WARRIORS coach Sunday Chidzambga is desperate to have Macauley Bonne in his squad and is hoping that the England-born striker would have received a Zimbabwean passport so that he is eligible to play for the country by the time the last round of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers are played in March next year.
BY HENRY MHARA
Bonne is in prolific goal scoring form for National League club Leyton Orient, in the English fifth-tier league where he has banged an incredible 13 goals in 18 matches, to top the goal scoring list.
He scored 25 goals last season to scoop the club’s Player of the Season award and his performances so far have left pundits purring and many believing his could be another Jamie Vardy success story in the making.
Vardy was plucked from non-league football by Leicester City, and led them to English Premier League glory and has also represented England.
For all of Bonne’s exploits, Chidzambga is unable to call on the 22-year-old’s services for official Zimbabwe games at the moment despite having featured in friendly matches for the Warriors previously, as he is yet to get a Zimbabwean passport.
Warriors manager Wellington Mupandare yesterday told NewsDaySport that having managed to secure a passport for another England-born Zimbabwean Tendayi Darikwa, who has since featured for the Warriors in two official games, their next target is to naturalise Bonne.
“He is a very good striker, and naturally, the coaches want him to be part of the squad. I have been in touch with him and he knows what to do. He should submit his passport application form at the Zimbabwe embassy and we take it up from there. He hasn’t been able to do so because of his tight schedule, but he has shown willingness, and I am sure he will submit when the season ends. We are confident he will be available for the last round of Afcon qualifiers next year,” Mupandare said.
Bonne is not the only England-born Zimbabwean that Chidzambga is looking at, with defender Adam Chicksen, who plays for English League One side, Bradford, also top of the priority list.
It is the big-framed Bonne though that Chidzambga is desperate to get and use as a point man in the team’s attack, especially at a time the mystery surrounding Nyasha Mushekwi’s availability for the squad is deepening.
Born in England to Zimbabwean parents, Bonne is eligible to represent both England and Zimbabwe, but he has chosen the latter.
Bonne made himself available for selection by Zimbabwe in 2014 and made a scoring debut for the team in a friendly match against Morocco.
He was called up for the Warriors’ 2017 Afcon qualifying campaign, but passport issues hampered his dream.
Bonne went on to play for the Warriors in two friendly matches against Lesotho and Namibia late last year.