The women’s national football team, the Mighty Warriors, have qualified for the Zone Six All Africa Games finals to be staged in Maputo, Mozambique in September.
The Young Warriors on Saturday can put one foot into Maputo if they beat or, at least, if things seem impossible get a scoring draw against South Africa in the final round qualifier, first leg match at the Sinaba Stadium.
Just how brilliant will it be for Zimbabwe!
They are called the “Golden Generation”, that is the next group of players destined to lead Zimbabwe football to greater heights in the near future.
It’s a squad, the national Under-23 football team, that has not been invested in, but the boys have just preferred to grind out results against Zambia and Botswana with very little resources availed to them.
Just as the Bible will say, “A prophet is not honoured in his own home”. Did we not see the same when Stephen Muzhingi won the Comrades Marathon? We don’t give them much support, yet they are heroes none the less!
The Young Warriors are endowed with brilliant players-Qadr Amini, Mathew Rusike, Trevor Mutero, Archford Gutu, Abbas Amidu and Simba Sithole. And there is something so common about all of them, they could be playing outside Zimbabwe from as early as next month.
Sithole has already been signed by Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa; Amini is headed towards Orlando Pirates; Rusike is going for trials at Bolton Wanderers in England; Mutero is already at Reading in the English Championship while Amidu and Gutu are going for trials at Hamburg and Hoffenheim in Germany.
Need we say more . . . this is certainly the next generation. But do we recognise their talent so we can invest resources in them? Do we even invest in the technical team? If we really wanted to, Friday Phiri will not have one assistant. Senior national team coach Norman Mapeza should have travelled with the boys on Friday.
And as they prepare to face South Africa today the nation has the utmost hope that they would give Zimbabwe some direction.
We need the victory and one thing for sure is that the thousands of Zimbabweans in that country will watch the match, in addition to home support from those with access to satellite decoders.
Despite the sometimes shoddy preparations, where allowances are paid at the last minute and travelling arrangements changed overnight, the Young Warriors have always had the zeal to succeed and today must be no different.
They must show the football leaders that, money issues aside, they have direction and can do better to attract interest from outside Africa than the current crop content with playing in South Africa.
That is the major reason Mutero is in UK, Rusike is going to the UK as well while Gutu an
d Abbas are seeking opportunities in Germany.
We want the new Peter Ndlovu, this is rather ambitious though, we want players to explore those other territories like former Warriors winger Joseph Ngwenya who famously donned the Bayern Munich jersey and signed a three-year-contract before being loaned out to Antalyspor in Turkey
He also had trials at Getafe in 2008, a team whose annual budget was once equivalent to David Beckham’s annual salary, in the Spanish LaLiga.
Good luck Amini and your troops . . . we support you!