National Under 23 coach, Tonderai Ndiraya has named a strong 27 member squad comprising of 7 young overseas based players, two South African based and 18 locally based players who begin camp on Wednesday morning in Harare.
The team is set to play Mozambique in back to back AFCON and 2020 Olympic qualifiers beginning on the 22nd of March in Maputo, Mozambique.
Martin Mapisa (Velez CF, Spain),Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum), Spencer Ngwerume (FC Platinum).
Reward Mwakona (Ards, N. Ireland), Enrique Ndlovu (AS Trencin, Slovakia), Hastings Chapusha (Harare City), Mbongeni Ndlovu (Highlanders), Peace Makaha (Manica Diamonds), Shadreck Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs), Marvelous Chigumira (TelOne), Colin Mujuru (Harare City).
Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), Marlvin Kwinjo (Ngezi Platinum), Kudzai Dhemere (Dynamos), Farai Mutatu (Michigan State, USA), Shama Bako (VFB Luebeck, Germany), Seth Patrick (VFB Luebeck, Germany), Kelvin Ndebele (CAPS United), Matifadzi Zata (Dundee United, Scotland), Anelka Chivandire (Triangle United), Nicholas Guyo (Ubuntu Cape Town, S.A).
Delic Murimba (Triangle United), Junior Zindoga (Maritzburg United, S.A), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Wilfred Muvirimi (Harare City), Aubriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Tinotenda Benza (Herentals).
It has been a long time since Zimbabwe participated in the age group tournaments and Ndiraya defended his selection, saying he had cast his net far and wide in trying to build a future base for the senior national team.
Addressing the media at ZIFA House in Harare today, Ndiraya said he had thorough knowledge of overseas based players, adding that they would not get any preferential treatment since he had been monitoring the overseas players through collated videos and conversations with their coaches who testified that they were able to compete with locals.
“We have verified all the shortlisted players to ensure they all got their papers and passports in order and are able and ready to represent the country. We are giving them an opportunity to kick-start their international careers with Zimbabwe…but will not get automatic places in the team. They have to compete and earn their places,” he said.
The foreign based players would only join camp from the 18th as is the standard procedure with FIFA.
Ndiraya paid tribute to ZIFA for accepting his request for a longer camp because of the Zimbabwe season which is currently on off season.
He said the technical team will first focus on physical fitness of the local players during the first few days of the camp.