YOUNG Warriors coach Moses “Bambo” Chunga has announced his final team which is scheduled to leave tomorrow for the COSAFA Under-17 Championship which begins this Friday in Mauritius.
Chunga has been working with a squad of 30 players who began training last Tuesday, but has now selected the boys who will represent the nation in the Indian Ocean island.
The former Dynamos coach said despite Zimbabwe lagging behind at age-group tournaments in recent years, he is confident that his troops will do their best.
“The preparations are going on well and what is left is to do final touches. “I feel excited that after years of stagnation in junior development we are getting back to the real thing. In terms of junior development, we were the worst because when it comes to football, five years is like a lifetime.
“But we are happy that the doctor of football that is Dr Philip Chiyangwa is giving medication and has thrown a lifeline to junior development.
“We have received all the support anyone would wish from the association and our camp has been smooth and what is just left is to leave for the tournament. All our travel arrangements have been sorted and the players are very excited.
“Most of them it is their first time to travel outside the country and competing in a national tournament,” said Chunga.
Some of the players that have made it into the final squad are Chunga’s son Madalitso, Herentals’ Tinotendaishe Benza and Calum English-Brown of St. Johns who was nearly ruled out on a technicality.
However, English-Brown became eligible to play on Friday after COSAFA conformed to the country’s sports policy which allows minority athletes to represent the nation even without a local passport.
The regional tournament organisers had previously informed ZIFA that the British passport holder was ineligible as their rules require that every athlete should be in possession of a passport for the country he is playing for.
But after the Sport and Recreation Commission articulated the country’s policy, COSAFA gave ZIFA the green light to register English-Brown for the youth tournament.
Goalkeepers: Peter Mushure, Tafadzwa Chirimba.
Defenders: Desire Huwani, Albert Munopfukutwa, Tinotenda Muringai, Mannered Matsikidze, Ismail Nabil, Munashe Chakuchichi.
Midfielders: Victor Chipangura, Takunda Manyuchi, Calum English-Brown, Charlton Nyahanana, Blessmore Mureremba, Kyle Nathanson, Taurayi Tugwete.
Strikers: Kuzivakwashe Gwasira, Shaun Matika, Madalitso Chunga, Delroy Lingililani, Tinotendaishe Benza.
Technical team: Moses Chunga (head coach), Tafadzwa Mashiri (assistant coach) Jabulani Zwangobani (manager), Benson Tapuwa Karongo (doctor).