By Tadious Manyepo
Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa has widened his selection base, with the veteran coach yesterday including a host of unheralded players in his 20-man squad that will feature in the four-nations invitational tournament in Ndola, Zambia, from March 22 to 25.
The tournament features arguably the best four countries in the region, with South Africa, Angola and the hosts taking part.
Chidzambwa will be assisted by Dynamos coach Lloyd Mutasa and said the tournament will provide him with a perfect opportunity to assess some players whom he could consider for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The AFCON journey resumes in September this year.
Chidzambwa has included the uncapped trio of 26-year-old Adam Chicksen, who plays for English League One side Bradford, Cliff Moyo (24) of FC Halifax in the semi-professional league in the same country as well as Wales-based 22-year-old Aleck Mudimu.
“The tournament has come just at a time the technical team has been looking for an opportunity to assess some of the players whom we have not used previously.
“If you look at the players whom we have selected, you will see that we have tried to take those whom we want to have a closer look at.
“We already know who is capable of doing what, especially on the local scene, and we have decided to leave them because we already know them,” he said.
Though he reckons the tournament will be a platform to gauge the calibre of players he could choose for serious future assignments, Chidzambwa retained some of the regulars as he also wants to win the competition.
Save for injured captain Knowledge Musona, Kuda Mahachi and Khama Billiat, Chidzambwa has drafted regulars like goalkeeper George Chigova, Evans Rusike and Costa Nhamoinesu.
The coach has always been concerned with the lack of quality in the central defensive position where he has said Jimmy Dzingai, the Yadah Stars captain, is the only one on the domestic scene who fits the kind of player he wants.
That probably explains the need for him to have another look at Nhamoinesu, who missed the first fixture of the 2019 AFCON qualifying encounter, which the Warriors walloped Liberia 3-0 at home.
Kaizer Chiefs defender Teenage Hadebe, whose profile is growing in leaps and bounds, has also made it.
Entag El Harby striker Abbas Amidu, Silas Songani, Ovidy Karuru as well as Edmore “Zikeeper” Sibanda have all been called.
The squad will go into camp on Monday next week before they make the short trip to Zambia the following day.
Zimbabwe will play Zambia on March 22, while South Africa clash with Angola the same day, with winners of both matches meeting in the final three days later. The Herald
Takabva Mawaya (ZPC Kariba)
Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs)
George Chigova (Polokwane City)
Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Prague)
Praise Tonha (CAPS United)
Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah Stars)
Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs)
Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn)
Adam Chicksen (Bradford City)
Cliff Moyo (Halifax)
Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge)
Talent Chawapiwa (Baroka)
Aleck Mudimu (CEFN Druids)
Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu)
Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates)
Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF)
Evans Rusike (SuperSport United)
Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu)
Silas Songani (Sonderjyske)
Abbas Amidu (Entag El Harby)
Sunday Chidzambwa (Head coach)
Rahman Gumbo (Assistant coach)
Lloyd Mtasa (Assistant coach)
Brenna Msiska (Goalkeepers’ coach)
Wellington Mpandare (Team manager)
Thompson Matenda (Fitness trainer)
Soman Mudariki (Doctor)
Admire Nyamadzawo (Physiotherapist)
Tongai Mufandaedza (Kit manager)