Time for Warriors to stake a claim in Africa

JOHANNESBURG - The Chan tournament which kicked off on Saturday, provides a great opportunity for Zimbabwe to stake a claim as Africa’s powerhouse.

The three-week competition kicks off this afternoon with a game between Bafana Bafana and Mozambique, followed by the Mali/Nigeria encounter.

For long, Zimbabwe has always been regarded as a sleeping giant; a country that has for forever failed to realise its huge potential. The current competition which is strictly for home grown talent, is an ideal opportunity to lay the ghost to rest for the Warriors.

Ian Gorowa’s charges are in a relatively easy Group B where they are paired against Uganda’s Cranes, the Stallions of Burkina Faso and Morocco.

Considering their impressive preparations in which they beat fellow participants, Mozambique and Gabon in the build up to their opening match against Morocco at Athlone Stadium tomorrow, indications are that this is Zimbabwe’s chance to really make a strong statement on the continent.

Critics might point to the fact that friendly matches are not a true indicator of one’s potential but in any sport, creating a winning culture is priceless. Winning creates confident and a culture of wanting to achieve bigger things.

There is something very encouraging about this home-grown talent that Gorowa has put together and a good run in South Africa might be a catalyst for the long cherished dream of realising the huge potential the country possesses.

If, by chance they manage to finish among the top two in their Group, the Warriors will still remain in Cape Town where the team enjoys good support from a huge Zimbabwean community which resides in this splendid coastal city.

Two teams from Group B face opponents from Group A which is made up of hosts South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique – a group considered the Group of Death – in the quarter finals. Group C, consisting of Ghana, Libya, Ethiopia and Congo Brazzaville will sort their quarter-final places with teams from Group D; DR Congo, Gabon, Burundi and Mauritania.

While very few people have little respect for the Chan tournament, I believe this is a great initiative by the Confederation of African Football to boost talent within local leagues.

For long, Africa has seen its best talent join professional teams in Europe and other parts of the developed world, leaving home fans with little to cheer about.

This is an opportunity for coaches to create a huge base of future national team players.

It’s not that Zimbabwe has had a dearth of talent!

It is a well-known fact the country is the biggest supplier of talent for the South African Premier League and a good run in the Chan tournament can only enhance the reputation that the country is abundant with exciting ability.

I have a feeling Gorowa and this bunch of players are eyeing something big and don’t discount this side going all the way. This squad has the ability and determination to write some history for the country. Those are catalysts for a team which wants to achieve something.

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.