THE home-based Zimbabwe Under-23 players went into camp last night ahead of the trip to Morocco for an international friendly match against the hosts on Saturday.
Young Warriors head coach Kalisto Pasuwa has named an 18-men squad including five foreign-based stars.
These include Munyaradzi Mbanje who plays in the United Kingdom for Leeds United Academy, Northampton striker David Moyo, Macauley Bonne of English League One side Colchester United, Marvellous Nakamba who plays for Netherlands top-flight league side Vitesse and Mamelodi Sundowns winger Kuda Mahachi.
The quintet will fly directly to Morocco to join their team-mates.
Pasuwa has added new faces to the team that played in the last two international friendlies against Botswana and Swaziland with towering Bantu Rovers defender Teenage Hadebe, Shabanie Mine defender Douglas Sibanda, Harare City’s Takudzwa Chimwemwe and ZPC Kariba’s Tafadzwa Mavhunga making the cut.
The other players, including skipper Ronald Pfumbidzai who plays for Harare giants Caps United, played in the last two international friendlies against Botswana and Swaziland.
Team manager Patrick Mutesva said the team would train once this morning before departing in the evening.
“The team will train once in the morning tomorrow (today) at the Zifa Village before departure in the evening via Dubai,” he said.
“The foreign-based players are all flying directly from their bases.”
It will be the first time Pasuwa will have the chance to assess his players in a game situation since his appointment after failing to travel to Botswana and Swaziland.
His assistant Saul Chaminuka — the ZPC boss — took charge of the two matches with Hwange’s Nation Dube.
Zimbabwe is using these friendlies as part of their preparations for the African Championships as well as the All-Africa Games.
The Young Warriors face Swaziland in Mbabane in the first round of the All-Africa Games qualifiers in February before hosting them in March for the second leg next year.
The winner between the two will then meet Cameroon in the second round.
Pasuwa’s men will also face Swaziland in the African Championship qualifying campaign in April and should they win the encounter they will face neighbours South Africa in the second round with Senegal awaiting in the third round should they triumph.