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Caps go shopping

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BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CASTLE Lager Premier Soccer League giants Caps United are set to raid the market in search of players that will help them stop a slide to the unfashionable Division One league.

Alarm bells are tolling loud at the Green Machine, who are sitting on a six-match losing streak with the last coming against rivals Dynamos at the weekend.

They sit a single point above the drop zone after 17 matches.

The team’s fans have demanded that club owners must come up with a strategy to help the team arrest the poor run.

With the league having taken a two-week break, it came at the right time for Caps to go back to the drawing
board.

It has been agreed within the club structures that coach Lloyd Chitembwe be given the leeway to recruit good players.

Caps got rid of striker Clive Augusto, defender Dennis Dauda and goalkeeper Simba Chinani over threats to boycott the match against Cranborne Bullets.

Forward Ronald Chitiyo has since left the club after he had been threatened with dismissal.

The club has been having financial troubles which have triggered late payment of salaries and bonuses and this has had an effect on the results.

With the transfer window opening on July 1, it is an opportunity for Caps to bring in new players and strengthen the current squad.

Club chief executive Charlie Jones yesterday admitted that it was not business as usual at Caps as they were watching the market, hoping to pounce on the available players.

The Caps football legend, who was appointed club CEO last month, said they were looking around the market for good players who could add value and rescue the campaign.

“We are looking around the market to see the good ones that can be available. You see the nature of our season where players have contracts from January to December makes it hard to get the players, but I can tell you there will be something,” Jones
said.

Although he could not divulge the identity of the players they are targeting, NewsDay Sport understands they are close to concluding a deal with a “good midfielder”.

Chitembwe has taken responsibility for the team’s lacklustre show and believes they have to dig deeper to avert a potentially disastrous campaign. The Caps gaffer is said to have drawn a shortlist of players he wants to bolster the squad ahead of the second round of the season. The PSL went on a two-week break at the weekend and will resume on June 25.

Acquiring players in the July transfer window could also prove to be a challenge for Caps with most players still in running contracts.

It means Caps might have to buy players from other clubs other than signing free agents which might be out of their reach due to their financial standing.

Most players’ contracts expire in December and in the Zimbabwe market where clubs are cash-strapped, teams usually go for free agents.

In the dreadful run, Caps lost to Triangle (2-1), Cranborne Bullets (2-0), FC Platinum (3-0), Chicken Inn (1-0), Bulawayo Chiefs (2-0) and Dynamos (3-0).

They managed just one goal in their last six matches and have an obvious problem in their strike force, while there is also concern at the back where they are failing to keep a clean sheet.

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