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Brito Explains Warriors Squad Selection

3 months agoThu, 02 Nov 2023 16:49:29 GMT
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Brito Explains Warriors Squad Selection

Warriors coach Baltemar Brito said the 28 players named in the provisional Warriors squad for Zimbabwe’s 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this month were selected because they have the “ability to face two challenges in a short space of time.”

There was an uproar in some sections of the fanbase after Brito and his technical team overlooked some experienced players and called up greenhorns from Europe.

The likes of Ronald Pfumbidzai, Knox Mutizwa, Devine Lunga and Kundai Benyu are not in the squad whereas some youngsters playing at English clubs’ development sides were called up.

Liverpool midfielder Isaac Mabaya and Leicester City striker Tawanda Maswanhise play for the development sides of their respective clubs but were named in the Warriors’ provisional squad to face Rwanda on 15 November, and Nigeria on 19 November.

Speaking to The Herald, Brito said the technical team did not look at the status of the players. He added:

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We had this camping in Harare, where a number of players impressed and Tanaka (Shandirwa) is on the list, it was just an error by the media department.

For the other ones like Devine (Lunga), Knox (Mutizwa) and Ronald (Pfumbidzai) it was a technical decision after we realised the players that we have in the same positions, the competitiveness and the minutes they have had.

The bulk of the players called up for the two matches are foreign-based, with the likes of Highlanders and Dynamos defenders, Peter Muduhwa and Frank Makarati, respectively, among the few local players in the provisional squad. Said Brito:

We also analysed the European-based players that we have and also the magnitude of the task that we have, and the opponents that we will face, Rwanda and Nigeria.

We took the decision in the best interests of Zimbabwe knowing that in one of the assignments we will just have two days of training, the other one a really tough one.

So, the criteria was to balance the team with experience and youth and also take into consideration we have two games in four days.

So, we went for quality and the ability to face these two challenges in a short space of time.

We will try to choose the best eleven when the players come together. We know that some of the players will play on the weekend and have a big journey to Rwanda and they will be affected in terms of freshness.

These are some of the factors we also considered.

Here is the provisional squad:

Goalkeepers

  • Donovan Bernard (Chicken Inn)
  • Washington Arubi (SuperSport United)
  • Martin Mapisa (FC Malaga City)
  • Marley Tavaziva (Brentford)

Defenders

  • Tendayi Darikwa (Apolon Limassol)
  • Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders)
  • Peter Muduhwa (Highlanders)
  • Frank Makarati (Dynamos)
  • Teenage Hadebe (Houston Dynamo)
  • Munashe Garan’anga (Sheriff Tiraspol)
  • Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle)
  • Jordan Zemura (Udinese)
  • Tivonge Rushesha (Reading)

Midfielders

  • Brian Banda (FC Platinum)
  • Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims)
  • Marvelous Nakamba (Luton Town)
  • Gerald Takwara (Ohod)
  • Isaac Mabaya (Liverpool)

Forwards

  • Obriel Chirinda (Bulawayo Chiefs)
  • Prince Dube (Azam)
  • Tinotenda Kadewere (Lyon)
  • Admiral Muskwe (Exeter City)
  • Walter Musona (FC Platinum)
  • Terrence Dzvukamanja (SuperSport United)
  • Leon Chiwome (Wolverhampton Wanderers)
  • Tawanda Masvanhise (Leicester City)

The Warriors are expected to get together on 13 November, just two days before playing Rwanda. Some of the European-based players are expected to fly directly to the central African country.

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