BY Farirayi Kahwemba
Former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Esrom Nyandoro feels the retirement of Knowledge Musona from the Warriors has created a huge gap that will prove hard to fill.
Nyandoro, who was part of the Warriors’ maiden appearance at the Africa Nations Cup finals in 2004 in Tunisia as well as their 2006 campaign in Egypt, said the departure of the 32-year-old Al-Tai forward had cast a light on the inability of Zimbabwe’s development structures to produce top players consistently.
Musona has left the Warriors fold with his name firmly established among the legends of Zimbabwean football.
The Smiling Assassin, who banged in a total of 28 goals in 45 appearances for the Warriors, also led his team at three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
Nyandoro — who described Musona as a good example to young players in terms of how he conducted himself on and off the field — worked very hard to perfect his craft.
“I had the privilege to play with him and he is one person who is very professional about his football. Very humble and quiet but extremely committed.
“Knowledge was one guy who worked very hard to establish himself and the hard work paid off because he managed to play in Europe after making a name for himself at Kaizer Chiefs,” Nyandoro said.
Nyandoro said although he shared the disappointment of Warriors fans after learning about Musona’s retirement, focus should now be directed at what Zimbabwean football authorities must do “to discover another Musona.”
“Every player eventually makes a decision to retire and he will have his own reasons. We have to accept that he has retired from the national team and moved on,” Nyandoro said.
“I also retired at that age and it is not an easy decision to make. We would have loved to see him more in action for the Warriors because we all know what he is capable of, especially in front of goal, but that is unlikely to happen.
“As a country, we have to go back to the years when the likes of Peter Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwari and the late Benjamin Nkonjera were discovered.
“We need a strong junior development policy and if you look at how Peter rose as a player then you will agree that our development structures are not as strong as they were back then.
“The likes of Khama Billiat, Tinashe Nengomasha and others came through junior structures that were very strong and which we should now work very hard to revive as a country,” he said.
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