Pasuwa in catch-22

HARARE - Zifa insist coach Calisto Pasuwa will have to come up with two competitive teams for the senior national team and the Under-23 squad in September.

The Warriors take on Guinea at the National Sports Stadium in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Group L qualifier during the weekend of September 3-5.

That same weekend, the Young Warriors will also be kick-starting their African Games campaign in Congo-Brazzaville.

Zimbabwe were last week drawn in Group A for the African Games where they will take on the hosts Congo, Sudan and Burkina Faso.

Pasuwa and his entire technical team are responsible for both teams; the senior side and the Under-23 side.

The bulk of the players representing the Warriors in recent matches are also the core of the Young Warriors team.

Last month, when Zimbabwe beat Malawi 2-1 in their first match in Group L, goalkeeper Tatenda Mukuruva, fullbacks Blessing Moyo and Ronald Pfumbidzai, midfielder Kuda Mahachi and striker Marvellous Nakamba all played in Blantyre.

Goalkeeper Donovan Bernard, midfielders Gerald Takwara, Wisdom Mutasa and defender Teenage Hadebe also travelled with the senior team to Blantyre.

The quartet are also in the Young Warriors squad.

With the African Games commencing on September 3, it means the Young Warriors will have to travel to Congo-Brazzaville at least a week earlier in order to acclimatise to the central African weather.

The players also need to get there early to be vetted and accredited since this is an age-grade tournament meant sorely for players below the age of 23.

This means all players selected to  do duty for the tournament will definitely not be able to feature in the Warriors home fixture against the Syli Nationale.

Zimbabwe need a good result against Guinea in order to consolidate their fine start in Group L following the win over Malawi.

The Warriors last qualified for the Afcon finals in 2006 which makes this perfect start in Group L a good opportunity to end the drought.

Zifa board member for development, John Phiri said Pasuwa will have to find a way to work around the fixture clash.

“Pasuwa and his technical department will have to decide on the programme they want to work with to handle both assignments,” said the former Zimbabwe international defender.

“Look this is exactly what happened when there was a fixture clash during the Cosafa tournament in South Africa.”

During the Cosafa Senior Challenge Cup in Rustenburg in May, Zimbabwe was also set to host Swaziland in an African Under-23 Championship qualifier. Assistant coaches Saul Chaminuka and Nation Dube ended up travelling to South Africa with the Warriors while Pasuwa remained behind with the Young Warriors.

Despite winning their first two matches, Zimbabwe failed to progress from the group stages after a humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of Namibia in the last group match.

On the other hand, the Young Warriors drew 0-0 with Swaziland at home before progressing to the final qualifying round after securing a 2-2 away draw in Mbabane.

Phiri said: “The players are there and Pasuwa has enough human resources to assemble two competitive teams for both tournaments. All along we have been working to prepare players to step up.

“Just look at the players who featured recently in the Chan qualifier against Comoros, they some of the players we will use for the Guinea game.”

Comments (2)

we wish u all the best guyz , go warriors go!!!!!!!!

dhagu - 16 July 2015

Zifa may need to engage an equally good coach to be in charge full time with the under 23 team. Where in the world have u seen the same person coaching both under 23s and Senior teams.It does not work. Rectify this while there is time.Pasuwa must concerntrate on one.At chan he had to leave Sol chaminuka with e senior team and he failed dismally. Bottomline at some point the fixtures will clash then what.................

Concerned - 17 July 2015

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