Mhofu challenges locally-based Warriors

HARARE - Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa has urged the locally-based players in his squad for today’s match against Botswana to prove that they deserve a chance to play in the important matches.

Zimbabwe take on neighbours Botswana at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon as part of the country’s 38th Independence Day celebrations.

However, Chidzambwa is using today’s match as part of the Warriors’ preparations for the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers later this year.

Only locally-based players have been called up for today’s match and Chidzambwa message to the squad was very simple.

“It’s up to these guys to show us that they have the potential so that we can cinsider them for the upcoming assignments in the Cosafa tournament and the Afcon qualifiers,” Chidzambwa said.

“As you know in any county, you have locally-based players that are good enough to play for the national team in international matches.

“It’s up to these guys to show us that they can be able to do it.”

The former ZPC Kariba coach said although it was only a friendly match, they are taking today’s encounter seriously considering the forthcoming assignments.

“As you well know we are preparing to defend our Cosafa title as well as the Afcon qualifiers in September against two very good Congo sides,” he said.

“We need a very strong side for both assignments. If we are to qualify for the 2019 Afcon, we must be prepared to face two good Congo sides.”

Commenting on today’s opponents, Chidzambwa has some admiration for the Zebras.

“Of late I haven’t seen Botswana play but the last time I saw them was when they qualified for the Afcon finals,” he said.

“They are not a bad side at all and I think they are going to give us a good practice match.”

The Warriors began their preparations for today’s match at the Zifa Village yesterday with most of the players called up for camp reporting for duty.

Yadah FC defender Byron Madzokere sat out the afternoon training session as he is still struggling with a knock he picked up during last Sunday’s  League match against Dynamos.

Highlanders duo of McClive Phiri and Honest Moyo all pulled out of the squad due to injuries suffered in their match against Chicken Inn.

The Gamecocks pair of Innocent Mucheneka and Devine Lunga also pulled out of the squad.

Bulawayo City’s forward Ishamel Wadi will also miss today’s game after a communication break down between Zifa and his club saw the player fail to travel to Harare.

Warriors’ squad: 

Goalkeepers:  Takabva Mawaya (ZPC Kariba), Bernard Donovan (Ngezi Platinum Stars)

Defenders: Peter Muduhwa, Steven Makatuka (CAPS United), Kevin Moyo (FC Platinum), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars)

Midfielders: Farai Madhanaga, Winston Mhango (FC Platinum), Liberty Chakoroma, Michael Charamba (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Ian Nyoni (Chapungu), Ocean Mushure, Raphael Manuvire (Dynamos), Leeroy Mavhunga (Yadah Stars)

Strikers: Clive Augusto, Terence Dzukamanja (Ngezi Platinum). 

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