Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
CHAMPIONS CAPS United have lined up a number of corporate partners to come on board their ship to offset the huge costs that come with running the club which is involved in twin competitions at home and on the continent. Club marketing director Hannah Wright said their mission was to retain the league title and make a mark in the CAF Champions League.
“We have got some very exciting partners coming on board,” she told a media conference in Harare yesterday.
“In the next couple of weeks we will be hoping to sign agreements with them. But between myself, Mr (Farai) Jere (the club president) and the coach (Lloyd Chitembwe) we will be working very hard in this economic climate to bring out the best.
“We are looking at partners rather than just sponsors, so we are very happy we have got some sponsors and partners coming on board that will relieve all the pressure from Mr Jere.”
Harare businessman Jere has been bearing the brunt of sponsoring the Harare giants.
Chitembwe said he was cautious of burning out his players as the Green Machine are set to plunge into a daunting fixture programme which intensifies from next month when the CAF Champions’ League group stage matches get underway.
Chitembwe rested some of his key players during the Independence Cup tournament where they lost both matches to Dynamos and FC Platinum last weekend.
The coach said they are prepared to face any opponent in the CAF Champions League as they await the draw which takes place next Wednesday.
Chitembwe yesterday said he was aware of the demanding season and will be careful not to throw all his best players haphazardly into the thick of things.
“The purpose was for me just to observe the other players that had not had an opportunity to play and for me it was huge because I never had to observe them in a very serious game.
“We are one team that is set to play a bigger number of games than anyone else. For your information we are going to play not less than 60 games, which is a huge number of games in less than nine months.
“The rest of these games we are going to play an average 32 games and that tells you that you really need to make sure you are very sensible in terms of managing these games.
“Not all of your best players will get to play in all the 60-plus competitive games. So you really need to manage this kind of a situation. But generally I was impressed with what I saw,” said Chitembwe.
Makepekepe host Tsholotsho in their next league game at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
They welcome back all their players, including some who were given time off during the Easter weekend.
Chitembwe said the defeats in the Uhuru Cup will not dampen the spirits.
“Am not looking at that (defeat) because in terms of our priority and our key result areas I don’t think those games, including the ZNA Charities, were amongst what we desire to have this season and I am sure we did set ourselves targets in the Champions League and in the Premiership.
“But like I said they did serve a purpose to look at our players.
“The good thing is we have a good team that can compete and this is the reason we qualified for the group stage of the CAF Champions League.
“It was not by chance, neither was it by coincidence.
“We really meant to achieve the things that we achieved, so we are happy,” said Chitembwe.
Makepekepe have four points from two games after drawing with Shabanie Mine in their opening match of the season and then beating Harare City in the second.