Flames coach Young Chimodzi has defended his move not to give three of the four uncapped players game time in last weekend’s international friendly match against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars.
Chimodzi included four players in the squad, namely Zimbabwe-based winger Gerald Phiri Jnr, Chikoti Chirwa of Red Lions, Surestream FC midfield star Ernest Tambe and Airborne Rangers midfielder Amos Khamula.
Out of the four, only Chirwa got the feel of the action in the last 12 minutes when he replaced battle-hardened Esau Kanyenda.
But Chimodzi defended the move saying: “Introducing players into the senior team is supposed to be a process. First, you call them into camp so as to get the feel of what it is like.
“Then the next step is supposed to be observation from the sidelines or the bench, then you can introduce them as substitutes.
“It’s very rare that you throw them into the deep end. In the match against Tanzania we introduced Chirwa because he appeared to be mentally and physically ready. As for the others, they will get their turn as we go along. That is what happened with players like John Lanjesi and Francis Mulimbika,” said Chimodzi.
Some pundits questioned why Chimodzi could not take opportunity of the friendly match to get a glimpse of the new faces instead of the tried and tested.
“The coach knows what to expect from players such as Joseph [Kamwendo], Esau [Kanyenda] and Chimango [Kayira] and he should have thrown the new faces into service to see how they would fare, but I think he is not just brave enough to take a risk,” said soccer commentator James Nelito-Pondomale.