Sibanda, who also stars for the Zimbabwe Under-23 side, is one of the young players who had been called into camp by Mapeza but failed to make the final cut when the squad was announced.
His colleagues, Ovidy Karuru, Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiart and Quadr Amini were all selected, although Amini was restricted to the bench with the coach preferring former Highlanders midfielder Vusa Nyoni in the left back position.
But Sibanda, who has scored seven goals for CAPS United in the 2011 league campaign so far, said failure to make the final team had given him energy to work hard for a place in future.
“Obviously it disappoints when you are dropped from the final squad,” said Sithole. “But to me this has given me more energy to work hard and get a place. I know if I continue to work hard I will get a place in that team. Football is about competition and one has to work hard to earn a place in the team. Every player wants to play for the national team.”
Sithole, who was plucked from Pamushana High School, is one of the brightest talents expected to play a key role for the national team in future. He is in the squad that will take on South Africa in the All-Africa Games qualifier at the end of the month.
HARARE - CAPS United hitman Simba Sithole, dropped from the final 18-man squad named by coach Norman Mapeza to face Mali, says he has not lost hope and will continue to work hard to get back into the national team.