HARARE football giants Caps United have started to reap huge rewards following their good run in the Caf Champions League, with several players from different countries in Africa — including neighbours Zambia — stampeding to join them ahead of the forthcoming season.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Already, five Ghanaian players have been in Harare training with the former champions hoping to sign for contracts.
Now Zambian players, headlined by Kabwe Warriors captain Munga Chilembe, have joined in the stampede and are expected in Harare for an assessment by the technical team in the first week of January next year.
Other Zambian players that have shown interest to join Caps United are goalkeeper Reegan Simango, who has also been in Zimbabwe training with the Green Machine for almost a month, and the pair of strikers Jason Sunzu and Peter Tando, who turn out for Kongola Blades.
Those that have worked with Simango, who had been loaned to Lusaka City by Kongola Blades, describe him as a “very good goalkeeper”.
But the Green Machine could be the major beneficiaries in a deal involving Tando, a Congolese international striker whose contract runs out on December 31 this year, which means he will be a free agent when he comes to Harare in January.
“The number of players willing to come to Caps United is overwhelming. There are several players from Zambia who want to come here, but the club cannot take all of them on board,” a source close to the Green Machine said.
“Maybe the coaches will select a few after assessing them and the rest could end up playing for other clubs. They are expected from January 2 to 7. Those from Ghana who have been here will also come back during the same period.”
After a good run in the Champions League, where they went as far as the group stage, Caps United exported a number of their talents and have become a source of players for bigger leagues on the continent.
Caps United dumped out five-time African champions TP Mazembe from the tournament in the first round.
In the group stage, they made their presence felt with famous wins over former African champions Zamalek 3-1 and Algerian side USM Alger in Harare.
Those that have since left for greener pastures are Ronald Chitiyo, Abbas Amidu and Ronald Pfumbidzai.
Chitiyo is now playing in Tunisia, while Amidu and Pfumbidzai are playing in Egypt and South Africa respectively, whereas striker John Zhuwawo is leaving to join South African Premiership side Ajax Cape Town after impressing during a three-day trial assessment period.
Caps United finished the season on fifth position with 58 points, three behind fourth-placed Chicken Inn.
They are now assembling a new team that can challenge for honours next season.