BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CAPS United’s flourishing midfielder Joel “Josta” Ngodzo, is disappointed that he has been overlooked in the Warriors provisional 32-member squad for the 2020 African Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifier against Mauritius at the weekend, but says he respects the coach’s decision.
The former Highlanders man — arguably the best player on the domestic soccer scene currently, was controversially left out of the squad announced by coach Sunday Chidzambga on Monday.
He feels he can easily walk into the 32 member squad.
“What else should I do?” Ngodzo asked rhetorically.
“Essentially, it means I don’t make the cut, so I respect the decision by the coaches. That is football and we have to move on. Of course, I was kind like surprised, but I have to accept what is there,” he told NewsDay Sport.
The CHAN tournament is a version of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament contested only by home-based players.
And the omission of Ngodzo has been met with fierce criticism from football followers who believe he is the kind of player the Warriors need for this tournament considering his craftsmanship which manifests itself in his creativity and passing range.
The 30-year-old midfielder has shone like a beacon for the Green Machine in the past two years and his display in the Harare derby against rivals Dynamos on Sunday, where he scored one of the goals in the 1-1 draw, has endeared himself with the fans.
That he failed to land a place in the squad that even includes a player like Ronald Chitiyo, who has hardly played 30 minutes for his club due to fitness concerns, has raised a stink.
The Warriors are due to start their 2020 CHAN qualifiers with an away date against Mauritius on Sunday with the reverse fixture set for Barbourfields in Bulawayo a week later.
The squad, which also includes Dynamos new signing Evans Katema, went into camp on Monday night and got down to business yesterday.
The Warriors failed to qualify for the last edition of the tournament after they were knocked out by Namibia.
Warriors CHAN Squad
Donovan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Talbert Shumba (Chapungu), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Lawrence Mhlanga (FC Platinum), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Harare City), Byron Madzokere (Yadah Stars), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Qadr Amini (Ngezi), Frank Mukarati (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Donald Dzvinyai (Triangle United)
Ralph Kawondera (Triangle United), Kudzai Chigwida (Triangle United), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Innocent Mucheneka (Chicken inn), Richard Hachiro (Herentals), Donald Teguru (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Never Tigere (FC Platinum), Blessing Sarupinda (CAPS United), Leeroy Mavunga (Yadah Stars), Phenias Bhamusi (CAPS United), Ian Nyoni (Chapungu), Malvin Gaki (Chicken inn), Nigel Makumbe (ZPC Kariba), Ronald Chitiyo (CAPS United)
Clive Augusto (Chicken Inn), Evans Katema (Dynamos), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Aubriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn)