There is a real buzz in the green half of the capital.
Whenever CAPS United fans burst into the song “Gore Rino Ndizvo Zvarongwa naPapa Lodza”, nine times out of ten it’s just for fun. But this season, the song might carry its actual meaning.
Those who see football through objective lenses and operate in the truth-telling business will agree that the ‘Papa Lodza’ in question, Makepekepe coach Lloyd Chitembwe, is up to something ahead of the upcoming Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season.
Last season, the Green Machine’s campaign was marred by well-documented financial challenges, which resulted in the former Cup Kings being in the relegation matrix.
But after their penultimate game of the season —an entertaining 2-2 draw with champions FC Platinum at the National Sports Stadium, Chitembwe declared that the club does not want a repetition of such a season.
“Going forward, some of these decisions will be very key going forward. We don’t want a repeat of this kind of a season. Everyone has taken lessons, from players, to the coaches, everyone within the football club has taken lessons and we don’t want a repeat of such,” said Chitembwe.
The former Warriors assistant coach even reminded football fans that history shows that whenever the club has such a chaotic season, they go on to win the championship in the next campaign.
Whether the financial challenges which affected the 2016 league champions have been solved or not remains to be seen, but what’s there for all to see, is the quality of players the Farai Jere-led executive has lured to the club.
Kelvin Madzongwe, Tafadzwa ‘Fire’ Rusike, Godknows ‘Zizou’ Murwira, Adrian Silla, Innocent Zambezi and Admiral Matope have all joined Makepekepe, while former Dynamos midfielder King Nadolo, who was spotted at the club’s training session, could be another acquisition.
Last season’s Soccer Star of the Year first runner up and the league top goalscorer William Manondo, is staying put at CAPS.
Madzongwe, who swapped the green shirt of financially-troubled Bulawayo Chiefs for a more greener shirt which he hopes will bring greener pastures, is relishing the prospect of playing for Makepekepe.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity because obviously CAPS United is a big brand. So definitely playing for them is like playing for one of the biggest teams around, considering the history that they have and the calibre of players that have gone through CAPS United,” he told the club’s media department last week.
“So it’s a huge honor to be here, my family was excited when I joined, mostly my dad because he has always been a huge CAPS United fan so for him, I think it’s one of those dreams that he has realized for me,” Madzongwe added.
Madzongwe has added making promises to the list of things he can do, and his first assurance as a CAPS player, is that the Green Machine’s fans should brace for a good season.
“Last year the team didn’t have a good season. We struggled a lot but hopefully, this year things will be better, with the calibre of players that are here. So we are promising CAPS United fans that this year will be much better than last year,” he said.
Veteran winger Phenias Bamusi, believes says everything is smooth-sailing ahead of the 2023 season and CAPS fans can dare to dream.
“I believe we have a strong squad, and there are no disturbances so far,” said Bamusi.
Life is a matter of choices, and one can choose to undermine CAPS United this season, but at their own peril.