WARRIORS coach Callisto Pasuwa has announced a 32 member squad ahead of the 2016 Orange African Nations Championship final. The tournament will be held in Rwanda from January 16 to February 7 2016.
Pasuwa has blended youth with experience in his squad to strike the right balance for a tough campaign.
He has indicated the need for thorough preparations ahead of the CHAN finals.
“We need to prepare adequately as this group is tough. All these teams Zambia, Uganda and Mali have a large number of locals representing their senior team in their Afcon qualifiers. They are well organised and have solid structures,” Pasuwa told the Association’s official website.
Pasuwa also gave an insight on why he called a larger pool of players.
“I have fears over possible injuries considering that the players are coming out of a high intensity season. Therefore some players are reported to have injuries and we need to manage their fitness carefully as they are entering pre-season,” said the coach.
The coach expressed his wish to reach the final in Rwanda next year.
“It’s our wish as Zimbabwe to progress to the final and have a good run in the tournament,” said Pasuwa.
Zimbabwe were drawn in Group D of the 2016 African Nations Championship finals along with Cosafa rivals Zambia, Mali and Uganda following the draw that was conducted at the Serena Hotel in Kigali.
Warriors finished fourth at the 2014 tournament which was hosted by South Africa.
Group D matches will be played at the Rubavu Stadium in Gisenyi.
Zimbabwe’s Warriors who eliminated Zambia’s Chipolopolo from participating in the 2014 tournament, have appeared at every final tournament since the inception of the CHAN tournament in 2009.
Zambia will be making their second appearance at the Chan finals tournament having qualified for the first edition held in Cote d’Ivoire in 2009.
West Africans Mali have participated at the CHAN finals since 2011 and at the previous tournament were eliminated by Zimbabwe at the quarter-final stage.
East Africans Uganda have been steady campaigners since 2011 and will be making their third appearance at the CHAN finals. The Cranes have never made it past the group stage of the tournament.
In the 2014 CHAN tournament, Uganda were in group B together with Zimbabwe and held the Warriors to a goalless draw in Cape Town.
ZIMBABWE 2016 CHAN TEAM
Elvis Chipezeze (Chicken Inn FC), Tatenda Mkuruva (Dynamos FC), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange Colliery FC), Donovan Bernard (How Mine FC)
Stephen Makatuka (CAPS United FC), Blessing Moyo (Dynamos FC), Bruce Kangwa (Highlanders FC), Ocean Mushure (Dynamos FC), Elisha Muroiwa (Dynamos FC), Teenage Hadebe (Highlanders FC), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn FC ), Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United FC) Farai Madhananga (Flame lily FC)
Nqobizitha Masuku (Highlanders FC), Tichaona Chipunza (Triangle FC), Ronald Chitiyo (Dynamos FC), Raphael Manuvire (ZPC Kariba FC), Tafadzwa Kutinyu (Chicken Inn FC), George Majika (Chicken Inn FC), Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), William Manondo (Harare City FC), Danny Phiri (Chicken Inn FC), Gerald Takwara (FC Platinum), Joel Ngodzo (Caps United FC) Hilary Bakacheza (Triangle United FC)
Pritchard Mpelele (Hwange Colliery FC), Rodreck Mutuma (Dynamos FC), Edmore Chirambadare (Chicken Inn FC), Brian Muzondiwa (FC Platinum), Francisco Zikumbawire (Harare City FC), Knox Mtizwa ( Highlanders FC), Moses Demera (Flame Lily FC)
2016 CHAN GROUPS
Group A: Rwanda, Gabon, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire
Group B: DR Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia
Group C: Tunisia, Nigeria, Niger, Guinea
Group D: Zimbabwe, Mali, Uganda, Zambia.