Warriors’ attacker Kuda Mahachi and goalkeeper George Chigova failed to seize the moment after the Chan tournament last year by breaking into Europe when they hastily signed contracts with South African topflight clubs.
Both could have tried their luck at major European leagues after a Spanish La Liga side expressed interest in giving Mahachi a trial stint, while Chigova would have travelled to France for trials with League 1 side Lille this month.
But despite attracting such interest Mahachi opted to sign for Sundowns while Chigova moved to SuperSport United.
Mahachi has been linked with a trial stint with French side Monaco, but nothing has materialised yet.
A local player agent this week revealed the two players made hasty decisions and lacked patience and ambition.
“These are both young players who could have gone to Europe for trials,” said the agent. “Even if you go there and fail to make the grade that experience is invaluable; you will obviously learn something. Kuda could have gone to Sevilla and even if he were to fail, there would be other clubs watching. It’s a big waste for some of the good local talent to go to South Africa. Players are desperate to go down there but South Africa must be the last option.”
Only a handful of players have made it to Europe from the local league in recent years with Archford Gutu in Sweden, Ovidy Karuru (Belgium), Quincy Antipas and Silas Songani in Denmark among the few.
Knowledge Musona still has a running contract with Bundesliga side TG Hoffenheim who are listening to offers for the striker who spent a year in South Africa despite interest from European leagues.
Musona is likely to return to Kaizer Chiefs.
The comforts of the South African topflight league have sucked out the ambition from Zimbabwean players with most talent wasting away in the rich but poor quality league.
Hordes of players are going down south to sign for whatever is offered to them so that they can escape poverty in the local league, with most Zimbabwean teams struggling for basics.
Championship chasing Highlanders could lose at least five players this month to South Africa with goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda set to leave for trials at Bloemfontein Celtic, while Munyaradzi Diya is set for a move to Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Milton Ncube has already signed for Ajax Cape Town while Peter Rio Moyo is lining up a move to Mpumalanga.
Kuda Mahachi will link up with his parent club Sundowns after a loan stint at Highlanders.
As the inquest into the Warriors debacle in the Afcon qualifiers against Tanzania continues, some football experts have averred that the wasting of talent in South Africa could be a key factor in failure at international level.
“Our young talented players are no longer thinking beyond South Africa, they are content with signing contracts that tie them down to those teams while not realising the benefits their talent warrants,” said the agent. “On the other hand you can understand the players because locally, football is not paying and it is difficult to make a proper living out of it.”
While Highlanders is set for a major player exodus they could benefit from a Walter Musona-Sundowns deal.
Sundowns have retained interest in the younger Musona who is on loan at FC Platinum with a deal likely to be signed during this transfer window, which would see the player loaned out to Highlanders.
On the other hand Bosso are lining up a move for How Mine striker Kuda Musharu as coach Kelvin Kaindu searches for a reliable striker.