Warriors charm Mangwiro

HARARE - Harare City coach Taurai Mangwiro has hailed the Zimbabwe Warriors’ level of preparedness and believes they can spring a surprise at the 2016 African Nations Championships (Chan) set for Rwanda.

The fourth edition of the Chan tournament roars to life in Kigali this Saturday with the hosts taking on Cote d’Ivoire at Amahoro Stadium in the opening match.

The Warriors’ preparations were hampered by injuries to some of the key players which ultimately ruled them out of the tournament.

Chicken Inn captain, Danny Phiri, was ruled out of the tournament due to an ankle injury and was joined by team-mate Tafadzwa Kutinyu.

Defender Teenage Hadebe, striker Hillary Bakacheza and goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya were also sent home owing to injuries.

Warriors coach Calisto Pasuwa had initially called 32 players in camp but is now left with only 27 and is now expected to announce his final 23-man squad this afternoon before the team leaves for Rwanda on Saturday.

And following a practice match between the Warriors and premiership side Harare City at the National Sports Stadium’s B Arena yesterday, Mangwiro was impressed with what he saw of the national team.

“When the Warriors requested that we play a friendly match against them, we felt we were not ready but then on a bigger scale felt it would help the nation since it’s different from playing amongst themselves,” Mangwiro told Daily News.

“If they play against a different opposition they will get a clear picture of what they want and I thought after today’s practice session, they will be in a good position to make important decisions.

“It is not about the result, it’s about assessing different players you have and then take it from there going forward.

“I was very much impressed with the Warriors, especially in the first 70 minutes.

“The team that they fielded showed a lot in terms of organisation and cohesion so we can only hope for the best. I hope they will go there and represent us well. I think they will surprise their opponents.”

The Warriors will face Zambia on January 19, before facing Mali, and Uganda on the 23rd, and 27th respectively.


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