HARARE – Normalcy finally returned to the CAPS United camp with players training yesterday ahead of Sunday’s Castle Lager Premiership match against Mutare City Rovers at Sakubva Stadium.
The Makepekepe camp was rocked by a two-day industrial action which finally ended yesterday after the intervention of club president Farai Jere and his board, who launched a furious tirade at the players at their training ground yesterday.
After the meeting with Jere, the players were paid their outstanding dues which included their winning bonus for the match against Chicken Inn.
With the industrial action wasting two days of preparations, it had threatened to derail the Green Machine’s trip to Sakubva Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking at the club’s weekly press conference yesterday afternoon, United board chairman Lewis Uriri said they are now focussed on their trip to Mutare and to continue with their title charge after a good start to the 2016 season.
United currently sit in second place on the log after eight matches and trail leaders FC Platinum by only two points.
“The so-called sit-in industrial action is over and as we speak players are training. We are going to fulfil our weekend fixture in Mutare. We are not going there to Mutare as just a matter of form or to fulfil a fixture. We are going there serious to get maximum points.
“We have the position clear that we are here with those who want to work with us. In fact, going forward we will have a squad of not more than 25 players. A few of the players responsible for the sit-in are on their way out.”
The Green Machine coach Lloyd Chitembwe played down the team’s strike saying they are fully focused on the task at hand.
“From a coaching point of view, I am sure we started preparing for these games way back in January and we have had a good pre-season so missing training sessions for only two days will not affect the team’s performance,” Chitembwe said.
“The condition of the team remains good. Technically and tactically, we are okay. We haven’t lost anything, maybe we only need to work with the mental aspect and I don’t think that will be a problem. These players are very experienced to handle such situations.
“Remember they are professionals and they have a duty to take care of. I can say we are ready for the match. To me it’s a non-event just that it’s being dramatised so that it becomes an issue.
“I remember in 2004 we had serious issues than this but we went on to win the championship. Personally, I don’t think it’s something that can derail our ambition. It will not affect us in anyway.”
Tomorrow: ZPC Kariba v Tsholotsho (Nyamhunga Stadium), Chicken Inn v FC Platinum (Postponed), Bulawayo City v Harare City (Barbourfields Stadium)
Sunday: Dynamos v Ngezi Platinum (Rufaro Stadium), How Mine v Highlanders (Barbourfields Stadium), Border Strikers v Chapungu (Dulibadzimu Stadium), Triangle United v Hwange (Gibbo Stadium), Mutare City Rovers v Caps United (Sakubva Stadium)