A Warriors team we can trust

After a long wait, the Zimbabwe team for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers is finally out and what a balanced outfit it is.

After a long wait, the Zimbabwe team for the 2026 World Cup qualifiers is finally out and what a balanced outfit it is.

Apart from a few omissions, coach Jairos Tapera was spot-on in his team selection and picked a team we can trust in its 10-day World Cup adventure in South Africa.

A team that possesses such quality as Tawanda Chirewa of Wolves, Marshall Munetsi of Reims, Tawanda Masvanhise of Leicester City, Jordan Zemura of Udinese, and Teenage Hadebe, formerly of Konyaspor, can surely be described as classy in any sporting language

After all, there is also the experience of Tino Kadewere who on top of the French Lique 1 has also played in the LaLiga with Mallorca, but knows too well that he still has a point to prove in the Warriors' jersey.

What is even refreshing is that Tapera has gone out of his way to give a chance to 24-year-old Douglas Mapfumo of Polokwane City in South Africa who could turn out to be the striking saviour Zimbabwe has been waiting for.

Tapera has also realised the talent that our own Premier Soccer League has and has offered the chance to represent the country to Martin Mapisa, Godfrey Chitsumba, Donovan Benard, Godknows Murwira, Walter Musona and Tymon Machope who were drawn from various teams in the PSL.

Surely, the confidence and belief in the Warriors that had deserted us has suddenly found its way back and there is every reason to believe that should the going gets tough the Warriors will come back home with at least four points.

Surely, the Warriors cannot lose to Lesotho and any other result besides a win would be a tragedy if not a suicide while against South Africa we have all the ammunition to pull up a shocker or at least a draw.

Surely, we can feel the interest and the excitement Tapera's team has generated and it will not be a surprise should thousands of football fans troop down South to rally behind their Warriors in their time of need.

Even heartening is the fact that Tapera himself is well aware of the positions of the players he picked and won’t find it all that difficult to map out a system of play that could bring the required results.

Surely, it is good to give credit where it is due and thumbs up to the Zifa normalisation committee for coming up with a respectable Warriors coaching set up that promises good results.

Surely, why can’t we be confident when we have a coaching team that also includes Takesure Chiragwi and Saul Chaminuka with Sunday Chidzambwa as the technical advisor?

There is youth and experience, and Chidzambwa in particular, has vast African football experience dating back to his days with Dynamos in the Caf Champions League and during the days he took Zimbabwe to the Afcon finals in 2004 and 2019.

The Warriors team — which plays Lesotho on Friday — gets into camp today and the next four days will be busy days for Tapera and company to come up with their first 11 and a system of play that will make them happy.

We hope that the Zifa normalisation committee will not destroy the mood in the camp by not providing the players' allowances and bonuses as happened in the past.

After the wait, Zimbabwe football fans are hoping that the Warriors will have them celebrating, not only after Lesotho on June 7 but also after South Africa on June 11.

With the team and the coaches we have, our World Cup road looks very promising only if the football leaders do not destroy the dream.

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