By Petros Kausiyo
Warriors coach Sunday Chizambwa is not resting on his laurels in his bid to assemble a stronger side for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and wants ZIFA to “make a plan” that will afford him a chance to assess the squad’s “British Brigade”.
Only Wales-based defender Alec Mudimu made the trip to Polokwane, South Africa, where Chidzambwa’s men defended their COSAFA Cup title with a 4-2 win over Zambia in the final.
For Chidzambwa, this year’s COSAFA Cup was unique in that it provided him with a chance to try out combinations, ahead of the resumption of Zimbabwe’s 2019 Nations Cup qualifying campaign away against Congo in Brazzaville in September.
“The COSAFA Cup comes at a time when the players in the professional leagues are on the off-season break and we had wanted everyone to be there in the week of camp before the tournament and then use the three competitive games that the tournament afforded us to assess our strengths and weaknesses,” Chidzambwa said. The veteran coach, however, said the key to have his plans back on track lies in having a closer look at such players like Tendai Darikwa, McCauley Bonne, Adam Chicksen, Kelvin Lunga and Kundai Benyu.
“There are players like Lunga (Kelvin) who is playing in Germany. I have seen some video clips of his games but I would want to assess him together with the others because I think he can be very useful to our attack.
“Like I said, we now have the bulk of the squad but we still need to add a few players in order to be stronger, we need to strengthen our defence and we need to polish up on a few areas,” Chidzambwa said.
Kelvin Lunga is the 24-year-old son of former Dynamos and Warriors striker Max Makanza Lunga who plays his club football with Bonner SC in Germany.
Given the way CEFN Druids defender Mudimu acquitted himself and won the plaudits of his coach, and a host of neutrals watching the COSAFA Cup games, including SuperSport United interim coach Kaitano Tembo, Chidzambwa’s insistence on having such players like Darikwa in his ensemble can be understood. Mudimu asserted himself in the centre of the Warriors defence with Chidzambwa charmed by his reading of the game, organisational skills and the manner he steadied the rear guard.
The COSAFA Cup also provided Tinotenda Kadewere with the platform to showcase the extra cutting edge he could bring to the Warriors with the Djurgardens striker managing to shake off a niggling ankle problem to play an influential role in the final.