YOUNG Warriors coach Jairos Tapera is eyeing gold at the regional Cosafa Under-20 Youth Championships that get underway in Lesotho on Tuesday.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
Zimbabwe is in Group D at the 14-nation tournament where they will open their campaign with a date against Swaziland before taking on Botswana.
Hosts Lesotho will be joined in Group A by East African guests Kenya, Comoros Islands and Mauritius, while Group B has Angola, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Group C comprises defending champions Zambia, South Africa, Namibia and Seychelles.
Tapera, whose team has been camped in Zvishavane for the past two weeks, said despite the lack of practice matches, the Young Warriors had shown the capability of winning the tournament.
“So far we have done well in terms of preparations. We have a number of players with Premier Soccer League experience. In any tournament, the goal is not only to reach the final, but to win it as well,” he said.
The coach, whose side leaves today for Maseru, will be banking on the premiership experience of CAPS United defender and vice-captain Ronald Pfumbidzai, captain Michael Maipe of Black Mambas and Motor Action’s Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, goalkeeper Donovan Bernard and Albert Kusemwa.
Musona will be willing to walk in the footsteps of his elder brother Knowledge, whose generation was the last to lay their hands on the tournament with a 3-0 victory over hosts South Africa.
Regional power house Zambia, who have won the tournament 10 times since its inception in 1983, open their title defence against Namibia on December 4 while another pre-tournament favourite South Africa, take on Seychelles.