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Date: 24 April 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Saintfeit's arrival inspires hope to Zim's Europe contigent

[Posted 28 Sep 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Karuru and other Zim players in Europ and South Africa will be hoping for a recall from Saintfeit

With the Warriors' coach madness now almost over, the focus will shift to the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, starting with the home match against on-fire Cape Verde. The change in the technical set-up of the Warriors will inspire hope for recalls or fresh calls of Zimbabwe's players based in Europe.

Mapeza took bold steps in naming his squad for the Liberia match while he was care-taker coach. He omitted from his squad big name players from Europe and South Africa.

There were uproars in the media about Mapeza's dcision not to call Benjani who was about to conclude a deal with Blackburn Rovers at the time. Mapeza's reason was that Benjani needed to get time to fins employment before he is called up for duty. Warriors fans will be hoping that Zimbabwe's player with the biggest profile in Europe will receive a call under new broom Tom Saintfeit.

Benjani played his first official match for Blackburn in their 2-1 victory over Blackpool over the weekend. The Warriors captain was introduced in the second half by Sam Allardyce.

From Belgium, Vusa Nyoni, who recently moved to Germinal Beerschot from Cercle Brugge, is the only Zimbabwean who deserves a call up to the national team at this stage. He has been playing full matches for his new club recently.

On Sunday Nyoni played the full match in Beerschot's 2-1 victory over Club Brugge. Nyoni has been playing mostly as an attacking midfielder for the Antwerp-based team. During his early matches, he once played on the left back position. The former Cercle player is a versatile midfielder who will prove useful to Saintfeit and the Warriors.

Other Belgium-based Zimbabweans like Cephas Chimedza of St Truiden who had a fantastic last season, and Honour Gombami are currently sidelined by injuries and have not featured for their teams even on the bench since the beginning of the new season.

In France, midfielder Ovidy Karuru has enjoyed much more game time than he did in his first season. He had become a regular for US Bolougne and even scored in the 65th minute on 27 August in Boulogne's 2-0 victory over Istres.

On the 22nd September, Karuru was substituted in the 27th minute due to injury when his team beat Toulouse 2-1, and he never  participated in his team's away 0-0 draw against Evian Thonon Gaillard. Bolougne has become draw specialists of late, and if they do not up the tempo in Ligue 2, they might not realise their hope of a quick return to Ligue 1, topflight tier in France.

When fully fit, Karuru will provide Warriors with options on the left or central sides of midfield. He was not called up by Mapeza for the Liberia game in Monrovia. The young-man will be hoping that he recovers on time and earn a call up to the national team. Time is running out for the former Under 20 captain.

Takesure Chinyama will be hoping for better luck in this current AFCON campaign. In the 2010 qualifiers, Chinyama was called up by former coach Valinhos, but was a substitute that was never used, at a time when he was breathing fire in the Polish Ekstraklasa.

Last season Chinyama had the misfortune of sitting much of the season due to injury. He has since recovered and appears to be winning the new coach of Legia Warsazawa's favour. Of late he has been featuring on the starting line-up, but has not yet rediscovered the form that made him top-goal-scorer two seasons ago in Poland.

Chinyama's team mate towering and injury-prone defender Dickson Choto remains an important member of Legia. He too will be hoping for a call up to the nationalteam under Saintfeit.

From South Africa, Terrence Mandaza demonstrated why he was best player through and through in Botswana topflight league last aseason. He scored on his debut against Amazulu in Rustenburg in their last league match.

Many commentators including his former coach at Township Rollers, multiple championship winning coach Rahman Gumbo believes that Mandaza deserves a chance to stake his claim on the Warriors' gunman position. He has to compete with Benjani, Nyasha Mushekwi and Knowledge Musona. Mandaza will be a valuable asset to the Warriors if given a chance. 

Veteran Mamelodi Sundowns captain Esrom Nyandoro is playing very well for his club. He and Tinahse Nengomasha of Kaizer Chiefs will be hoping that Saintfeit will recall them to the Warriors squad.

Saintfeit is however not likely to make wholesale changes to the squad which earned a valuable 1-1 draw against Liberia. If anything, he might introduce key players in certain positions he will feel need strengthening.



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