Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
DESPITE Zimbabwe’s continued successes at the COSAFA Cup, football legend Moses “Bambo” Chunga believes ZIFA need to keep prioritising development ahead of short-term success.
The former Zimbabwe international believes the presence of regular Warriors such as Khama Billiat, Tino Kadewere and Evans Rusike in the team took some gloss off the success.
“We are starved of success, but honestly, we still have a lot do in terms of development and football progression,’’ he said.
“Sometimes there is no need for short-cuts. We need to take the long route, but what I know is that people are not patient and this tends to put coaches under pressure. “We cannot be celebrating the COSAFA Cup success with players like Khama Billiat, a former CAF African Player of the Year runner-up. We know what he is capable of and instead we should be unearthing another Khama at such a tournament.
“I remember at one time, then Warriors coach Charles Mhlauri travelled to South Africa for the COSAFA Cup with players playing in the domestic league.
“I remained at the National Sports Stadium with another national team comprising of locally-based players, which included Quincy Antipas, to feature in an international Independence Day match.
“Both teams triumphed with a lot of positives noted, there wasn’t any foreign-based player in those two teams and people celebrated depth.
“Even as a coach then you will know you are grooming some players. But, unfortunately, at the moment our junior policy is not that good.
“There isn’t clear integration of players from the Under-17 right up to the Under-23 teams. These should be the feeder teams into the senior team.’’
He said when he was appointed Young Warriors coach last year, he had a programme to groom young players.
His team failed to win or draw a single match and crashed to heavy losses, including a 5-1 thrashing by Malawi, at the COSAFA Under-17 tournament in Mauritius in 2017. “I had a programme to work with the Under-17 players, but these things are frustrating. You get into camp less than a week before a tournament.
“You don’t have a contract and neither do you get the necessary support. But one doesn’t want to always talk about these issues because you will be branded the enemy of the institution yet you will be merely stating facts,’’ said Chunga.