WHILE the chaos at the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) headquarters continues to cast a dark cloud over the prospects of local soccer, Warriors coach Sunday “Mhofu” Mar
imo and his troop offer a glimpse of hope for a better future.
Not only did the Warriors, through the victory over Swaziland in the penultimate stage of the Cosafa Castle Cup on Sunday sooth the agony of the soccer fraternity grappling with perennial leadership chaos at Zifa, but also offered hope for the future.
The African Nations Cup finals in Tunisia next year are the prime focus for the entire soccer fraternity. It is in the wake of that vision that Marimo should be commended for having started giving several players the chance for a place in the Warriors as he casts wider his selection net.
Mhofu made five changes to the squad that played South Africa in the quarter finals of the Cosafa Castle Cup and even more changes to the one he used during the Nations Cup campaign.
Firstly, that presented an opportunity to new players such as Shingirai Kawondera, Tinashe Nengomasha and Francis Madziva who showed their abilities.
Secondly, and more importantly, it marked the widening of the pool of players to be nurtured and considered for Tunisia next year.
Madziva and Nengomasha, on their debuts for the Warriors showed immense maturity while Kawondera shone in the strike-force. He displayed the touch and skill that perfectly complements skipper and team captain Peter Ndlovu’s experience.
Intelligent midfielder Ronald Sibanda, almost forgotten due to his erratic appearances for Amazulu, bounced back with an inspired performance that further emboldened the spirit of hope for a convincing performance in Tunisia.
It should however, be pointed out with emphasis that Mhofu and his assistants, Rhaman Gumbo and Brenna Msiska still have a lot of work to do between now and February.
The poor performance of the Warriors in the face of well-orchestrated attacks by Sihlangu on Sunday entails more work still needs to be done. It was clear that the Warriors are falling short on recovering, a weakness probably linked to the 3-5-2 formation.
Madziva and Bekhithemba Ndlovu, operating on the flanks were on most occasions slow to recover, thereby creating avenues for the visitors.
It is vital now that Zifa quickly share the pipe of peace and end all the bickering lest it hampers the Warriors’ vision which is shared by the whole nation.