WARRIORS coach Klaus Dieter Pagels’ men should brace for emotional scenes as Zambians mark 20 years since the April 27, 1993 plane disaster off the coast of Gabon which wiped out all the 18 national team players, two coaches, a doctor, two Football Association officials, a journalist and five crew members.
Report by Tawanda Tafirenyika
The home-based Warriors, who went into camp yesterday, are set to leave for Zambia tomorrow for the international friendly match in Lusaka on Sunday.
They will train once today before their departure.
However, Pagels, who has picked a team comprising rookies with last season’s top goal scorer Nelson Maziwisa and Chicken Inn defender Felix Chindungwe headlining the list of the stars to make the trip to Zambia, said his target was to build a team of locally-based players which would compete in the African Nations Championships and the Cosafa tournament.
He said although he was looking to get a good result against Chipolopolo, his main objective was to have players fitting into his tiki taka philosophy.
The German mentor said he would have wanted to have more days of training to enable him to assess playing personnel at his disposal.
“It’s unfortunate we will train just one day before we leave for Zambia. We would have wanted more time in camp with the boys so that we see which players are fitting into our system of play,” said Pagels.
Pagels is taking on his third assignment after leading Zimbabwe to a 2-1 win over Botswana in an international friendly in February, before narrowly losing 2-1 away to Egypt in a 2014 World Cup qualifier last month.
The players called up for the clash against Zambia have an opportunity to make a case for their inclusion in the squad ahead of the African Nations
Championships and the Cosafa tournament.
The nation will be remembering its fallen stars who perished on their way to Senegal for a World Cup qualifier when a Zambian Air Force DHC-5D Buffalo crashed, just 120 seconds after takeoff from Libreville, the first of its two refuelling stops required on the 5 600km flight to Dakar.
Derby Mankinka, who used to play in Zimbabwe for Darryn T, is one of the stars who perished in the disaster.
Zimbabwe, who are seeded in the African Nations Championships to be hosted by South Africa, will play the winner between Mauritius and Comoros in the first round of the qualifiers between June 21-23.
Goalkeepers: M Nyamupangedengu, L Chirava
Defenders: H Zvirekwi, A Mbara, F Chindungwe, E Chipeta, G Moyo, K Moyo
Midfielders: N Guyo, S Songani, R Chitiyo, M Mambare, D Chafa, N Alifandika,
Strikers: N Maziwisa, T Nyamandwe, P Matizanadzo, L Chibwiro E.