Mhofu begins preps for busy Afcon season

WITH just over a month before the Afcon qualifiers resume, the Warriors technical team got down to serious business yesterday when they met to finalise the squad to face Congo in Brazzaville.

The match is set for September 7.

Coach Sunday Chidzambwa and his lieutenants met yesterday to discuss the players to pick for their second Afcon Group G match.

The squad will only be released after Zifa have dispatched invitation letters and get confirmation of the availability of players.

Chidzambwa said he had an idea on some of the players he is likely to use in Congo.

“We have our work cut out following the Cosafa tournament where we were able to assess some of the players and I am sure the bulk of that squad is likely to feature in our provisional squad.

“We will continue from where we left in South Africa and then obviously add some of our regulars, the likes of skipper Knowledge (Musona) who were unavailable,” he said.

The veteran mentor said the technical team were still hoping for a breakthrough with the British Brigade.

The likes of Tendayi Darikwa, Macauley Bonne and Kundai Benyu have been trying to regularise their documents.
Chidzambwa said team manager Wellington Mpandare has been seized with the matter and is the best person to comment on the progress made so far.

The former Dynamos gaffer, cognisant of the hectic schedule which lies ahead for him and his troops in the make-or-break ties, said he wants to field the strongest possible squad.

A total of 12 group winners plus the same number of runners-up will qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations.

“We would love to field a very strong team, the qualifiers are important because you can’t go to the Afcon finals before qualifying.

“Remember, we are in a tough group, it won’t be easy and we are not taking anything for granted.

“But the good thing is that, in the absence of international friendly matches, we have a foundation, a basis to start from after assessing a number of players at Cosafa.

“We have also been watching the local league week in and out because we might come up with some interesting players from that pool as well.

“We just hope for the best, we will assess our players per match even though our assignments are packed within a short period of time.

“We will review players’ performance after each outing and make some necessary changes, so for now, we are looking at a provisional squad for the Congo match only,” said Chidzambwa.

After the away clash against Congo on the weekend of September 7-9, the Warriors will again be on the road in October for back-to-back clashes against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Zimbabwe and DRC will clash twice between October 10-14, with the first match away in Kinshasa, and the return leg at home. – Chronicle