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HARARE giants CAPS United are looking forward to a positive start when they kick off their campaign in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League season against newboys ZPC Kariba at Gwanzura this Saturday. Makepekepe team manager Luis Maio yesterday said the technical team led by Taurayi Mangwiro and Mike Madzivanyika had done their best during the last three months to prepare a competitive side.

“Time for preparations especially in the pre-season, is never enough but I think we have done our best to get our team fit and ready.

“We are in good state and I can say we are prepared for our first game. Our aim is to be more competitive again this year and probably do better than we did last season.

“But I wouldn’t like to talk more about the season when the games have not started yet. We just hope to take each game as it comes,” said Maio.

Despite losing a number of key players, CAPS United have brought no less than 10 players new players this season to replenish their stocks.

Malawian striker Ishmael Thindwa, Zambian midfielder Madalitso Mwanza, former Shabanie Mine hotshot Pervington Zimunya and Asani Nhongo returned to the Green Machine.

Striker Godknows Mhangani is also making a comeback and they have signed experienced former Hwange and Motor Action forward Tongai Magwendere, the youthful Ashward Phiri from Gunners and promoted Clemence Zimondi from the juniors.

David Chipale, who signed from Hippo Valley, former Bantu Rovers’ Kelvin Sibanda and Carlton Munzambwa from ZPC Kariba, are also at the club.

But Arnold Chivheya and Benson Maglasi are now at Harare City while David Rediyoni, Tawanda Nyamandwe and Tawanda Munyanduri followed their coach Saul Chaminuka to ZPC Kariba.

“It’s true they have a bit of knowledge about CAPS United. But we also know how those players perform and how Saul Chaminuka does his things,” said Maio.

“They have been with us, so it’s 50-50 on that aspect.

“We lost quite a number of key players but at the same time we found replacements for each and every player that we lost. The new guys are coming up well and they are gelling nicely.

“We believe pre-season is all about preparing your combinations and making sure that the game plan is in place,” said Maio.

With only three Harare teams left in the Premiership, their game will be the only match in the capital city this weekend.

Defending champions Dynamos travel to How Mine on Sunday while Harare City engage Chicken Inn at Luveve on Saturday.

PSL chief executive Kenny Ndebele announced that there will be a double header at Luveve with newcomers Bantu Rovers playing Black Rhinos in an early kick off.

Both matches will be beamed live on SuperSport starting at 1:00pm.

The match between How Mine and Dynamos at Barbourfields the following day will also be screened.

The cheapest ticket for the Premiership matches has been kept at US$3 for the rest of the ground but clubs may apply for a variation of gate charges.

Ndebele also released the calendar for the rest of the season with the quarter-finals of the Top Eight tournament scheduled to take place at the end of his month, on April 27-28.

Clubs should also brace for frequent mid-week games as the league, which started late this year, has a packed programme.

The Zimbabwe National Army Charities match has been slated for May 31 while the 16-team Chibuku Super Cup tournament kicks off on July 27.

The popular Mbada Diamonds Cup has been penciled in for October 18, and again all the 16 teams will take part.

The season is expected to end on December 30 with the final of the Mbada Diamonds Cup.

Fixtures

Saturday: CAPS United v ZPC Kariba (Gwanzura), Bantu Rovers v Black Rhinos (Luveve, 1300hrs, SS9), Chicken Inn v Harare City (Luveve, 1530hrs, SS9), Chapungu v Highlanders (Ascot)

Sunday: Hwange v Buffaloes (Colliery), How Mine v Dynamos (Barbourfields, SS9), Shabanie Mine v Triangle United (Maglas), *Chiredzi v FC Platinum (Gibbo)

Source : The Herald

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