TIME is running out for Caps United as they battle to finalise their squad for the 2015 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) season with their English coach Mark Harrison still holed up in South Africa.
By Tawanda Tafirenyika
The PSL has also given clubs February 13 to submit their squads for registration.
The Englishman was unveiled as a replacement for Taurai Mangwiro on January 7, but is back in South Africa waiting to obtain a Zimbabwean work permit as well as processing relocation to Harare.
The team’s public relations manager Joyce Kapota yesterday said she had no information on the work permit issue.
“The coach is still in South Africa, but we are expecting him tomorrow (today). That is when he is expected to start work. I have no information about the work permit issue, I suggest you speak to the chief executive,” said Kapota.
The club’s chief executive officer Joe Makuvire could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Assistant regional immigration officer Francis Mabika told our sister paper The Standard that they had not processed a work permit for the coach which he said should normally take three weeks.
“Our records show that we have not provided Mark Harrison with a work permit. I do not have the name of any Caps United foreign coach,” said Mabika.
“If they applied, it is not yet out. It should take only three weeks to complete the process of obtaining a work permit. So as it stands, we do not have in our records Harrison of Caps United who has a work permit.”
The Harare giants’ pre-season preparations have been marked by an overwhelming number of trialists hoping to make the cut ahead of the new campaign as Caps United seek to strengthen their squad decimated by the departure of several key players for greener pastures.
However, the Green Machine have not made much progress in the selection of the squad which will do duty this term as they are still waiting for the arrival of their coach.
Caps United are currently under the guidance of assistant coaches Brenna Msiska and Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi, but the pair cannot make a decision on the selection of the final squad in the absence of the boss.
Some of the players who have been trying to impress the Caps United technical team include former Chicken Inn defender Charles Mutero, the Harare City trio of Arnold Chaka, Witness Nyamutsaka and Tongai Chiworeso as well as former goalkeeper Itai Chiwara.
The Shabanie Mine pair of goalkeeper Victor Twaliki and Carlos Messi are also seeking a move to the capital.
The club is seeking to replace players like skipper Tapiwa Khumbuyani, who left for How Mine, goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube, Tendai Samanja, Nicholas Alifandika and Honey Chimutimunzeve who all followed Mangwiro to Harare City.
Ronald Pfumbidzai was on trial at Kaizer Chiefs, but if he impresses, he can only move in August as the mid-season transfer window closed last Friday.
The former Young Warriors captain is also pencilled for trials in Belgium.
Caps finished in third place last season, behind Dynamos and ZPC Kariba, to qualify for the Mbada Diamonds Cup and are looking to go one better this season.
Meanwhile, South Africa National First Division club Witbank Spurs have confirmed the signing of Warriors international midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo, pending the issuing of a work permit. The former Highlanders star was initially signed by Premiership side Mpumalanga Black Aces in June last year, but the deal was then terminated under unclear circumstances, leading to his move to Spurs.