35-YEAR-OLD Sakubva-born goalkeeper, Washington Arubi, who was dropped from the Warriors squad, says he still has unfinished business with the national team.
Unlike his homeboy, Willard Katsande who put an end to his international career, for some reason, the ageing goalkeeper still hopes for yet another dance with the national team.
Not even the shift in focus to younger and emerging generation of goalkeepers is enough to convince Arubi that his time with the national team is gone for good.
Arubi, at 35, is not yet thinking about when he will call it a day in his international and local league careers.
“I don’t know when I will retire, but for now I am still going strong and ready to keep on fighting for the spot. I think I still have unfinished business with the national team and will always be available when called for national duty,” he said.
Albeit his absence from the Warriors list, the former Lancashire Steel, Highlanders and Dynamos shot stopper believes the group of players that were chosen to represent the nation is equal to the task at hand.
“I would have wanted to be part of the team just like any other player, but I believe the coaches are doing the right thing by inviting players according to their game plan. I am confident with everyone who was called to represent the nation,” he said.
More than half a decade since he last featured in national team colours in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea at National Sports Stadium in Harare in 2015, the veteran goalkeeper bounced back to the Warriors’ squad after he was included in the team that represented Zimbabwe in the COSAFA Cup recently.
It is was difficult for national team selectors to ignore the Sakubva-born goalkeeper after a stellar season for DStv Premiership side TTM, which has now been renamed Marumo Stars.
Arubi was instrumental in TTM surviving relegation last season by keeping 10 clean sheets in the league, and his heroics in goal also propelled the Limpopo-based side to their first ever title, the Nedbank Cup, and he was deservedly named player-of-the-tournament.
For his impressive form in the just-ended season, Sekuru Gudo as Arubi is affectionately known by his legions of fans was rewarded by a recall to the national team.