BANTU Rovers’ Ben Musaka will lead the Young Warriors this afternoon as they take on Botswana’s Young Zebras in an Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations first leg qualifier at Barbourfields Stadium. BY THANDIWE MOYO
Coach Jairo Tapera said his charges were ready, although during the week he bemoaned the selection process which he said did not cover the whole country. He said he did not get the chance to assess young players in colleges and schools.
“We are ready. We have trimmed the side, down to 19 players. We hope that in the next leg the boys would have gelled given that we had a very short period to prepare,” he said.
Some of the players in the squad include goalkeepers Issa Ali, Mathias Chodeya, Munyaradzi Chidambwe, Bukhosi Sibanda, Bukhosi Ncube, Kudzanai Nyakasaka and Thulani Nxumalo.
Coached by Phillimon Makhwengwe with assistants Tshepo Mphukuthi and Barobi Nwako, Botswana are likely to give the Young Warriors side a tough game as they have been in camp longer than their opponents.
Tapera said he was happy with the players’ technical ability and said that they were hoping the team would play better in the second leg of the qualifier.
“It’s very difficult to say where we are right now, but we have been monitoring their technical ability given the short time that we were given to prepare,” he said.
On Thursday the Young Warriors played a preparatory match against Bantu Rovers and drew 1-1, with Thomas Kadyaridzire of Chicken Inn scoring for the national team.
Goalkeepers: Issa Tinotenda Ali (CAPS United), Kelvin Shangiwa (Harare City)
Defenders: Mathias Chodeya (Bantu Rovers), Munyaradzi Chidambwe (Bantu Rovers), Bukhosi Ncube (Highlanders), Thulani Nxumalo (Chicken Inn), Trevor Zidoro (Border Strikers), Kudzanai Nyakasaka (Dynamos), Leslie Lunga (Bantu Rovers),
Midfielders: Ben Musaka, Bukhosi Sibanda (Bantu Rovers), Amos Ncube (Chicken Inn), Blessing Sibanda (Tsholotsho), Blessing Nyamuziwa (Harare City), Tanaka Ruzvidzo (Harare City), Jerry Chipangura (Harare City),
Strikers: Thembalethu Mthunzi (Highlanders), Thomas Kadyaridzire (Chicken Inn).