Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE giants CAPS United say the decision to bring Italian coach Roberto Landi is aimed at transforming the club into a viable commercial entity that exports talent abroad. The well-travelled coach is expected to bring in experience and overseas contacts after having played and managed football in several countries. These include Belgium, Scotland, Canada, USA, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Liberia, Zambia and in his home country.
CAPS United vice-president, Nhamo Tutisani, said the 63-year-old was expected to come in as technical director while Darlington Dodo, who recently replaced Lloyd Chitembwe, will remain head coach.
“We are still talking to him but I can say we are almost there. We are not rushing things because we don’t have to repeat mistakes of the past,’’ said Landi.
“But there should be clarity by the end of the month. Landi will come in as technical director because there are also some other tasks that we would want him to perform.
“Remember, he is coming from a rich background of experience with clubs in Europe, USA and also the Middle East, so we also want to benefit from his contacts. The whole idea is to commercialise and get value from this club. Everything that we are doing is hinged on the commercialisation thrust that we undertook at the beginning of the season.
“So, we are focusing on identifying talent and grooming our players so that they are adequately prepared for the global market.
“We want to develop the athletes because at the end of the day it’s the players who have to deliver a quality product. That is the reason we are bringing on board Landi.’’
Landi played as a goalkeeper for South Africa Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs, Piacenza, Modena, Siena, and Major Soccer League side Vancouver Whitecaps FC and New York Cosmos. Makepekepe have endured bitter-sweet marriages with expatriate coaches in the past, including Sean Connor and Mark Harrison.
Tutisani, however, believes they did their homework well before considering the negotiations with Landi. The Green Machine are confident their investment in the European coach will pay dividends in propping up the value of their brand.
“We are hoping Landi comes in hand in our commercial thrust. There are also some twinning arrangements that we are pursuing with overseas clubs and issues to do with the development of our technical department.
“Suffice to say we are also working on improving our organisational structure and at the same time we hope to continue winning matches and titles. We want CAPS United to be known as a club that entices foreign talents and at the same time as an exporter of quality players to some of the big leagues in the world.
“The primary target is Europe but if that market doesn’t thrive to our expectations, then we also have other areas like America and the Middle East where players can also play competitive football and realise better rewards,” said Tutisani.
The Harare giants are pursuing the Castle Lager Premiership title and they believe they are on the right track after climbing top of the table with a 1-0 win over Harare City during midweek.
“Some people did not give Dodo a chance when he took over but he has been bringing in the results for the team.
“He is a good coach, with vast experience.
“We have been winning some games and getting points, which is good for all the stakeholders.
“As we speak, we are still within our target. Of course, there is stiff competition this year but we have to go for the big prize.”