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Marere back in training

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Warriors’ winger Benjamin Marere, who sat out training for the better part of last week after twisting his right ankle, has been declared fit and will return to training when the rest of the squad resume training today (Monday).

The Warriors team, who are in camp as they prepare for the African Nations Championships (Chan) took a day off yesterday and will resume their training session at Rufaro Stadium.

The tournament, set aside for players plying their trade in their respective local leagues, kicks off on February 4 and ends on February 25.

Warriors caretaker coach Madinda Ndlovu, who last week stepped up preparations for the tournament, got a major scare on Wednesday when Marere limped off the pitch with an ankle problem.

The former Dynamos speedy winger, who is now with Northern Region Division One side Highfield United, twisted his ankle after he clashed with crunch tackling defender Arnold “Taiwo” Chivheya during training.

There had been fears that the winger, whose leg was swollen for the better part of last week, would not recover in time for Sudan.

However, Warriors team manager Chris Chitindi dispelled those fears saying the player was now fully fit and would be back at training.

“Benjie has been passed fit, he is OK now,” said Chitindi yesterday. “I’m yet to get the medical report from team the doctor but I phoned him earlier today (Sunday) and he confirmed that he (Marere) is fully fit and will start training with the other guys tomorrow (today),” added Chitindi.

Meanwhile, Ndlovu got some more breathing space on Saturday after Zifa extended the deadline for him to submit the final 23-man squad to Wednesday.

Although the Confederations of African Football set the deadline for all the 16 nations to submit their final squads by Friday, Zifa had earlier instructed Ndlovu and his technical team to submit the list by last Sunday so that they could sort out the players’ travelling documents.

The technical team, who have 31 players in camp asked for Zifa to extend the deadline so that they could have more time to asses all the players.

The technical team comprising Ndlovu, Darlington Dodo and Friday Phiri have all spoken glowingly of the Under 23 players in the team and they are expected to make the bulk of the final 23 squad.

Seven of the players, Young Warriors captain Qadr Amin, Ariel Sibanda, Denver Mukamba, Archieford Gutu, Joel Ngodzo, Abas Amidu and Simba Sithole are in camp with the squad.

Zimbabwe are in Group B, which features Ghana, South Africa and Niger.

The Warriors will kick-start their campaign with a relatively easier game against Niger before engaging Ghana and finish their group matches in a mouthwatering clash against old foes and Chan debutants South Africa.

Ghana has already named their final 23-man squad.

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