YOUNG Warriors coach Tonderai Ndiraya yesterday named a team of local and foreign-based players for their Under-23 African Nations Cup qualifier against Mozambique on Friday.
Zimbabwe had a bye in the first round and kick-start their campaign away in Maputo on Friday hoping for a positive result.
The second leg will be played four days later at the National Sports Stadium.
Ndiraya named an 18-member final team with six foreign-based players making the cut.
They include Spain-based goalkeeper Martin Mapisa, defender Reward Mwakona who is plying his trade in Northern Ireland, midfielders Seth Patrick and Matifadza Zata who are based in Germany and Scotland.
“I think it’s quite a balanced squad and, obviously, we were motivated by the fact that we had to strike a balance between the two, the foreign-based players and the local-based ones,’’ said Ndiraya.
“So, given the background of fitness, like I said before that our local guys haven’t started their league yet and the foreign guys are active, we decided to have a mixture of players.
“We had a lot of competition for the jerseys.
“We were spoiled for choice in all the departments except the centre-back department. But all the other departments we had about two to three players.’’
The technical department had to make a late change to their squad by bringing in Yadah Stars’ centre-back Clive Mandivei after Hastings Chapusha picked an injury.
“I saw these guys on video and we had to assess them physically and I must say all of them are quite good players, though there isn’t much difference between the foreign guys and local guys.
“But their level is quite good and I think if we blend them well, the local guys and the foreign guys, they will really give us a good blend,” said Ndiraya.
The team is expected to fly out today via South Africa.
Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa (Velez CF, Spain), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars).
Defenders: Peace Makaha (Manica Diamonds), Reward Mwakona (Ards FC, Northern Ireland), Shadreck Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs), Clive Mandivei (Yadah Stars), Mbongeni Ndlovu (Highlanders).
Midfielders: Seth Patrick (Vfb Lubeck, Germany), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), Matifadza Zata (Dundee United, Scotland), Anelka Chivandire (Triangle United), Nicholas Guyo (Ubuntu, South Africa), Kudzai Dhemere (Dynamos), Marlvin Kwinjo (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
Strikers: Junior Zindoga (Maritzburg United, South Africa), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Delic Murimba (Triangle United).