WARRIORS coach Sunday Chidzambwa says he will consider some of his first team regulars, including the pair of Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat, for this year’s COSAFA Castle Cup in South Africa. The coach fielded a number of South Africa-based players in his team last year which won the tournament after defeating Zambia 3-1 in the final.
Ovidy Karuru, the Amazulu midfielder, captained the side and was one of the stand-out players of the tournament as he scored a number of goals for the Warriors.
Chidzambwa has won three of the five COSAFA Cups for Zimbabwe and has never lost a match in the tournament.
The Warriors coach said he was likely to field his best possible side for the COSAFA Castle Cup this year because it was the only tournament where he could experiment with the strategies he wants to employ in the CAF Nations Cup qualifiers.
Chidzambwa said the Warriors were unlikely to have any international friendlies after the COSAFA Castle Cup this year, with the World Cup set for June and July, and it was important he gets a look at his star players in competitive matches.
The coach made this revelation in the first edition of the rebranded ZTV weekly football magazine show, Game Plan With Mabika, which featured on Wednesday night where he was the special guest.
The vastly popular show has been moved from Mondays to Wednesday nights.
“Look, we might not get another chance to look at our boys and where we want them to play during the AFCON games and that is why I believe we need all our best players at COSAFA,’’ said Chidzambwa.
“We need to see them playing in a competitive environment, using the formula that we want, to see if it works or if it needs to be improved, to see if we need some other players playing in certain roles.
“This is a good opportunity for us to test what we want to use during the AFCON matches and that is why we need all our best players and the good thing is that most of them will be available as their foreign leagues would have ended.’’
Chidzambwa said he believes that Orlando Pirates defensive midfielder Marshall Munetsi was the best Zimbabwean player for that role and he wanted to give him another chance after he impressed at the Four Nations tournament in Zambia.
“He is a very good defensive midfielder and I think we are sorted in that role, he is strong, tackles well and is comfortable with the ball but we also want him to play with some of our regular players to see how he fits in the team.’’
Former Warriors forward Alois Bunjira, who was one of the pundits on the show, said he supported Chidzambwa’s move.
“Look, the thing is that we don’t get enough friendlies and the coach might not get another chance to see how he can field his men in a competitive game and I support his move to use COSAFA for that,’’ said Bunjira.