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Date: 23 April 2019

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Completely new Warriors squad for CHAN finals

[Posted 28 Dec 2010]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
Zimbabwe will be without CHAN qualifiers captain Mwanjali and 10 other  key players at  CHAN finals

Zimbabwe will go to the CHAN final technical team, and an almost completely new playing squad.

Norman Mapeza was the coach during the qualifiers and was assisted by Joey Antipas, and  the championship winning coach with Monomotapa two seasons ago is no longer within the Warriors set-up, having been driven out of the system by the in-fighting within ZIFA.

Most key players who helped Zimbabwe qualify for their consecutive CHAN finals appearance have since left the country for greener pastures, and are now disqualified from taking part in the tournament .CHAN is only open to players who compete in the domestic leagues of their nations.

The playmaker of that all conquering CHAN squad Ashley Rambanepasi is now club-hunting in Cyprus and is unlikely to return home and take his place in the CHAN squad.

Other key midfielders Willard Katsande, Tafadzwa Paul Rusike (both now with Ajax Cape Town), Lionel Mtizwa (Mamelodi Sundowns) and Oscar Machapa (Moroka Swallows) have since moved to the ABSA Premiership in South Africa.

Also out of the CHAN finals are key twin strikers Cuthbert Malajila (now with Africa Sports of Tunisia) and the deadly Nyasha Mushekwi of Sundowns in South Africa. Ramson Zhuwawo and a potential CHAN squad member Carrington Nyadombo, are now with Amazulu in the port city of Durban.

Captain of that CHAN squad Method Mwanjali is team mate to Mtizwa and Mushekwi at Sundowns in Pretoria. So, Madinda's mind is currently hard at work thinking about how to solve the team's leadership gap.

Leadership within the Warriors of home-grown talent is however the least of coach Ndlovu at this juncture. His major worry must be the leadership at ZIFA level,which is failing to successfully arrange sufficient matches to help the new CHAN squad build up winning combinations.

For a squad that has lost almost 11 key squad players and a technical team which guided the team to qualification, not to have played together at all with only a month before the finals, has the smell of tragedy shooting from every corner.

If ZIFA fails to arrange friendly matches with other national associations, the best available option is to ensure that the team gets into camp earlier than usual and ZIFA can arrange for friendly matches with African clubs who are currently preparing for the African safari in 2011.

Teams such as TP Mazembe who always prefer to do their training in Zimbabwe can be approached to offer the Warriors a good preparatory friendly match. Time has come for our soccer leaders to also think out of the box.

It is also about time that coach Madinda begins to finalise his squad for the finals to give the squad an opportunity to begin preparations for the finals in earnest.

Despite having lost about the entire first team team to foreign clubs during the second half of 2010, Zimbabwe has the talent to mount a strong challenge for the title.

Mounting a strong challenge on the CHAN title can only be possible now if Zimbabwe takes preparations more seriously than what is currently taking place.

That the local league season is over should be an advantage, only if the players are exposed to a camp and a lot of preparatory matches during the month of January in 2011.

ZIFA and the PSL also need to help harmonise the preparatory programmes of the CHAN squad on one side, and those of Dynamos and champions Motor Action who are set to represent Zimbabwe in the Champions League,on the other side.

A solution which benefits all parties must be found. Dynamos and Motor Action are likely to provide a good number of players to the CHAN squad and every effort should be made to avoid a very likely clash of training programmes.

From Dynamos, Guthrie Zhokinyu, Benjamin Marere, Washington Arubi, Evans Gwekwerere and George Magariro are likely to be called for duty.

Motor Action are likely to provide their captain Bekhi Ncube, in-form Allan Gahadzikwa, the enterprising Charles Sibanda and Eusebio Mawere.

Another way in which the CHAN Warriors squad could prepare is through friendly matches involving select squad and local clubs. 

A CHAN select squad could play Motor Action and then Dynamos at a later stage. This could assist all parties which will do duty on behalf of the nation in 2011 to have adequate preparations.



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