PREPARATIONS for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) back-to-back qualifiers against the Desert Foxes of Algeria go a gear up as players from different leagues across the globe trickle into camp starting today (Friday).
In a telephone interview, Warriors’ team manager, Wellington Mpandare told Post Sport that the South African-based contingent is expected to make up the bulk of those to report earliest for national duty with the exception of the trio of Khama Billiat, Terence Dzukamanja and Kuda Mahachi.
The three, who are now expected in camp next week, have international assignments at their respective clubs this weekend.
Mpandare said it was not an easy task to have players travelling in time for the Algeria assignment given the current Covid-19 travel restrictions in most parts of the globe.
“We are generally satisfied with the way our preparations have been going on so far. We are expecting players to start coming into camp on Friday (today).
“Most of the players that we are expecting to report for camp on Friday are South African-based players except Khama Billiat, Terence Dzukamanja and Kuda Mahachi. They have some Caf competitions at their respective clubs which they have to fulfill.
“We will then expect them to join camp next week. It has not been an easy assignment given the Covid-19 travelling restrictions that are in place in most parts of the globe with borders closed and some airlines grounded.
“However, we are expecting to get the best out of our efforts,” said the Warriors team manager.
Warriors coach, Zdravko Logarusic named his provisional squad for the upcoming back-to-back Afcon qualifiers against Algeria, beginning with an away trip to North Africa on Thursday (November 12).
With the Croatian leading Zimbabwe into a drub goalless draw with the Flames of Malawi during the international break early last month, all eyes are on him as he seeks to make his first competitive dugout appearance a memorable one.
Coming into back-to-back tie against the star-studded Desert Foxes, Zimbabwe are underdogs even judging by the efforts put into preparations of both nations.
Algeria played two friendlies against Nigeria and Mexico, winning one-nil against African continent heavyweight, the Super Eagles and drawing two-all with Mexico, while Zimbabwe entertained minnows Malawi to a goalless stalemate.
The Desert Foxes lead Group H with six points from two matches, while Zimbabwe is second with four points.
Botswana is third with a point, while Zambia is anchoring the table with no points.
The players called into camp are:
GOALKEEPERS: Elvis Chipezeze, Talbert Shumba and Tatenda Mkuruva.
DEFENDERS: Jimmy Dzingai, Alec Mudimu, Jordan Zemura, Teenage Hadebe, Tendai Jirira, Divine Lunga, Tendai Darikwa and Adam Chicksen.
MIDFIELDERS: Khama Billiat, Marshall Munetsi, Ovidy Karuru, Butholezwe Ncube, Tafadzwa Rusike, Marvellous Nakamba, Knowledge Musona, Terrence Dzvukamanja, King Nadolo and Kuda Mahachi
FORWARDS: Tino Kadewere, David Moyo and Prince Dube.