of Congolese heavyweights TP Mazembe.
Unfortunately, they also lost players such as Denis Dauda and Tafadzwa Rusike during the season.
Despite those player movements Makepekepe’ still managed to stage a late push for the title and almost gatecrashed into the top four.
It appeared their successes in Africa came at the expense of their domestic campaign.
They, however, still overcame the crisis of playing personnel after they had registered only 24 players for both campaigns.
The Green Machine will need to carry out an audit of their losses before the start of the pre-season groundwork.