BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Former Zimbabwe national football coach Sunday Chidzambga (pictured) says he will commit the remaining few years of his life in local football to scouting for untapped talent in the rural areas.
Chidzambga, who retired from mainstream coaching while leaving the door open for advisory roles, feels that the country would have more players in Europe’s top leagues had there been sustained efforts to harness football talent in the remote areas.
Currently Zimbabwe has three players in Europe’s top leagues, namely Marvellous Nakamba in England as well as Marshall Munetsi and Tino Kadewere in France.
“First of all, I have not retired from football altogether, but I have retired from active coaching. I am still available to advise where my expertise is needed. I think I still have three to four more years in football before I call it quits, but now my focus will be more on scouting talent in the rural areas,” the 68-year-old gaffer told Standardsport.
“There has always been a lot of talent in Zimbabwe football evidenced by players like Nakamba, Munetsi and Kadewere in Europe’s top leagues and I feel we could have more in the near future.
“Because of our economy, talent in the rural areas has been neglected for many years and I will be happy to be the one to discover a few players from the rural areas, who can break into the European top leagues,” Chidzambga added.
Chidzambga is currently working on the best strategy to reach out to the talent in the remote areas once football, which is currently on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, finally returns.
Apart from his achievements as a coach, which include four Cosafa Cup titles, two Afcon finals appearances, numerous league titles and a CAF Champions League final appearance, Chidzambga would have wanted a Fifa World Cup finals qualification with the Warriors.
“My desire was to take the Warriors to the World Cup and I thought the 2022 Qatar World Cup was a good chance before I retire, but I did not get the chance.
“Do I think Zimbabwe will qualify for the World Cup in the near future? I cannot speak for another coach, but when I was the coach I could feel that we could do it with that group of players. But I hope the other coaches will have the same kind of ambition,” Chidzambga said.
Chidzambga won five league titles as a player in the heart of the Dynamos defence, a team he went on to coach and achieve a lot of success with.
He also had a number of stints as the Warriors coach and interestingly won the Cosafa Cup title every time he was in charge of the national team.
Chidzambga also helped Zimbabwe qualify for two Afcon finals tournaments, first in Tunisia back in 2004 and Egypt last year which would be his final assignment as the Warriors coach.