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Rusike fired-up for Warriors return

Tafadzwa Rusike (left) in Zanaco colours

BY TERRY MADYAUTA

ON-FIRE Zambia-based former Warriors forward Tafadzwa “Fire” Rusike hopes that his scintillating form since joining Zanaco late 2017 will earn him a call-up to the national team.

The 29-year-old has had a fairy-tale rise since joining Zambian giants Zanaco last year, a feat that earned him the club captaincy early this year.

To date, the pacey forward, who enjoys operating from the wings, has scored 11 goals in the 32 games he has played so far.

Rusike has single-handedly guided Zanaco to the summit of the Zambian league going into the Easter holiday fixtures.

And his coach Mumamba Numba has already expressed fears at the prospect of losing the exciting attacker who is reported to be on the radar of a number of Zambian clubs who are jostling to acquire his services.

Neutrals have also tipped him for a Warriors call-up ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals set for Egypt in June this year.

Fire, as he is affectionately known in football circles, last played for the Warriors in June 2013 and he believes that he is ripe for the senior national team fold.

In an interview with StandardSport from his base in Zambia, Rusike said he has remained steadfast for the Warriors call-up.

“I have adapted very well here and I think my form has risen again since arrival here. Zambian football is the same as there,” Rusike said.

“I still believe I can do more than that and I hope that will earn me a call-up. I am very hungry for that yellow jersey and I believe if given a chance, I will make an outstanding contribution to the nation,” he added.

“To tell you the truth, I am praying and patiently waiting for that opportunity, but I have to admit that those who have been called up to the team are good and can do duty for the team especially ahead of Afcon in June.

“Playing for the Warriors again will be a dream comes true, it is something that looked up to even when I was still a young boy,” he said.

Rusike is delighted after becoming the first Zimbabwean to be appointed Zanaco captain.

“My coaches here have been very patient with me and they have helped me to improve and settle at the club quicker.

“Being given a leadership role as the captain was a big achievement for me. It was the greatest feeling ever and until now am so proud of myself for being given that role. I hope that will also translate to better opportunities in future,” he added.

Rusike had a memorable CAF Champions League campaign with CAPS United in 2017 helping the club reach the group stages for the first time in history.

The nimble-footed star player would unceremoniously leave the club before the end of the league season the same year, crossing the border to join Zanaco.

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