CAPS United caretaker coach Brenna Msiska believes he has a balanced squad capable of landing the championship this season.
Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika
Msiska released a provisional 15-member squad for the 2013 soccer season yesterday retaining more than half the players who took part in the campaign last season.
The Caps coach retained such players like Warriors trialist Hardlife Zvirekwi, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Arnold Chivheya, Blessing Zabula, Pride Tafirenyika, David Rediyoni, Leonard Fiyado, Rahman Kutsanzira and Tawanda Munyanduri.
They participated in the campaign that saw the team finishing a distant 10th position on the league table last season — a far cry from the 2004 squad that stunned fans of the local game by winning back-to-back league titles under Charles Mhlauri.
Msiska said: “I think we have a balanced squad. We have retained the majority of the players who played last season and have fused them with some inexperienced players. It’s a strong team that can see us win the championship. What they just need is motivation so that they concentrate on getting positive results on the pitch. Our aim this season is to win the championship.”
He added that he would include more players to bring it to a 25-member squad.
The Green Machine have promoted two players from their junior ranks — midfielders TakudzwaMuhori and Tinotenda Muswe.
The Caps coach is still to come up with goalkeepers with four being assessed. Former FC Platinum shot stopper Tafadzwa Dube and former Quelaton keeper Winston Chiwetu are some of the keepers still to make it into the final squad.
Jorum Muchambo, who kept goal for Monomotapa last season and London Zulu, formerly with Hwange, are also being assessed although it is highly likely Dube will be the first choice goalkeeper.
Msiska was goalkeeper’s coach last season before being thrown into the deep end a week ago following the expulsion of Mkhuphali Masuku and several senior players following a boycott over unpaid salaries and signing-on fees.
Caps released veteran striker Shingi Kawondera, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Nqobile Mpala, Luckson Kaisa, Washington Pakamisa, Asani Nhongo and goalkeeper Itai Chiwara for allegedly taking part in the industrial action. However, Khumbuyani has since been recalled.
Caps United are facing a serious cash squeeze following the withdrawal of chief financer Farai Jere who pulled out owing to a shareholder structure row with club president Twine Phiri last year. Phiri, however, maintains the team would not collapse as they have faced such challenges before and still managed to survive.
The Green Machine are set to travel to Malawi this weekend for an international friendly with one of the top teams there, as they step up preparations for the forthcoming season expected to kick off next month.
Caps provisional squad: HardlifeZvirekwi, A Chivheya, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Blessing Zabula, TendaiSamanja, Dominic Mukandi, Pride Tafirenyika, David Rediyoni, TakudzwaMuhori, Tinotenda Muswe, Gift Phiri, Leonard Fiyado, Dominic Chungwa, RahmanKutsanzira, Tawanda Munyanduri.