ONE day Ronald Pfumbidzai gets a call up and the other he does not. This has characterised his relationship with the national team. His football life with the Warriors has been full of highs and lows.
BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
Pfumbidzai, who is now on the books of South African Premiership side Bloemfontein Celtic, had been overlooked by Warriors coach Sunday Chidzambwa as he named the provisional squad for the 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifying showdown against Congo Brazzaville on Sunday.
He only got a call up as an after-thought following the withdrawal of Costa Nhamoinesu owing to injury. There had also been a public outcry on social media with some fans questioning the decision to overlook the defender, who possesses one of the most lethal left feet.
But after finally making it into the squad, he knows this is his biggest chance to provide a convincing case of his credentials. It should be the chance to disprove his critics by cementing a permanent place in the national team.
More importantly, he should erase any doubts that the technical team have had in him.
Of course, he will not just walk into the team, he has to earn a place, especially considering the coach had already made a decision on the man he wants to operate the left wing-back position after he had called up Divine Lunga when he first named his squad.
Pfumbidzai is determined to make a statement.
And Chidzambwa might have to toss a coin between him and Lunga for the Sunday battle.
“To be frank, I see this as a great opportunity for me. I had been overlooked when the squad was named at first. Well, that happens in football, I understand that as a footballer. Now that I am here, I have to make the best of it. You never know, you might not get another chance again. I have grabbed the chance with both hands so I will try to work hard and earn a place in the team. If I get the chance to play on Sunday, I will be ready to perform to the best of my ability.”
The former Caps United left-back has flourished at Bloemfontein Celtic since he left for South Africa for the 2017-18 season.
He played 30 games in his first season including league and cup competitions and scored two league goals with one assist.
However, he continued to endure the frustration of being left out of the team. He was also not considered even for the less glamorous regional COSAFA tournament.
The Warriors are expected to leave for Congo Brazzaville today.
Zimbabwe currently top Group G with three points but on goal difference, following their 3-0 win over Liberia in their opening match of the campaign. The group also consists of Democratic Replubic of Congo, who are second on the standings on goal difference after they managed a 3-1 win over Congo Brazzaville.
With the top two teams in the group making it to the January finals, a win for the Warriors will enhance their chances of dancing once again with the big boys of African football after they participated at the last edition of the biennial tournament in Gabon.