Mixed re­ac­tions over Kat­sande

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Fun­gayi Mun­y­oro Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

WAR­RIORS coach Sun­day Chidzambwa’s de­ci­sion to re­call for­mer cap­tain Wil­lard Kat­sande (Pic­tured) back into the na­tional team has drew mixed re­ac­tions from soc­cer fans in Mutare.

Some feel Kaizer Chiefs mid­fielder Kat­sande’s pres­ence would give the team steel re­in­force­ment in the mid­dle of the park while re­gard him as ex­cess baggage.

Kat­sande was in­cluded among the 21 mem­ber squad to face Liberia on Novem­ber 18, in Mon­rovia, mark­ing his re­turn af­ter close to two years of quit­ting in­ter­na­tional foot­ball. Soc­cer en­thu­si­ast Eddy Jewu had this to say about Chidzambwa’s de­ci­sion:

“We need some­one who is good when it comes to mark­ing and pass­ing the ball. Kat­sande has the qual­i­ties. Mhofu made an in­formed de­ci­sion to have him back in the War­riors fold”.

An­other soc­cer fan Martin Moyo said Kat­sande’s in­clu­sion will give the team a ma­jor boost. “Per­haps to some ex­tent he will give the team a moral boost and in­crease the con­fi­dence of the new guys in the team. It cre­ates com­ple­tion in the camp. Def­i­nitely there will be stiff com­pe­ti­tion as the up­com­ing stars will fight it out for the jersey with ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers like Kat­sande,” he said.

Tom Ny­athi said it was an over­due and brave de­ci­sion by the Zifa Board and the tech­ni­cal team to smoke a peace pipe with Kat­sande.

“Hav­ing played 246 con­sec­u­tive games for a big team like Kaizer Chiefs, what more ex­pe­ri­ence would one ask for? I also ap­plaud Kat­sande for lis­ten­ing to the voice of rea­son and put the War­riors first,” he said.

How­ever, not ev­ery­one was im­pressed.

“I don’t think it is some­thing to cel­e­brate about. This is a player who re­signed out of frus­tra­tion be­cause fans were not happy with the re­sults posted by the team he cap­tained. His revered in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure failed to res­cue the team, forc­ing him to quit. What are we do­ing by recycling geri­atrics like Kat­sande? He is the type of player who thinks he should not be crit­i­cised when he messes,” said Tal­ent Mway­era.

“Those good play­ers who took us this far should be given more game time. We should not cre­ate hills out of anthills by em­brac­ing yes­ter­year play­ers like Kat­sande at the ex­pense of emerg­ing tal­ent.

The team has been post­ing pos­i­tive re­sults with­out him. He is strug­gling at Kaizer Chiefs, and what war­rants the merit of his in­clu­sion in the na­tional team? The na­tional jersey is for ev­ery player with ca­pac­ity to turn around the for­tunes of the team, and should not be used to mas­sage the egos of for­mer cap­tains,” he added.

This was also echoed by Simba

Marezu who ac­cused Kat­sande of sab­o­tag­ing the team by pre­ma­turely an­nounc­ing his re­tire­ment.

“He left the War­riors two years ago and has dis­cov­ered that the team is mak­ing progress, and wants to come­back and share the glory. He is ex­pend­able, and we do not want greedy play­ers,” said Marezu.

The War­riors will face Liberia in Group G qual­i­fy­ing match be­fore host­ing Congo on March 22, 2019.

The 32nd edi­tion of the Africa Cup of Na­tions will be played in Cameroon from June 15 to July 13, 2019. It will also be the first Africa Cup of Na­tions fea­tur­ing 24 teams. Zim­babwe pro­vi­sional squad Goal­keep­ers: Ge­orge Chigova (Polok­wane City), Ed­more Sibanda (Wit­bank Spurs), Sim­barashe Chi­nani (Dy­namos). De­fend­ers: Alec Mudimu (CEFN Druids), Ron­ald Pfumbidzai (Bloem­fontein Celtic), Teenage Hadebe (Kaizer Chiefs), Kevin Moyo (FC Plat­inum), By­ron Mad­zokere (Yadah Stars), Mar­shall Munetsi (Or­lando Pi­rates). Mid­field­ers:

Wil­lard Kat­sande (Kaizer Chiefs), TafadzwaKutinyu (Azam), Ovidy Karuru (Amazulu), Tal­ent Chawapi­hwa (Baroka), MarvelousNakamba (Club Brugge), Khama Bil­liat (Kaizer Chiefs), Knowl­edge Mu­sona (An­der­lecht), Rod­well Chinyengetere (FC Plat­inum) Strik­ers: Evans Rusike (Su­per­Sport United), Knox Mu­tizwa (La­montville Golden Ar­rows), Tino­tenda Kadewere (Le Havre AC), Ter­rence Dzvuka­manja (Bid­vest Wits).

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