Still a lot to play for: Pagels

HARARE - Despite being out of the race for the 2014 World Cup, Zimbabwe national football coach Klaus Dieter-Pagels still believes there is a lot to play for when the Warriors host Egypt on Sunday.

The Warriors have suffered two losses and a draw since their Group G quest began last year, which has left the team bottom of the group with only a single point.

Against that background Zimbabwe’s only source of ambition in the remaining matches is maintaining their pride.

“We are more prepared than we were when we faced Egypt the first time around,” Pagels told the Daily News on the side-lines of Monomotapa and CAPS United match on Saturday.

Zimbabwe’s agonisingly lost 2-1 to the seven-time African champions in Alexandria in March in a match that consequently ended their hopes of reaching Brazil next year.

The Warriors will be largely composed of players drawn from the South African Absa Premiership and locally-based stars.

German-based forward Knowledge Musona, Ovidy Karuru from Belgium, and Archieford Gutu from Sweden are the European based players called up in the side.

But the German mentor wished he could have had a chance to stage tournaments across Zimbabwe in search of budding potential to take the country’s football forward.

Pagels said he would have loved to take a leaf from Zambia. The former African champions recently conducted a countrywide talent search ahead of the 2014 CHAN tournament.

“We are building a team for the future,” Pagels said.

“The only problem is that we had no chance to come up with our countrywide tour to identify young talent.

“We have only been restricted to selecting from the PSL (Premier Soccer League). I’m sure we can find more talented players in the rural areas if we were given a chance.

“And that’s the problem we have and when I compare to Zambia. Zambia they did this. And that’s the difference between the other countries and us.

“And what we have now is I’m afraid is the best we can offer at the moment. Before the Botswana match we had the plan to do this but it’s always the same there is no money.

The team is expected to start preparations for the Egypt match today after all players report for camp.

Squad: Washington Arubi, Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Artwell Mukandi, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Denver Mukamba, Ocean Mushure, Archieford Gutu, Silas Songani, Abbas Amidu, Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Roderick Mutuma, Masimba Mambare, Matthew Rusike, Lincoln Zvasiya, Devon Chafa, Felix Chindungwe, Erick Chipeta, Simba Sithole, Tafadzwa Rusike, Partson Jaure, Ronald Chitiyo, Ovidy Karuru, Nicolas Guyo, Cuthbert Malajila. - Sports Writer

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