Two of the players, Gerald Phiri and Justin Banda, are from Malawi, while Modalise Mwanza is from Zambia. The three players were identified during Makepekepe’s recent visit to Malawi for a four-team tournament, which they won.
Although they are allowed to use only three foreigners in one game, coach Taurai Mangwiro said he was pushing management to acquire a fourth player, whom he had discovered in Zambia. Mangwiro would not reveal the player’s name, claiming that would jeopardise negotiations.
The Green Machine have not won any silverware in the past nine years. The last time they won the league title was way back in 2005 under Charles Mhlauri. However, Mangwiro hoped his new crop of players would erase the sad memories of the past few years. Last year, after a promising start, United finished fifth, behind champions Dynamos, Highlanders, Harare City and FC Platinum.
As they seek the elusive title, the club has also made a raft of changes to their management, with a general manager brought in for the day-to-day running of the club, while a new board has also been appointed. Club owner Twine Phiri now becomes just a sponsor and overseer.
For the record, Caps gave Zimbabwe its first ever foreign soccer star of the year in the form of Malawian Joseph Kamwendo, who won the top award in 2005. The previous year, another Caps foreign player Ian Bakala of Zambia, had been the first runner-up in the same annual competition.
Although Zimbabwean football does not pay much, it pays better than some of the neighbouring countries, including Zambia and Malawi. Other local clubs – Dynamos, Highlanders, Hwange and Amazulu have also attracted good players from the two countries.Post published in: Football