Tadious Manyepo, Sports Reporter
SEVERAL names that had become permanent fixtures at CAPS United, including former captain Hardlife Zvirekwi, will be missing when the Green Machine get their 2020 football season preparations underway this morning.
Makepekepe have sought to shift their working philosophy and the dismissal of the players is one of the initial steps in the transformation.
The Harare giants last week informed their players that those with contracts that expired at the end of the year will not be renewed as they seek a fresh start.
Most of the affected players, however, are not happy with the recent developments as they had to be told via the players’ WhatsApp platform of the club’s decision.
Zvirekwi, in particular, was devastated by the way he had to part ways with CAPS United, having served the club for seven years and winning the league title in 2016.
He said he was grateful to the club for giving him the platform to make a name in football.
“It hasn’t been a good week for me to be honest. It was really tough and emotional week for me . . . It was a surprise to me. Yes, it was on WhatsApp group that comprises all the players and the team manager as well.
“I honestly have no clue whatsoever that they had to do what they had to do in such a manner. The message circulated on social media as it is and it was about the players that had contracts which had expired on 31 December, 2019.
“They were saying they are not going to renew any contract that had expired. It was sad, it was tough but I had to accept it because that was the reality on the ground. It was not an easy thing for me but I had to try and accept it and by accepting I think it can help me to see what I can do from here,” he told Star FM during The Daily Sports Zone programme.
In any case, some players had to be dismissed after leading an unforgivable mutiny towards the end of last season.
Makepekepe were only two wins away from claiming their second league title in four years, but a damaging sit-in towards the last two matches, which came within three days of the other, put paid to those dreams.
The ring-leaders, including Lincoln Zvasiya and Valentine Ndaba, have since been shown the exit as the team aims to refocus.
CAPS United co-director, Nhamo Tutisani, was quoted last week as saying his team needs to recruit valuable players who can be moulded into professionals who are not just good in the field of play but outside it.
“We need to have a business approach in the running of the team. Look, we are not necessarily saying we need to recruit young players, but we need those who can be nurtured into professional players,” said Tutisani.
“Football is business and you need to have the right products which in this case are the players. Of course, we need to be competitive but obviously we need properly groomed athletes who know what their job entails.”
Though Tutisani refused to shed more light, it is understood the 10 players who have been cleared to find other alternatives were found to be the ring-leaders in that ill-timed strike which cost Makepekepe the league title last season.
Goalkeepers Chris Mverechena and Prosper Chigumba, whose discipline is always under scrutiny after he accumulated four red-cards in the last two seasons, have also been dismissed.
There will be no place for Dominic Mukandi, Carlos Rusere, Zvirekwi and Kudzanayi Nyamupfukudza.
Method Mwanjali could be roped into the technical set-up but his chances of coming back into the field of play after he missed the final stretch of last season looks increasingly slimmer.
It has also emerged that had Soccer Star of the Year, Joel Ngodzo, not have signed for Zambian outfit, Buildcon, he could have been in the same predicament with the fired crew.
The same fate was also bound to meet former striker Dominic Chungwa who, like Ngodzo, has crossed the Zambezi and joined Lumwana Radiants.
Just 11 players from the squad which did duty for the Green Machine last season have been retained as the club looks determined to implement their strategy.
Striker Newman Sianchali, who was one of the best players at the team towards the end of the 2019 season, has been spared the axe, so has goalkeeper Tonderai Mateyaunga who, however, has to work harder given Makepekepe could snatch former Chapungu shot-stopper Talbert Shumba.
Justice Jangano, Valentine Musarurwa and John Zhuwawu, who have been at the club for the past four years, have all been given another chance at the club.
Also retained are Blessing Sarupinda, Ronald Chitiyo, Phineas Bamusi, Kelvin Ndebele as well as Pride Zivengwa and Spencer Masunda.
Makepekepe are not yet done in signing new players this off-season, although they have already secured good assets thus far.
The pair of former Harare City of Tatenda Tumba and Ishmael Wadi and ex-Yadah Stars duo of Enock Karembo and Leeroy Mavhunga are some of the new faces expected at Makepekepe’s first pre-season training session today.