BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
HARARE football giants Caps United are set to dump “bad apples” in a major reshuffle ahead of the new season with several senior players, among them midfielder Dominic Mukandi, goalkeeper Prosper Chigumba and Valentine Musarurwa, targeted as victims.
Caps captain Hardlife Zvirekwi, defender Godwin Goriyati and striker Dominic Chungwa are also among several players reported to be on their way out.
The players who the club wants out were identified as the trouble causers towards the end of last term which led to the squad striking ahead of the penultimate match against Ngezi Platinum Stars to press for payment of their dues.
Caps went on to lose the match 3-2, surrendering the top spot to FC Platinum who also went on to win against the Green Machine in the last match of the season to retain the league title.
With four matches to go in the campaign, Caps seemed to have a firm grip of the league title, but they collapsed in spectacular fashion. Ahead of the match against Ngezi, Caps missed two days of training due to players’ industrial action.
For 2020, the Green Machine have decided not to offer contracts to some of the “ring leaders” in the strike, while those also identified as trouble causers but still with running contracts such as Goriati, will also be shipped out.
Zvirekwi has, however, not hidden his loyalty to the club and told NewsDay Sport last week that he still wants to play for at least two more years.
The Green Machine are set to kick-off preparations for the new season on January 20 and reports suggest that they could start the campaign with a virtually new-look squad.
Some of the targeted senior players still have running contracts, but the club hierarchy is understood to be unhappy with the conduct of some senior players, especially in the dying moments of the championship race last term where they disrupted training, demanding outstanding payments.
Informed sources said the events leading up to the Ngezi match, in particular, did not go down well with the club management, who have decided to ship out players who were fingered to have influenced others into boycotting training.
The conduct of these players is seen as one of the contributing factors for their failure to win the championship last term.
Efforts to get a comment from Caps management were fruitless yesterday.
Caps have been very active in the transfer market after coach Darlington Dodo was asked to push the refresh button.
The Harare giants have so far signed Leeroy Mavhunga from Yadah FC and Harare City forward Tatenda Tumba and are also reportedly still very active on the market targeting several stars as they prepare for the new season.
Caps will, however, find it difficult to fill the void left by Soccer Star of the Year Joel Ngodzo who departed for Zambia to join Buildcon following the expiry of his contract on December 31.