By Sikhumbuzo Moyo
Slovakia Super Liga club, AS Trencín, has refuted reports that Enrique Ndlovu, who was called up to the Zimbabwe Under-23 squad, is in their books, raising suspicions that influential player intermediaries working in cahoots with some members of the Young Warriors’ set up are influencing player selection.
Ndlovu was part of 27-member squad that was called into camp last week by Young Warriors’ coach, Tonderayi Ndiraya, to prepare for an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique but has now been dropped.
The first leg of the tie is in Maputo tomorrow.
According to the squad, Ndlovu is listed as an AS Trencín player, but the Super Liga club told Chronicle Sport yesterday that the player only attended trials, which he failed.
“No, he is not and never was registered with our team,” said Andrej Zacik, the AS Trencín team manager for international and legal issues.
When asked who linked him with Ndlovu, Ndiraya said the player was recommended to him by a member of the senior national team’s technical set up.
“He (name supplied) asked me to include the player. I did not know him,” said Ndiraya, who also revealed that Ndlovu actually paid for his own fares to join camp.
Efforts to get a comment from the Warriors’ technical team member were in vain as he did not respond to questions sent to him.
Ndlovu becomes the second player called for national duty in recent months to be disowned by “their” European clubs after Tinotenda Chibharo, who had been called up by coach Sunday Chidzambwa for the Afcon qualifier against Congo in September 2018.
Some media had reported that Chibharo previously captained English Premier League giants Manchester City’s Under-21 side, but those claims were also dismissed by the Citizens when Chronicle Sport made inquiries.
Meanwhile, the Young Warriors flew out of the country yesterday for their encounter against the Mambas hoping for a positive result.
Ndiraya trimmed his squad to 18, with six foreign-based players.
Final Young Warriors squad
Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa (Velez CF, Spain), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Defenders: Peace Makaha (Manica Diamonds), Reward Mwakona (Ards FC, Northern Ireland), Shadreck Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs), Clive Mandivei (Yadah Stars), Mbongeni Ndlovu (Highlanders)
Midfielders: Seth Patrick (Vfb Lubeck, Germany), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), Matifadza Zata (Dundee United, Scotland), Anelka Chivandire (Triangle United), Nicholas Guyo (Ubuntu, South Africa), Kudzai Dhemere (Dynamos), Marlvin Kwinjo (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Strikers: Junior Zindoga (Maritzburg United, South Africa), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Delic Murimba (Triangle United) The Chronicle