The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
NATIONAL Under-20 team coach, Bekithemba “Super” Ndlovu is confident his charges will put up a better showing at the Mopani Copper Mines Cosafa Youth Championships in Zambia to make it past the group stages.
The juniors’ tournament kicks off today in Kitwe, but the Young Warriors are only in action tomorrow when they clash with Botswana in their opening fixture. Ndlovu said they had been focusing on their finishing as he believes they should not waste any chances they will create. He said last year they were blunt upfront, only scoring one goal but hopes the strikers would be more clinical this time around.
“We have been working on our finishing with emphasis on that we should score from every chance that we create. Last year we did not do well in front of goals but we hope the work that we have done will make us improve this year. We have not forgotten the defence because it is also critical but the main work was in the strike force,” said Ndlovu.
He bemoaned the fact they spent the better part of their preparations on an artificial pitch at Zifa Village as the turf in Zambia is grass adding this might have a negative effect. Ndlovu said besides the turf issue, he was happy with the preparations.
“Obviously other teams are also working hard at training as we all want to win, we have done our bit but also believe we have to work hard when we get to Zambia. We cannot underestimate any of our opponents and I think all teams have an equal chance of clinching the trophy,” he said.
Ndlovu revealed three players, Tinotenda Chiunye, Blessing Nyamuzihwa and Andrew Mbeba had suffered knocks during training but made the trip to Zambia. The Bulawayo City coach is deputised by Mark Mathe at the Young Warriors. Ndlovu decried the fact they only have one assignment a year saying it was negatively affecting the grooming of young talent. He said Zifa should seriously consider also entering the Young Warriors in the Caf Under-20 Nations Cup.
“I think we need to be more active as the Under-20 team rather than just playing at the Cosafa tournament only once a year.
“I don’t know why Zifa doesn’t enter other competitions, I think it would be more helpful if the team plays more tournaments if we are to play the crucial role of development,” he said.
Final Zimbabwe Under-20 squad
Tinotenda Issah Ali (Yadah Stars)
Frank Kuchineyi (Herentals)
Andrew Kabila Mbeba (Highlanders)
Munashe Peter Garananga (Ubuntu FC)
Emmanuel Jalayi (Aces Academy)
Brandon Mpofu (Ndlovu Iyanyathela)
Shadreck Panashe Nyahwa (Bulawayo Chiefs)
Devine Philmon Mhindiriri (Bulawayo City)
Takunda Macdonald Mukunga (Harare City)
Tatenda Tumba (Harare City)
Kelvin Ndebele (Caps United)
Tinotenda Ashabel Chiunye (Caps United)
Junior Blessing Nyamuzihwa (ZPC Kariba)
Tatenda Muringani (Dynamos)
Leonard Jani (FC Platinum)
Marvin Sibanda (Taft’s Head Boys Varsity)
Delic Alfornce Murimba (Triangle)
Blessing Tinotenda Sarupinda (Black Rhinos)
Clive Junior Rupiya (Chapungu)
Thabo Lunga (Highlanders)