Zimpapers Sport

HE might not have featured for his country yet but youthful England-based midfielder, Kaya Tshaka, is convinced the Warriors could spring a surprise and gatecrash into the 2026 World Cup party.

The Warriors are without a coach, just 21 days before they plunge back into the Group C qualifying race with two games inside four days, next month.

Zimbabwe, with two points from as many games, face Lesotho and South Africa on June 7 and 11.

The Warriors will host Likuena (The Crocodiles) at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg before they visit Bafana Bafana at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

And Tshaka, who is on the books of English National League outfit Eastleigh, has been closely following developments in the Warriors camp.

He watched their opening Group C games against Rwanda and Nigeria in Butare, which ended 0-0 and 1-1.

A graduate of the Southampton academy, who won the Under-18 championship with the Saints juniors in the 2021-22 season, Tshaka is the latest of the emerging crop of England-based starlets, now popularly known as the British Brigade, who have put their hands up for their motherland.

“It is a strong team with very technical players.

“If you look even at the AFCON 2022 performances against Guinea and Senegal, both traditional powerhouses, it showed how good a team we are.

“We just need a bit of luck and the team can go very far but the reality is that focus will be on one match at a time, starting off with Lesotho.

“A victory will be morale-boosting and bring the squad together,” he said.

He added:

“I guess it is all about now, making a positive impact right now. I am at a good age now, and I am ready, mentally and physically. Being called up for the Warriors, either the seniors or juniors, would be a dream.

“All I can do, is to carry on working hard, do my best, hopefully opportunities will come, and I can make the most of those opportunities.

“Fortune knocks at a man’s door once, when all is said and done, the football will speak for itself.”

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