Harrison braces for challenge

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison

Eddie Chikamhi Harare Bureau
CAPS United new coach Mark Harrison says he knows all about the Harare Derby and is looking forward to the big clashes against Dynamos, starting with the pre-season Sino-Zim Cement Cup at Rufaro this Sunday.The nomadic coach assumed official duties this week after missing a month of the club’s pre-season preparations.

The Green Machine also unveiled former Highlanders coach, Mark Mathe, as one of their assistant coaches yesterday.

Mathe was introduced to the CAPS United officials and is expected to be unveiled to the players in due course.

He was interviewed by Harrison on Monday.

Harrison said he was aware of the huge derby expectations but wants to use Sunday’s match mainly to appraise his players.

The Sino-Zim Cement Cup was arranged by the Chinese Federation of Zimbabwe to commemorate 35 years of bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China.

Winners will pocket US$15,000 while US$10,000 has been set aside for the losing team.  The English coach said he was looking forward to more difficult assignments between the two giants in the explosive Harare derby when the season proper gets underway. “I’m very aware of it (the Harare Derby). I know it’s a massive game, I know it’s massive for the supporters, massive for the two clubs and it’s massive for the players,” said Harrison. “But, no doubt, no game across the world is any different.

“I’ve played in derby games myself, I know what it’s about. But at the end of the day we’ve had no proper preparations for this game on Sunday.

“So, I’m not going into it being too expectant. Obviously, we would want to pull out a good show for the supporters, but it’s going to be a tough game.”

Makepekepe started their pre-season late under assistant coaches Brenna Msiska and Fungai “Tostao” Kwashi.

Their new coach is still to familiarise himself with his players as CAPS United are almost starting on a new slate after losing several key players during the off-season break.

The side was still to decide its squad for 2015 by last Friday’s preliminary registration deadline as Harrison had insisted he wanted to have a closer look at the players at his disposal.

While their opponents Dynamos have engaged in a series of practice matches, the Green Machine concede that they are still behind and have only played twice with Ngezi Platinum and Dongo Sawmill.

Harrison believes the clash with DeMbare will give him an idea of what to expect in his first season at CAPS United.

“I think going into that game on Sunday, it will give me an idea of our targets. Dynamos are one of the strongest clubs in the country, obviously. So when we play them it will give us an idea of what we have and what we need to do and what we’ve got to push for. So it’s a good game to have and I’m looking forward to it.

“I think at the end of the day, whatever the outcome, it’ll give us an idea of where we stand at this moment and what work we got to do to get to where we need to go.

“I keep saying this, and I’m sure you guys will be sick of hearing it, it’s a process. It’s not going to happen overnight. We will gradually grow and get stronger and stronger.

“But everybody has got to be patient around us, we’ve just lost 11 first team players. Nobody’s hiding away from the fact. So now we got to build again. It will take a little bit of time but we’ll get there.”

Harrison said he was aware that the team needs to win silverware.

“Obviously, we would want to end up with something at the end of the season but there are no goals set, there’s no target set at the moment.  “What we’re doing here is a long term project and everybody at the club is under no illusion that it’s a long term project. We’re all of the same mindset.

“Nobody has said we must go and win this game on Sunday, nobody said we’ve got to win the cup.  There’s no goal like that, what we’re aiming at right now is to create a strong football club, a strong infrastructure and make sure that we’ve the biggest football club in Zimbabwe at the end.”

 

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