Connor happy with Caps


Caps United manager Sean Connor says he is happy with the squad he inherited from Lloyd Chitembwe, vowing to turn around the fortunes of the now perennial underachievers.

The Irish-born coach was roped in at the start of the year as the club battles to wrest back the Premier Soccer League title they last won in 2005.

Addressing journalists at a Press conference in the capital yesterday afternoon, Connor, who was flanked by assistant manager Chitembwe and defender Tapiwa Kumbuyani, said he was on a mission to transform Caps United into a competitive and professional entity.

“Pre-season preparations started before I came, but the programme has not changed in terms of intensity and the goals. We want to make the team competitive and want to promise our supporters that they will see some improvements every week. I inherited a very talented squad with players who are tactically very gifted although they are physically inferior. What I found here is a group of players who are eager to learn and improve. We will play a passing game and will try to maintain a high tempo in every match,” said Connor.

Connor, who takes over a club that is battling to professionalise, said that dream was very much achievable.

Some of the key issues he touched on in his mission to turn around the club into a professional outfit were to improve his relations with the media, an aspect on which local clubs have been found wanting.

“We have to open to you. Supporters should know what is happening at their club. We will have a Press conference once a week to update you on whatever will be happening at the club. After the match, we will also be available to accommodate you. We want to be as open as we can,” said the former Birmingham City Press officer.

The 49-year-old comes with a big reputation having worked in his native country England and the United States, a factor that he believes will help him withstand the pressure that comes with coaching a big club like Caps United, where it is results that matter.

Last season, Caps United were pressurised by their supporters into firing coach Moses Chunga because of poor results.

Maxwell Takaendesa Jongwe took over, but just like Chunga, he failed to last the distance as supporters’ power took centre stage at the club.

“Coaching a big team like Caps United is a dilemma every coach will face at one point of his career. For me, I have been there before at Galway United where I was expected to win every match. That is how difficult this job can be. As a manager, you can’t control the supporters’ opinions but the environment. Hopefully, they will see the team’s improvement this year,” he said.

Connor said he had already finalised his 25-man squad for next season, although he refused to disclose the list.

He also refused to reveal the name of his captain although sources said veteran David Sengu has been handed the armband and will be assisted by Edmore Chafungamoyo.

Connor, however, revealed that the club had released Stephen Alimenda, Arnold Chivheya and Courage Denias.