Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic has indicated he will retain the core players in the current squad in the final selection for next year’s AFCON finals.

Zimbabwe qualified to the tournament for the third successive time but ended the qualifying campaign with a second-string team after several players withdrew due to injuries and coronavirus travel restrictions.

The replacements that featured in the last games helped the coach to assess them, and he was convinced by a couple of them.

These include goalkeeper Martin Mapisa, right-back Takudzwa Chimwemwe and left-back Onismor Bhasera who was making a return to the national fold.

“We now have a picture of the players who have the qualities to play for the national team and those who are not good enough,” Logarusic told reporters this week.

“Some players from those who played will receive the national team call-up again and some will have to wait a bit.”

The coach named some of the stars that will make up his final squad for the AFCON.

“Khama Billiat should be there, Tendayi Darikwa, Tino Kadewere, Marvelous Nakamba, Marshall Munetsi, Jordan Zemura, David Moyo, Admiral Muskwe and three keepers (Mapisa, Talbert Shumba and Ariel Sibanda),” he revealed.

“That means we have 11 players in the squad already. From this squad, you add Ovidy Karuru, Knowledge Musona, Teenage Hadebe, Jimmy Dzingai and Onismor and already I have 16 players. I am left with seven slots.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will learn their AFCON opponents at a draw scheduled for 25 June 2021.

The tournament will be played in Cameroon from 9 January to 6 February 2022.