Warriors: The War is far from over

As Zimbabwe celebrates the Warriors’ qualification to the 2014 Africa Nations Championships, the football family should not get carried at way.

Beating former African champions Zambia and the eventual qualification was just, but in reality, we have just won a battle and not the real war. After all, this is not the first time we have qualified for this tournament: it would have been a first had we not made it.

The real test will come with the finals in South Africa, where the Warriors should defy the history books and at least make it past the first round. In 2009 and 2011, we only went to the tournament to make up the numbers, as we bowed out in the first round on both occasions.

So, behind the wild ululations, Ian Gorowa and his boys should know that nothing short of a place in the semi-finals will be enough to appease the success-starved fans, who have endured the frustration of watching their team struggle in major international tournaments, while those from other nations celebrated.

Another first round elimination will mean Zimbabwe are down to zero. The Warriors would not have improved from the last tournament in 2011, when they even lost to a third string South African side.

Comments from football fans all over the country have suggested that Zimbabwe’s success at the Africa Nations Championship finals lies in good preparations and in more friendly matches for Gorowa and his side.

The starting point is not far away. The Warriors play Mozambique in the academic 2014 World Cup qualifier in September. Instead of calling foreign-based players for the game, Gorowa should stick to his CHAN team and start solidifying it there.

Gorowa also has the September 10 friendly match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana to continue his rebuilding process. That game is on a Fifa calendar, but it also gives the national coach another chance to continue rebuilding for the CHAN.

Former Motor Action coach, David George, believes Zifa should suspend domestic football to pave way for at least one more national team friendly. Zifa Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Mashingaidze recently pledged enough support to ensure the Warriors put up a realistic challenge for the title in South Africa.

Post published in: Football

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