Africa University 25th Graduation Ceremony

Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter

TEAM Zimbabwe UK chief executive Marshall Gore has called for a clear integration system of players, born in the Diaspora, into the national teams.

Gore believes the players should start their flirtation with the junior national teams.

He is due to meet with ZIFA to prepare the World Cup 2026 database with regards to the British Brigade.

“We need to start planning about the players that we want and the model of football that we want for the national team and for the 2026 World Cup,’’ he said. “I am due to meet with Warriors technical team and ZIFA president to share with him our plans.

“We have gone in our Diaspora database and we are saying where are these players? Who are they?

“They are 14 years and 16 years now, so we have already started to look at those players and would be focusing on their development, giving updates about the progress of those players so that ZIFA are aware of the talent that we have.

“I need to sit down with ZIFA so that we pen a strategy together about what we are going to do, and if we don’t do that, we are not going to be successful because nothing just works.

“We can’t just wake up and say we need the players. They have to be integrated in the system. They need to feature for the Under-17 and Under -20 national teams.’’

Efforts by Gore, Phillip Zulu and other Zimbabweans who have helped the association to unearth talent such as Warriors skipper Alec Mudimu and Tendai Darikwa.

“We need to make sure that when we do our tours here, they come and familiarise themselves with the home environment because qualifiers are played here at home,’’ said Gore.

“It’s important that at the age of 16 we start putting programmes that will see them coming home and not to wait until when one is 26 and is now playing for Arsenal.

“There has been a social disconnect that we have picked up and that makes some of these players not perform as well as they can.

“That’s what we will be doing and our focus now is building the technical support to ensure they are switched on, mentally, and by coming to Zimbabwe to play at 16 years, and also come when they are 20, they would have been integrated into the local game.’’

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