De Jong, Ncube and Karuru get national team call ups

Andre de Jong has been unveiled as part of New Zealand’s squad to take on the Republic of Ireland and Lithuania in the upcoming FIFA International break, while Ovidy Karuru and Butholezwe Ncube will play in AFCON Qualifiers.

Karuru (30) and Ncube (27) will join the Warriors soon after AmaZulu’s Absa Premiership encounter against Chippa United on 09 November.

Zimbabwe, who are currently led by former Usuthu head coach Joey Antipas, are on a quest to qualify for their fifth Africa Cup of Nations tournament. They take on Botswana at home and away to Zambia on 15 and 19 November respectively.

Midfield maestro Butholezwe beams with honour at the prospect of donning his native colours once more.

“I am very happy and humbled that I received the call up, representing my national team has always been an honor for me, it’s something that I always strive to work hard for.”

“This call up is not only beneficial for me but for the club I play for AmaZulu because the reason for me being called up is because of the way I am performing for the club, it’s always good to be recognized for the work you do,” said Ncube.

The former Tsholotsho defensive link man last featured for Zimbabwe in the COSAFA Cup which was hosted in Durban prior to the start of the season.

He also expressed his gratitude towards Usuthu for the platform which has seen him attract his national team selectors.

“I’d like to also take the opportunity to thank the club for giving me the chance to play and to display my footballing quality.”

“I would say for one to be called to represent their country, they would need to be working hard, committed and willing to learn,” he said.

New Zealand attacker, Andre de Jong (23) also sung on the same hymn sheet as his Zimbabwean colleague.

He also added that the national team assignment means a lot for him after making the transition from the Australian A-League to the Absa Premiership.

“I’m very stoked to be getting this call up to the national team for the two upcoming friendlies we have, and I am really looking forward to getting into camp with my other teammates.”

“After moving to a new environment and trying to settle in the Absa Premiership, it is doubling rewarding to receive such news,” he concluded.

The official media squad announcement was made in Auckland on November 5 prior to the team assembling for preparations on 10 November.

The All Whites face the Republic of Ireland on 14 November before taking on Lithuania on 17 November.

Ovidy Karuru of Zimbabwe during the 2019 Cosafa Cup match between Zimbabwe and Comoros at Princess Magogo Stadium, Durban on 01 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Butholezwe Mzomsuthu Ncube of Zimbabwe during the 2019 Cosafa Cup third place PlayOff match between Lesotho and Zimbabwe at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on 07 June 2019 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

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