HARARE – CAPS United players resumed training Monday following last week’s strike over unpaid dues, a disturbance that threatened to derail the Green Machine’s Castle Premiership title push.
Makepekepe players, who trail log leaders Dynamos by six points with nine games to go in the title race, boycotted training on Thursday and Friday.
Club bosses were further infuriated after a section of the players besieged the offices of former CAPS co-director, Farai Jere.
The players were seeking audience with the Harare tycoon, but their move backfired after the former United co-director refused to meet them.
Following a turbulent week, it seems like the dust has now settled at the four-time Zimbabwe champions and Monday at Danny Bismark Stadium the players began their preparations for Saturday’s Mbada Diamonds Cup first round clash with Motor Action in Mutare.
Makepekepe coach Taurai Mangwiro was delighted with the development and urged his players to press on towards the goal to win their first league title in seven years.
“I was not expecting any disturbances as we headed towards the home stretch of our season, but it happened,” Mangwiro told the Daily News.
“We are an institution just like any other organisation and we are bound to have challenges, how we tackle those problems is the most important thing.
“I believe by the time we get to play against Motor Action, there will be sanity in our camp and we would not want to have any excuses.”
The last time CAPS players resorted to a boycott, the club reacted by axing seven senior players believed to be the bad apples.
Mangwiro, however, allayed any fears that that the club will act with such ruthlessness this time around at a crucial stage of the season.
“What we went through does happen in any institution and I would like to urge everyone in the club that there is no need for witch-hunting, even amongst ourselves,” said Mangwiro.
“This is what we have been telling our bosses, that there is no need for witch-hunting exercises. If anything, this should make us even stronger.
“Every member of the CAPS United family needs to sit down and evaluate themselves to find out what we are doing right and where we are getting it wrong. That way we can only be a stronger unit.”
Mangwiro and his players’ attention is now firmly fixed on Saturday’s clash with the Mighty Bulls and trying to catch up log leaders Dynamos when the league action resumes next month.
“Cup ties are usually tricky. Motor Action might be rock bottom in the leagu,e but you saw what happened on Saturday; Shabanie might not be having the best of seasons, but they won the BancABC Sup8r Cup,” said Mangwiro.
“If we go out there and underestimate Motor Action because they are struggling in the league, it will be risky.
“We all know that a fine run in this cup will also cushion us and there is so much to play for and we would need to do our best to go all the way. If we can do well in this competition, we are not only guaranteed huge sums of money, but we will also be able to play in Africa in the Confederations Cup.”
“In the league we are only six points behind the leaders and we would like to finish the season in a very strong position. The title is a realistic target.”