Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

Brito chapter begins

by Staff reporter
30 Sep 2023 at 07:55hrs | Views
A new chapter begins for the Warriors today as they embark on a fresh campaign under the guidance of Brazilian coach Baltemar Brito.

Brito, who was appointed as the head coach of the Zimbabwe senior men's national football team just last week, oversees his inaugural match as the locally-based players face Botswana in a fixture that forms part of the host nation's Independence Day celebrations.

While the significance of the match itself may be limited, it provides Zimbabwean fans with a glimpse into the style of play Brito's Warriors will adopt.

Following Norman Mapeza's guidance, which saw the team reach the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon, where they secured a win against Guinea but were eliminated in the early stages after losses to Senegal and Malawi, Brito's primary goal is to prepare the Warriors for the 2026 World Cup.

Although his contract is less than a year long, his main task during this period is to assist the Warriors in their quest to qualify for their first-ever World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. They face stiff competition in their group from Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Benin, and Lesotho.

Their qualifying journey begins with an away match against Rwanda, followed by a home fixture against Nigeria in the November FIFA international window.

Today marks the start of the process to assemble a squad for these qualifiers, especially with several key players having retired from international football.

After overseeing his initial training sessions with the national team, Brito, who also serves as the Highlanders coach, commended the quality of players in the camp. He aims to instill a winning mentality in the team.

"We have high expectations and the players are performing well in the two training sessions we've had. We want to start well because it lays the foundation. This match will introduce a new philosophy, a new mentality. Following this, we will evaluate the players' technical and tactical abilities, as well as their determination," Brito stated.

As expected from a Brazilian football mind, Brito envisions a Warriors side that excels in ball possession. "This match will be the first opportunity for us to select players for the Chan qualifiers. We seek a team with character and the ability to maintain ball possession. Our philosophy emphasizes excellence with and without the ball."

While Brito has been working in the country since last year and is familiar with the players from observing them in the local league, he acknowledges that working with them and instilling his philosophy is a distinct challenge that he eagerly embraces.

In-form Ngezi Platinum Stars left-back Qadir Amin expressed the players' excitement about working under Brito, who is assisted by Bongani Mafu and Genesis Mangombe. Amin emphasized the need to quickly adapt to the coaching system due to the limited time available.

Warriors squad

Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard, Nelson Chadya

Defenders: Peter Muduhwa, Godknows Murwira, Farai Banda, Qadr Amini , Xolani Ndlovu

Midfielders: Brighton Manhire, Sherpard Mhlanga , Brian Banda, Tanaka Shandirwa, Mthokozisi Msebe, Donald Mudadi, Davison Marowa, Walter Musona, Tinotenda Benza

Forwards: William Manondo, Fortune Binzi, Obriel Chirinda

Source - newsday