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Date: 25 September 2017

  Zimbabwean - Soccer

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Gumbo's interesting 'new' Warriors

[Posted 12 Feb 2012]
[By Brighton Mupangavanhu]
The  Gangly  and known goal-poacher  Musa Mguni is back with Warriors!

Zimbabwe national senior soccer team stand-in coach Rahman Gumbo has announced an interesting squad of 24 players for the forthcoming 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying tie against Burundi on 29 February. It is a squad that obviously excludes players  implicated in the Asiagate scandal, and sees the return of some Europe-based stars, and there are some interesting omissions as well.

After all the excitement and criticisms which will be sparked by the choices that Gumbo and his assistant David Mandigora have made, Zimbabwean fans will soon realise that Mr.Rush and Yogi have played a very good balancing act under difficult circumstances.

The new-look Warriors see the return to the Warriors' fold of two of Zimbabwe's long  serving exports to European-football, Poland-based  experienced defender Dickson Choto and Musa Mguni who plies his trade in the rich Russian Premier League.

Choto plays for Legia Warsaw, a team that almost participates either in the UEFA Champions League or Europa League  on an annual basis. Legia is currently taking part in the penultimate  stages of the Europa League groups.

Mguni is a veteran of European soccer as well, having spent a number of years competing in UEFA competitions with Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus,before moving to the United  Arab Emirates, then Ukraine where he played for Metalurh Donetsk, from where he waslured by soccer legend Ruud Gullit to his current Russian topflight club Terek Grozny in 2011.

Also named in the 24-strong squad is talented Platinum Stars of South Africa foward Terrence Mandaza. Despite Terror enjoying less of first eleven football at Stars, Gumbo agreed with Beezsports' sentiment that the talent of the striker is crying out for a call-up to the national team.

Other returnees include defender/midfielder Noel  Kaseke of Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus, Quincy Antipas of SønderjyskE in Denmark, Onismor Bhasera of Plymouth Argyle in England's League Two and Archieford Gutu of Kalmar FF of Sweden.

There were shocking inclusions too. The biggest of them all is that of veteran midfielder Esrom Nyandoro. The inclusion of the Mamelodi Sundowns man was least expected given the fact that he has struggled for game time at Sundowns in South Africa, and only recently returned to action,only to find himself sitting on the bench.

Another big surprise in the squad of 24 is the name of former University of Pretoria defender Obert Moyo, who is now back home playing for his boyhood club Hwange FC, a local club due to take part in the CAF Confederations Cup this month.

Thereis no doubting the abilities of both players. Given their age, and recent loss of form,few would have ever thought they could make the cut even of an enlarged squad.

Some pleasant surprises are those of less known names of Zimbabwean players currently based in Botswana. Former  Gunners defender Arnold Chaka and midfielder  Mandla Sibanda who both play for Mochudi Centre Chiefs in the Be-Mobile League are among the 24.

And then there were surprise omissions too.

One biggest omission is that of 25-year old  in-form Amazulu FC rock-solid defender Carrington Nyadombo.

Rumour has it that the defender was excluded because the technical team was under the wrong impression that the player was fingered in the Asiagate. If so,then that is very unfortunate. It is Carrington Gomba whose name is included on the list of implicated players, and NOT NYADOMBO.

Nyadombo was probably the best performing central defender in South Africa's ABSA Premier  Soccer League's first half of the season. His omission from the squad of 24 is very unfortunate for Zimbabwean football.

Lincoln Zvasiya has also been left out in the cold despite the fact that he played brilliantly in the second half in the 2-1 international friendly victory over South Africa's  Bafana Bafana. Of late, Zvasiya has been getting more game time at Kaizer Chiefs, something which should have worked in his favour.

Gumbo and Yogi will be forgiven for perpetuating the error of previous coaches by ignoring fire-brand midfielder Bradley Pritchard of England's League One log leaders Charlton Athletics. In fact, Pritchard plays in a superior league compared  to Bhasera who is in League two.

After all has been said, it is vital to note that it is difficult if not impossible to agree on all players who should be called to the national team.

Under the circumstances they have had to operate under, Gumbo and his technical team should be applauded for the good job of proving that Zimbabwean has talent.

To his credit, Gumbo has demonstrated once again, that he deserves to be where he is today and to be appointed substantive coach of the Warriors in future.

Retained from the regulars during the AFCON 2012 campaign under substantive coach Mapeza  are veterans Tapiwa Kapini, captain Tinashe Nengomasha, Tapiwa Khumbuyani, Knowledge Musona,Vusa Nyoni, and to some extent, Antipas and Gutu.

Eight  of the 'new' players among the squad of 24 called by Gumbo were the same players Beezsports predicted will receive call-ups, while the regulars who have been retained,were, according to the Beezsports.com article of the 6th February, a given.

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