WARRIORS captain Masimba Mambare has described the African Nations Championships (Chan) draw in Cairo on Wednesday as balanced and expressed confidence the team would surpass their achievements in the previous two editions of the tournament in 2009 and 2011.
The Warriors earned a seat at the continental tournament to be held in South Africa in January after defeating Zambia in the last qualifying round.
It’s the third successive time Zimbabwe will be taking part at the tournament in which only home-based players compete.
Sunday Chidzambwa shepherded the Warriors at the tourney in Ivory Coast with Madinda Ndlovu taking charge in Sudan in 2011.
But Mambare believes the current crop has what it takes to go as far as the final.
“I think the draw is balanced. We can’t say we would have preferred to be in this or that group because from what I see it’s all the same.
Nowadays we can not underestimate any team,” Mambare said.
The Highlanders forward also said the Warriors would not be affected even if some players were to get contracts outside the country.
He said in his opinion, Zimbabwe had competent replacements and would have enough cover in the event of some players leaving the country before the tournament.
“In my opinion, Zimbabwe has a lot of talent and I don’t think it will have an effect because we will still have enough cover should some players get contracts elsewhere outside the country.
“It does not mean that those who get signed by foreign clubs are necessarily better than those that remain.
If I get signed by a foreign club, there will always be capable replacements,” Mambare said.
Zimbabwe, seeded during the draw, were pitted against Morocco, Uganda and Burkina Faso in Group D.
Uganda coach Milutin “Micho” Sredojevic, said the draw makes the group the most competitive.
Speaking to Daily Monitor, the Serbian said while they were set for the task come January, it would be no mean feat since the teams in Group B make the pool “the most competitive” of the lot.
“All the teams in our group have good competitive leagues,” he said. “Zimbabwe’s coach Ian Gorowa is a very good coach and has organised his team since taking over in July.”