UNDER-23 Zimbabwe soccer team coach Kalisto Pasuwa will be spoilt for choice in the goalkeeping position as he prepares to assemble a squad for the 2016 Olympics to be held in Brazil.
His first task is to assemble a team that will face Morocco in an international friendly match on November 16.
Fifa has set October 25 as the deadline to register teams for the Olympic qualifier where only four African teams’ slots are reserved for qualification.
Zimbabwe has to qualify for the Under-23 Championships first to be staged in the Democratic Republic of Congo where eight teams will make it through. The teams that reach the semi-finals will qualify for Brazil.
In Tatenda Mukuruva and Bernard Donovan, Pasuwa has at his disposal perhaps the best goalkeeping talents as he bids to lead Zimbabwe to the finals of the tournament for the first time.
Mukuruva — a Prince Edward High school student — keeps goal for Zimbabwean champions Dynamos.
He will certainly be one of the contenders for the first choice goalkeeping position in the Young Warriors squad. How Mine’s Bernard Donovan is also rated one of the finest talents in the goalkeeping position to emerge from Zimbabwe.
The former Motor Action keeper along with Mukuruva were part of the Under-20 Cosafa squad which made the trip to Lesotho Maseru last year and Pasuwa and his assistants Saul Chaminuka and Nation Dube will find it difficult to pick the first choice keeper.
While that is healthy for Pasuwa, he needs to cast his net wider to come up with a formidable squad in the other departments of the team.
The Olympic Games calls for players born on or after January 1 1993 and this means players like nimble footed Warriors winger Kuda Mahachi now playing for South African side Mamelodi Sundowns will be still eligible by the time the youth tournament roars into life in Brazil.
He was born on September 29 1993.
Dutch-based midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and Sweden-stationed linkman Archford Gutu are also eligible for the Olympics. Nakamba was born January 19 1994 while Gutu was born on August 5 1993.
Pasuwa could also count on rising Dynamos right-back Blessing Moyo (19) and teenage sensation Macauley Bonne of English League One side Colchester United who has already availed himself for the Young Warriors.
The 18-year-old forward was born on October 26 1995 in England to Zimbabwean parents and overlooking him for this tournament will be a waste of resources.
There is also Walter Musona- the younger brother of Knowledge to count on while Caps United’s 20-year-old Ronald Pfumbidzai and Hwange’s Pritchard Mphelele are some of the players Pasuwa can consider.
Towering midfielder Liberty Chakoroma who plays for army side Buffaloes will also be in contention for a place in the team so will be Bantu Rovers pair of Tafadzwa Kutinyu and Teenage Hadebe.
Harare City left back Munyaradzi Nyenye is one of the players who is certain to make the cut alongside Triangle’s Praise Tonha.
There is also Dynamos’ Brett Amidu.
While Amidu has struggled to break into the first team featuring in just one league match since the start of this campaign he has shown great potential.
There have been debates about Pasuwa’s position in the Under-23 team with the history-making Dynamos coach saying he is yet to receive a letter of appointment from Zifa.
Pasuwa was assistant to Warriors and Highlanders legend Peter Ndlovu, who is now team manager at South Africa champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
The Dynamos mentor has been recommended by the High Performance Committee to take over.