In Gorowa we should trust

Zimbabwe Warriors: Who believes in the dream? Senior men’s national team coach, Ian Gorowa, could have failed to win all three of his home matches since he took over The Warriors, but in him a nation’s hope should lie.


In as much as a win, especially before home fans, is a must for any team, Gorowa has shown that he is one to focus more on the future than fast results that cannot be sustained.

His recent selection of largely home-based players is testimony of a man focused on his goal of not only preparing for the African Nations Championships, but one who is also intent on bringing the much-needed competition in the national team, where players cannot just march into the setup without having to sweat for it, just because they play, or should be playing out of the country.

Gorowa’s diversion is a welcome development from his predecessor, Klause Dieter Pagels, who would not only select players restricted to the bench, but would also reward others like Denver Mukamba with the captain’s armband.

With that gesture, the German, who once claimed he had selected some of the foreign-based benchwarmers because “they have not forgotten how to play”, built an attitude within those playing abroad that they only needed to remind the coach about their names to play for Zimbabwe.

Those playing at home should have, on the other hand, gotten the notion that no amount of sweat and consistency could guarantee them a place in the national team. In other words, the home-based players were Zimbabweans, but those playing outside the country were more Zimbabwean than them, according to Pagels’ rating.

However, in Gorowa, a former national team player who is also among the most qualified coaches in the region, Zimbabwe seems to have found direction and for the first time in many years, our soccer has found one man who is determined to lay a strong foundation.

Having personally met and spoken to Gorowa during his time in the South African Premiership, I have met him a number of times and can tell that in him and other former stars like Wilfred Mugeyi, Sunday Chidzambga, Rahman Gumbo (despite the misgivings some people might have on him), Moses Chunga, Pernell McKop and Charles Mhlauri, Zimbabwe can build a team that really knows the direction and can take us to where our soccer needs to go.

True that Gorowa is yet to win at home in three matches, but he has also not lost in five outings, including posting a rare away win over regional powerhouse Zambia in a qualifier to an important tournament and that should be enough solace for a nation looking to build a solid base for its soccer, which has endured a gradual decline in the past few years.

Gorowa has shown the largely home-based players he has selected that it is still possible for Zimbabwe to play five games without losing and that the sweetness of winning away from home can still be tasted.

When the foreign legion joins in, the pressure will be on them to maintain that otherwise good run and competition will be restored in our national setup.

However, this beaming success can only be achieved with total support from the owners of the game themselves – the fans and the administrators.

Instead of criticising the coach for having so far failed to win a home game, fans should remember that “Dibango” has just inherited a side that had forgotten to defend its turf against invaders like Egypt and Guinea, hence should start by restoring that confidence in them before he can remind them how to turn their backyard into a slaughter house again.

Zifa should also play its part by calling playing players in time, raising enough finds while there is still time, paying player bonuses and arranging enough friendly matches for the national team, especially ahead of the CHAN and the 2015 African Nations Cup qualifiers.

Post published in: Football
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