‘LOCAL PLAYERS SHOULD GET WARRIORS GO’
FOOTBALL fans have criticised the selection of players into the senior national football team saying it demoralises talented and active locally-based players who are overlooked for those playing abroad irrespective of their form.
Warriors coach Callisto Pasuwa on Thursday called up a 21-member squad for the dead-rubber Total African Nations Cup qualifier against an already out-of-contention Guinea at Stade du 28 Septembre in Conakry on September 4.
In a survey by Chronicle Sport yesterday, football fans called on Pasuwa to put the nation’s interests ahead of personal aggrandisement, saying the Guinea match provided fringe and talented players with the necessary exposure yet the gaffer chose to go for experience.
Pasuwa said he wanted to finish the campaign without a loss, despite the fact that the Warriors will still finish Group L as leaders, regardless of the result in Conakry and Lilongwe, venue for the other group encounter between Malawi and Swaziland.
“We have nothing to lose in the game, this is where we needed exposure for our local boys who are playing week in week out unlike these so called foreign based players, a majority of whom are bench warmers. Players like Highlanders’ Prince Dube, FC Platinum’s consistent goalkeeper Petros Mhari and even Devon Chafa should have been part of this squad,” said Francis Dube, a diehard Dynamos supporter.
He also queried the logic behind the resting of the Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker Khama Billiat.
“He should also have rested most of those guys, especially Tatenda Mukuruva who also has not been at his usual best of late,” said Dube.
A local businessman, Nqobile Ngulube, said since the game was only academic, it was time for Pasuwa to throw into the fray untested players who were likely to make it into the final Afcon finals squad.
“This thing has been happening for some time now where players with game time were being overlooked for foreign players which to me demoralises other players. A case in point is Donovan Bernard who was second choice at How Mine but still found his way into the squad, it’s a very bad thing. Players all over the world want to play for their national team and this is why we have had some players requesting for transfers so that they could get game time,” said Ngulube.
He said players like Onismor Bhasera probably last played against Malawi in June.
“Let us have a clean way of selecting and Pasuwa must put the nation ahead of his personal aggrandisement. It does us no benefit to end the campaign without a loss yet not developing future players,” said Ngulube.
Saston Moyo from Mpopoma said national team coaches must involve teamwork and consultation not just scratching one’s head and coming up with names.
“I think the best way is for the coach to consider other Premiership players because they are all professionals but he will have the final say because at the moment I am convinced that that is not the case. We have players who have been giving it their best but because they play within our borders, their efforts have come to naught,” said Moyo.
Thandanani Moyo from Ntabazinduna said:
“In as much as we want to maintain our status l feel this is the time to give other players the chance to showcase themselves. Not taking anything away from those that took us this far. Maybe treat the game more like a friendly or preparation game. Also the idea to leave Billiat is a noble one”.
Leslie Phiri, a Bosso fan, however, feels Pasuwa was right to maintain consistency which helps the players to bond.
“Having already secured the ticket to Gabon, it is extremely crucial for Pasuwa to maintain continuity. This is not the time to assemble a squad based on performance but to build a team that will compete at Afcon. Thumbs up to Pasuwa for doing that. He has not tinkered much with the squad that secured the Gabon Afcon spot with a game to spare and that is great,” said Phiri.
Ken Chitonje from Hwange also felt the squad was fair enough and those selected deserved it.
Danny Phiri Saston Moyo Francis Dube Nqobile Ngulube Kuda Mahachi