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Andy Rinomhota snubs Warriors

by Staff reporter
25 Oct 2020 at 07:59hrs | Views
English football Championship outfit Reading midfielder Andy Rinomhota has turned down the chance to play for the Warriors in the hope of securing a senior call-up for England in the future, Standardsport has established.

Born in Leeds, United Kingdom, to a Zimbabwean father and British mother, Rinomhota is one of several England-based players who Zimbabwe have been pursuing as part of their initiative to tap into the abundant football talent emerging from among the diaspora community.

The new shift has seen players such as Nottingham Forest defender Tendayi Darikwa, Moldova-based Alec Mudimu, Leicester City Academy striker Admiral Muskwe and Queens Park Rangers forward Macauley Bonne all featuring for the Warriors.

Young defender Jordan Zemura, who has been enjoying a breakthrough season at Championship side Bournemouth, and David Moyo of Scottish top-flight side Hamilton Academical, are also some of the identified players who are on the cusp of earning national team call-ups.

And one of the players who was at the top of Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušic's wish-list ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers double header against Algeria next month is the gifted midfielder Rinomhota.

Warriors team manager Wellington Mpandare, who has played a key role in convincing some of the players in the diaspora to feature for the Warriors, declined to comment when asked on the progress made in persuading Rinomhota to feature for the Warriors.

Sources, however, told Standardsport that Rinomhota rejected recent overtures from Zimbabwe as his mind now appears set on playing for England.

"Andy Rinomhota is one of the players Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušic has been closely monitoring ahead of the back-to-back qualifiers against Algeria," the source said.

"He has been playing very well at Reading where he has established himself as one of the top midfielders not only for his team, but in the Championship.

"In the past he had shown interest in playing for the Warriors, but it seems like he has changed his mind and now appears set on playing for England."

Rinomhota was included in the Warriors' provisional squad for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations held in Egypt, but was eventually omitted from the final squad as he is yet to acquire a Zimbabwean passport.

He had also notably featured in Zimbabwe's provisional squad for the 2018 Cosafa Cup tournament.

Early last year former Warriors trialist Bradley Pritchard revealed that the Reading star was willing to pursue his international career with Zimbabwe.

"Once had a chat with the guy [Rinomhota], he is more than willing to represent his country [Zimbabwe]. The ball is in Zifa's court now," wrote Pritchard on social media site Facebook.

A combative and versatile midfielder who can also play at full-back, Rinomhota started his career in the youth team of Wessex League side AFC Portchester in 2014 before being signed by Reading a year later.

Rinomhota progressed through the youth ranks of Reading before breaking into their senior side and earning a regular role in the middle of the park, earning Reading's player-of-the-season award for 2018/19.

The 22-year-old midfielder is one of the first names on the Reading team-sheet these days.

Last season he featured in 37 matches in the Championship and has played in every one of their eight Championship games so far this season.

Source - the standard