Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
CAPS United have registered midfielder Blessing Sarupinda to be part of the 2020 Castle Lager Premiership squad.
The player recently returned from Portugal, where he had gone for trials, and the Green Machine had to make a tough decision to drop another player they had earmaked to fill his place.
The 20-year-old travelled to Europe last month for a three-week trial period with Portuguese Third Division club Sporting Clube Olhanense.
The deal was organised by the club’s technical director, Italian Roberto Landi.
But, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the player only managed to train once before he was ordered to return home until the football lockdown is over.
CAPS United coach, Darlington Dodo, decided to include the player in his squad when they registered their 30-man team.
The Herald understands that about five good players were finally left out.
However, yesterday, CAPS United’s vice-president, Nhamo Tutisani, said the club were not going to dump anyone but will give game time to some of the young players elsewhere.
“Our coaches were forced to sacrifice one young player. He is a good player and we are not going to lose him,’’ he said.
“Once we have signed a player, he is now our player and all the young players that did not make it into the final squad will be retained.
“So far, we have absorbed all the players we identified during pre-season.
“We will wean off some of the Under-20 players to Shutto’s team (Stewart Murisa, the CAPS juniors’ coach).
“We have strategic relationships with clubs such as Black Mambas and Aces Academy and we will utilise those.
“As a club, given the resources, we would want consistency and we are looking at the export market so, our investment, is in the young players.
“For us to be commercial viable we have to invest in young talent.”
Tutisani said it was crucial that, as a club, they have their philosophy which they should maintain.
“My challenge to the management is they should come up with a philosophy. You should not just buy players for the sake of it but should be guided by the club’s philosophy,’’ he said.
“So, it is important that these players, as they grow within the club’s structures, they adopt the philosophy, which in turn helps us when we sell them.
“If we produce many players, it would be good for us in terms of marketing them outside the country, since we will know the requirements of the clubs we would be targeting in Europe.
“We can even send our juniors coaches there for attachments which, in the long run, would be beneficial to us.
“At the same time, our youngsters should get the necessary exposure to fit into a team as Black Mambas and play as our curtain-raisers while we monitor them.”
Tutisani said their vision was to look at sport as an industry, starting with baby steps which entail them to en-roll players at NAPH and NASH stages, paying school fees for them before they graduate into their age-groups teams and, eventually, into the first team.
The club have departed from the culture of signing big-name players each and every season who end up causing anarchy at the team with the mercenary tendencies.
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