BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
WARRIORS coach Zdravko Logarusic is likely to toss-up between ex-captain Partson Jaure and Chicken Inn defender Ian Nekati for the man who will lead the Warriors at the sixth edition of the African Nations Championship (Chan) to be held in Cameroon in January next year.
The Chan tournament, inaugurated in 2009 in Ivory Coast, is meant exclusively for home-based players. Zimbabwe has made it to every edition of the tournament since then with a semi-final berth in 2014 in South Africa the major highlight of their participation.
Jaure wore the skipper’s armband during that successful campaign under the guidance of Ian “Dibango” Gorowa.
And the expatriate coach, who is now in charge of the Warriors following the departure of Sunday Chidzambga, has said he will name his captain for the campaign just before the team departs for the tournament which roars to life on January 16 and winds down on February 7.
With Jaure and Nekati the most experienced of the lot, both having played for the Warriors, insiders believe the Croat is highly-likely to choose between the two.
“He (Loga) is likely to choose between Jaure and Nekati. Remember Nekati was the captain before the Chan qualifiers and it is likely to be a toss-up between him and Jaure. It is highly-likely one of them will be given the armband,” the insider said.
Jaure was the leader of the team when the home-based Warriors defied the odds to reach the semi-finals of the tournament in South Africa for the first time.
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Zimbabwe is one of the only three teams that have appeared at the biennial soccer showcase since its inception along with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.
The Warriors coach had initially called up 34 players to camp, but he was forced to drop six FC Platinum players whose club is engaged in the Caf Champions League.
He continues to change and chop the squad as he seeks to come up with a team that will be up to task at the tournament. That exercise has claimed some of the league’s high-profile players which include the Caps United’s duo of Phineas Bhamusi and Ismael Wadi and Chicken Inn’s Valentine Kadonzvo, among several others.
The team was allowed to go for a festive season break on Sunday and will regroup on December 27.
Logarusic is expected to name the final squad and submit it to Caf by January 6. Zimbabwe will get the ball rolling with a clash against hosts Cameroon in the opening match before facing the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the second match of Group A and conclude their group matches with a clash against the Eagles of Mali. l Follow Tawanda on Twitter @tawatafi