Loga to watch FC Platinum in action tomorrow

By Ephraim Shoko

Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic still has FC Platinum players in his plans despite the club’s refusal to release some of their boys for the CHAN camp.
Last week, Logarusic tried in vain to get the services of some FC Platinum players for the Warriors training.
However, the Zimbabwean champions, who face Simba SC of Tanzania in the CAF Champions league tomorrow, refused to change their position.
Tomorrow Logarusic will watch FC Platinum in action with the future in mind, and indications are there is belief he can find some solutions for the AFCON qualifiers team.
“He has not ruled them out entirely because he knows the quality at that club,” said an official from the national team.
“Yes, for CHAN they are out, but he knows there are a lot of gaps in the AFCON team. And this is a club that gives those solutions.”
FC Platinum have been Zimbabwe PSL champions for the past three seasons. After taking on Simba of Tanzania in the first leg of the second preliminary round on Wednesday, they will head to Dar es Salaam for the return fixture on January 5, 2021.
This will leave Loga without enough time to assess the players for the CHAN tournament.
“As it stands, I am not taking the FC Platinum players on board. I wanted to have some assessment of them but they couldn’t be released. I know they are playing in the CAF Champions League and we support them since they are representing the country,” he said.
“But by the time they play in Tanzania, we will be four, five days from leaving for Cameroon, so we may not take any of them aboard.”
The Warriors coach said he was targeting to select other players who could fit his style of play from the proposed mini-tournament that had been scheduled for this month in a bio-secure bubble.
But the tournament failed to take off, forcing Loga to create his own bubble.
The Warriors mentor, who was appointed in February this year and took charge of the back-to-back 2021 AFCON qualifiers against continental champions Algeria, has of late become a subject of ridicule over the manner in which he has kept on chopping and changing his squad.
Loga has turned to the unorthodox way of selecting players for the national team as he has been playing practice matches against Premiership and First Division clubs.
“We are behind in every aspect of the game. We are the only country in our Chan group without an active league,” said Logarusic.
“My plan was to watch every team playing in the mini-tournament and I would have wanted to select based on their form not on their past capabilities. Unfortunately, the mini-tournament failed to take off and I was left in a dilemma.
“I then sought to play as many practice matches as I could against Premiership teams and even lower division sides. What I have done is dropping those I thought didn’t fit into the philosophy as quickly as possible and taking aboard those I thought could grasp concepts quickly.
“It’s not to say the players we have dropped are bad, no. Look players have not been active for close to a year and instead of having over 150 training sessions with their teams maybe they have trained just 10 times with their teams during the period training has been taking place.
“We had to do it that way since we knew for sure we could leave the best players out if we stuck with past performances like we did when selecting the initial squad.
“We will work with the selected team from December 28, working on combinations and tactical play until we leave (for the Chan tournament). This is not to say we have enough time but at least we should have players with the expected basics to work with. It pains me a lot to drop a player from the squad but it has to be done, however, painful.” Nhau/Indaba

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