HARARE – CAPS United coach Taurai Mangwiro is already planning for an assault on the league title next season after guiding the Green Machine to a fifth place finish in the just-ended 2013 Castle Premiership season.
Although Mangwiro experienced a turbulent year with Makepekepe, the former Monomotapa and Masvingo United coach has his sights set on winning next year’s championship.
The Green Machine had an indifferent campaign in 2013 that commenced with the club having to operate without Mangwiro, who was serving a suspension due to his involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing scandal.
Mangwiro returned to the dugout in April and positioned United into a good position to challenge for the title.
Cash flow problems, however, crippled the club with players going on training boycotts at crucial stages of the season. That phase saw the Green Machine lose ground against the leading pack.
Mangwiro also temperately quit Makepekepe after a defeat to Shabanie Mine in October before making a dramatic U-turn on the decision.
Despite all the troubles that hampered United’s progress last season, Mangwiro feels he has assembled a strong team that has potential to be strong championship contenders in 2014.
“We have a huge ambition to win the league and that is of course the target of next season,” Mangwiro told Daily News yesterday.
“We need to continue to defend our style of play, our philosophy of play and our values. And that can only be done by developing our own players.
“We made huge investments in youth players and they have since developed into stars. Now if we can keep those players, I don’t see the reason why we should not compete for the championship next year.
“My wish for now is to keep the bulk of players that we have. They are an exciting group of players and I personally enjoyed working with them. I foresee the team getting stronger next season, of course, with some additions.
“It could have been better in the just-ended season but considering the conditions we were working under, I think we surpassed expectations. We even had a chance to win the title but we blew it away.”
Mangwiro is set to meet with the club’s bosses in the next coming days to map their 2014 season.
“We will meet the executive soon and discuss about our plan for next year. We have players whom we are targeting but it will be premature to disclose them now,” he said.
“If our finances do not allow us then we will have to identify youngsters. We have done it this year and we can still do it again. The challenge next year will be to surpass this season’s performance.”
Mangwiro, a former Dynamos player, also took aim at some CAPS United supporters who, despite the hard work he has done for the team failed to fully trust him due to his past links with the Glamour Boys.
“I am not comfortable working in an environment where there is no trust. CAPS fans should not keep on aligning me to Dynamos. They should look at me as a professional man,” fumed Mangwiro.
CAPS played Kingmaker in the destiny of the league title, with their 2-2 win over Harare City on the last game of the season aiding rivals’ Dynamos’ cause to land a 20th league title.
Prior to the match, diehard CAPS fans had urged the team play badly against City in order to spite Dynamos. But Mangwiro criticised that scool of thought.
“I was very disappointed during our last match when some of our fans rallied behind Harare City.
“Genuine fans will rally behind the team through thick and thin.”
United last won the league title back in 2005 under the stewardship of the Charles Mhlauri.