THE Warriors technical team says they are hopeful that they will manage to naturalise all the Europe-born players named in the provisional squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against Botswana and Zambia next month.

Coach Joey Antipas yesterday named a 32-member squad which includes seven players born in Europe, who will need to obtain Zimbabwean passports to feature for the Warriors.

These are Douglas Nyaupembe, Tivonge Rushesha, Jordan Zemura and Cliff Moyo playing in lower leagues and developmental sides of English and Welsh. Jonah Fabisch, the son of former Warriors coach Reinhard, who is in the books of Bundesliga side Hamburger SV has also been called up.

Charlton Athletic forward Macauley Borne, who has long been admired by Antipas, has also been included in the squad. The striker, who has already played for Zimbabwe in unofficial matches has publicly stated his desire to feature for the Warriors.

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Defender Adam Chicksen of Bolton Wanderers, another player who has played for Zimbabwe in unofficial matches, is also in the 32-man squad.

“We are very hopeful that they will all get the passports,” Warriors manager Wellington Mupandare said yesterday. “I am working with the relevant ministries to make sure that the process is expedited so that all the players selected by the coach will be available.”

Antipas has named what appears to be a very strong squad for the two Group H fixtures, recalling some of the seniors, including Marvellous Nakamba of Aston Villa and skipper Knowledge Musona.

Zimbabwe host Botswana on November 15, before meeting Zambia away four days later. The group also includes African champions Algeria, who the Warriors will meet later in the campaign.

Ronald Pfumbidzai and Tino Kadewere have also bounced back in the squad. The four were overlooked in the team’s 2022 World Cup preliminary round qualifiers against Somalia.

This is the first time that the crew return to the national team since Zimbabwe exited the Afcon finals in June.

Provisional squad

Goalkeepers: Elvis Chipezeze (Baroka), Martin Mapisa (Velez CF), Simbarashe Chinani (Dynamos)

Defenders: Douglas Nyaupembe (Stockport County), Ian Nekati (ZPC Kariba), Tivonge Rushesha (Swansea), Cliff Moyo (Kidderminister Harriers), Divine Lunga (Golden Arrows), Adam Chicksen (Bolton Wanderers), Jordan Zemura (Bournemouth), Ronald Pfumbidzai (Bloemfontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Yeni Malatyaspor), Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Partson Jaure (Manica Diamonds), Kelvin Moyo (Chippa United)

Midfielders: Marshall Munetsi (Stade de Reims), Thabani Kamusoko (Zesco United), Butholezwe Ncube (Amazulu), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Kudakwashe Mahachi (SuperSport), Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Phenias Bamusi (Caps), Jonah Fabisch (Hamburger SV)

Strikers: Admiral Muskwe (Leicester), Terrence Dzvukamanja (Bidvest Wits), Prince Dube (Highlanders), Knowledge Musona (Anderlecht), Tinotenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC), Knox Mutizwa (Golden Arrows), Macauley Bonne (Charlton Athletic), Evans Rusike (SuperSport)