THE Warriors’ technical staff seem to have given up on Ipswich Town striker Macauley Bonne, who withdrew from the national team squad, saying he can’t play in the “unpleasant” weather conditions of southern Africa.
Bonne had been included in the initial Warriors’ squad for the last two 2022 Fifa World Cup Group G matches against South Africa and Ethiopia.
The Warriors play South Africa in the reverse fixture of their World Cup qualifier at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday. Zimbabwe will then host Ethiopia at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.
The striker, who has 11 goals in 15 matches for Ipswich, was in action when his League One side drew 1-1 with Oldham Athletic at the weekend.
THE locally-based Warriors, including a late call-up of 18-year-old Dynamos forward Bill Antonio, fly out from Harare this afternoon.
Wellington Mpandare, the national teams’ general manager, said the technical team will focus on players keen to represent the country.
“Bill Antonio is the latest addition to the squad, as cover for Bonne, who isn’t coming. Antonio will report for camp with other locally-based players before we fly out to South Africa on Monday.
“In as far as we are concerned about Bonne, we will no longer waste our time calling him and instead, we will concentrate on players who genuinely want to represent the national team. We’ve done all we can to get him to play for the national team.
The last time he put an excuse that he had a heart problem. When we went to the Afcon, he had put conditions that we couldn’t meet and remember the former coach (Zdravko Logaruši?) once said he was blocking him because he had made numerous efforts to try and talk to him,” said Mpandare.
Chronicle Sport has it on good authority that Bonne wanted to tag along with his wife for the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt.
The Warriors are already out of the World Cup qualifiers and are using the Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia games to prepare for next year’s Afcon finals in Cameroon.
There were indications that Bonne had been eyeing a place in the Warriors’ squad for the Afcon finals.
Without Bonne and injured national team captain Knowledge Musona, the Warriors will turn to Scotland-based David Moyo and Knox Mutizwa, as well as Antonio for goals.
Other offensive players that coach Norman Mapeza could turn to for goals include Kaizer Chiefs’ marksman Khama Billiat and Ishmael Wadi of JDR Stars.
Meanwhile, the Warriors will hold their first training session tomorrow morning in Johannesburg. Warriors’ players based outside South Africa will fly direct to Johannesburg, with the last member to report for camp being Plymouth Argyle defender Brendan Galloway, who was involved in the FA Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday yesterday.
Goalkeepers: Taimon Mvula (Dynamos), Donavan Bernard (Chicken Inn), Petros Mhari (FC Platinum)
Defenders: Brendan Galloway (Plymouth Argyle), Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic), Bruce Kangwa (Azam), Divine Lunga (Mamelodi Sundowns), Takudzwa Chimwemwe (Nkana), Alec Mudimu (Torpedo Kutaisi), Peter Muduwa (Highlanders), Godknows Murwira (Dynamos)
Midfielders: Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Kelvin Madzongwe (FC Platinum), Gerald Takwara (Venda Football Academy), Farai Madhanaga (Marumo Gallants), Blessing Sarupinda (Sekhukhune), Tawanda Maswanhise (Leicester City) Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Jonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport United), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Ismael Wadi (JDR Stars)
Strikers: David Moyo (Hamilton Academical), Knox Mutizwa (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Bill Antonio (Dynamos) — @ZililoR-Herald