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Jalayi rewarded with national team call-up

Sport
Emmanuel Jalayi’s dazzling start to life at Dynamos is set to be rewarded with a call-up to the Young Warriors squad to face South Africa for the third and final round of the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

BY HENRY MHARA

Emmanuel Jalayi’s dazzling start to life at Dynamos is set to be rewarded with a call-up to the Young Warriors squad to face South Africa for the third and final round of the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers.

Young Warriors coach Tonderai Ndiraya, who also coaches Dynamos, is set to name the national Under-23 squad this week ahead of the first leg match at Milpark Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday next week.

The second leg is scheduled for Barbourfields Stadium in Bulawayo three days later with the aggregate winner qualifying for the final tournament scheduled for November 8-22 in Egypt.

The top three finishers in the competition will represent Africa at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Ndiraya has largely kept the core of the team that beat Mozambique in the last round of qualifiers, but has added Jalayi and Caps United midfielder Blessing Sarupinda on the list, two of the brightest prospects in local football.

Informed sources said the pair is part of the provisional list that has been submitted to Zifa by Ndiraya.

Jalayi has been one of the best players in the local league, giving outstanding performances week in and out for Dynamos where he has made the right back position his despite his young age.

The exciting defender joined the Harare giants from Aces Youth Academy at the start of the season and has played almost every match for the team.

He was at his usual best in Dynamos’ thrilling 1-all draw against Chicken Inn in a league match on Sunday.

Chicken Inn is coached by Warriors gaffer Joey Antipas and Jalayi’s performance at the weekend also raised an intriguing prospect that he could be selected for the senior national team if he continues to excel for his club. The Warriors have a number of assignments from next week up to November.

Harare City’s talented winger Tatenda Tumba and Jalayi’s teammates Tinotenda Muringai and Nigel Katawa has also come into Ndiraya’s thinking and could gate- crash into the squad. Tumba has been down on injury, but returned at the weekend and played 20 minutes for his side away to Highlanders while Katawa saw his stoke rise at the weekend after he scored at the weekend.

Ngezi Platinum’s Mandlenkosi Mlilo has also done well for Ngezi Platinum Stars and is set to be rewarded, but his teammate Malvin Kwinjo misses out. Spanish- based Martin Mapisa (goalkeeper) and Abubakar Moffat, who plays for lower division outfit Velez CF, headlines a host of foreign-based stars that are set to play in the match.

Former Caps United and Dynamos left-back Romario Matova, who is now based in Bosnia has also been included in the provisional squad and so is Gilbert Nyamupembe who plays for lower division side Bury in England.

But there is no place in the squad for Seith Patrick, the tall coloured midfielder, who warmed the hearts of supporters with a polished performance against Mozambique at the National Sports Stadium.

The midfielder is reportedly clubless and Ndiraya has decided against calling all the players who are unattached. Also affected are Reward Makona, Junior Zindoga, Nicholas Guyo and Mandifadza Zata. Players who haven’t seen much action for their clubs have also been dropped, with high-profile names such as Peace Makaha and Kudzanai Dhemere losing out.