Pasuwa picks Chan squad

HARARE - Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa yesterday named a 32-man strong provisional squad for the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament which will be held in Rwanda next month.

The squad will, however, be trimmed to the final 23 before the biennial continental soccer showcase bursts into life on January 16, 2016.

The Warriors, who were seeded due to their previous good performances at the competition, are in Group D where they will face Zambia, Mali and Uganda. All Group D matches will be played at the Rubavu Stadium in Gisenyi.

Pasuwa emphasised the importance of adequate preparations if they are to do well at the tournament exclusively designed for local players.

“We need to prepare adequately as this group is tough.  All these teams Zambia, Uganda and Mali have a large number of locals representing their senior team in their Afcon qualifiers,” Pasuwa told Zifa official website.

“They are well organised and have solid structures. It’s our wish as Zimbabwe have a good run in the tournament and to progress to the final.”

The former Dynamos coach added: “I have fears over possible injuries, considering that the players are coming out of a high intensity season.

“Therefore, some players are reported to have injuries and we need to manage their fitness carefully as they are entering pre-season.”

Pasuwa has kept faith in the majority of his players who have been doing duty in the qualifiers.

Dynamos’ Elisha Muroiwa, CAPS United midfielder Joel Ngodzo, goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya of Hwange, Flame Lily’s pair of Farai Madhananga and Moses Demera are the notable new inclusions in the squad.

Newly-crowned Castle Premiership champions Chicken Inn have once again provided the bulk of  the players with six of their players in the provisional squad.

The Warriors, who have qualified for all the previous three Chan competitions, finished in fourth place at the last edition held in South Africa.

Zimbabwe lost on penalties to eventual winners Libya after reaching the semi-finals.

The Warriors, who were then under the guidance of Ian Gorowa, went on to lose the bronze medal play-off match to Nigeria.

The first edition was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast with DR Congo emerging as champions.

The second edition held in 2011 in Sudan had Tunisia as winners whilst Libya won the third edition in South Africa last year.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Elvis Chipezeze (Chicken Inn), Tatenda Mukuruva (Dynamos), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange), Donovan Bernard (How Mine)

Defenders: Stephen Makatuka, Hardlife Zvirekwi (both CAPS United), Blessing Moyo, Elisha Muroiwa, Ocean Mushure (Dynamos), Bruce Kangwa, Teenage Hadebe (Highlanders), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Farai Madhananga (Flame Lily)

Midfielders: Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Tafadzwa Kutinyu, George Majika, Danny Phiri (Chicken Inn), Ronald Chitiyo (Dynamos), Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba), Marshall Mudewe, Gerald Takwara (FC Platinum), William Manondo (Harare City), Joel Ngodzo (CAPS United), Tichaona Chipunza, Hillary Bakacheza (Triangle)

Strikers: Pritchard Mpelele (Hwange), Roderick Mutuma (Dynamos), Edmore Chirambadare (Chicken Inn), Brian Muzondiwa (FC Platinum), Francesco Zekumbawira (Harare City), Knox Mutizwa (Highlanders), Moses Demera (Flame Lily)

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