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HARARE giants CAPS United are expecting to boost their pre-season preparations with the arrival of their Malawian players – George Nyirenda, Ishmael Thindwa and Gerald Phiri.

The trio has been missing since Makepekepe began their pre-season three weeks ago and raising fears they might have decided against returning.

Thindwa, in particular, has reportedly been linked with a move to Malawian champions Big Bullets after spending a frustrating season at the Green Machine last season.

Big Bullets are playing in the Champions League and have since approached the Harare giants to establish his availability for their campaign.

Yesterday, CAPS assistant coach Brenna Msiska said they were expecting the players before the end of the week as they will be registered in their provisional squad.

The trio still has running contracts with CAPS United.

“According to the information that I got from the manager (George Gumbo), I think these guys should all be here by Friday.

“They had asked for more time to sort out things back home before they can come here to play football.

“That is why they delayed. You have to take into consideration that these are foreigners and once they come here they will spend time before going back home,” said Msiska.

Makepekepe continued with their preparations yesterday without head coach Mark Harrison, who is still holed up in South Africa, sorting out logistics for his relocation while his work permit is being processed.

The Green Machine, however, had a visitor Mark Mathe, who watched the training on the sidelines.

The former Highlanders coach is a personal friend of Msiska and his mission could not be immediately established.

The Makepekepe technical team has four days to finalise their provisional squad after losing a couple of key players.

They have, among other players trying their luck, former employees Itai Chiwara and Leonard Tsipa, former Young Warriors players Misheck Mburayi, Willard Kalongonda and Carlos Mesi, ex-Gunners and Harare City defenders Munyaradzi Kunyarimwe, Arnold Chaka, Witness Nyamutsaka and the former Shabanie Mine duo of Smart Muchabaiwa and Victor Twaliki.

Makepekepe lost several key players such as Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Tendai Samanja, Dominic Chungwa, Kenneth Bulaji, Nicholas Alifandika, Honey Chimutimunzeve and goalkeeper Tafadzwa Dube.

Among those expected to don the green and white strip are former Monomotapa youngster Never Tigere, ex-DC Academy’s Kudzai Nyamufukudza, Blessing Nyamuzihwa, Crispen Machisi, Wilfred Zondo, Kudakwashe Chimwala and former Hwange juniors left-back Wilfred Munorwei.

“The absence of the coach hasn’t affected us so much. We work as a team and we are doing our best in his absence so that when he comes he will find everything on course.

“By Friday we should know exactly where we stand because right now we are doing follow-ups on the players who are joining us to make sure they have their clearances.

“We also want to establish if those claiming to be out of contract are truly free agents. We don’t want to have problems later on.

“We also need to know why the player has been released by his previous club and we are keeping track if they have injuries,” said Msiska.

Makepekepe are also still closely monitoring the situation regarding the want-away trio of Stephen Makatuka, Ronald Pfumbidzai and David Chipala.

The defenders have been involved in a stand-off with the club and have not been training with the rest of the team since they started their preparations.

Pfumbidzai has recently been on trials at South Africa Premiership giants Kaizer Chiefs and is looking for more opportunities outside the borders.

Makatuka has been linked with a possible move to ZPC Kariba while Chipala’s agent is still pressing for trials in Poland.

The duo of Makatuka and Pfumbidzai were at the club’s training venue yesterday but did not take part while Chipala’s absence remains ominous.

“They haven’t made their decisions yet and as technical we don’t have much information on their plans.

“These are some of the things that are disruptive to preparations because it’s difficult to plan with people you are not sure will be part of the team or not,” said Msiska.

“It’s not going to be easy for them to get first team places, though, if they don’t train until the starting of the season. It will all depend on their fitness and their mentality.

“As a coach you will also need to get into their minds to see if they are really disposed to play football or not,” said Msiska.

Source : The Herald