The Zimbabwe national Under-20 football team will regroup on Wednesday to wind up preparations for next weekend’s Eduardo dos Santos Foundation four-nations tournament in Luanda, Angola.
BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
The team broke camp on Friday morning after training for three days for the tournament that had been initially scheduled for this weekend before it was postponed.
With senior national teams required, Zimbabwe will send the Young Warriors to the two-day tournament that involves hosts Angola, Mozambique and either Equatorial Guinea or Zambia.
This would be in preparation for December’s Cosafa Under-20 Cup, to be hosted by Lesotho.
Thirty-five players are expected in camp and the team will be trimmed down to 18 players before departure.
“We are likely to leave on Friday with a plane that would have been chartered by Angola. We will have the finer details early next week [this week]. We have a cut-off age of January 30 1994, because we want these players to be available when we go for Cosafa in December,” said team manager Patrick Mutesva.
From the squad that was publicised last week, there were a few additions that include the Monomotapa trio of Praise Tonha, Marvelous Mukumba and Admire Matekenya.
Also included is the Bantu Rovers duo of Mayibongo Moyo and Teenager Ngwenya and others from Division One sides DSTV Rangers and Power Masters, as well players from Sprouting and Aces Academy.
Names in headlining coach Jairos Tapera’s squad include Dynamos rookie Abel Gwatidzo and goalkeeper Tatenda Makuruva together with CAPS United’s Ronald Pfumbidzai, Takudzwa Mahori and Tino Muskwe.
Bobby Nkomo and Mgcini Sibanda of Highlanders have also been included.
Tapera hopes to maximise on the little time he has with the players in camp.
“I would have wanted more time in camp because most of the players have never played together before. But we will just have to make do with what is there,” said Tapera. The players will form the core of Kalisto Pasuwa’s Under-23 team, which begins its bid for the 2016 Olympics next year.