YOUNG Warriors' coach Lloyd Chigowe received a big boost ahead of the first round first leg of the African Youth Championship tie against Congo Brazzaville this weekend when key striker Tino Kadewere reported back for camp. Kadewere was one of several regulars who missed the international friendlies against Zambia over the weekend.
Other players who didn't travel with the team include Bastos Chihowa, Cleopas Kapupurika, Kelvin Sibanda and Ali Machingura, but they have since reported for camp.
Kadewere and Machingura were injured while the rest had to stay behind due to school commitments.
The Young Warriors advanced to the first round after seeing off Mozambique 4-2 on aggregate in the preliminary round.
Zimbabwe won 2-0 in Maputo, having played a 2-2 draw in Harare in the first leg.
The Young Warriors played two matches in Zambia over the weekend going down 2-1 in the first match and holding out to a goalless draw in the second.
Despite losing one and drawing the other, the Young Warriors put up a good account of themselves and are looking forward to the Congo Brazzaville challenge.
Gaffer Chigowe is thrilled by the return of his key players.
"These preparatory matches have been an eye-opener for me and I would like to thank Murowa Diamonds for the sponsorship package which made it all possible.
"For starters, the matches, particularly our last one in Zambia, have widened our selection base and also gave us the opportunity to assess the players' character.
"All we have to do now is work on our match fitness and sharpen our finishing, something that was lacking in Zambia, as our play in the last third of the ground left a lot to be desired," he said.