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Longer camp needed for Warriors


THE Warriors play Egypt in a 2014 World Cup football qualifier next week and while a win will not do Zimbabwe any good as they are already out, the chance to prepare and build a solid unit for future games should start.

NewsDay Editorial

The Warriors are winless in the campaign, but that does not mean there are no future tournaments they need to prepare for. A squad of locally-based players has already played two matches against Zambia and Malawi and that trend of getting international friendlies must continue as our neighbours are also doing the same.

With the South African Premiership, where most of our players are located, having ended last week, perhaps the inclusion of two or three internationals for the Malawi match would have done us good for training purposes. The Malawians managed to bring in three players from South Africa and we have no excuse for not doing the same considering that some of the players, like Denver Mukamba, are in desperate need of game time. Zambia played Namibia at the weekend while South Africa will engage Lesotho next month as they prepare for the World Cup qualifiers. There is nothing in it, at least for now, for Namibia and Lesotho, but now that building is a continuous process, they just need to keep playing.

In July, the Warriors will be heavily involved in the Cosafa Castle Cup and the African Nations Championships (Chan), and we believe this is another stage that should bring the best from the local contingent.

What has always been a source of worry is lack of camping for the senior national team as they gather, normally two days before a match, before embarking on a long and tiresome road journey. Finances are a spot of bother for the national team and Zifa, while still picking up the pieces from a disastrous four years without corporate support, need to work hard to entice sponsors.

With Egypt lurking ahead, it could have been better had Zifa mobilised enough resources that would have enabled a week-long camp now that we are unable to confirm a friendly international on a Fifa day — June 3. So on June 3, six days before the Egypt match, the Warriors will go into camp, but as has been happening in the past, things are expected to be in full swing the following day. And it is still not confirmed when German coach Klaus Dieter Pagels will be back in the country.

Perhaps, again, it is the issue of resources that is at play and again we urge the corporate world and the Zimbabwe Football Trust to work around the clock to provide funding for such camps. Zifa has relied heavily on Mbada Diamonds, but we are saying why are the other corporates not supporting the diamond mining company? A football indaba held last year has not borne the required fruits.

Under Pagels, there seems to be good direction for the Warriors and Zifa must not tamper with that. Instead, they must focus on the issue of resource mobilisation and getting meaningful international friendly matches.

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