Highlanders defender Zephania Ngodzo, who has been absent from the Warriors camp, joined the rest of the squad yesterday as preparations for the African Nations Championships (Chan) tournament intensified.
The tournament, which is reserved for players playing in their local leagues, kicks off on February 4 and ends on February 25.
The Warriors, who are in Group B, will kick-start their campaign with a clash against little-known Niger before they engage the Black Stars of Ghana and will wrap up their group games with a mouth-watering clash against neighbours South Africa.
The Highlanders defender, who was on trial with South African Premiership league champions SuperSport, was the only absentee from the 30-man squad that assembled on Monday.
The tough-tackling defender joined the rest of the team during their afternoon session.
Warriors’ assistant coach Friday Phiri, who doubles up as the Under-23 coach, said he is happy that Ngodzo has finally joined the rest of the squad.
“We want to have a look at all the best players we have in the league and Ngodzo is one of those players,” said Phiri.
“It’s good that all the players are in camp and they are training very well. They are fighting for positions and the competition is high, which is good for the team,” said Phiri.
The Warriors, who could not travel to Chiredzi for their intended camp, intensified their preparations for the Chan tournament and played league champions Motor Action at Rufaro Stadium as part of their preparations.
The team, which entered its third day of training yesterday was looking very sharp with the Young Warriors crew of Denver Mukamba, Archieford Gutu and Joel Ngodzo looking very impressive.
Even coach Madinda Ndlovu could not hide his excitement as the trio combined well and exhibited good football during the morning session.
“This is our future, these youngsters are very good. They are quick on the ball, they open play for other players, what more can you ask for? They are just brilliant,” said Madinda.
However, the high spirits in the camp were dampened by injuries to Qadr Amin and Benjamin Marere who limped off the pitch during training with ankle problems.
Gunners left-back Amin was the first to go off the pitch after he landed awkwardly while Marere clashed with crunch-tackling Lengthens left-back Arnold “Taiwo” Chivheya.
But it was the Under-23 captain Amin who was seemingly in great pain as the Warriors team medic Nick Munyonga was attending to him.
The player had both of his legs heavily bandaged. However, Phiri allayed any fears saying the injuries were just small knocks and the players would be back at training.
“They were minor injuries, it’s nothing serious, they might train in the afternoon,” said Phiri yesterday morning.
There was relief in the Warriors camp though as defender Guthrie Zhokinyi, who sat out of training on Tuesday, was back in the fold yesterday and playing without any signs of pain.