Warriors Gear Up For Afcon
16 March 2021
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The Warriors’ technical team is praying that none of the foreign-based that confirmed availability for Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers duty don’t pick up injuries while playing for their clubs.

Eight players have already been ruled out for the penultimate away Afcon qualifier against Botswana on March 25 as well as the home tie against Zambia four days later.

Kaizer Chiefs forward Khama Billiat has just started light, non-contact training after a lengthy injury layoff and is the latest player to be ruled out for the must-win assignments after his club’s doctors informed the national team that the player will only start contact training on March 22, three days before the match against Botswana.

Other players that have already been ruled out for the crucial encounters are the United Kingdom brigade led by Aston Villa midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and includes Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Brendan Galloway (Luton Town), David Moyo (Hamilton Academical) and striker Admiral Muskwe of Wycombe Wanderers.

The UK contingent was forced to withdraw following stringent Covid-19 travel restrictions, which require one to quarantine for 10 days upon return from red zone countries that include Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare reported yesterday that the South Africa-based pair of Amazulu central midfielder Butholezwe Ncube and Orlando Pirates striker Terrence Dzukamanja are expected to join camp after recovering from their injuries, Mpandare revealed that they were still in talks with Olympique Lyon for the possible release of Tinotenda Kadewere and another France-based midfielder Marshal Munetsi.

Foreign-based players are expected to start trooping into camp on Saturday, with the last batch expected on March 23.

National senior men’s soccer team coach Warriors’ coach has Zdravko Logarusic, who has now received his work permit, included seven locally-based players, goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda, defenders Shadreck Nyahwa and Carlos Mavhurume, midfield trio of Brian Banda, King Nadolo and Tatenda Tavengwa as well as striker Farau Matare.

“Camp for the crucial Afcon qualifiers has started, with locally-based players and the technical team reporting for duty from Saturday.

“For players that have been called to be on standby, we’ve asked them to self-isolate at home because you never know because some players that are scheduled to come might be forced out due to unseen events,” said Mpandare.

The quartet of Highlanders defender Andrew Mbeba, FC Platinum pair of Kelvin Madzongwe and Ralph Kawondera, as well as Ngezi Platinum’s Qadr Amini is on standby.

Belgium-based Warriors skipper Knowledge Musona and Turkey’s Teenage Hadebe are expected to be among the last players to report for camp late, as they will be in action on Saturday, March 20.

Warriors squad
Talbert Shumba (Nkana),
Tatenda Mkuruva (Michigan Stars),
Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders),
Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF)

Kevin Moyo,
Gilroy Chimwemwe,
Jimmy Dzingai (all Nkana),
Alec Mudimu (Ankaraspor),
Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor),
Divine Lunga (Lamontville Golden Arrows),
Tendai Jirira (Detroit City),
Victor Kamhuka (Royal Malaysia Police),
Romario Matova (NK Solin),
Peter Muduwa (Simba SC),
Carlos Mavhurume (Caps United),
Shadreck Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs)

Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims),
Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu),
Ovidy Karuru (Black Leopards),
Tafadzwa Rusike (Zesco United),
Brian Banda (FC Platinum),
King Nadolo (Dynamos),
Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United),
Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United),
Knowledge Musona (KAS Eupen),
Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City),
Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows),
Last Jesi (Al Hilal)

Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC),
Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates),
Tinotenda Kadewere (Olympique Lyonnais),
Farau Matare (Bulawayo Chiefs),
Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows)
Evans Rusike (SuperSport United)