PREDATORY Zimbabwe international striker, Be-njani “Undertaker” Mwa-ruwari says he has repented his wayward attitude towards national team assignments that had alienated him
from the local soccer fraternity.
In a telephone interview with IndependentSport this week from France where he turns out for First Division giants, AJ Auxerre, Mwa-ruwari regretted his truancy on several occasions when he came for national duty and said he had repented.
The bustling striker who earned himself the nickname Undertaker for his scoring instincts came under criticism from local soccer followers due to his arrogant attitude. Every time he came for national duty, he would firstly go AWOL (Absent Without Leave) and only join the rest of the team just before departure or with very few days before the match.
Added to that, Mwaruwari’s form took a dive in his last appearances for the Warriors’ African Nations Cup finals qualifying matches, going for four matches without scoring.
“I admit that I made mistakes which infuriated fans and the media when I came late for camp. That was worsened by my failure to score,” said Mwaruwari. “However, such things do happen. I have however repented and am committed to redeeming myself.”
Mwaruwari is still recovering from an injury he sustained in Seychelles where the Warriors suffered a 1-2 defeat.
The Undertaker added that he has been doing some soul-searching during the period he has been nursing the injury.
“I have been doing some soul-searching during the entire period since I was injured, and really felt the importance of maintaining a good relationship with everybody at home,” he said. “More importantly however, is my role for the Warriors which can’t be over-emphasised.”
He added that he yearns to reclaim his position in the Warriors and help make a maiden appearance at the Nations Cup finals next year.
Warriors coach Sunday Marimo has included the Undertaker in the squad to be considered for the finals.
Mwaruwari has been riding on the crest of a wave with convincing performances for the Warriors which were augmented by the sensational maiden appearance in the European Champions League for AJ Auxerre last year.
However, his truancy turned him into a villain. Some soccer fans waved placards denouncing him during the final African Nations Cup qualifier against Eritrea at the National Sport Stadium last month.
“We can do without you Mwaruwari,” read one of the placards.
“That would be forever regretted in the whole of my career,” said the gangling striker this week.
Meanwhile, Mwaruwari said he has signed another two-year contract with AJ Auxerre.
“I have signed another two-year contract with AJ Auxerre. Monaco had offered me a four million Euro contract, but I opted to stay,” said Mwaruwari. “In addition, Digbril Cisse could be leaving in December, creating an opportunity for me.”
French striker Cisse has been overshadowing Mwaruwari in the strike force, making the Zimbabwean striker sit it out on the bench.
Meanwhile, Sporting Lions will play Dynamos at Rufaro tomorrow while Blue Swallows engages Wankie at Gwanzura. Lancashire Steel v Motor Action (Baghdad).
Sunday: Caps United v Highlanders (Rufaro) Amazulu v Kambuzuma (Luveve) and Shabanie Mine v Sundowns (Maglas).