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Loga summons King

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DYNAMOS star midfielder King Nadolo (pictured) might gatecrash into the Warriors squad set to face Algeria in two crunch 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers next month after impressing the national team’s technical bench in a friendly match last month.

BY HENRY MHARA

Zimbabwe will play the African champions in back-to-back matches, starting with an away fixture in Algiers on November 12 before the return match at the National Sports Stadium in Harare four days later.

The Warriors’ squad for the two Group H matches will be announced next week, and sources say coach Zdravko Logarušic will stick to the players who have been doing duty for the team in recent times.

A source, however, told NewsDay Sport that there could be some few surprises on the list, with Nadolo set to be incorporated into the squad.

The attacker was part of the locally-based players picked to fill in places in the team for a friendly match away to Malawi last month after some foreign-based stars failed to pitch up.
He was introduced in the second half of the 0-0 draw, where he appears to have impressed the Warriors’ technical bench led by Logarušic.

The Crot is deputised by Dynamos coach Tonderai Ndiraya and Harare City coach Lloyd Chitembwe.

“Coach Loga was very impressed by him. He couldn’t stop praising King after the match. He is one of the players who was picked for praise by the coach in the dressing room after the match against Malawi,” said the source.

Another source added, “He actually pulled King aside after the match and passed some complementary words.”

Sensing that an opportunity could arise in the team, Nadolo has since intensified his individual training since returning from Malawi.

In addition to the individual training schedule Nadolo gets from his club Dynamos, he has been doing some extra workouts with the help of Warriors physical trainer, all in anticipation of the possible national team call-up.

Nadolo, arguably the best naturally gifted attacker playing in the local league, has not kicked a ball in a competitive setting this year after the domestic league failed to start in March due to coronavirus.

The forward joined Dynamos during the December transfer window in what was described as the biggest transfer move.

He joined from TelOne where he had played for just six months but managed to take the league by storm.

He scored an incredible 11 league goals in the second half of the season, three shy of the league’s top goalscorer — Clive Augusto (Chicken Inn).

However, his goals could not help TelOne survive relegation, but were enough to see Nadolo voted as one of the best 11 players of the season
Nadolo, according to Warriors sources, is one of the only two local-based players that will be included in the squad to face Algeria.

Goalkeeper Talbert Shumba, who guarded the posts in Malawi, is the other player who could be honoured with a second call-up.However, the veteran goalie is likely to come as a third choice behind the returning Tatenda Mkuruva and Elvis Chipezeze.

Mukuruva, now based in the United States, is said to be Logarušic’s favourite for the number one jersey.

No comment could be obtained from Logarušic, but the European, who will be taking charge of the team in a competitive environment for the first time since getting his job last year, has publicly stated that he will retain most of the foreign-based players who did duty in the opening two matches of the campaign against Botswana and Zambia last year

The likes of captain Knowledge Musona, the France-based duo of Marshall Munetsi and Tino Kadewere and other regulars who all missed the trip to Malawi are set to make a return to the team.

Prince Dube who has also made a storming start to his career in the Tanzanian league is also on Logarušic’s list.

Zimbabwe are second in the group with four points, two behind leaders Algeria after two rounds of matches. Botswana, with one point, are third while Zambia anchor the group with zero points.Two top teams from the group will qualify for the finals next year.

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