Arubi’s happy return

Warriors coach Baltemar Brito initially called a 24-member squad, which has, however, been hit by withdrawals.

Goalkeeper Washington Arubi has expressed joy at rejoining the Warriors fold after he was named in the training squad for the World Cup qualifiers which kick off next month.

The 38-year-old veteran goalkeeper is part of the squad that went into camp in Harare yesterday.

Warriors coach Baltemar Brito initially called a 24-member squad, which has, however, been hit by withdrawals.

Speaking to the media just before the start of the team's training session, Arubi said returning to the Warriors fold means a lot to him.

"I want to thank the coach for calling me back into the national team. I'm happy to be back because it has been long for me not playing for the team. I have a lot of business to finish with this team," Arubi said.

He expressed disappointment that the proposed friendly match against Botswana could not materialise.

"I still feel this type of preparation is going to help us. It's a bit disappointing, though that we won't play the game against Botswana but we are happy that we are here. We just have to do with what we have to prepare because the qualifiers are not far away."

The training camp is part of preparations for next month's Fifa World Cup group C qualifiers against Rwanda and Nigeria.

The other Group C members are South Africa, Lesotho and Benin.

"The chances of qualifying are bright, we just have to prepare well and that would be key," Arubi added.

Zifa failed to organise a friendly match for the team during the current Fifa international break.

They only managed to bring one Europe-based player for the hastily-organised camp.

Only Munashe Garananga who plays for FC Sherrif Tiraspol is in the team, and the deadlocked defender joined the rest of the squad yesterday, together with Never Tigere.

The 38-year-old Arubi, plying his trade for SuperSport in South Africa, is one of the only two goalkeepers in the squad together with Golden Eagle's Godknows Gurure who was a last-minute inclusion following the withdrawal of Wallace Magalane of FC Platinum.

Dynamos' Prince Tafiremutsa was dropped by Zifa from the squad.

Also making a return to national duty is Ronald Pfumbidzai who is also at South African-side SuperSport.

Brito was also forced to make alterations to his squad after FC Platinum withdrew all their four players (Magalane, Thandolwenkosi Ngwenya, Walter Musona, Brian Banda) who had been called for camp.

South Africa-based Terrence Dzvukamanja also pulled out of the squad.

Exciting Cranborne Bullets midfielder Sylvastar Munhira, Ngezi Platinum Stars' Delic Murimba and Chicken Inn star Bret Amidu have since been called as replacements.

Training Squad

Goalkeepers: Washington Arubi (SuperSport United), Godknows Gurure (Golden Eagles).

Defenders: Ronald Pfumbidzai (SuperSport United), Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Caps United), Munashe Garananga (FC Sheriff Tiraspol), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Xolani Ndlovu (Chicken Inn), Frank Makarati (Dynamos)

Midfielders: Never Tigere (Ihefu S.C), Tatenda Tavengwa (Venda Football Academy), Tanaka Shandirwa (Dynamos), Phenias Bamusi (Caps United), Takunda Benhura (Ngezi Platinum Stars), Gerald Bero (Manica Diamonds), Shepherd Mhlanga, Brett Amidu (Chicken Inn).

Forwards: Obriel Chirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows)

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