WARRIORS coach, Kalisto Pasuwa says his charges lack experience, but possess hunger and great determination to succeed at the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament to be held in Kigali, Rwanda in just over a fortnight.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Pasuwa was part of the technical team led by Ian Gorowa that finished in the last four at the previous edition held in South Africa — the first team to achieve that since the inauguration of the tournament in 2009.
That team — skippered by former Dynamos defender Partson Jaure — was more experienced compared to the current squad.
The present squad is dominated mostly by Under-23 players, but Pasuwa says he has been impressed by the hunger they have shown so far.
“The first thing I did when we met to prepare for this tournament was to tell them that they have an opportunity to market themselves at the tournament,” Pasuwa said.
“I told them we had quite a good number of players like Thomas Chideu, Tino Kadewere, Evans Rusike and Liberty Chakoroma, who were signed by foreign clubs after we qualified for the All-Africa Games. I can see the hunger to succeed is there, the boys are showing great determination. They might lack experience, but I like the spirit they are showing.”
The Warriors preparations faced some disruptions after Pasuwa was fired from his job forcing the team to break camp for a week before he was reinstated following a public outcry, but he insists they would go there and try to leave a mark at the tournament.
“We have had disruptions for a week and we still have a lot of some catching up to do in terms of conditioning the players for this tournament. The last time, when we were preparing for the tournament in South Africa, we managed to utilise the full six weeks programme.
“But when you are going for a tournament, you are obviously going with the aim of winning so we hope to go and do well.
Everything is now plain sailing, there is morale in camp,” Pasuwa said.
The Warriors gaffer, who has lost several key players to injury — including skipper Danny “Deco” Phiri — says he would drop four players from the current 27-member squad.
He, said they still had 16 days before theytake on Zambia and would not rush to name the final squad.
The Warriors are expected to leave for Rwanda on Sunday via Ethiopia, where they are expected to play a warm-up match before they proceed.
A proposed a friendly match against Mozambique, is still being arranged and if it materialises, it would be a good dress rehearsal for the tournament for Pasuwa’s men.
Zimbabwe is in Group D together with Zambia, Mali and Uganda.