Bambo ques­tions Cosafa Cup suc­cess

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Grace Chin­goma

DE­SPITE Zim­babwe’s con­tin­ued suc­cesses at the Cosafa Cup, foot­ball leg­end Moses “Bambo” Chunga be­lieves Zifa need to keep pri­ori­tis­ing de­vel­op­ment ahead of short-term suc­cess.

The former Zim­babwe in­ter­na­tional be­lieves the pres­ence of some reg­u­lar War­riors such as Khama Bil­liat, Tino Kadewere and Evans Rusike in the team took some gloss off the suc­cess.

“We are starved of suc­cess but, hon­estly, we still have a lot do in terms of de­vel­op­ment and foot­ball pro­gres­sion,’’ he said.

“Some­times there is no need for short­cuts. We need to take the long route but what I know is that peo­ple are not pa­tient and this tends to put coaches un­der pres­sure.

“We can­not be cel­e­brat­ing the Cosafa Cup suc­cess with play­ers like Khama Bil­liat, a former Caf African Player of the Year run­ner-up. We know what he is ca­pa­ble of and in­stead we should be un­earthing an­other Khama gem at such a tour­na­ment.

“I re­mem­ber at one time, then War­riors coach Charles Mh­lauri trav­elled to South Africa for the Cosafa Cup with play­ers play­ing in the do­mes­tic league.

“I re­mained at the Na­tional Sports Sta­dium with an­other na­tional team com­pris­ing lo­cal­based play­ers, which in­cluded Quincy An­tipas, to fea­ture in an in­ter­na­tional In­de­pen­dence Day match.

“Both teams tri­umphed with a lot of pos­i­tives noted, there wasn’t any for­eign- based player in those two teams and peo­ple cel­e­brated depth.

“Even as a coach then you will know you are groom­ing some play­ers. But, un­for­tu­nately, at the mo­ment our ju­nior pol­icy is not that good.

“There isn’t clear in­te­gra­tion of play­ers from the Un­der-17 right up to the Un­der-23 teams. Th­ese should be the feeder teams into the se­nior team.’’

He said when he was ap­pointed Young War­riors coach last year, he had a pro­gramme to groom young play­ers.

His team failed to win or draw a sin­gle match and crashed to heavy losses, in­clud­ing a 5-1 thrash­ing by Malawi, at the Cosafa Un­der-17 tour­na­ment in Mau­ri­tius last year.

“I had a pro­gramme to work with the Un­der-17 play­ers but th­ese things are frus­trat­ing. You get into camp less than a week in prepa­ra­tion for a tour­na­ment.

“You don’t have a con­tract and nei­ther do you get the nec­es­sary sup­port. But one doesn’t want to al­ways talk about th­ese is­sues be­cause you will be branded the en­emy of the in­sti­tu­tion yet you will be merely stat­ing facts,’’ said Chunga.

War­riros’ coach Sun­day Chidzambwa, how­ever, in­sisted that win­ning the Cosafa Cup was not his mission but it would be a bonus.

Chidzambwa said he needed the games to see how some of his key play­ers, in­clud­ing Bil­liat who had not played for the War­riors in more than one-and-half years, would blend in the team.

The coach said this was his best op­por­tu­nity to look at some of the play­ers he will use for the Af­con qualifiers which re­sume in Sep­tem­ber. With the World Cup set to dom­i­nate the foot­ball land­scape un­til next month, C h i d z ambwa said there would be lit­tle time to look at some of his play­ers in com­pet­i­tive matches ahead of their Af­con games.

Moses “Bambo” Chunga

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