Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
AFTER a disappointing season in which they had to endure the pain of losing the Premiership football title on the final day of the race which they had looked so much in control, CAPS United could be forced to field youngsters in the 2020 term.
Fellow giants, Dynamos and Highlanders have already adopted the same model as they are not able to compete for established players’ signatures with financially sound clubs like champions FC Platinum, Ngezi Platinum Stars and Chicken Inn.
The Green Machine, had last season settled for experience with old horses Dominic Chungwa, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Method Mwanjali, Lincoln Zvasiya and Phineas Bamusi forming the core of the squad.
The team had an average age of 28 years.
But somehow the experience lacked some determination and Makepekepe threw away a big opportunity to land the title for the second time in four seasons after they lost their last two games of the marathon.
And the disappointment, naturally has resulted in most of the players at the team handing in their transfer requests while others have been told their services are no longer needed at the club.
Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo, Blessing Sarupinda, Dominic Chungwa and John Zhuwawu are all linked with moves outside the country with Sarupinda currently undergoing trials in Europe while the rest are understood to be on the verge of signing for Zambian teams.
Valentine Musarurwa, goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba, Justice Jangano and Dominic Mukandi could as well be on their way out of the Green Machine with Harare City their likely destination where former CAPS United coach Lloyd Chitembwe is understood to be chasing after their signatures.
As such, Makepekepe will likely be constituted of young players including Tatenda Tumba and Leeroy Mavhunga who have just joined from Harare City and Yadah respectively.
They are also after the signature of Chapungu speedster Ian Nyoni and Dynamos striker Evans Katema, who hasn’t made his love for the Green Machine any secret.
Makepekepe will also be embarking on a massive junior structuring exercise as they want to revert back to their old system of recruiting players from their juniors.
No player on their current roaster emerged from their juniors.
On the other hand, rivals Dynamos, who were under-par in the just-ended season, will most likely retain the core of their youthful team which did duty in 2019.
DeMbare struggled for form in the opening stretch of the marathon under Lloyd Chigowe before Tonderai Ndiraya was called in to stabilise the ship.
The young players including Emmanuel Jalai, Tawanda Chisi, Tino Muringai and Nigel Katawa who did very well throughout the season are likely to be retained.
“It is my hope that the young players who we had at our disposal would have matured next season. They were mere first-timers in the top-flight and considering their lack of experience, they did remarkably well especially considering the weighty expectations they were supposed to meet,” said Ndiraya.
“Some of them, like Nigel Katawa, were coming straight from school and needed time to adjust to the demands of the Premiership. It is my hope that they will improve next season. As Dynamos we are expected to deliver and I am glad the boys have gathered some top-flight experience and they now know what is expected of them.”
To fortify determination, the Glamour Boys are expected to sign more experienced players with former star defender Partson Jaure, who was with Manica Diamonds this season, having already made a return.
The likes of Godknows Murwira and Archford Gutu who were signed in the mid-season are likely to be dropped as they were often caught on the wrong side of the team’s disciplinary code.
The Harare giants already have a vibrant Under-19 team which play in the second division and three or so players could as well make the cut for the first team next season.
Highlanders are already enjoying the fruits of building around players with the team’s culture.
Bosso started their youth bridage last year with the stewardship of Madinda Ndlovu and this year the team won the Chibuku Super Cup.
They are likely to field the same line-up next season, of course with other new players expected especially from Bulawayo Chiefs.
Chief striker Prince Dube has left as well as goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda and they will have to shuffle around.