AFTER being decimated by the departure of several stars including the reigning Castle Lager Premier Soccer League Golden Boot winner Dominic Chungwa, Caps United have moved to assemble what could turn out to be the deadliest attack on the domestic soccer scene, with reports suggesting former striker Simba Nhivi could return to the club.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
The former Caps United forward is back in the country after a short stint with Tanzania outfit Singida United.
It is understood coach Lloyd Chitembwe, a long-time admirer of the player, who helped the team to their first championship in a decade when they claimed honours in 2016, has since been alerted of the striker’s availability and there has been contact with the player and his representatives, as he rebuilds his squad ahead of the next term.
Club president Farai Jere confirmed Caps United’s interest in Nhivi, saying: “The coach Lloyd Chitembwe is aware of his availability and I am aware there have already been moves for the player. Simba has always been one of our best players and his experience could come in handy, especially after the departure of Chungwa. Unless he has some offers outside the country, we will be happy to have him back.”
Nhivi, who is seen as a direct replacement for Chungwa, could be the second striker to be signed by the Green Machine after they captured former FC Platinum forward Brian Muzondiwa.
The 2015 Soccer Star of the Year finalist penned a two-year deal with the Harare giants and the club is targeting more signings, with some foreigners also set to be given an opportunity to try and impress Chitembwe.
With John Zhuwawo’s proposed move to Ajax Cape Town having collapsed, Caps United should have a formidable attack in the next term.
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The Green Machine has been hit by a player exodus over the last six months, losing no less than six key players, which has cast doubts on their chances of winning the championship next season.
Caps sold Ronald Chitiyo and Abbas Amidu, who joined Tunisian and Egyptian clubs, respectively while Ronald Pfumbidzai joined South African Premiership side Bloemfontein Celtic.
Chungwa joined Polokwane City with Edmore Sibanda signing for National First Division side Witbank Spurs.
The two were free agents, following the expiry of their contracts at the end of last month.
Midfielders Moses Muchenje and Devon Chafa also saw out their contracts on December 31 and are currently on trials with Egyptian sides.
Caps have decided to move on and assemble a squad, without considering those players that have gone on trials.
Last season, Chitembwe assessed a number of foreign players, including some from Ghana and Zambia, with a view to signing them. Some of the players are expected to come for final assessment, when the club starts pre-season preparations.
Caps United won their first championship in 11 years under Chitembwe in 2016, but a punishing schedule that saw them focusing on both the Caf Champions League and the domestic league put paid to their title hopes, as they went on to finish a distant fifth, with FC Platinum taking the honours to beat rivals Dynamos in fierce race that had to be decided on the last day.