NEW Warriors coach Charles Mhlauri says he wants to put old horses from the national team out to pasture and will only call up foreign-based players on the basis of current form and fitness.
Speaking to IndependentSport after his appointment by the Zimbabwe Football Association on Wednesday, Mhlauri said the Warriors were in need of transformation that includes the integration of young players as well as retiring those old horses who no longer have much to offer.
“When calling players based outside the country we will consider current performance and fitness. There is no need to call all the players based in other countries when they can’t make an impact or justify their presence,” Mhlauri said.
“I will not take a player on the basis that he is hunting for a club in Europe or South Africa. We have a number of locally based players who are ripe for the national team and I will give them a chance. We therefore will have to merge experience and young talent at the end of the day. There are a number of locally based players that deserve places in the team.”
Mhlauri, who said he would announce next week his squad to prepare for the Angola tie on October 10, added that he would want to bring an end to the culture of relying on a few individuals.
“I don’t believe in individual performance or contribution. I believe in teamwork and blending together a formidable outfit that fires from all cylinders,” he said.
“If you look at the current Caps team, you will find anyone, including a defender, can score and be the match-winner. I don’t put much value on the position of captain. We need to work hard on transforming the team before we think of all those issues.”
Mhlauri said he would announce his two assistant coaches today as well as identify in due course five other coaches all over the country who would be working with him in spotting players for the squad.
He added that he would also have a colleague doing the same from South Africa, while Belgian Marc Mertens will be covering Europe.
Mhlauri, the head coach at premiership log leaders Caps United, believes the experience he gained from his stint in Germany last year will guide him in transforming the Warriors.
“I believe in myself. The argument that I have not won a championship and therefore can’t be a good coach is baseless. I have worked with the German national team and Bayern Munich during my six months in Germany and I think that gave me enough experience to take on any challenge.”
The founder of premiership champions Amazulu, Mhlauri said he would be able to withstand the pressure of guiding Caps to the championship and reviving the chances of the Warriors to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and African Cup of Nations finals.