CAPS United coach Darlington Dodo says veteran defender Method Mwanjali is still an integral member of the team with a key role to play for the club despite the expiry of his contract.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Mwanjali’s contract ran out on June 30 and although Caps United are yet to engage him for a possible contract extension, Dodo believes the inspirational defender was an asset of the side and would play a part in their bid for the championship.
“Obviously, he (Method), is part of the team despite the expiry of his contract. He still has a role to play. When we resume training, we will review the progress he has made in as far as his recovery is concerned. We will also hear from him his expectations in terms of the part he can play. He is part of us,” said Dodo.
The Caps United gaffer said he would assess the player’s progress when football action finally resumes after it was halted following a countrywide lockdown imposed in March as authorities sought to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 36-year-old Mwanjali, whose talents took him to South Africa where he turned out for giants Mamelodi Sundowns at his peak before he returned home to rejoin the Green Machine, had his season cut short after he picked an ugly ankle knock in a tussle with a Hwange player early in the first half.
Caps United, however, went on to win the match 3-1 despite the setback.
The defender, who has also captained the Warriors, was Caps United’s most influential player last season, with his leadership qualities inspiring the team in their bid to win the league championship after lifting it in 2016.
Mwanjali, the most experienced player in the division, has previously revealed his desire to sign off in style had the premier league season not been disturbed following the outbreak of COVID-19 which has paralysed sport across the world.
Reports suggest the veteran defender who has been working on his coaching badge could be redeployed as player assistant coach.
“Yes, my contract has expired but I have nothing to say about this. I think you should talk to the club to find out their position,” Mwanjali said when contacted to comment.
Chances of domestic football restart this year keep diminishing with Zifa and the Premier Soccer League medical committee giving a grim report on the future of the game because of challenges posed by the pandemic.
The PSL had tentatively set August for the restart after the season failed to kick-off in March because of the continued threat of coronavirus.
However, with the medical team led Edward Chagonda having recommended polymerase chain reaction tests which cost US$65 per test kit, it’s highly unlikely there will be any football activity this season due to prohibitive costs involved for the safe return of the game.
The players and officials will need to be tested at least twice a week while their training facilities have to be disinfected regularly.
With the numbers of people infected soaring, it further complicates the situation for the Zimbabwean authorities.
The Confederation of African Football has had to postpone the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals from next year to 2022 as a safety measure.