CAPS United Football Club’s new coach Mark Harrison had not arrived in the country by yesterday as expected and his continued absence is beginning to unsettle his bosses.
BY HENRY MHARA
The Englishman had assured the Caps management that he would definitely fly in on Sunday, but the club’s chief executive officer Joe Makuvire yesterday said the 54-year-old was still holed up in South Africa.
Reports last week had suggested that Harrison has been held up by a work permit problem, but it appears there is more to his absence than meets the eye.
Fresh reports are suggesting that Harrison has not been cleared by his former club Black Leopards of South Africa, who are said to be contemplating taking a legal route following his abrupt and unilateral termination of his contract with the team.
Speaking to NewsDay Sport yesterday, Makuvire said he had not heard from Harrison since Sunday and was beginning to get worried.
“He is still in South Africa, and I don’t know why he has not arrived.
“He was supposed to have flown in on Sunday evening, but up to now I haven’t heard anything from him. I will try to call him later in the evening (yesterday) to find out why he did not come,” said Makuvire yesterday.
In Harrison’s absence, Caps United’s pre-season training is under Brenna Msiska and Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi’s charge.
“Obviously we are worried because we were expecting him so that he can take over the preparations of the team. We had hoped that all the personnel that we would be working with this season be around at this time.
“But the good thing is we have equally capable people who are holding fort and they are using the programme he left for them so it will not be a big problem when he finally arrives. I’m not very sure about his work permit, but I’m sure it’s out now,” added Makuvire. Harrison last week told our sister paper, The Standard that he would definitely be in Harare on Sunday.
“My flight is definitely scheduled for Sunday,” he told StandardSport from South Africa. “Everything is fine. I am just finalising my relocation process while also waiting for my papers to be sorted out in Zimbabwe. That process is almost complete now and I am sure my work permit would be out today [Friday]. I applied for it when I was still there in Zimbabwe and it should be out,” he added. The delay in his arrival has naturally disturbed many Caps United fans who feel their team is now lagging behind in pre-season training.
The fans want Harrison to arrive immediately so that he can sort out the issue of players especially with the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League deadline for squad submission set for this week.
The club has been holding trials to fill the gaps following the departure of quite a number of senior players.
The Harare club has so far lost Tendai Samanja, Tafadzwa Dube, Nicholas Alifandika and Honey Chimutimunzeve, who all crossed to Harare City after the expiry of their contracts at the end of the year.
Kelvin Bulaji and Dominic Chungwa have joined fiercest rivals and champions Dynamos while the duo of Charles Mukanhaire and Steven Makatuka have moved to last season’s league runners-up ZPC Kariba.
The Malawian trio of Gerald Phiri, George Nyirenda and Ishmael Thindwa are also yet to report for duty. When asked to give an update on when they would likely arrive in the country, Makuvire said: “We will have a Press conference tomorrow (today) after the team’s training session. That is where we will give the general update of the team’s activities and everything that has happened so far.”