Nhamoinesu joins Warriors

HARARE - Costa Nhamoinesu became the first Warriors foreign-based player to join camp ahead of the weekend’s 2017 Afcon qualifier against Guinea on Sunday.

Players based in South Africa were due to arrive late last night aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight, while Knowledge Musona and Matthew Rusike are now expected to join the rest of the squad this afternoon.

The arrival of foreign-based players, who make the core of the team that is set to face the Syli Nationale on Sunday at Rufaro Stadium, was delayed after Zifa failed to provide the air tickets on time.

Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa was yesterday still in the dark about the availability of foreign-based players, a situation he feels makes his job difficult. However, Zifa communications manager Xolisani Gwesela assured the country that all players will be in camp today.

Pasuwa was yesterday forced to work with the Young Warriors who were due to leave for Congo Brazzaville last night for the Africa Games as only six senior players had reported for camp.

Chicken Inn trio of goalkeeper Elvin Chipezeze, striker Edmore Chirambadare and midfielder Danny Phiri, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Justice Jangano of CAPS United were some of the players to have reported for camp. There were joined by Dynamos midfielder Ronald Chitiyo.

It is however, the arrival of Nhamoinesu which should be a huge boost for Pasuwa. Nhamoinesu is making a return to the Warriors fold following a long absence. The Sparta Prague defender bought his own air ticket to arrive in time for the important tie.

“I would have wanted the players to be in camp by Monday but it’s a situation beyond my control also. I am still waiting for them. We will hear more from the administration side of it,” Pasuwa said.

“It’s very difficult for us as the technical team. Remember some of these boys have never played together and we needed more time to work on combinations and other tactical aspects with these players. I don’t know now with three days left if we can put everything in place.”

Zimbabwe are joint leaders of Group L with Swaziland on three points and need a comprehensive victory against the West Africans to maintain pole position in the group.

Meanwhile, the Young Warriors were hit by a player crisis after local teams withdrew their players from the team at the last minute.

Pasuwa was forced to look for replacements from some Division One teams to meet the required number in Congo Brazzaville.

The players withdrawn were Kelvin Moyo, Gerald Takwara and Marshal Mudewe all from FC Platinum, Tatenda Mukuruva and Carlos Rusere from Dynamos.

“We had to fine-tune some of the boys who are going to Congo. Yesterday, (Monday) they couldn’t travel; we had problems with clubs who withdrew their players,” Pasuwa said.

“We also have some of the boys who are carrying knocks as well. Blessing Moyo will have to pass a late fitness test. Tafadzwa Kutinyu from Chicken Inn is also injured. We had sent a list which had 20 players but we had to change it.”


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