HomeSportChaminuka confident of Young Warriors progress

Chaminuka confident of Young Warriors progress

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ZIMBABWE Under-23 assistant coach Saul Chaminuka is confident the Young Warriors can go all the way to the finals of the 2015 African Under-23 Championships to be held in the Democratic Republic of Congo after they were drawn against Swaziland in the first round.

TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT

The draw was conducted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Saturday.

And Chaminuka, who coaches high-flying Premiership football side ZPC Kariba and is an assistant to head coach Kalisto Pasuwa, said it was a fair draw and they had the chance of making it to the finals in the DRC and eventually the 2016 Olympics.

“I think it’s a fair draw. We have a good chance to qualify for the finals in DRC and can even make it to the 2016 Olympics,” Chaminuka said.

“We are already working on assembling a strong team. We will be going to Botswana on Tuesday for an internationally friendly match and it gives us the opportunity to look at some of the players at our disposal.

“The creation of a team for this tournament is work in progress.

“So far, we have just included locally based players for next week’s friendly match and in the next friendly we will have a chance to assess the foreign based players.”

Should the Young Warriors overcome Swaziland in the first round, they will face South Africa in the second round for the right to play in the third round in which Senegal who are one of the seeded teams will be waiting them.

In their previous attempt to qualify for the Olympics, South Africa dented Zimbabwe hopes after handing them a 2-1 aggregate defeat having beaten them 2-0 in South Africa before they were edged 1-0 in Harare at Rufaro.

However, Chaminuka insists this is a new campaign.

“This is a new campaign. We have to try and get good results for us to qualify. We have to work and have self belief,” Chaminuka said.

The finals of the Caf African Under-23 Championship will be held in the DRC next year where the top four teams that reach the semi-finals will qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Fifa has set October 25 as the deadline to register teams for the Olympic qualifiers. The Olympic Games calls for players born on or after January 1 1993
On paper, Pasuwa and his technical team appear to have a squad that can make it to Brazil with players such as Warriors winger Kuda Mahachi, Dynamos defender Blessing Moyo, Bernard Donovan (How Mine goalkeeper), Dutch-based midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Sweden-stationed linkman Archford Gutu and teenage sensation Macauley Bonne, of English League One side Colchester United, who has already availed himself for the Young Warriors among a host of others.

Full Draw:
First round
Libya v Mauritania, Ghana v Liberia, Botswana v Kenya, Zimbabwe v Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau v Sierra Leone, Rwanda v Somalia
Second round
Libya or Mauritania v Mali, Ghana or Liberia v Congo Brazzaville, Botswana or Kenya v Zambia, Zimbabwe or Swaziland v South Africa, Guinea-Bissau or Sierra Leone v Cameroon, Rwanda or Somalia v Uganda, Tunisia v Sudan
Third round
Libya or Mauritania or Mali v Gabon (holders), Ghana or Liberia or Congo v Nigeria, Botswana or Kenya or Zambia v Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe or Swaziland or South Africa v Senegal, Guinea-Bissau or Sierra Leone or Cameroon v Algeria, Rwanda or Somalia or Uganda v Egypt, Morocco v Tunisia or Sudan

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