Warriors coach Ian Gorowa is leaving no stone unturned ahead of next January’s African Nations Championships (Chan), with a proposed training camp in South Africa in December on the cards.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
Gorowa has requested a three-week training camp in South Africa, preferably Cape Town, where the Warriors are scheduled to play all their Group B matches.
Zimbabwe are in the group that also contains Burkina Faso, Morocco and Uganda.
The proposed dates are from December 8 to 31, and the team would be playing training games with local teams.
Zifa has thrown its weight behind Gorowa’s plans and has since alerted the Football Trust and will engage the government seeking financial assistance for Chan preparations, whose cost has been projected at over US$300 000.
Gorowa’s preference for South Africa is aimed at familiarising his charges with that country’s conditions before the tournament, which will run from January 11 to February 1.
The 41-year-old gaffer does not want distractions to his players, which has prompted him to draft a camp that stretches over the festive season.
“I just want a camp out of Harare at a place which allows maximum concentration. It could be in Bulawayo, Johannesburg or Senegal. But I would prefer the place where we are going to be playing in Cape Town,” said Gorowa.
“This all depends on Zifa managing the costs that come with such a programme. I am sure in the next few days we will be certain of where we are going to camp. I need more time with the boys, and we do not want to give excuses if we lose after intense preparations. Having such a camp is very crucial if you are going to such tournaments.”
Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze said government support is what they need at the moment.
“The most ideal place which the technical team prefers is a high performance centre, where there would be relevant training facilities. As Zifa, we are doing our part to make sure the team is well catered for. But this is the time when we need government support and corporate assistance. We used to be given government grants, so it is important that the government chips in and helps our cause,” said Mashingaidze.
The Warriors are also scheduled to participate at the West African Football Union Nations Cup in Ghana in November.
Gorowa hinted at taking the Under-23 players to the eight-team tournament where Ivory Coast and Nigeria are some of the participants.
“We might take the Under-23s if the tournament organisers allow us. We need to groom these youngsters and expose them to as much international football as possible.”
The Warriors are making a third straight appearance at Chan, but have failed to get past the group stages in the last two editions. Gorowa is looking to changing that.
“Obviously, we want to do better than previously. If we fail to advance beyond the group stages, we would have done nothing,” Gorowa said.
Morocco poses a real danger to Zimbabwe with some of their players being part of the squad that competed at the Africa Nations Cup in January.
All their three goalkeepers at the Nations Cup play in the local league with Nadir Lamyaghri turning out for Wydad Casablanca, Anas Zniti (MAS) while Khalid Askiri is in the books of giants Raja Casablanca.
Defenders Abderahim Chakir and Younes Bekakhdar both play for FAR Rabat togeher with teammate striker Youssef Kadioui as another forward Abdelilah Hafidi plays for Raja Casablanca.
Burkina Faso’s local-based players are not exposed to much international football, as the West Africans employ teams entirely composed of foreign-based players in major competitions.
The Brama Traoré-coached side will play an international friendly against Botswana on September 30 in Gaborone as they prepare for the final World Cup qualifier against Algeria next month.
“North African teams play almost the same way and that is the impression I have on Morocco. I will try to watch Burkina Faso’s friendly match against Botswana, as well as the World Cup qualifier. I know they use mostly foreign-based players but watching them would give me at least an idea of how they play,” said Gorowa.
Uganda could trouble the Warriors with most of the players they use in every competition are based locally.