Zimbabwe coach Zdravko Logarusic has included England-based defender Brendan Galloway in his bloated 38-men provisional squad ahead of the two decisive Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Group H qualifiers next month.
The Warriors travel to Botswana on March 25 knowing that a win would earn them a ticket to next year’s Afcon finals set for Cameroon.
They will then host Zambia four days later in Harare to conclude their qualification campaign.
In his squad, the Croatian mentor kept faith in the bulk of players who played in the back-to-back qualifiers against Algeria last year in November.
Tthe big surprise, however, is the inclusion of the former Everton player, Galloway, who previously turned down Zimbabwe hoping for a dance with the Three Lions.
Currently in the books of England Championship side Luton Town, Galloway has been inactive having last featured in a competitive match for his club back in December.
The defender’s availability, however, remains subject to doubt together with other England-based Warriors, Marvelous Nakamba, Tendayi Darikwa, Admiral Muskwe and Jordan Zemura owing to the latest travel restrictions.
Meanwhile, the South Africa-based duo of Golden Arrows forward Knox Mutizwa and SuperSport’s Evans Rusike bounce back into the national team fold having been overlooked in recent times following poor runs of form for their DSTV Premiership clubs.
Logarusic also extended a call-up to the top performers at the recently held Chan tournament where Zimbabwe were the first to be booted out.
These include Simba SC defender Peter Muduhwa, Shadreck Nyahwa, Carlos Mavhurume and promising forward Farai Matare.
However, the exclusion of talented Simba SC striker Perfect Chikwende is one of the major talking points about Logarusic’s squad.
Meanwhile in group H, Algeria have already qualified, with Zimbabwe in second position with five points on their tally.
Any of the three nations, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia have an equal chance of qualifying depending on how they fare in the final round of qualifiers.
Goalkeepers: Talbert Shumba,Tatenda Mukuruva, Ariel Sibanda, Martin Mapisa
Defenders: Jordan Zemura,Jimmy Dzingai,Alec Mudimu, Teenage Hadebe,Divine Lunga,Tendai Jirira,Tendayi Darikwa,Peter Muduwa,Carlos Mavhurume,Shadreck Nyahwa,Brendan Galloway, Victor Kamhuka,Romario Matova
Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi, Marvelous Nakamba, Butholezwe Ncube, Ovidy Karuru, Khama Billiat, Tafadzwa Rusike, King Nadolo, Brian Banda, Kudakwashe Mahachi, Knowledge Musona (Captain), Tatenda Tavengwa, Tanaka Chinyahara, Thabani Kamusoko
Strikers: Prince Dube, Terrence Dzvukamanja, Tinotenda Kadewere, David Moyo, Admiral Muskwe, Farau Matare, Knox Mutizwa, Evans Rusike.
By Mthokozisi Dube