By Takudzwa Chitsiga
Zimbabwe Under-17 soccer team coach Tafadzwa Mashiri is facing a selection headache ahead of 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championships scheduled to run from July 19 to 29 in Mauritius.
Mashiri is worried he might be forced to travel to the Indian Ocean island with a depleted side as he will have to choose players who have travel documents.
The team selection has seen them covering Bulawayo and Gweru before they converge in the capital this afternoon.
“We would have liked to have a wide selection throughout the country, but we are running out of time.
“Selection should have involved tournaments like the Copa Coca-Cola, whose finals will come barely a week before our departure.
“It’s an issue which is worrisome (that of travel documents), but we will try to allow the players to bond within the three weeks we have in camp.
“A passport and other relevant travelling documents are a pre-requisite as we will not have time to prepare travel documents.
“I think by that we will assemble a strong team that will be able to blend when we get into camp,” he said.
The technical department have since started their selection process and have visited Bulawayo and Gweru where they shortlisted 10 and six players respectively.
Zimbabwe will clash with Swaziland, Malawi and Angola in the group stages.
Mashiri would have loved to use the annual Copa Coca-Cola as part of the process to select his team, but said time is not on their side as they expect to be in camp by July 1.
20/ 07: Zimbabwe v Swaziland (Auguste Vollaire Stadium, 12h30), 23/ 07: Zimbabwe v Malawi (St Francois Xavier Stadium 12h00), 25/ 07: Zimbabwe v Angola (St Francois Xavier Stadium 15h30).