Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Defence Forces Select coach Gift “Guava” Kamuriwo has warned his charges against treating their Malawian counterparts lightly if they are to win the ZDF trophy at the National Sports Stadium this afternoon.
The match will bring down the curtain on the commemorations of the 38th anniversary of the ZDF at the giant facility.
Organisers of the annual event have always included a football match to be part of the celebrations and have alternated between local clubs and regional defence force teams.
This year, they have settled for the Malawians and the match is expected to be explosive.
Kamuriwo, who has previously participated in such matches, has the responsibility to lead the local defence forces against their Malawians counterparts. And the Black Rhinos coach believes their opponents could surprise them if his men are not careful.
He said there are no small teams in the modern game and although on the few occasions the teams have met, the Zimbabweans have emerged victorious, a lot has changed and his team needs to be careful.
“There is no room to treat our opponents lightly,’’ he said.
“This is our first time to play against the Malawi Defence Forces in recent years and we don’t know how they play.
“But we have prepared well for the duel. My team is ready, the players are eager to prove they are worth their salt. We have nine players from Chapungu and as many from Black Rhinos.
“These players were selected on merit and the starting team will also be selected on merit.
“We have the whole nation behind us and we cannot afford to disappoint in front of the fans.
“I have a team which I believe can deliver the goods. I am confident that they will deliver. Most of these players were in action over the weekend and they haven’t rested enough but in this age and time it’s very common to have matches in a short space of time.
“Actually, the fact that these players participated in the league for their respective clubs can give us an advantage as they already have the momentum.’’ He saluted the players’ fitness levels.
“I had no big issues at training as the players are already fit. I was only working on the combinations. I hope the players will gel.
“But some of the players have at one point played in the same team and I hope that will help us achieve our goals.
“I am confident the team will win and help us celebrate our day in a special way,” said Kamuriwo.
The ZDF Select side go into this match as holders after they beat Highlanders 3-0 in last year’s final at the same venue.
ZDF Select Team
Blessed Mbavarira, Collen Kwaramba, Brighton Mugoni, Maxwell Mavhuto, Moenda Muchingami, Emmanuel Chitauro, Allan Tavarwisa, Ian Nyoni, Philip Marufu, Talbert Shumba, Herbert Rusawo, Farai Banda, Bruce Homora, Wonder Kapinda, Nesbert Padzarondora, Lot Chiunga, Kelvin Chiripawako, Vincent Mhandu, Shadreck Jimu