BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS defender Tendayi Darikwa says he is trying to convince other England-born Zimbabweans, in particular, Macauley Bonne to play for Zimbabwe.
Darikwa is confident that the highly-rated striker will soon feature for the team.
Bonne is one of the players wiht Zimbabwean parentage born abroad that Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambga is desperate to have in the team, but cannot select him at the moment because he does not hold a Zimbabwean passport.
But Darikwa, who has already featured for the Warriors in two competitive matches, both against the Democratic Republic of Congo in the current Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers, has revealed that he has been in constant touch with Bonne.
“Some of them still have passport issues which they are trying to sort out, but I think if they can follow the process which I did, it can happen quite quickly. Hopefully, they can join us as quickly as possible. I’m trying to get Macauley Bonne here, I have introduced him to the guys down at the embassy and hopefully, things work out well paper-wise. I’m hoping that he will get the papers sorted out quite soon,” Darikwa said.
Bonne, the Leyton Orient hotshot in the National League in England, who is tipped for a big move into the English Premier League, has previously featured for the Warriors, but in friendly matches.
Chidzambga hopes that the striker is available for selection if the Warriors manage to avoid a defeat against Congo Brazzaville in their final group game at home tomorrow to secure the ticket to the Afcon finals set for June in Egypt.
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Darikwa, a darling with the Warriors fans, is set to retain his place in the team, having missed the team’s last qualifier away to Liberia, due to suspension.
“This is a big game. I have played a lot of big games in my career, but this, in my personal view, I think it’s massive because the whole nation, millions of people will be behind us and I’d be happy to get the job done on Sunday,” he said.
“Some of the players have been there (Afcon) before. They know how big the tournament is, but also everyone across the world knows how big it is and some of the greatest players have played in this tournament and we want to go there and get the feel as well. Against Congo Brazzaville, we need to focus, we need to be ready for the battle given that we know they also want to win the game, we can’t disrespect them and we must make sure that we are ready as a team.”
The right-back said he was settling well in the Warriors fold since making his official debut for the national team
“A lot of the players here were there when we went to the DRC, so I’m already familiar with them, so I’m feeling very good, and enjoying myself. The morale in the camp is very good. Everyone is confident, everyone is happy, so it’s about relaxing now and making sure we are ready for the big task on Sunday (tomorrow),” Darikwa said.
“To the supporters we say please continue supporting us throughout because on Sunday there might be times in the game where we will need your help. As players, we will all do our best. Please, make it louder and intimidating for the Congo Brazzaville players as much as possible.”