The Warriors’ rebuilding exercise under German coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels received a boost this week after the team was invited for a three week tour of the Caribbean islands.
Report by Kevin Mapasure
Zifa received the invitation for the team to play five matches against Caribbean group of countries in April.
The mother body confirmed that they are studying the modalities of all the expenses paid trip and are seriously considering taking up the offer which would benefit Pagels’ wish of having more time with locally based players.
Because of the proposed dates, Zifa can only send locally based players which would also help them prepare for the Cosafa Challenge which is back on the calendar and will be played in Zambia later this year.
Zifa received the invitation from the Caribbean countries through their match agent Kelvin King who runs a company called One-Plus.
“We have received an invitation for the Warriors to tour the Caribbean islands where we will play five matches against the different countries,” said Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze.
“We are still looking at possible dates and also bearing in mind the impact it could make on the domestic scene. But it’s more beneficial for us to go there and play those five games, so we should be coming up with the actual dates for that tour. We are rebuilding our team and our Caribbean brothers have come in to help us in that exercise.”
Zimbabwe will face Jamaica, Barbados, Dominica, St Lucia and St Vincent in the friendly matches which will take them through the respective countries.
Jamaica is the only one of those nations that is still involved in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifiers where they have to play Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States of America.
They have been to the World Cup before. The other countries, while they have not enjoyed such success, can still provide the locally-based players with an opportunity to gel and learn into the coach’s philosophy of the game.
The Castle Lager Premier League starts next month and if the tour is to go ahead some teams will lose key players during that period.The Cosafa Senior Challenge will be played in July and Zimbabwe will be aiming to continue succeeding in that tournament, but more importantly they will have an opportunity to continue with the rebuilding exercise.
Pagels has shown that he will include more local players in his team after the Botswana friendly where Hardlife Zvirekwi of Caps United, Peter Moyo and Masimba Mambare from Highlanders, Silas Songani Nicholas Guyo and Ocean Mushure are some of the locally based players that featured.