Golden Fox misses Warriors days

HARARE - One of the Warriors best defenders of all time William ‘Golden Fox’ Mugeyi says he misses playing for the national team.

Now based in South Africa, Mugeyi retired in 2004 after a distinguished career with the Warriors and has now ventured into coaching.

William, who is a twin with former Warriors striker Wilfred 'Silver Fox', says any footballing country without proper grassroots/development setup is bound to fail, hence his call for the new Zifa president Felton Kamambo and his board to bring back school tournaments while each Premier League club has to have development structures.

The Daily News on Sunday Assistant Editor Maxwell Sibanda spoke with Mugeyi and below are some excerpts from the interview.

Q: Do you still remember when you scored your first goal?

A: Yes, I still remember, it was in 1993 when I had just joined Bush Bucks in the South African Premier League. It was my second game in the Coca-Cola quarter finals and I scored directly from a corner kick.

Q: You played for the Warriors, how many caps do you have?

A: I have 32 caps with the senior national team.

Q: Which match was the last you played for the Warriors?

A:  It was against Cameron away in the Afcon qualifier.

Q: How many goals did you score for the Warriors?

A: I scored only two goals, not bad for a defender!

Q: Which is your memorable game with the Warriors?

A: My memorable game can only be the 2000 Cosafa Cup final against Lesotho beating them 3-0 away, our first goal came from a corner which I took and was deflected into the net, the second one, I scored directly from the corner kick. I was voted man of the match and went on to lift the trophy in Bulawayo as the captain after the second leg.

Q: Which was your worst game in your career?

A: My worst game was against Ghana away, World Cup qualifier where we lost 2-0.  Abedi Pele Ayew scored a brace, he terrorised us on that day.

Q: Which local clubs did you play for in Zimbabwe?

A: I played football at primary and high school level, represented Mashonaland East U18, coming from Circle Cement Development U18. We got promoted to the senior team together with Wilfred in 1986 just after we finished high school. Circle Cement was in Division Two. In 1987, we got promoted to Division One and played for one season, then joined Black Aces in 1988 and like they say the rest is history.

Q: When and where were you born?

A: I was born in Masvingo District of Chirimhanzu on July 4, 1969.

Q: Where is your twin brother Wilfred, is he still active in football?

A: Wilfred is in Cape Town not doing anything at the moment in terms of football. I’m based in East London, in Eastern Cape.

Yes. I’m still very active, playing for the master league, we play every week from February to November, I’m still very strong like a stallion.

Q: When did you move to South Africa?

A: I moved to SA on 30th of June 1993 to join Bush Bucks and played there for 11 years and hung my adidas boots in 2004.

Q: Do you have kids and are they following your career path?

A: Yes I do have kids, Lydia 27, Kelly 26, Natasha 24, William Jr 18 and Wilfred Jr 13.

Unfortunately, they are not much into football, they just play for the love of the game.

Q: What do you think is lacking in our local football?

A: I will say it in short, LEADERSHIP.

Q: What are the major differences in the leagues in South Africa and Zimbabwe?

A: South African league is well sponsored; teams get monthly grants from the association and 95 percent of the teams have major sponsorships — the opposite of the Zimbabwean league.

Q: We have a number of Zimbabweans playing there, who can you say is doing well?

A: I can only count Willard Katsande. To be successful in a foreign country you have to win trophies and individual accolades, make a mark for a number of years.

Most of the boys are here for two to three years and they disappear. It is getting tougher for them. In our time, we had players like George Nechironga, Kaitano Tembo, Alois Bunjira, Elasto Kapowezha , John Mbidzo, Gilbert Mushangazhike, Robson Muchichwa, Francis Shonhayi and of course the two Foxes just to mansion a few. All played for many years and made a big mark.

Q: Are you hoping to come back to Zimbabwe any time soon?

A: Yes of course definitely it will happen as long as I’m still in football, because in coaching you never know where you will end up.

Q: Do you meet other guys there like Peter Ndlovu or Benjani Mwaruwari?

A: It is very difficult to meet because of work commitments but we chat through social media platforms and phone calls.

Q: What do you think are the Warriors chances of qualifying for the 2019 Afcon?

A: We are in a commanding position to qualify, good chance for (Sunday) Chidzambwa and the boys; just a point needed and playing at home.

We need to bring the Dream Team vibe, the fans must fill up the National Sports Stadium to be the 12th player. I hope Zifa won't increase the gate charges again because supporters will stay away.

Q: What do you miss about home?

A: I miss everything about Zimbabwe, friends, kugocha (braai), coming home to play for the Warriors, and my former team Black Aces.

Q: Do you have a favourite team in SA?

A: I don’t have a favourite team in SA, I just watch the games and analyse teams.

Q: And overseas?

A: I support Manchester United, we rose from the dead and a Champions League position is all we are aiming for now.

Q: What’s your advice to the new Zifa president and the board?

A: My advice is that a footballing country without a proper grassroots/development setup is bound to fail. This has been neglected for quite a while.

Bring back school tournaments, each Premier League club must have proper development structures.

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