Young Warriors match moved to next Friday


The Zimbabwe Under-23 team’s preparations for the All-Africa Games qualifier against Botswana are in turmoil after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) on Thursday indicated that they want the match to be played on Friday next week.

Initial indications had shown that the game would be played on Saturday but the BFA yesterday wrote to Zifa indicating that the match would take place on Friday afternoon.

Young Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare told NewsDay Sport that Zifa yesterday forwarded him the email confirming the new changes on the fixture.

“Initially they had indicated that the match would be played on Saturday but I have just received an email that the match has been moved to Friday,” said Mpandare.

The new fixture change has left the Young Warriors technical team in a quandary as they have only one day to regroup and assess all the players before leaving for Gaborone.

The players are expected to troop into camp at the Zifa Village after their Castle Lager Premier Soccer League weekend matches.

They are expected to leave for Botswana on Tuesday.

“We will now have to do with the players who played against Zambia because we do not have time anymore to look at other new players. The big problem we are facing is that of players who stay outside Harare as they can only arrive here on Monday afternoon. We had initially planned to leave on Wednesday but because of the situation we will now have to leave on Tuesday,” said Mpandare.

The Young Warriors technical team on Thursday quickly announced their provisional 23-man squad which is dominated by the players who did duty against Zambia with only four new faces on the list.

Dynamos’ Rodrick Mutuma and Reading’s Trevor Mutero are the major talking points while the unheralded Gunners midfielder Wellington Kamudyariwa and the unattached Victor Kamhuka also found their way into the list.

Kamhuka last played for the defunct Eagles before he went to Australia for trials but he is back in the country.

Mpandare said the team would be trimmed down to the final 18 on Monday.

The team manager also revealed that South Africa-based Mathew Rusike, who is in the provisional squad, was already in the country ahead of the tie.

The reverse fixture is pencilled for Harare on the weekend of April 29 — May 1.

Meanwhile, the Mighty Warriors team is scheduled to leave for Hwange on Sunday morning where they will hold a one-week training camp ahead of their Zone VI All-Africa Games first round qualifier against Angola on April 30.

Women football chief Mavis Gumbo on Thursday said a 37-member delegation made up of 31 players and officials would train in the coal-mining town in order to acclimatise to the humid conditions of Angola.

Gumbo said the team would return to the capital on April 17 before leaving for Luanda on April 27.