ZIMBABWE have commenced preparations for the forthcoming Cosafa Cup tournament, which gets underway in the North West Province, South Africa at the weekend
Team manager Charles Mukaronda told Goal that 15 of the 20 players called into camp had turned up by Tuesday evening.
Four-time champions Zimbabwe, traditionally regional heavyweights, will this year start the event at the preliminary stage after tumbling down the Fifa rankings over the past two years.
They have been drawn in Group A along with Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius, whom they play in their first match on Sunday.
A challenging quarter-final date against champions Zambia awaits, should Zimbabwe emerge from their pool in what would be a re-run of last year’s final, which ended 2-0 in favour of Chipolopolo.
Zimbabwe coaches, led by Kalisto Pasuwa, have been hamstrung in their selection by a requirement not to call-up more than two players from one team to avoid disrupting the local league.
Furthermore, exciting Dynamos midfielder Ronald Chitiyo and inform Chicken Inn marksman Edmore Chirambadare have been dropped from the original list, apparently at the behest of their clubs.
The coaches have also been unable to include members of the U-23 team, who play Swaziland in an Olympic qualifier next week.
Concentrating on duties with the Under 23 squad … Warriors coach Kalisto Pasuwa