Depleted Young Warriors for Congo match


HARARE – The Zimbabwe Under-17 coaches are running around to raise a team for the Young Warriors’ African Youth Champions second leg qualifier against Congo next month.

At least 18 of the players that were in the Young Warriors squad that lost the first leg 2-1 at Rufaro stadium two weeks ago are unavailable for the return fixture as they will be writing their Ordinary Level examinations.

This has presented coach Lloyd Chigowe with a headache of raising a competitive team that can erase the first leg deficit.

The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) lobbied the Confederation of African Football (Caf) to postpone the match to a later date than October 27.

Caf complied by shifting the Young Warriors return leg qualifier, by a week, to November 4, a date which still falls under Zimbabwe’s schools examination schedule.

Zimbabwe Junior League chairperson Zivanai Chiyangwa is however, optimistic that they will be able to find capable replacements, who will not be affected by the examinations.

“We have managed to run around and secure good players for the match against Congo,” Chiyangwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“Besides the active provinces, we have districts where football is active, so we have a broad base to choose from.

“Young Warriors assistant coach Agent Sawu is currently in Bulawayo conducting trials for this cause.
“In fact we have confidence with whoever is going to be chosen to represent the country and I’m sure they will perform.”

Asked if the Young Warriors technical department had stretched their scope to include the current Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 Zimbabwe team, Chiyangwa said: “We have already had a look at some of them. Some of the players are not actively involved in leagues making it difficult for us to draft them. You saw how big the Congolese are. We need big players.”

The new look Young Warriors that will be chosen to represent the country in the second leg will go into camp this Saturday.

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