Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United coach Mark Mathe says they are preparing for a tough battle in the second half of the season and that explains why they have gone for a number of experienced players, including Method Mwanjali.
Yesterday, the club unveiled former skipper Mwanjali, Oscar Machapa, Justice Jangano, Phineas Bamusi, Zambian left-back Michael Mwene and midfielder-cum-striker Antonio Fugo from Equatorial Guinea at a function in Harare.
The ceremony was attended by new club president Farai Jere, board chairman Lewis Uriri and board members Mordecai Sachikonye, Alois Bunjira and Abraham Kawadza.
Scores of supporters also attended the function, showing the level of optimism at the Green Machine since Jere took over as the majority shareholder, and cheered as the players were unveiled.
Jere was given a standing ovation by the fans when he arrived for the function.
Skipper Hardlife Zvirekwi was on hand to welcome the new signings.
Mathe, the coach, who is still to lose a game this season, said the new signings will stabilise his team.
“As coaches we are saying we needed to reinforce the team with players that are not only good, but players that have got mental strength, that are seasoned and can take the heat in the second half of the Premiership season,” said Mathe.
“If you follow Caps United well you will see that we have relatively young players, that is 19, 17, 20 and 21-year-olds.
“And now we need players who can help us compete in each outing.
“We are happy with the defenders we have in the team as we have gone for six games without conceding a goal. The only one, among the new players, who is an out-and-out defender is maybe Justice Jangano.
“Method can be used both ways, offensively and defensively; Oscar is attack-minded and depending on the tactics we want to use on the day he can be used him defensively.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a defensive array of players, Phineas is offensive.”
The coach said they will keep their feet on the ground.
“We are looking at the Harare City game and only that game alone right now. We want to take one step at a time and one team at a time,” said Mathe.
“Our immediate task is to compete well and we are very concerned with our home form.
“We are not picking points at home consistently, but picking points away and right now the focus is on Harare City and Harare City only.”
Fugo, a former player with Equatorial Guinea league side Depostivo Mongomo, said he hopes he will do well with the Harare giants.
“I am here as a student on scholarship and being a soccer player I am happy to join Caps United. It’s a good experience for me to play for this team.
“I have been playing for Deportivo Mongomo in the Premier League back home for the past two years,” said Fugo.
Machapa, who also returns to Caps United, after a brief stint with Dynamos, is a happy man.
“I am happy with the reception we got here; it shows everyone is happy that we are back and we will try work hard for the team.
“I was motivated to come back to Caps United because the team’s bosses made a spirited follow-up since the season began as they were fully aware that my contract was expiring mid-year.
“Dynamos didn’t do any follow-up and I decided to go where I was really wanted than remain at DeMbare.
“I was happy at Dynamos and I will keep working hard the way I was doing at Dynamos and continue to improve my game,” he said.
Mwanjali says he has a big task to play at the club.
“I will try by all means to lead the guys and do my best for the team. We are one happy family; I am glad to be back with my family and am hoping that whatever we want to achieve we will achieve it at the end of the day.
“Obviously, Caps United is the best team in the country and we have to make sure we put the club back on track.
“I am looking forward to working with everyone at the club. I am a footballer, a leader and at the end of the day I have to lead the young players,” said Mwanjali.