WARRIORS captain Willard Katsande is considering his future in international football following the team’s early exit at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals taking place in Gabon.
By KEVIN MAPASURE IN LIBREVILLE, GABON
The Warriors finished bottom of Group B on Monday with just one point to show for their efforts and the players have been ridiculed by their demanding supporters.
Katsande told NewsDaySport that he is considering his future, but has not made a decision on whether he will continue or quit international football.
“I have read reports that I have quit international football, but somebody decided to put words into my mouth,” he said. “I still need to go back and sit down and have a debrief. I also need to consult a few people before I make any decision. What is important is to see how I can help the younger players grow into the national team and take over. I think we still need to rub on to the next group of players the experience that we have gained from this Afcon final.
“Zimbabwe needs to be a regular at these finals and we need to be a dominant force. With this in mind, I will have to consult on how I can help before I make any decision. Having played for the Warriors since 2009, I have gained a lot of experience. So when I decide to step down there needs to be some form of continuity.”
Katsande said the Afcon experience was a learning curve and the important thing was to take that knowledge into the next Afcon qualifiers.
“I think, here, we learnt a lot and it’s disappointing that the journey ended early. We would have wanted to go further, but we failed to manage the games in crucial periods. The focus now should be on how we go on to qualify for the next edition, which will be held in Cameroon. I think if we qualify, we will go there a better team.”
Zimbabwe lit up the tournament when they played a 2-2 draw against Algeria in their first group game in a match they ought to have won had it not been for costly mistakes.
There was a lot of interest in their second game against Senegal, but 15 minutes into it, it was over as a contest as the Lions of Teranga raced to a 2-0 lead which they protected to the end.
It could have been worse for the Warriors, but Senegal missed a glut of chances, while goalkeeper, Tatenda Mukuruva was outstanding.
The match against Tunisia was probably the most disappointing, as Zimbabwe fell 4-2 in a match they needed to win to qualify
The fans have been unforgiving in the aftermath, with some suggesting an overhaul of the whole team.