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By Mugove Chigada / Published on Tuesday, 07 Nov 2017 16:40 PM / No Comments / 2329 views

7 November 2017

. . . as UK-based players arrive

Knowledge Musona

WARRIORS captain Knowledge Musona and goalie George Chigova have been ruled out of the Warriors’ two international friendly matches set for Wednesday and Saturday.

Musona will miss the Lesotho and Namibia clashes after picking an injury playing for his club Sunday night.

Chigova also sustained an injury in Polokwane’s last game.

Manager Wellington Mpandare confirmed the developments on a day players based in the UK finally answered the call to turn out for the Warriors, arriving midday.

“Musona is out of the friendly matches. I spoke to him after his game last night and he will not make it.

Chigova will also not make it as a result of injury to his knee. Chafa, who was in the initial squad of 22, is back in the team.

Herbet Rusawo replaces Chigova to make it 18 players,” Mpandare said.

Musona featured for K.V. Oostende as they brushed aside Zulte Waregem 4-2.

The captain absence come at a time when the Warriors received a big boost after the arrival of highly-rated UK-based players.

After a long period of trying without success, Warriors manager Mpandare has finally pulled it through.

The trio of Tendayi Darikwa, Admiral Muskwe and Macauley Bonne arrived in the country yesterday while Kundai Benyu was expected to jet in hours later.

Darikwa turns out for Nottingham Forest, Muskwe is at Leicester, Macauley Bonne is with Leyton Orient while Benyu is at giants Celtic.

The four are part of the Warriors squad to face Lesotho and Namibia on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.

“We are happy they are here and hoping that this is only the beginning of other talented players coming back to play for the national team,” Mpandare said.

Tendayi Darikwa

Darikwa, who had on several times not turned up for the Warriors despite a call, said it was time to write a new page.

“I don’t want to speak about the past as the past has gone now,” he said.

A group of Warriors supporters were at Harare International Airport to welcome the three.

Darikwa added:

“I came here to win. This is my first time meeting my new teammates. Let’s hope we win ahead of the other games in March. This is very important for me and my family. It is nice that you guys are welcoming me. I wasn’t expecting this (the welcome) and I’m happy I’m here.”

Darikwa could have gone to the 2017 AFCON finals, but failed to join the team. He is optimistic the Warriors can make it at the 2019 finals.

“We are going to qualify and hopefully do better than we did this year,” he said.

Whoever will eventually be given the task to be the Warriors substantive coach will need to work on building a real team, making sure there is better understanding between the players.

“I don’t know most of them but I know a few of the names. I know Nakamba has been doing very well. It will be very nice meeting them for the first time,” Darikwa said.

Wilson Mutekede is in charge of the Warriors’ two international friendly matches.

It is expected that Zifa will come up with a substantive coach before end of the year.

And depending on the coach’s plans for the team and taste, more of the players based in the UK could break into the national team.

Bonne said:

“I’m here to play. The welcome, I wasn’t expecting this. It is far from it. I come here and get a welcome like this, I would want to come back every week. Hopefully people will be behind us and we will get two good wins.”

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