Newly appointed Warriors coach Baltemar Brito has chosen his first 21-member national squad made up of locally based players, which is set to play Botswana on the occasion of their Independence Day celebrations on 30 September.
Brito, who is also attached to Bulawayo giants Highlanders, was confirmed as the national team coach by the Zifa normalisation committee on Thursday following a conclusion of interviews to find the right man to take the team forward.
Zifa revealed then that Brito’s first assignment would be an exhibition match against Botswana.
“Brito and his assistants’ first assignment will be the invitational match to celebrate Botswana's independence day on September 30. Thereafter, they will have to begin working on creating a team to compete in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in November,” Zifa said in a statement.
The new coach will also try to help the team qualify for the 2024 Chan championships.
Initially the Chan qualifiers, which involve locally based players were supposed to begin this weekend, but Caf went quiet on the draw and other related development thus interrupting a number of national leagues across the continent.
Zifa released the 21-member team for the trip to Botswana in a statement yesterday morning.
“Here’s the Warriors squad selected to play Botswana as part of our neighbours’ independence day celebrations on September 30. The team departs for Gaborone on September 27,” they said before publishing the chosen squad.
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There are no surprises in the team which saw most of the players doing well on the local scene except maybe for the omission of Dynamos vice captain and fullback Emmanuel Jalai, who is having a good season.
What is clear is that Brito and technical team preferred experience instead of young players with Herentals FC forward Tino Kadewere as the only one under the age of 23.
Highlanders’ vice-captain Peter Muduhwa managed to make the team despite the fact that he has been summoned by the Premier Soccer league disciplinary committee for his allegedly inciting violence and inappropriate behaviour during the abandoned league match against Dynamos.
The warriors are expected to troop into camp beginning tomorrow morning.
Donovan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Andrew Mbeba, Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Caps United), Frank Makarati (Dynamos), Farai Banda (Manica Diamonds), Qadr Amini (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn)
Brighton Manhire (Highlanders), Shepard Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Brian Banda (FC Platinum), Tanaka Shandirwa (Dynamos), Mthokozisi Msebe (Bulawayo Chiefs), Donald Mudadi (Dynamos), Davison Marowa (Herentals), Walter Musona (FC Platinum) Tinotenda Benza (Herentals)
William Manondo (Caps United), Fortune Binzi (Manica Diamonds), ObrielChirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs)