ON January 19, in this column, I wrote about Warriors coach Ian Gorowa’s apparent bias in the national team selection, as well as the composition of his technical team.
Final Whistle with Brian Nkiwane
Almost five months down the line, most people are likely to agree with me, that this was clearly not a national team building project, but a project aimed at promoting other agendas.
I bear no personal grudge against Gorowa or any of his assistants, but their team selection was the biggest undoing factor in our quest to qualify for Morocco 2015.
To begin with, Gorowa fooled himself to believe that the “small boys” that played extremely well during the Chan tournament in South Africa were capable of taking us to the Promised Land as they did when they withstood pressure up to the semifinals of Chan.
It appears it was lost to him that most of the teams that took part at Chan changed most of the players for a different assignment altogether.
Instead, Gorowa decided to carry the bulk of the players from his Chan squad, deciding to leave out experienced players plying their trades in more competitive leagues around the world.
When journalists write about Tendayi Darikwa availing himself for Warriors, they will be trying to assist our coaches who may not be so familiar with what is happening with our players in other countries. It’s not Darikwa alone that we are talking about here but a good number of good players with great potential.
Gorowa also decided to sideline national Under-20 coach Jairos Tapera, who by virtue of being the Under-20 national team coach, qualifies to be his assistant for continuity’s sake. Instead, he roped in Gift Muzadzi.
We have three goalkeepers in camp each time the Warriors group and, with veteran Richard Tswatswa already being part of the technical team, this means that we ended up having two goalkeeper coaches in camp to coach three goalkeepers.
Tapera was left out in the cold by Gorowa who instead, chose to assemble a team of predominantly former DeMbare players, for reasons best known to him.
This technical set up had only Tswatswa and Mkhuphali Masuku as the people that do not have a DeMbare link.
Just some few months ago, George Chigova was Washington Arubi’s understudy at DeMbare, but here comes a crucial match, the technical team headed by Gorowa, decides to give Chigova the nod ahead of Arubi, who is playing football fulltime out in South Africa.
Gorowa proceeded to call in into camp Bidvest flop Denver Mukamba, who has not been playing at his club for months. From the way Denver played, it was clear he lacked match fitness. I know very well that he would defend himself by claiming that Denver plays in South Africa, which is a better league than ours, but then why start with Chigova who plays in Zimbabwe rather than going for Arubi who is playing in a better league. Something is happening behind our backs.
For the record, Highlanders midfielder Peter “Rio” Moyo has been failing to make it into Highlanders line-up but he is often called to start at almost all national team assignments.
Yet we have better left backs in this country that include Ocean Mushure, Bruce Kangwa, the impressive Onismor Bhasera and Vusa Nyoni. But all these seem not good enough for Gorowa who opted to use a Highlanders attacking midfielder, Milton Ncube in that place!
Anyway, let us not despair. This could be a blessing in disguise.
Let us go back to the drawing board and start preparing for 2017 with the Under-23 team being the team of the future. Let us forget the current squad for their time is over. But the fact remains, that our coaches messed up.
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