BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarušic is expected to make changes to his Africa Nations Championships (Chan) squad with some players who are in camp set to be dropped.
He initially called 34 players in camp to prepare for the tournament, but was forced to drop six FC Platinum players whose club is engaged in the Caf Champions League.
The squad has been training since last week, including playing friendly matches against some local Premier Soccer League teams.
On Thursday, the Warriors played against Ngezi Platinum Stars before facing off with Caps United yesterday.
Former Warriors captain Denver Mukamba, now with Ngezi Platinum, did enough in the match to convince Logarušic that he deserves to be in the squad.
The former Dynamos and Caps United midfielder has already been drafted into the squad.
The performance and subsequent inclusion of Mukamba has convinced Logarušic that he could have missed some players who deserve to play in the national team.
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Speaking to NewsDay Weekender yesterday, Logarušic said: “I’m using the friendly matches against the local clubs to see if there are other players that can fit in the Chan team. The current players in the squad were chosen by my assistants because I didn’t know them. I’m playing these games to see if there are some players we missed during the initial list.
“I know just 10 players who I worked with in February in training and that means the remainder I never watched them during matches. That is the reason I have requested for the friendly matches. And it has been beneficial because yesterday (Thursday) I saw Mukamba and I have already asked him to join us. We also played Caps United and I have seen some very interesting players and I am still thinking about them.”
Logarusic said his team will play two more friendly matches this weekend. They play Yadah today.
“We will check in those matches to see if we can pick some more players.”
The Croat is expected to announce the training squad after the Sunday friendly match before the players break for the festive season.
The team will regroup after New Year to fine-tune their preparations, from where the final 23 travelling players will be chosen.
Chan kicks off will on January 16 with Zimbabwe playing hosts Cameroon before facing Burkina Faso and Mali in other Group A matches.
“The target is to represent Zimbabwe properly and try to pass the group stage. We will go game by game. The federation has invested money in us to go and represent the country so we have to go and do the best that we can. This is not the situation that we expected but we cannot cry about it. We are Warriors, we can’t just surrender like that,” Loga said.
Warriors Chan squad
Goalkeepers: Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi)
Defenders: Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Partson Jaure (Dynamos), Valentine Musarurwa (Harare City), Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn), Qadr Amini (Ngezi), Frank Makarati (Ngezi), Pawell Govere (Golden Eagles), Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders)
Midfielders: Denver Mukamba (Ngezi), Juan Mutudza (Dynamos), Valentine Kadonzvo (Chicken inn), Trevor Mavunga (Triangle), Phenias Bamusi (Caps), Wellington Taderera (Ngezi), Devon Chafa (Ngezi), Collins Duwa (Triangle), Tichaona Chipunza (Chicken Inn), Ishmael Wadi (Caps), Leeroy Mavunga (Caps), Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), King Nadolo (Dynamos)
Strikers: Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Thomas Chideu (Harare City), William Manondo (Harare City)