Wolves prodigy Chirewa in Warriors squad IN WITH THE BIG BOYS . . . Tawanda Chirewa is set for his Warriors debut after being drafted into the senior national team

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

THE Warrior’s creative hub has received a huge catalyst, following the drafting of Wolves starlet Tawanda Chirewa into the squad for the senior national football team’s 2026 World Cup qualifying assignments early next month.

Zimbabwe, who are in Group C, host Lesotho at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg on June 7, before they play South Africa at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein four days later.

The two matches will be critical in the Warriors’ quest for a maiden qualification for the World Cup.

Zimbabwe have two points from as many games in a six-team group that also has West African giants Nigeria, Rwanda and Benin.

Only the group winners will secure a place at the global football fiesta.

Despite the Warriors still being without a coach, it has emerged that players have since received correspondence on their call-up to national duty.

ZIFA are understood to have set up a committee that has been working on selecting players for the two matches, who will in turn be handed to the incoming coach.

And Chirewa, who plies his trade with English Premiership side, is one of those players who have received their calls to duty from ZIFA.

The 20-year-old midfielder had his first Warriors call-up for a Four-nation tournament in Malawi in March, which featured the hosts, the Warriors, Zambia and Kenya.

But Chirewa withdrew from the squad citing club commitments with Wolves.

He indicated that he needed time to fully focus on club duties, where he wanted to fight for playing minutes at Wolves.

Chirewa had just broken into the regular squad when the Warriors travelled to Blantyre.

But he did not mince his words in terms of expressing where his international allegiance lay and told Zimpapers Sports that he would be available for future assignments.

“I just want to make a quick message to the fans and the great people of Zimbabwe and let everyone know that I’m honoured and proud to be called to Zimbabwe and how sad I am to withdraw from the national team camp,’’ Chirewa said back then.

“I am excited about the call, but I feel that I need to first solidify my place (at Wolves) so that when the next assignment comes, I’ll be an established English Premier League player and ready to take us (Zimbabwe) to the World Cup.

“I am hopeful to be called and represent the Warriors shortly and I will be working very hard to take this country back to the levels which I believe it should be.’’

Chirewa has since made eight appearances for Wolves and will now be expected to transform his club form to the Warriors, when they first date Likuena (The Crocodiles) before they face the tougher test from their Southern African rivals Bafana Bafana.

The Wolves midfielder is one of a host of new faces who are expected to lead the search for the Warrior’s first win in their Group C campaign.

Zimbabwe’s opening two games in Butare, Rwanda, ended in a goalless draw with the Wasps before they held the Super Eagles 1-1.

Chirewa is also expected to team up with Andy Rinomhota in the Warriors squad.

ZIFA sources indicated yesterday that Chirewa has also committed to availing himself for the two assignments in South Africa.

“Tawanda Chirewa has been included in the team and this time around, he has committed to come.

“He is a really good lad who can add a lot to the team.

“He asked to be excused the last time out when the Warriors played in the Four-Nations tournament in Malawi and we understood him and, this time around, he is coming,’’ the sources said.

There are also indications that Jordan Zemura has been included in the squad.

Zemura’s handlers had a nasty public fallout with then interim Warriors coach, Norman Mapeza, with the Udinese player’s camp claiming he would not feature for the Warriors under the FC Platinum mentor.

Zemura is one of a cast of regulars who also include defender Teenage Hadebe, skipper Marvelous Nakamba and the France-based duo of Tino Kadewere and Marshal Munetsi to whom invitations have been sent.

Chicken Inn goalkeeper Donavan Bernard and his DeMbare counterpart, Martin Mapisa, have been included.

Dynamos also have their vice-captain and right-back Emmanuel Jalai among the Warriors’ local contingent.

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