BY Kevin Mapasure
Caps United fans could finally have something to smile about after the club agreed terms with striker Rodwell Chinyengetere, who has left FC Platinum.
The Green Machine faithful have been watching as players exit their team’s dressing room mainly due to financial constraints at the club.
Chinyengetere is set to become the Green Machine’s first signing in this transfer window, but the club is battling to convince some of its stars to stay due to financial issues.
A source told NewsDay Sport that Chinyegetere agreed in principle to join Caps United, but is waiting for the club to fulfil part of the deal before a contract can be signed.
He is one of the seven senior players that left FC Platinum after their contracts expired at the end of last year.
Kelvin Madzongwe, Rahman Kutsanzira, Petros Mhari, Donald Dzvinyai, Ralph Kawondera and Stanley Ngala have all left the platinum miners.
Kawondera has since signed for Dynamos.
The signing of Chinyengetere is set to lift the morale at Caps, who have lost several key players among them Brendon Mpofu and Carlos Mavhurume.
The threat of losing more stars still looms large as the club battles to convince players, who are owed two months salaries, to commit to new deals.
Chinyengetere would come in handy for Caps United who have struggled for goals since Ishamel Wadi left for South Africa last year.
Caps have so far played two matches in the league which both ended goalless.
FC Platinum have taken a big risk by shedding off some of their best players, which could leave the young emerging players exposed.
According to club spokesperson Chido Chizondo, none of the players were forced out, but they decided against renewing their contracts on their own, with most of them leaving as free agents.
“Everyone who had an expired contract was offered something new, but as they considered their future, some decided against renewing on their own terms, not that we released them.
“For Stanley Ngala, we gave him the freedom to join Highlanders when they said they wanted to buy him out, because he was not getting game time here at FC Platinum. We believe that was good for him as a player.
“Nevertheless, as FC Platinum we held a strategic planning meeting last year where we made resolutions on how we can improve our team, especially for the continental competitions where we have not done well.
“Of course, buying players is still an option, but we can only do best if we effectively use those that are already in our structures.
“We are looking at having a stronger team in the next five years to compete and win big both locally and on the continent. As a club we think that can only be achieved if we give more young players a chance to play and be fused with the experience that we have.
“That is not to say we are doing away with senior players because at the moment the likes of Gift Bello, Raphael Muduviwa, William Stima and Francis Tizayi who have been in the team for a long time are around,” she said.
Chizondo added that they now have a new age cut-off limit in their new trajectory, although she did not reveal it.
“The main aim is to improve the team for their future endeavours in the African safari where we haven’t done well in the past.
“If all goes well, we can be a competitive team at the level we want because we have a strong belief that the future of our club is in the juniors. That is why we have an age cut-off point now,” she said.
The Zvishavane side has participated in the CAF Champions League more than any other local team in the last six years, but has struggled to make an impact.
This year they will participate in the CAF Confederations Cup after winning the Chibuku Super Cup last year and they are looking forward to test the pedigree of their youngsters in that campaign.
“Look, if we are to have the likes of Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya play at such a level, that would certainly be good to his development as a player and as well increase his chances of getting offers from clubs beyond our borders compared to having more aging players in the team,” Chizondo said.
“This is also an opportunity for us to try and change our approach, especially in continental competitions where we haven’t done well. The previous campaigns have taught us lessons and we cannot keep repeating those mistakes. We are planning for the future of the club.”
At the moment, the club has left it to coach Norman Mapeza and his technical team to identify players that are suitable for promotion to the senior team from their developmental side competing in the Central Region Soccer
“So we have left it to the technical team to decide who to promote into the team and also plan around our developmental team because that is where much investment will be going for future’s sake.”
Already, some of the players promoted from the developmental side such as Kelvin Mangiza, Panashe Matimbanyoka, Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya, Hagaizo Magaya and Keith Madera have given a glimmer of what they have to offer if they are effectively used.
Mangiza and Mutimbanyoka are already established players in the Young Warriors set-up and are definitely cornerstones, together with other seniors, in the club’s new trajectory.
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