Jaure new Warriors skipper
By Augustine Hwata
WARRIORS coach Ian Gorowa has changed the captaincy of the national team ahead of Zimbabwe’s third African Nations Championship appearance and has tasked Dynamos defender Partson Jaure with leading the team at the 2014 tournament in South Africa.
Highlanders midfielder Masimba Mambare had been the captain of the home-based Warriors since the era of German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels while Bidvest Wits’ Denver Mukamba led the World Cup squad before Pagels later gave the armband to goalkeeper Washington Arubi.
Gorowa has, however, made his own choice of captain ahead of the announcement of the final 23-man squad for the CHAN tournament, installing Jaure as the team leader while relegating Mambare to one of two squad vice-captains together with Chicken Inn defensive rock Felix Chindungwe.
Jaure was officially introduced as the Warriors skipper during a luncheon hosted for the senior team by Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa yesterday.
Langa, who was in the company of his deputy Tabitha Kanengoni-Malinga, Sport and Recreation officials and Zifa board members also took time to interact with the Warriors at their camp at a lodge in Harare to offer them morale support ahead of their trip to Cape Town on January 6.
The Minister and his deputy have taken a proactive approach to some of the issues concerning the senior national football team and have pledged the Government’s total commitment.
But it is Jaure who now joins an elite class of players who have been privileged to wear the Warriors captain’s armband at an international tournament.
After being introduced as the captain, Jaure was then invited by Langa to join the minister and coach Gorowa at the top table.
Despite having been slapped with severe sanctions by the Premier Soccer League, Jaure’s leadership qualities on the field, where he is a commanding figure in the Dynamos defence appear to have charmed his national coach Gorowa and his assistants Callisto Pasuwa, Mkhuphali Masuku, Richard Tswatswa and Gift Muzadzi.
Jaure’s first game as Warriors skipper will be the Group B opener against Morocco at Athlone stadium on January 12.
The Warriors will then face Uganda at the same venue four days later before completing their group assignments against Burkina Faso on January 20.
Langa, who is expected to travel to Cape Town for the CHAN tournament also said his meeting with the Warriors was meant to show the players that the Government was committed to supporting them and the minister felt that it was imperative that they get to know more about the squad while still at home.
“The purpose of this luncheon is to meet the team which is going to represent our country Zimbabwe. We felt as Ministers of Sport (Langa and Malinga), that before we leave together for South Africa, on the 6th of January, we need to meet and know you instead of meeting outside as Zimbabweans in South Africa,” said Langa.
The Warriors had been hoping to play Libya in a warm-up match at the National Sports Stadium on Saturday but the game was yesterday called off.
Zifa communications officer Xolisani Gwesela said Libya, who had been expected to arrive on Thursday had indicated that they would no longer be coming to Harare.
“We have received communication from the Libyan Football Federation that they will not be able to secure connecting flights to Harare on time.
“In that case, the proposed match against Libya has been cancelled and the Warriors are still expected to leave on January 6.
“But while in South Africa, we hope to play Gabon on January 7 and have asked SAFA to try and secure a venue for us in Johannesburg,” said Gwesela.
Gabon will also be participating at the CHAN finals where they will meet Nigeria, Libya and Ethiopia. The Herald