Warriors: Continuity key

12 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
Warriors: Continuity key Lazarus Muhoni

The ManicaPost

Moffat Mungazi
Sports Reporter

FORMER Zimbabwe midfielder, Lazarus Muhoni has urged the Warriors to make the most of the remainder of their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers by preparing and fine-tuning the squad for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Zimbabwe played neighbours South Africa yesterday (Thursday) in the penultimate match of theWorld Cup qualifiers in a duel that held contrasting significance for the two sides.

Bafana-Bafana are still in the running to progress to the next phase of the campaign,while the Warriors’ defeats to the Black Stars of Ghanain the previous back-to-back ties rendered them out of the race.

The Warriors complete their fruitless campaign with a date against Ethiopia at National Sports Stadium on Sunday.

It is against this backdrop that Muhoni has exhorted his compatriots to keep their heads up and look ahead with optimism.

“Everyone is disappointed that the World Cupqualifiers did not turn as expected, but there is no point in crying over spilt milk. Yes, we are out of this campaign, but there are other competitions to look forward to.

“As we wind up these qualifiers, there is the AFCON finals on the horizon which get underway in less than two months.
We have to immediately shift our focus to that tournament and ensure that we prepare in the best way possible,” said the former Buffaloes and Tanganda player.

The footballer-turned-administrator and agent said this was the time for Zimbabwe to put together a team for the future.

He added that continuity was key to ensure bright prospects for the Warriors, especially for the emerging crop of stars.

Explained Muhoni: “I think the issue of the coach is settled for now, and we have to properly plan for days ahead with clear focus. The spine around which to build the team is already in place and we simply have to develop on that going forward. If we blend that with the exciting and promising talent we have dotted across Europe, then I am sure we can eventually come right.”

The ex-midfield lynchpin hailed coach, Norman Mapeza for calling up youngsters such as Dynamos hotshot, Bill Antonio, former CAPS United midfielder, Blessing Sarupinda and German-based Jonah Fabisch, describing it as a positive step in the right direction.

He urged ZIFA to organise a proper training camp for the national team between conclusion of the World Cup qualifiers and kick-off of the AFCON finals.

“We surely cannot be repeating the same mistakes all over again. As an association, ZIFA by now must know where they fell short and if they can rectify that and put their house in order then we should be good to go,” said Muhoni, a goal-scoring midfielder in his day.

The Sakubva-bred former footballer challenged the Warriors to put behind them their past disappointments and rise to the occasion at the jamboree in Cameroon set for January.


He said the boys can make up for the heartbreak of crashing out of the World Cup qualifiers at the first hurdle by doing well at the biennial soccer showcase.

“There is always room for improvement and we have to prove that they do not call us Warriors for nothing. Having been to the finals on four previous occasions, it is now time we made impact at AFCON and progress to the advanced stages of the tournament,” he said.

Muhoni holds the distinction of being among the group that represented the country at the AFCON finals for the first time in history at the 2004 tournament in Tunisia.


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