HomeSportSoccerChawanda bemoans Warriors performance

Chawanda bemoans Warriors performance

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WARRIORS legend Ephraim Chawanda has blamed lack of activity in the youth national teams as a dent to the composition and selection of a vibrant senior team following the 4-2 loss to Egypt in a Group G World Cup qualifier at the National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

Report by Fortune Mbele

The former Zimbabwe Saints central defender says the country should have strong junior sides that can be worked on to come up with an equally-strong senior national team so as to maintain consistency and continuity in the Warriors’ selection.

“We are trying to save a plane that is in flight. I think we have to build strong junior squads and have continuity. The coach (Dieter Klaus-Pagels) has been building, but he is only doing it at senior level. He should be given a chance to work with the Under-23s, Under-21s and the Under-17s.” Chawanda said from his Botswana base yesterday.

Last year, the national Under 17 and 20 sides failed to travel to international matches which left Zifa facing $10 000 fines and three-year bans from the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

The Under-23 side is only waiting for the 2016 Olympics and All-Africa Games qualifiers.

Chawanda said it was good that Pagels is working with legend Peter Ndlovu, the Under-23 Young Warriors coach, but, however, said the dearth in activities of the youth national teams as a feeder to the senior team for players is a contributing factor to the poor performance of the senior team.

“It is unfortunate that we suffered that loss in Harare after the brave display in Alexandria. I don’t know Pagels that much, but what could we expect considering the way that the coach came in and at what stage.

“It is okay that he (Pagels) is working with Peter, but he becomes the fall guy in the circumstances. He is building, but he is starting from the roof. Since the youth coaches were appointed, has there been any junior activities?” Chawanda asked.

He added: “But be that as it may, I think some of these football obstacles have to be removed and Pagels should be given a chance to draw up a plan and work with the junior national teams.”

Chawanda, popularly known as the Rock of Gibraltar in his heydays under the late German mentor Reinhard Fabisch  of the Dream Team fame, played alongside the likes of  Bruce Grobbelaar, the  late Mercedes Sibanda, Francis Shonhayi, Benjamin Nkonjera, Adam Ndlovu, John Phiri, Henry “Bully” McKop, Norman Mapeza, Rahman Gumbo, Madinda Ndlovu, Agent Sawu and Peter.

The Warriors have only managed a point in the Group G African World Cup qualifiers with a goalless draw against Mozambique at the Estadio de Zimpeto in Maputo in June last year after suffering a 0-1 home defeat to Guinea at the National Sports Stadium six months earlier.

In both matches, the Warriors were under Gumbo who parted ways with them following a last gasp failed African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign after the national team lost 2-0 to Angola in Luanda last October.

After Pagels took over, the German national has maintained that his target is to build a team for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Cosafa Senior Challenge in Zambia next month and Chan in South Africa next year.

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