KALISTO Pasuwa has challenged players selected to prove their worth in the absence of experienced stars as the Young Warriors – severely depleted due to the non-availability of several key players – host seasoned campaigners Cameroon in the All-Africa Games first round, first leg qualifier at Rufaro Stadium on Sunday.
The Young Warriors coach had 18 players at yesterday’s morning training at Chikurubi where they are camped.
“We are facing a challenge ahead of this game. We will have to do with the players we have. I have been telling the players it’s a chance to prove themselves. This is a national cause and I thought our clubs would release players we had requested for this game,” he said.
“Some of them were said to have been injured, but Bernard Donovan, our first choice goalkeeper played for How Mine at the weekend. The Caps United coach had said he would release players we had requested three days before the match, but again we are building a new team and three days is just not enough.
“I haven’t really assessed players like Kudzai Nyamupfukudza and Takudzwa Mahori and I needed more time with them to have a proper assessment. If Caps United are to release players three days before the match, it would make sense if they can just give me Ronald Pfumbidzai because I have been working with him,” Pasuwa added.
The former Dynamos coach said he was not sure if DeMbare and Bulawayo giants Highlanders would release players for the Cameroon match.
“With Dynamos and Highlanders, we have been communicating well, but at the weekend, they requested players for the ZNA Charity Shield. I don’t know if Highlanders will release players since they have a league game this weekend. It’s a problem because the three Highlanders players Teenage Hadebe, Thomas Chideu and Nqobizitha Masuku are key players,” he said.
“FC Platinum had initially promised players would join camp upon their return from Tanzania but they proceeded to Zvishavane on arrival.”
Walter Musona, Wisdom Mutasa, Kelvin Moyo and Emmanuel Mandiranga had been included in the squad to face Cameroon, but their coach Norman Mapeza advised Pasuwa on his return from Tanzania that the match was not on the Fifa calendar for international matches.
Pasuwa said he was hoping Platinum would at least release Mutasa and Musona. He still hoped to secure Mamelodi Sundowns winger Kuda Mahachi and Macauley Bonne who plays for Colchester United in England, three days before the match.