Ellina Mhlanga, Harare Bureau
ZIMBABWE Under-23 coach Tonderai Ndiraya says they need thorough preparations ahead of their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique next month.
The Young Warriors kick-start their campaign in the second round of the qualifiers away to Mozambique on March 22.
The second leg is slated for March 26 at the National Sports Stadium.
“The bottom line is we are not participating in this tournament to make numbers. I think we must be very clear about that. We want to qualify,’’ said Ndiraya. But mustn’t also forget that we have a job to do, a job of really making sure the senior national team has got a base to also choose players from.
“We are looking at players who can take over from the current crop of players in the Warriors set-up. So, whatever we are doing, we have that in mind, that this is the next generation of Warriors.’’
The Under-23 coach pointed out they need thorough preparations considering their opponents were already active.
“We are at some disadvantage because we didn’t play in the first round,’’ he said.
“Mozambique have a slight advantage in terms of preparations and they have played some two matches, we haven’t.
“We have to make sure that we prepare thoroughly, play some bit of friendlies and then make sure that the team is ready to face the Mozambican side which has the momentum already,” said Ndiraya.
The final tournament will take place in Egypt later in the year and the top three teams will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.