CAPS United striker Leonard Tsipa has been cleared to play in the Caf Champions League following the regularisation of his registration, but he will not play a part in the showdown against five-time African champions Zamalek in Cairo, Egypt, on Friday due to lack of match fitness.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The 2016 Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) Golden Boot winner has not made much contribution to the club this season having been sidelined by injuries.
His only appearance came in the opening match against Shabanie Mine where he picked a groin injury eventually missing all the matches the club has played in the campaign so far.
Tsipa did not play a part in the African Champions League preliminary round as he was not registered for the tournament. He had been expected to make the trip to Cairo tomorrow subject to the regularisation of his registration papers.
Although the big striker received the news yesterday that his registration had been completed and was now eligible to take part in the prestigious tournament, he will have to wait until the next assignment when he is expected to have fully recovered.
Caps United assistant coach Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi confirmed Tsipa’s papers were now in order, but said they would not rush to field him as he is just coming back from injury.
“It’s a boost for the team, he was the top goalscorer last season. He is an important player and leader,” Kwashi said. “But getting him back into the team will be a gradual process. It’s a step-by-step process because he is just coming from injury. There is no reason to put pressure on him. We are thankful his papers were processed, we will gradually field him in the team until he gets back to his full potential.”
The Harare giants’ technical team also had a chance to assess one of their foreign targets, Ghanaian Wilson Andoh, who arrived in Harare on Friday.
And Kwashi said although it was still early to judge him after watching him for just one day, the player showed great potential.
“He (Andoh) is big and is strong. But it’s too early to judge him after just one workout. We want him to feel at home and work as hard as he can. We will have more time to look at him. The opportunity is there for him, it’s now up to him to deliver and shine. We have given him the platform.”
Caps United were drawn in Group B alongside five-time African champions Zamalek, USM Alger of Algeria and Al Ahly of Libya. The Green Machine trained yesterday morning with everyone heavily involved apart from Tsipa.
They have been holding some of their training sessions in the evening under floodlights, as they will play the Zamalek match at 9pm local time on Friday.