Home » General » Soon, We’ll Know Our Fate [opinion]

D-DAY is fast approaching and in less than 72 hours we will all know our fate. I am glad that the Willard Katsande debacle is done and dusted. We can’t change the past. We all have to move on. The young man apologised to the nation, explained to the coach and the manager and he was pardoned. “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.”

Let’s put what happened behind us and move on.

He promised to pay us back.

However, I will air on the side of caution, and aise him like this: “Do not put yourself under pressure. Just go in there, do your best and enjoy yourself.”

This is not a job that can be done by one person but the whole nation has a part to play. Sometimes it’s folly to try too hard.

Zifa have done their bit and reduced the entry charges.

Well done, Zifa. This is a refreshing relief coming from an institution previously comfortable with mediocrity.

Now, as fans, we need to go and create a carnival atmosphere and really show that we love our Warriors.

Let’s support them through thick and thin.

Zimbabwe is all we have.

I am also relieved that we managed to get more “experienced” players into the camp who missed the first leg due to varying reasons.

I think the coach and his technical team have a desirable headache of choosing from a larger pool of players this time around.

However, I feel we are not doing enough to get all our best players from the globe. We have ignored some of them for a long time such that they are no longer interested to play for the national team.

Some have shown interest but we chose to ignore them for one reason or the other.

Some, we are not sure if they are Zimbabwean or not. The unfortunate part is we have chosen to ignore them. Maybe we don’t what to do to lure them to play for the Warriors.

My feeling is we are in the deep at the moment and we need all our best players wherever they are and however, Zimbabwean they are.

My suggestion is for Zifa and the Ministry of Sports to create a database of all “Zimbabwean” players who are playing football across the world.

That they can do through our embassies in other countries. Somehow we have to keep track of how our players are doing in whatever leagues they are plying their trade.

For some, we have to find ways of convincing them to come and play for us. I know this is a contentious proposal but let’s be reminded that we are just Zimbabwe, one of the minnows of African football.

We are not Brazil who can let some of their best players change allegiance. They have a wide pool to choose from.

Imagine, they could let Deco play for Portugal and recently, they let Diego Costa go and play for Spain.

With the abundance of striking options the World and European champions, Spain, has and the fact that they accepted Costa into their fold speaks volumes about the need for nations to get all the best players they can.

Zimbabwe on the other hand has chosen to ignore Bradley Pritchard and we did not fight for Lewin Nyatanga.

We have given up on players like Musa Mguni.

We need to get our act together.

Another aspect that needs deep thought is that of our junior teams. I have noticed that we have totally ignored them because of the Caf bans they were given.

I feel we need to do something to keep these boys together. We need to be creative about it.

Not playing in Caf tournaments does not mean we should fold our hands and ignore our youth teams.

We should be reminded that this has been the main source of our talismen. The Ndlovu brothers, Peter and Adam, rose through the junior national teams. So did Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiart.

We need to keep this feeder channel open, oiled and functioning. We cannot afford to let it die. The nation has to know all of its young talent and how it is developing.

I am suggesting that we re-introduce the Southern and Northern regional teams and have them play regularly against each other.

If resources allow let it be increased to the four regions and have them play tournaments on a regular basis.

Those tournaments will assist the youth team coaches keep abreast with the national talent we have.

And when the senior national team is in camp, they can then have training matches with these youngsters.

It helps them gain experience and self-confidence.

We have exciting players that should be kept together for the future. And some of them should be already knocking on the senior team’s door.

I feel because we do not really know them at national level we do not trust them.

Would you trust Wisdom Mutasa to lead the Warriors midfield or Walter Musona and Brett Amidu to lead the attack? It would need a brave coach, a very brave one in deed.

And a daring nation.

We really need to do something to keep our youth teams active. I think the Zifa Board Member — Development has his work cut out. It would be a big challenge, one that needs creativity but it has to be done.

However, we have a job at hand. One that needs collective action.

Come Sunday, let’s all come together and put back the Warriors where they belong — in the elite league of African football.

Go Warriors Go

Bothwell Mahlengwe is a banker and former Premiership footballer

Source : The Herald