Fungayi Munyoro Sports Correspondent
MUTARE born midfielder Anelka Chivandire is relishing the Cosafa Cup challenge with the young Warriors as they face Mozambique in the qualifying encounter of the Afcon Under-23 tournament to be played today in Maputo, Mozambique.
Tonderai Ndiraya and his charges left the country on Wednesday afternoon for Mozambique where they will face the Mambas in an Under 23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier today , which also doubles up as an All-Africa Games qualifier. The match will be played at Costa Do Sol Stadium before a return leg on March 26 in Harare. The Chiredzi-based player, who plays for Premiership side Triangle, is one of the 18 players, who travelled for the national assignment. The talented midfielder is a product of the Mutare junior soccer powerhouse, La Sakubva.
Chivandire expressed his delight at having been made part of the squad that coach Ndiraya announced. “Playing for Zimbabwe is one of the big moments in every footballers career and I am happy I am part of the team. I am looking forward to playing today and I am confident we can win. We have a strong squad, we have been working hard. On a personal level, I think I have been doing well in the roles that I would have been assigned. I feel very honoured to be called up for the national team.
“In Zimbabwe they are a lot of quality players I am humbled, I will try do my utmost best for my county,” he said.
Peace Makaha who recently joined new boys Manica Diamonds is also part of the squad and he will be looking to make his Warriors debut. He is happy with the opportunity and wants to make the most of it.
Other new faces in the squad named by the veteran coach, who is trying to widen his player base include Spanish based goalkeeper Martin Mapisa and Ireland based defender Reward Mwakona. Other foreign based players include Seth Patrick who is plying his trade in Germany. Ndiraya has also included Scotland based midfielder Matifadza Zata. Nicholas Guyo and Junior Zindoga who are based in South Africa are also part of Ndiraya’s squad.
Ndiraya is optimistic of beating Mozambique today and declared his charges ready for battle.
“My boys are ready for battle. It has been a long time since we had an Under-23 team, but this group of players is raring to go into battle I think we did all we could in terms of preparations. The team is a fusion of local and foreign based players. The foreign based players are so excited to be part of the squad. I hope this is a good squad which is equal to the tusk,” said Ndiraya.
Goalkeepers: Martin Mapisa, Nelson Chadya
Defenders: Reward Mwakona, Mbongeni Ndlovu, Peace Makaha and Shadreck Nyahwa
Midfielders: Tatenda Tavengwa , Marlvin Kwinjo , Kudzai Dhemere , Seth Patrick , Matifadza Zata, Anelka Chivandire and Nicholas Guyo
Strikers: Delic Murimba ,Junior Zindoga, Prince Dube and Aubriel Chirinda .