BY HENRY MHARA
DYNAMOS and FC Platinum defenders Godknows Murwira and William Stima are the latest players to be added to the Warriors squad as coach Zdravko Logarušic seeks for defensive alternatives following the withdrawal of some of his key men that has left his defence looking thin.
The Warriors camp was plunged into crisis last week after the team’s regular central defenders Teenage Hadebe and Jimmy Dzingai both pulled out from the provisional squad that was named for the World Cup qualifier against South Africa this Friday.
Hadebe’s US club Houston Dynamo refused to release him citing COVID-19 travel restrictions while the unattached Dzingai excused himself as he is on trials with a foreign club.
Logarušic is already without all the seven UK-based players including regular right-back Tendayi Darikwa and star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba after their clubs refused them permission to travel to Harare as Zimbabwe is one of the countries on Britain’s coronavirus “red list.”
The players face a lengthy 10-day quarantine on return to England.
This has left the defence thin, with the returning Devine Lunga, Onismo Bhasera and Alec Mudimu the only players on the list who have experience playing for the national team.
But Bhasera and Lunga play the same position at left back while Mudimu has had his problems of late which has seen him pushed to the bench in the national team set-up. He has not played a single competitive match for his new club Torpedo Kutaisi of Georgia this term.
In a desperate move, Logarusic yesterday added two locals to the squad including Murwira, who hasn’t been active since last month when domestic football was halted because of coronavirus.
The Croat had also sent an SOS to six other players last week including defender Kevin Moyo following the withdrawal of players from the initial provisional squad.
Murwira will be part of the Warriors group of players that report for camp today in Harare ahead of the blockbuster clash against Bafana Bafana set for the National Sports Stadium.
The players started to troop into camp yesterday with the arrival of Terrence Dzvukamanja, Moyo and goalkeeper Talbert Shumba.
Most of the players including captain Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat and France based striker Tino Kadewere are expected in today.
Germany-based Jonah Fabisch, who is making his first trip to Zimbabwe, is also arriving today.
Marshal Munetsi, whose French side Stade Reims was in action last night against Lionel Messi’s PSG, will be the last to arrive. He is expected to touch down at the Harare International airport tomorrow afternoon.
After the South Africa clash, the Warriors will travel to Ethiopia for their second group qualifier on Tuesday.
Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi (Marumo Gallants), Talbert Shumba (Free State Stars), Martin Mapisa (Zamora CF)
Defenders: Onismor Bhasera (SuperSport United), Divine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Kevin Moyo (Nkana), William Stima (FC Platinum), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos).
Midfielders: Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune United), Jonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV), Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Tafadzwa Rusike, Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Silas Songani (FC Platinum), Farai Madhanhanga (Marumo Gallants), Ishmael Wadi (JDR Stars).
Strikers: Terrence Dzvukamanja (Orlando Pirates), Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Knowledge Musona (Al-Tai).
Follow Henry on Twitter @henrymhara