Zimbabwe national soccer team coach Norman Mapeza's technical team has revealed that the final 18 players will only be named in Monrovia.
Speaking on the sidelines of the training session of the Warriors squad yesterday, Assistant coach Brenna Msiska revealed that Mapeza will not name the final 18 on Friday as expected, but will only trim the enlarged squad upon the team's arrival in Monrovia for a date with Liberia.
Msiska added that the only injury worry in the squad is the fitness of Quincy Antipas who limped off the training pitch on Thursday after incurring injury in a practise match with his father Joey Antipas' club Motor Action at the Motor Action Sports Club on Thursday.
"We have completed the major part of our preparations from home and we will resume once we arrive in Liberia and so far everything is fine. We rested Quincy today, but the good thing is that there is a lot of promise that he will heal in time.
"Since we are going on a charter flight, we have requested that we should take everyone who has been in camp to Liberia and that means we will only name the final 18 when we get there as this will give us time to assess those who have knocks,’ Msiska said.
It appears that another injury worry, Poland-based Clement Matawu has recovered and he participated in the workout without any discomfort yesterday.
The Warriors will also be taking with them a band of selected fans to give the team the benefit of a 12th man in the stands.
Meanwhile, news from Monrovia is that Liberia will be captained by Supersport United of South Africa's fiery striker Antony Laffor. The Liberian just missed the opportunity to move to Pretoria rivals Mamelodi Sundowns, home to Warriors' quartert of Nyasha Mushekwi, Lionel Mtizwa, Method Mwanjali and Sundowns captain Esrom Nyandoro.
There have also been reports of ill-discipline which has rocked the Liberian squad. Three key players have reportedly been expelled from camp for breaking camp curfews.
Liberia's Hungarian coach Bertalan Bicskei prevented the trio of Dullee Johnson of AIK Sonia in Sweden, Dioh Williams of AGF Aarhus in Denmark and Francis Doe of Egyptian giants Al Ahly from training with the rest of the squad on Thursday.
As a disciplinary measure, the Liberian FA President Musa Bility has stated that the three foreign-based players will be sent packing to their respective clubs. It was not clear if there are any further penalties for the players' transgressions.
It is also reported that the offending players have been replaced by the locally based trio of strikers Dweh Allison, James Koko and midfielder Marcus Marcauley.
While some Zimbabwean newspapers have celebrated the ejection of the three key players from Liberian camp, the Warriors camp should not read much into these revelations. It could as well turn out to be a ploy to deceive the Warriors and give them a false sense of advantage.
Even if it is true that the trio has been expelled from camp, Liberia called 15 professionals from Europe and other parts of the world, and they have home advantage. The Warriors can only underestimate the strength and challenge of the Lone Star at their own peril.