Ne­shamba out of Af­con due to in­jury

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Grace Chin­goma Sikhum­buzo Moyo

MIGHTY War­riors poster girl Rudo Ne­shamba has been ruled out of the Africa Women Cup of Na­tions after she was omit­ted in the 26-mem­ber squad named by coach Shadreck Mlauzi yes­ter­day.

The tour­na­ment be­gins on Novem­ber 19 and runs un­til De­cem­ber 3 in Cameroon.

Ac­cord­ing to Caf, 21 play­ers are ac­cred­ited to fea­ture for the women’s tour­na­ment.

Mlauzi is ex­pected to drop five play­ers be­fore de­par­ture.

Ne­shamba is not part of the play­ers who went into camp yes­ter­day to mark the be­gin­ning of their train­ing pro­gramme.

The 24-year-old striker has a chronic knee in­jury which she sus­tained while still in pri­mary school.

She was sup­posed to go un­der the knife but War­riors doc­tor Ni­cholas Mun­y­onga has pre­scribed a treat­ment pro­gramme which could see her heal com­pletely.

Ne­shamba was the hero when Zim­babwe booked an his­toric place to the Olympic Games, scor­ing in both legs of the fi­nal qual­i­fier against Cameroon.

“It is a ma­jor blow. Rudo is a nat­u­ral goal-scorer, very clever but we have to con­sider her fu­ture, we want her in the long term,” said Mlauzi.

“We gam­bled with her at the Olympics and she was clearly not at her best so we didn’t want to risk again this time around.

“We have been lob­by­ing for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance for her to go for an op­er­a­tion but it has not been forth­com­ing.

“Doc­tor Mun­y­onga has given her some treat­ment so it is only nat­u­ral that heal­ing takes place. We are go­ing for a ma­jor tour­na­ment so we want all our play­ers to be at their best.”

Three more play­ers who were at the Olympics — Daisy Kai­tano, Erina Jeke and Samke­lisiwe Zulu — have been not con­sid­ered for the Af­con tour­na­ment.

Mlauzi has kept faith with the bulk of the play­ers who went to Brazil, adding a few new faces to the squad.

He has drafted six rookie play­ers — Mwenezana goal­keeper Lisa Mpofu, Cosa Gu­ruve, de­fender Sarudzai Chikowore, Si­fundile Moyo, Hap­pi­ness Gumbo, Maud Ma­fu­ruse and Si­bonginkosi Nleya.

The Mighty War­riors will host South Africa in an in­ter­na­tional friendly at Bar­bour­fields next week.

In­ter­est­ingly, the two teams will meet again nine WAR­RIORS coach Cal­listo Pa­suwa has again raised eye­brows by call­ing up half fit How Mine goal­keeper Bernard Dono­van to the na­tional team for the friendly tie against neigh­bour­ing Zam­bia to­mor­row.

High­landers’ cen­tral de­fender Tendai Ndlovu was also strangely called up as a mid­fielder, a po­si­tion he has never played in be­fore.

Dono­van last played for his side in the 2-3 home loss to Caps United on Septem­ber 25 be­fore pick­ing up an in­jury that ruled him out of four games against Mutare City Rovers, Tri­an­gle United, High­landers and Chicken Inn. This then begs the ques­tion whether call ups are on merit or past rep­u­ta­tion.

Dono­van only started do­ing light train­ing in the week lead­ing to the Chicken Inn game last week­end and was on the bench in their loss to the Game cocks.

A pre­mier­ship coach, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity “lest I be la­belled a jeal­ous coach”, said it was sad that third forces are al­lowed to in­flu­ence na­tional team se­lec­tions.

“We know agents are in­volved in all this and it’s up to Zifa to put an end to this, but Pa­suwa con­tin­ues to do all this with im­punity. We have play­ers who no longer work hard to be called into the na­tional team be­cause to them, it’s their God-given right to be in there. How do you have a boy who has not been ac­tive be­ing called up yet we have keep­ers that are in form, but are over­looked be­cause they are not in the right camp,” said the coach.

Mean­while, Hwange’s Gift Mb­weti is set for his first na­tional team cap after he was called up as one of the five strik­ers in the squad to­gether with team­mate Pritchard Mpelele. Vet­eran Caps United striker Leonard Tsipa was re­warded for his resur­gent form to­gether with Dy­namos striker Ro­drick Mu­tuma and Wil­liam Manondo of Harare City.

The play­ers are ex­pected in camp to­day for two train­ing ses­sions ahead of to­mor­row’s en­counter. days later in a com­pet­i­tive match in Yaounde.

Zim­babwe, South Africa, hosts Cameroon and Egypt are in Group A which will be based in Yaounde.

Group B has de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Nige­ria, whose coach has gone for eight months with­out be­ing paid, Ghana, Mali and Kenya. They will be based in Limbe. Mean­while, the Mighty War­riors fund-rais­ing din­ner, which took place on Wed­nes­day night at the Rain­bow Tow­ers, saw a num­ber of com­pa­nies such as Old Mu­tual, CBZ, Rain­bow Tow­ers, Nyaradzo, Tele­cel, Zim­babwe Cricket, the Pre­mier Soccer League and Price Water­house Coop­ers pur­chas­ing ta­bles. A car raf­fle has also been or­gan­ised by the same com­mit­tee.

Cal­listo Pa­suwa

Rudo Ne­shamba

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