Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
NYASHA MUSHEKWI says he is ready to use the lessons he picked in Gabon to help the Warriors turn on an improved show at the 2019 AFCON finals in Egypt next month.
Mushekwi missed all the six Warriors qualifying matches as he battled a groin injury which required delicate surgery in Spain.
Yesterday, the Warriors technical team kept faith in the big striker and included him in the enlarged squad of 34 players announced at a media briefing in the capital.
Mushekwi will not be involved in the regional tournament, which falls outside the FIFA dates, and will only report for camp when he joins the AFCON squad for a friendly match away in Nigeria against the Super Eagles on June 8.
“I am happy to be back, of course, but just not being able to help in the road to the finals wasn’t what I wanted,’’ he said.
“But I hope I will make the team to the finals so that I help my country at the AFCON finals where I last played for the team.
“I have recovered now, I am healed and going strong. I haven’t been scoring as much, this season has been a bit tougher for our team but I am trying my best which I will do also if given the chance to play at the AFCON.
“A tournament is a one-time game, different from qualifiers, Egypt are a good team, of course, just as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, so we have to try and approach these games, or tournament, in a different way.
“Let me say, with experience that we got from the last AFCON that we played, I hope we can take lessons from the mistakes we made and see how we can improve going into this tournament.
“It is going to be interesting.’’
Mushekwi said the first game was always key at any tournament.
“The first game is the most important game, at a tournament like this, the first game is the most important game,’’ he said.
“And, we are playing against a very good team that is playing at home so there is going to be a lot of pressure for everybody.
“But if we can overcome that, I am sure, the rest of the tournament would be easier and we will do our best.’’
He said it was important the team will have a longer training camp in Durban, South Africa.
“It is a good development, good preparation for the team, considering that for our last AFCON we only had one or two friendly matches, which I feel were not enough for a big stage like that,’’ said Mushekwi.
“So, COSAFA is coming in handy and also have the game against Nigeria which would be good and we have to keep going.
“Everyone knows (Mohamed Salah), and I can’t talk about him, just like DRC, of course, we played them in the group stages but now it is a different ball game.’’