The Sunday Mail
AMID the cloud that has been hanging over his first assignment as Zimbabwe coach, Zdravko Logarusic had something to smile about today after securing the release of star midfielder Marvelous Nakamba for the Warriors friendly against Malawi.
Zimbabwe and Malawi face off at Kamuzu Stadium on Sunday in a game that will mark the Warriors return to action since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The game is the only assignment for the Warriors during the FIFA week reserved for internationals.
The Zimbabwe delegation is expected to leave for Blantyre on Friday.
There are indications ZIFA are mulling securing a chartered flight for the trip.
Since returning to the country on Monday, Logarusic has been working with ZIFA officials to try and salvage the international friendly that looked to be a huge doubt after encountering a number of glitches, which included withdrawals from some of the players who had originally been shortlisted for the game.
In the end, the Croat had to make a U-turn and revert to local players who had been earlier overlooked.
Nine local players who are also likely to make the African Nations Championships squad were named in the 17-man side that also has regulars Alec Mudimu, Teenage Hadebe and Khama Billiat.
Logarusic told The Sunday Mail Online that despite the challenges he has faced, he had never thought of quitting his job.
“Media is media; there is a lot of speculation…I never wanted to resign.
“What happened is that we have been working 24-7 to have the tie go ahead, and I am happy to say that the Goverment has given us the approval to travel to Malawi,’’Logarusic said.
The 54-year-old gaffer said getting the nod to travel to Malawi was not easy.
“It was not easy, and without an approval we were stuck. Now that we have been given the approval, we start planning ahead and focus on Sunday’s game,” said Logarusic.
The game had ostensibly been earmarked to fine-tune the Warriors for their upcoming back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Algeria next month.
But, with the key foreign-based players, including skipper Knowledge Musona, unable to make it for the trip due to various reasons, the coach has now sought to also use the Malawi game as part of the home-grown talent’s preparations for the CHAN tournament scheduled for Cameroon in January.
Warriors Squad for Malawi:
1. Talbert Shumba (Triangle United)
2. Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
3. Ian Nekati (Chicken Inn)
4. Qadr Amin (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
5. Alec Mudimu (Sherriff Tiraspol)
6. Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Buildcon)
7. Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor)
8. MacClive Phiri (Sekhukhune United)
9. Jimmy Dzingai (Nkana FC)
10. Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa)
11. Tanaka Chinyahara (Red Arrows)
12. Ishamel Wadi (Ngezi Platinum Stars)
13. Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs)
14. Wellington Taderera (Ngezi Platinum Stars) 15. Phenias Bamusi (Caps United 16. King Nadolo (Dynamos) STRIKERS 17. Charlton Mashumba (Polokwane City) 18. Stanley Ngala (FC Platinum)