WARRIORS coach Zdravko “Loga” Logarusic is monitoring Zimbabwean players getting game-time in Europe and in other African countries as he prepares for the forthcoming 2022 Afcon qualifiers against Algeria.
The Warriors are set to resume their Group H qualifiers with back-to-back clashes against the reigning African champions between November 9 and 17.
Initially, the two matches should have taken place in March but were postponed due to the global spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
As part of the preparations for those two blockbuster encounters, the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has secured a friendly international against the Flames of Malawi set for Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on October 11.
The gaffer is in his native Croatia and is now expected to return to Zimbabwe next week to intensify preparations for both the Malawi friendly international and the matches against the Desert Foxes.
While it’s not clear yet if Loga will be able to field his strongest team against Malawi, he is happy to at least see his team in action after such a long lay-off.
With chances of fielding any local players for the upcoming fixtures almost impossible due to inactivity of the domestic league, the Croat is following closely Warriors players, who are dotted around the world and seems to be satisfied with what he is seeing.
Loga has been hugely impressed by former Highlanders striker Prince Dube, who has taken the Tanzanian league by storm after netting three goals so far for Azam FC.
“I’m monitoring most of the players and I should say I’m really impressed by most of the guys. I have been impressed mostly by Dube, who recently joined Azam.
“He is a fantastic player and to think that he has not been playing competitively for a while but already showing his class. I’m sure he will get better with time.
“I’m equally excited with other players like Knowledge (Musona), Marshall (Munetsi) and Teenage (Hadebe).
“I have also seen that some players like Tino (Kadewere) and Marvelous Nakamba are yet to get more minutes but they are doing quite well,” Loga told the Daily News yesterday.
The bulk of Loga’s squad is likely to come from South Africa’s DStv Premiership where there is a huge contingent.
The Super Diski is currently in pre-season with the 2020-21 season set to kick off on October 17.
“I have also been following the pre-season in South Africa and most of the Zim players appear to be doing well.
“The good thing is that most of them are match fit because they had a very short break. So, yes, I’m religiously following all the players and I have an idea on those who will do duty for us,” Loga added.
The Croat 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, Loga has only held a 10-day training camp with the local-based players in March as they prepared for the 2020 Chan tournament before it was postponed.
Since then, he has been itching to take charge of his first official game which has been delayed by the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Warriors currently sit in second place in group H after drawing 0-0 with Botswana before defeating Zambia 1-2 last November.
Algeria have collected maximum points in their opening two matches after thrashing Chipolopolo 5-0 and beating Botswana 0-1.
This makes the meetings between the Warriors and the Desert Foxes in November very crucial in determining the outcome of the group.
Whoever takes most points from those two matches will effectively have total control of the group and guaranteed a ticket to the finals to be held in Cameroon in 2022.