WITH the 2022 Afcon back-to-back qualifiers against Algeria just two months away, Warriors coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic is desperate for his side to secure an international friendly before the clashes against the North Africans.
The two matches against the reigning African champions were scheduled for March but were postponed after the global spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
After a lot of uncertainty regarding international football, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) earlier this month announced a rescheduled calendar.
The Warriors are set to resume their Afcon Group H qualifying campaign with the two clashes against the Desert Foxes between November 9 and 17.
Zimbabwe will then complete their campaign with matches against Zambia and Botswana between March 20 and 31 next year.
However, in order for teams to be in shape before the qualifiers resume in November, Caf has reserved the window October 5-13 for friendly internationals.
At the moment, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) is yet to secure opponents to play the Warriors on that free window.
Logarusic, who is currently holed up in his native Croatia, is praying the association is able to expedite their search for opponents to help the Warriors warm-up ahead of those crucial qualifiers against Algeria.
Securing a friendly in October is also important for the coach since he is yet to take charge of the team in a competitive match.
The Croatian was appointed Warriors coach in January to take over from Sunday Chidzambwa, who quit following an underwhelming 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt where the team failed to progress past the group stages.
Since his appointment, Logarusic has only held a 10-day training camp with the local-based players in March.
“It’s important to have at least a friendly match before we play the qualifiers to help us have an idea on players that we can select for those crucial matches,” Logarusic told the Daily News yesterday.
“I understand the federation is working on something because we discussed it. Friendly matches will help us have an idea of what to expect from our players. I’m not really looking at the type of opponents; the important thing will be for us to play.”
Logarusic is also sweating over the start of the 2020 Premier Soccer League season which has been postponed since March as well.
Currently, there is no start date yet as Zifa is yet to obtain approval from the government for local football to resume.
“We must start training immediately. There is a possibility that players in Europe might not come if clubs hang on to them because of the coronavirus,” he said.
“But we need the green light from the government first to start training and organise anything. We can’t do anything without it.”