'Come support the future'

HARARE -  Kaizer Chiefs forward Matthew Rusike has called on the nation to embrace the new generation of Warriors, saying the side presents a fresh new dawn for the game in Zimbabwe.  

With 2014 World Cup qualification out of reach, the Warriors will emerge out of the National Sports Stadium tunnel for their World Cup qualifier against Egypt on Sunday with nothing but pride at stake.

Bottom of Group G with a point from three games, Brazil 2014 qualification is now out of reach for the Warriors.

The 22-year-old forward, who will receive only his second Warriors cap on Sunday, however insisted the Warriors have all to play for.

Rusike, who has chosen to represent his country of birth ahead of South Africa, where his mother hails from, missed the Egypt trip in March due to injury, where Zimbabwe lost 2-1.

“It’s going to be a huge responsibility for all of us in the team to prove what we are worth,” Rusike told Daily News yesterday.

“We have a team of young players coming from the Under-23s. We have played together before and we know each other well. The cohesion is good and those who will be picked to do duty will be able to deliver on Sunday.

“I think as players we have a big task to play for our country because there is still pride at stake. It’s now difficult for us to qualify but the important thing is to play with our future in mind. We are the future.

“We are in a re-building process and this will afford us a good opportunity to see where we are going as a team. We have a good chance of causing an upset.  For us, if we can do that, that will be a big achievement. One good thing is that expectations within the camp are very high. Morale is high. Everyone is responding well.”

The Harare-born star also urged fans to rally behind the team on Sunday despite the game being of academic interest.

“So people should come in their numbers and rally behind the boys. Our opponents have an impressive track record. We have to respect them for that, but in any game the ball is round and it can roll anywhere.

“Personally I have been waiting long for this match and I was very upset when I missed the first leg because of injury. I fought hard during my rehabilitation to get back into shape. It’s going to be a big game for me and if get an opportunity I hope to showcase my talent.”

Rusike made a bright start to his Kaizer Chiefs career after signing from Jomo Cosmos at the beginning of the season and played a cameo role in their league and cup double success before missing several games in the twilight stages of the season due to injury.

On the Warriors rebuilding exercise under German coach Klaus-Dieter Pagels, Rusike said:

“I think we are on the right track. We are at par with South Africa, if not better. Our young players are doing well in the South African Premiership, and the future looks very bright.”

Washington Arubi, Maxwell Nyamupanedengu, Artwell Mukandi, Hardlife Zvirekwi, Denver Mukamba, Ocean Mushure, Archieford Gutu, Silas Songani, Abbas Amidu, Knowledge Musona, Khama Billiat, Roderick Mutuma, Masimba Mambare, Matthew Rusike, Lincoln Zvasiya, Devon Chafa, Felix Chindungwe, Erick Chipeta, Tafadzwa Rusike, Partson Jaure, Ronald Chitiyo, Ovidy Karuru, Nicholas Guyo, Cuthbert Malajila. - Godknows Matarutse

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