Home » Sports » Gorowa Backs Homeboys

WARRIORS coach Ian Gorowa will have to bank on the majority of home-based stars to deliver for Zimbabwe when the senior national football team begins the country’s quest for a place at the 2015 African Cup of Nations tournament.

The Warriors will face Tanzania’s Taifa Stars on May 18 in a first round first leg tie at a venue that is yet to be confirmed following a bid by the hosts to switch from Dar-es-Salaam to the border town of Mbeya.

But with a host of foreign-based professionals he had set sights on blending into his first Nations Cup assignment as Warriors coach withdrawing for varying reasons, Gorowa has been forced to turn to the stars of the 2014 African Nations Championships to form the backbone of his squad to face Tanzania.

The South Africa-based coach yesterday named a revised squad which was released by team manager Shariff Mussa.

After some of the targeted players withdrew, Gorowa eventually settled for six of the country’s professionals who are plying their trade in the Absa Premiership.

University of Pretoria goalkeeper Washington Arubi, midfielder Willard Katsande and the striking quartet of Cuthbert Malajila, Kingston Nkatha, Simbarashe Sithole and Tendai Ndoro are the only foreign-based players in the 22-man side expected to begin camp on Sunday night.

Kaizer Chief’s enforcer Katsande has had a fine season at Amakhosi where he is in the running for a host of awards.

The former Gunners and Ajax Cape Town hard man has been nominated for the Player of the Season accolade, the Kick-Off Footballer of the Year as well as the Players Player of the Year award.

Mussa revealed that they had initially considered bringing in 13 professionals for the showdown with the Taifa Stars which is being played on a knock-out basis.

The Warriors manager, however, said big defender Costa Nhamoinesu, who recently won the Czech Premiership title with Sparta Prague, slippery winger Khama Billiat of newly-crowned South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Carlington Nyadombo of AmaZulu and Kaizer Chiefs’ talismanic forward Knowledge Musona have been ruled out because of injuries.

Nhamoinesu, who has previously played hide-and-seek with the Warriors when called for international duty, has been sidelined from Sparta Prague’s recent games by a shoulder injury although there were indications from the European club that he was on the mend.

“Costa was contacted and unfortunately he said that he had not been playing for the past few weeks. He said that he was injured and is currently on rehabilitation.

“The coach had also initially considered bringing in Edward Sadomba and had spoken to the player, but his club wrote to say they really need him for the Champions League group stage which begins on the same weekend and as you now know the clubs are not compelled to release the players to their national teams,” Mussa said.

Sadomba is the leading scorer at his Libyan club Al Ahly Benghazi with four Champions League goals and 10 in the domestic league in 12 games.

“Ovidy Karuru’s Belgian club (OH Leuven) also said they have five games within the next 17 days and would want all their players to be there.

“The others on the injured list are Carlington Nyadombo, Nyasha Mushekwi, who has a knee problem, Musona who was ruled out for the rest of the season in South Africa as well Khama.

“As for Khama, the coach will observe and decide if he recovers on time, but for Costa it will not be possible for him to come in on time if he does recover by the weekend.

“So, for now, the coach has picked 16 locals and six South Africa-based players, but the net is not closed. There is still a return leg and depending on the result and the performance from the first leg, there will be some changes too,” Mussa said.

Musona sustained an injury during Kaizer Chief’s African Champions League clash against AS Vita of DRC on March 29, while Billiat has been battling a foot injury.

Mussa, however, remained hopeful that most of the players whom Gorowa had initially wanted would become available for the reverse fixture in Harare, two weeks after the battle in Tanzania.

Despite speculation that Charlton Athletic midfielder Bradley Pritchard, former Harare City man Silas Songani and fellow Danish-based winger Quincy Antipas could be considered, Mussa revealed that the players were not on the coach’s radar, at least for the first round, first leg clash against Tanzania.

Instead, Gorowa has opted to work with the locals, who charmed him during the CHAN tournament, with the coach calling on such players as Kuda Mahachi and Chicken Inn’s Danny Phiri, Eric Chipeta, Partson Jaure, Hardlife Zvirekwi and Milton Ncube.

CAPS United left-back Ronald Pfumbidzai, who was on the fringes of the CHAN squad, and Triangle midfielder Pascal Manhanga have been included in a squad that also contains the Dynamos pair of Sydney Linyama and Stephen Alimenda and FC Platinum midfielder Marshal Mudehwe.

The unheralded Nqobizitha Masuku from Bantu Rovers has received his first call to the senior team while Talent Chawapiwa, the young man trusted to fill Silas Songani’s shoes at Harare City, is also in Gorowa’s plans.

After his CHAN side struggled for goals, Gorowa has picked all his strikers from the South African league with Ndoro of Mpumalanga Black Aces, Ajax Cape Town’s Sithole, Nkatha (Kaizer Chiefs) and Malajila forming the attacking line that, however, still looks to be thin on quality.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: George Chigova, Munyaradzi Diya, Washington Arubi

Defenders: Hardlife Zvirekwi, Eric Chipeta, Partson Jaure, Sydney Linyama, Milton Ncube, Ronald Pfumbidzai

Midfielders: Willard Katsande, Nqobizitha Masuku, Danny Phiri, Pascal

Manhanga, Stephen Alimenda, Kuda Mahachi, Talent Chawapiwa, Peter

Moyo, Marshal Mudehwe

Strikers: Tendai Ndoro, Simbarashe Sithole , Kingston Nkatha, Cuthbert Malajila

Source : The Herald

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