BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
CAPS United winger Phineas Bhamusi says his failure to make the team for the 2021 African Nations Championship (Chan) finals to be hosted by Cameroon in January next year has given him the resolve to do better in the future.
Bhamusi, one of the best players among those plying their trade at home, had been expected to make it easily into the final team, but surprisingly, Warriors coach Zdravko Logarušić decided otherwise.
The Croat initially called up 34 players to camp to prepare for the biennial soccer tournament designed exclusively for home-based players.
However, Logarusic wielded the axe on several players after a close assessment during friendly matches with local clubs Ngezi Platinum, Caps United, Dynamos, Bulawayo Chiefs, Chicken Inn, Ngezi Platinum Stars, Herentals, Manica Diamonds and Yadah Stars.
Apart from Bhamusi, the axe also fell on Valentine Musarurwa, Valentine Kadonzvo, Collins Duwa, Xolani Ndlovu and William Manondo in a chopping exercise that left football followers stunned.
The expatriate coach picked former Warriors captain Denver Mukamba after his impressive show for Ngezi Platinum Stars in a friendly match.
Bhamusi said although he did his best to impress the coach, he respected his decision to drop
“I think I tried my best. I gave it my all, but you know in football, the coach has the final say and all I have to do is respect his decision. But this (exclusion) from the team has given me the resolve,” he said.
“It has given me the energy to work and push harder to be noticed again. I am confident that this is not the end, I still have a lot to contribute to the national team. Right now I have focused on the club.”
Bhamusi’s teammate Richard Hachiro, who has previously played for the Warriors, with his last stint being his involvement at the Cosafa Championships in South Africa last year, has been retained thus
The Warriors were given a break for the festive season on Sunday and are set to resume camp on December 27 after which the coach will name the final squad to do duty in Cameroon.
The Chan tournament kicks off on January 16, with Zimbabwe playing hosts Cameroon before facing Burkina Faso and Mali in other Group A matches.
Zimbabwe have made it to every edition of the tournament since its inauguration in 2009 in Ivory Coast, with a semi-final berth in 2014 in South Africa being the major highlight of their participation at the continental soccer show piece.