Botswana, Zambia and newcomer Malawi jet into the country on Friday to battle it out with hosts Zimbabwe in the event slated for December 12 to 19.
An understrength side had initially been selected for the annual event, traditionally contested by three countries, back in October with young Tafadzwa Nyamukondiwa as the captain of the six-member development squad.
Royal Harare Golf Club-based Tadiwa Dzuda, Davison Zulu from Gweru Golf Club, Hwange’s Keith Banda and the Chapman duo of Mthokozisi Masuku and Tinaye Chatambudza completed the provisional squad.
According to ZJGA vice-president Tawanda Nyamukondiwa, the association has decided to rope in some of the country’s top juniors for the tournament.
“As Zimbabwe, we had decided to field an Under-17 team but considering that other countries will be fielding 18-year-olds, we have decided to strengthen our squad and leave no room for disappointment since we are hosting,” he said.
“We are looking at some of our top juniors in David Amm, Justin Kersten, Thompson Masiya and Keith Phiri. We will announce the final list of six players on Thursday after a couple of local tournaments,” he said.
Nyamukondiwa said they had decided to pick the team on current form rather than order of merit. The local junior majors that begin at Ruwa today before moving to Borrowdale Brook on Monday and Tuesday will then have a strong bearing on the final list.
The Zimbabwe junior team has dominated the regional tournament where South Africa is not competing and the hosts are tipped to win this four-nation event.
Veteran coach Rodger Baylis takes charge of the team while Simon Chigorimbo is the manager.