26 May 2016
THE squad to face Malawi in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier has been named and this is a game that no football stakeholder can afford to take for granted.
We are gunning â€“ as a nation â€“ for a third appearance at the continental showpiece and one hopes there will be no bleeps and blunders that can disrupt preparations for this crucial encounter.
Already, Zifa must be applauded for preparing an international friendly to allow the coach an opportunity to assess some new inclusions like Andrew Gwaze and see how they can fit into the system.
Credit should also go to the coach, Kalisto Pasuwa, for casting his net wider and creating room for players like Gwaze who deserve a chance to be assessed as they can impress and make a difference to the Warriors.
Zimbabwe has an array of players that are doing well overseas and they all deserve to be looked at because they did not qualify to play for those superior leagues by default. Instead, they are playing there against the odds as all the locally-based players would give anything to be in their situation. Moreover, other barriers like language and weather and even racism (at times) work against their progress in foreign lands and they must be really good and strong to defy all those negatives and still be good enough to play in these tougher leagues.
However, this is not to say all the locally based players are not good enough to represent the Warriors.
Again, credit must be given to Pasuwa for realizing this.
He has included players like Lawrence Mhlanga, Bruce Kangwa, Teenage Hadebe, Blessing Moyo, Farai Madhananga and Tafadzwa Kutinyu to compete for their places in the Warriors squad ahead of such a crucial qualifier.
Add to this the fact that all three goalies are locally based despite the presence of experienced goalkeepers like Washington Arubi and George Chigova in foreign leagues.
It is clear being foreign based is not a guarantee to play for the Warriors and everything is done on merit.
Other local players like Hardlife Zvirekwi, Elisha Muroiwa, Marshal Mudewe and Danny Phiri have actually played cruacial encounters for the Warriors and this should give hope to every Zimbabwean player.
If you do well on the pitch, there is always room in the Warriors squad as Tendai Ndoro will confess.
He wasnâ€™t part of the team in the last encounter but a goal scoring spree in the ABSA Premiership in South Africa has seen him being called up to compete for a place.
All Zifa have to do is ensure these players are available in time and moral is high in camp ahead of this tie.
And the fans should not forget their role as well, they should start preparing to fill the giant National Sports Stadium and cheer the team to victory.
This is it.