Covid-19 Sidelines All Local Based Players From National Team Selection
2 October 2020
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WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic

WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic has not included any home-based players in his squad for the international friendly at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on October 11.

Although ZIFA have already sent invitation letters to the players, who include skipper Knowledge Musona, talisman Khama Billiat, midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and forward Tino Kadewere, the identity of the entire squad will only be unveiled when the coach returns to Harare.

He is expected in this country at the weekend after spending part of lockdown with his family in Croatia.

Defender Teenage Hadebe, midfielder Marshal Munetsi and forward David Moyo are some of the players who have been considered for the international friendly.

The others are the regulars who ply their trade in South Africa.

“The office (Zifa) has already sent out invitations for the players we have selected to come for the friendly match against Malawi,’’ said Logarusic.

“But what I can tell you is we have selected predominantly Europe-based players.

“There are no local players we have selected for this particular match. I haven’t had the chance to watch them in action.

“Remember, the league has not yet started in Zimbabwe, due to Covid-19, and players in the country haven’t been active.

“It is no joke for players to go for more than nine months without playing competitive football. Remember, before the season’s scheduled kick-off date in March, the local players had last played competitive football in December last year.

“That is a long period. Of course, some from other clubs (like FC Platinum and Highlanders) played some competitive football early this year but the games are too few to be of significance to their general fitness levels.

“So, we haven’t selected any from the local league.”

Logarusuric said there are many Zimbabwean players doing well in Europe and he has sought to hand first national team caps to some few individuals.

The charismatic gaffer has been charmed by such players like Bournemouth starlet Jordan Zemura.

Moyo, who plays for Scottish side, Hamilton Academical, has also been considered.

Logarusic said he hasn’t included many players from the South African league as he reckons they are not match-fit.

“I can tell you that we have also picked very few players from the South African league. Those players last played competitively about three weeks ago,’’ he said.