Foreign-based players dominate Warriors squad

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Sunday Chidzambwa

Sunday Chidzambwa

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
WARRIORS’ coach Sunday “Mhofu” Chidzambwa yesterday named a 20-member senior squad made up of largely foreign based players for the forthcoming four nations invitational tournament in Zambia.

Only four locally based players, ZPC Kariba goalkeeper Takabva Mawaya, defenders Praise Tonha (Caps United), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah) and Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn) made the squad.

The tournament, set to feature South Africa, Angola and Zambia, will take place at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium from March 22-25.

Chidzambwa, who will be assisted by Rahman Gumbo and Lloyd Mutasa, called up the uncapped United Kingdom-based trio of Cliff Moyo, Alec Mudimu and Adam Chicksen.

Former AmaZulu hardman Costa Nhamoinesu, who plies his trade in the Czech Republic for Sparta Praha, and in-form Belgian-based former Bantu Rovers midfield marvel Marvelous Nakamba, who plays for Cercle Brugge, are the most capped players in the team, which is missing captain Knowledge Musona, Kuda Mahachi and Khama Billiat, who are all injured. Also missing from the squad is the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup Player of the Tournament Knox Mutizwa.

According to the tournament’s draw, Angola will get the ball rolling against South Africa, whose coach Stuart Baxter also named a hugely experienced squad yesterday, before the Warriors take to the field against Angola at the same venue on the same day.

The two losing semi-finalists will clash in the third place play-off on March 25 just before the final.

The Warriors are expected in camp on Monday next week.

The tournament provides all the teams with an opportunity to assess their players ahead of the resumption of the Total Afcon qualifiers in September this year and comes just two months before this year’s edition of the Cosafa Castle Cup, whose holders are Zimbabwe.

The Warriors beat Zambia 3-1 in last year’s final played at the Royal Bafokeng Palace in South Africa.

Chipolopolo go into the tournament as the highest ranked side, according to the latest Fifa rankings, at position 76 in the world, while Bafana Bafana are 75th, with the Warriors occupying position 105. Angola go into the tournament ranked 141st.

Warriors squad

Goalkeepers: Takabva Mawaya (ZPC Kariba), Edmore Sibanda (Witbank Spurs), George Chigova (Polokwane City)

Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Prague), Praise Tonha (Caps United), Jimmy Dzingai (Yadah Stars), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Devine Lunga (Chicken Inn), Adam Chicksen (Bradford City), Cliff Moyo (Halifax)

Midfielders: Marvelous Nakamba (Club Brugge),Talent Chawapiwa (Baroka), Aleck Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Butholezwe Ncube (AmaZulu), Marshall Munetsi (Orlando Pirates), Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF)

Strikers: Evans Rusike (SuperSport United), Ovidy Karuru (AmaZulu), Silas Songani (Sonderjyske), Abbas Amidu (Entag El Harby)

Technical team: Sunday Chidzambwa (Head Coach), Rahman Gumbo (Assistant Coach)
Lloyd Mutasa (Assistant Coach): Brenna Msiska (Goalkeepers’ Coach): Wellington Mpandare (Team Manager): Thompson Matenda (Fitness Trainer): Dr Soman Mudariki (Doctor) Admire Nyamadzawo (Physiotherapist): Tongai Mufandaedza (Kit Manager)

South Africa squad
Goalkeepers: Itumelang Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Darrem Keet (Bidvest Wits), Brandon Petersen (Ajax Cape Town)
Defenders: Reeve Frosler (Bidvest Wits), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo ( Bidvets Wits), Motjeka Madisha (Mamelodi Sundowns),Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs), Buhle Mthwakazi ( Bidvets Wits), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Sfiso Hlanti (Bidvets Wits)
Midfielders: Dean Furman (Supersport), Siphesihle Ndlovu (Maritzburg United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford), Teboho Mokoena (SuperSport), Bongani Zungu (Amiens), Aubrey Modiba (SuperSport), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Keagan Dolly ( Montpellier), Phakamani Mahlambi (Al Ahly), Themba Zwane( Mamelodi Sundowns)
Strikers: Percy Tau (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Lille), Ryan Moon( Kaizer Chiefs). — @skhumoyo2000