By Trevor Makonyonga
As the African Nation’s Championship (CHAN) football tournament begins tomorrow in Cameroon, two former national team players David Maketo Sengu and Milton “Milito” Ncube have put their weight behind the team.Speaking to Bustop TV in separate conversations, the two believed the warriors team has what it takes to compete.Former Warriors left back, Milton Ncube said that the team has experience and henceforth could have a good showing.
“With the squad that is there, I see a bit of experience all I know is that the team is going to be competitive. The thing that I am not sure of is the game fitness side of the guys but I am sure we have a good side there”. he said
The United Kingdom based former warrior however pointed out that lack of activity in the league could work against the team.
“Having seen the setup with the Chan tournament obviously it will be a bit far fetched to say they would win it considering that we have to factor in that our league has been inactive for some time now. I think it’s going to play a huge part on the tournament that whoever has the league which is active has a bit of an advantage going into this tournament because our guys have been inactive. I do hope that the camp helped a bit”, he said.
Former Caps United and Warriors defender David Maketo Sengu believes that there is a chance to qualify for the next stage and emphasized on the warriors getting a result in the opening match against the hosts, Cameroon.
“Our chances to progress from the group stage lie in the first game which we play against Cameroon. If we can get a result against Cameroon, in our next game we would have put ourselves in a position to advance to the next stage since it’s a tournament we haven’t progressed beyond the group stage. The team is good to be honest but it’s how these guys are going to fare against the host and the other West Africans. These (games) are only for locally based players so the composition our group it’s not as as strong as it would be if foreign based players were to be involved. We have played Cameroon including their foreign based players some games we won, some comes lost. How we are going to crack the first game is important because if we wait for the second game or last game we might lose it”, said Sengu.
He however downplayed the outcry on lack of preparation saying it was a Warriors’ perennial problem saying that all the guys need is support from home and support from each other at the tournament.
“It’s not the first time that we haven’t prepared very well. We have been doing this for years. People always cry out about our lack of preparation but at the end of the day it’s all about how we play at the tournament and how we fare as a national. Are we going to get all the support from the guys who are here and also those who went to play will need to support each other as a team,” added Sengu.
The Zimbabwean delegation left Harare on Wednesday afternoon and arrived in Cameroon yesterday on Thursday around midday after a stop-over in Ethiopia. The Warriors play Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde at 6pm Zimbabwe time today.
Zimbabwe are in Group A which also has Mali and Burkina Faso. Zimbabwe face Burkina Faso on Wednesday before concluding their group stages campaign against Mali on Sunday with the top two teams progressing to the quarterfinals.
Warriors Chan squad Goalkeepers: Ariel Sibanda (Highlanders), Simba Chinani (Dynamos), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi)
Defenders: Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Partson Jaure (Dynamos), Tafadzwa Jaravani (CAPS Utd), Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn), Qadr Amini (Ngezi), Carlos Mavhurume (CAPS Utd), Pawell Govere (Golden Eagles), Andrew Mbeba (Highlanders), Talent Chamboko (Manica Diamonds)
Midfielders: Richard Hachiro (CAPS Utd), Ronald Chitiyo (CAPS Utd), Gabriel Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs), Wellington Taderera (Ngezi), Leeroy Mavunga (CAPS Utd), Tatenda Tavengwa (Harare City), King Nadolo (Dynamos), Denver Mukamba (Ngezi)
Strikers: Obriel Chirinda (Chicken Inn), Thomas Chideu, Farawo Matare (Bulawayo Chiefs)