SEVERAL coaches have been appointed to lead the Zimbabwe senior men’s soccer team, among them a number of foreign nationals.
Fancied Reinhard Fabisch, Marc Duvillard, Clemence Westerhof, Rudi Gutendorf and Tom Saintfeit among the long list of foreigners, have tried their luck with the national team, but all failed to lead the Warriors to the ‘Promised Land’.
A few local coaches have earned the Warriors’ top post.
Ian Gorowa joins the list of a few Zimbabweans who have led the national team.
Sunday Chidzambwa and Charles Mhlauri led Zimbabwe to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
So far Gorowa has led the Warriors and the team is yet to concede a loss.
He took charge of the team in July 2013 and qualified for CHAN at the expense of Mauritius and Zambia.
Gorowa has the potential to lead the success starved national team as a coach having played at a higher level in football and a successful coaching career in the Super Diski.
He coached at Moroka Swallows, Ajax Cape Town and SuperSport United.
The former Zimbabwe international understands our football better as he has seen it all in the local league as a player.
Gorowa who is also a former Black Rhinos and Dynamos player is expected to further prove a point that indigenous Zimbabwean coaches are more successful than expatriates.
Zimbabwe qualified for the third time in the African Nations Championships (CHAN) and face an uphill task as they are in the group featuring Morocco, Burkina Faso and Uganda.
In the previous appearances, Zimbabwe crashed out in the group stages. Gorowa is confident that the Warriors will go beyond the group stages.
Two countries will progress to the next round from each group.
Zimbabwe were seeded and avoided some of the soccer powerhouses on the continent.
CHAN is a tournament for players plying their trade in the local leagues across Africa.
The tournament is a good yardstick for the level of competitiveness of a country’s league.
The Warriors open their account in Cape Town with a date against the ‘Atlas Lions’ of Morocco on Sunday.
It will be a stern test of Gorowa’s acumen as the Atlas Lions squad consists of seven players from Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca who played in the FIFA Club World final against Bayern Munich.
The composition of the Moroccan team should not be anything to worry as the Zimbabwean side is a formidable team with the potential of overturning the North African giants’ dominance over Zimbabwe.
After the opening match on Sunday at Athlone Stadium, Zimbabwe will play against the Cranes of Uganda in a match which Zimbabwe are favourites to win.
While there is no fame on the minnows Uganda, Zimbabwe should treat them with caution.
The last group match for Zimbabwe will be against the West Africans Burkina Faso at the same venue next Monday.
Zimbabwe will need to at least to win two matches to proceed to the next round of matches.
League champions Dynamos have contributed seven players to the national team.
Goalkeeper, George Chigova, defenders Oscar Machapa, Themba Ndlovu, Partson Jaure, Augustine Mbara, Soccer Star-of-the-year Tawanda Muparati and striker Simba Sithole make up the seven.
The crème-de-le-crème of goalkeepers made it into the Warriors squad and Gorowa will be spoilt for choice.
However, Chigova has better chances to earn the number one jersey.
Captain Partson Jaure is expected to marshal the defence and Chicken Inn’s Felix Chindungwe may partner him.
Eric Chipeta who had a good season at Hwange in the last season is another firebrand defender expected to deliver.
The utility player is a dead ball specialist who has done wonders at Hwange.
The middle of the park might give Gorowa a headache on the combinations. Three Highlanders midfielders Masimba Mambare, Peter Moyo and Milton Ncube are part of the squad.
Danny Phiri, talented Kuda Mahachi, FC Platinum pair Charles Sibanda and Ali Sadiki, Muparati and Pascal Manhanga make up the midfielders at Gorowa’s disposal.
The two Simba Sitholes made it into the squad while the FC Platinum pair of Doanald Ngoma and Nelson Maziwisa are the strikers.
All that is left is for Gorowa and his men to deliver.
It might not be much but the Warriors will need to justify their three-week long camp, new Umbro kit and a number of incentives availed to them if they win.
So Go Warriors Go!!!
Goalkeepers: George Chigova (Dynamos), Tafadzwa Dube (CAPS United), Munyaradzi Diya (Highlanders)
Defenders: Oscar Machapa, Themba Ndlovu, Partson Jaure, Augustine Mbara (Dynamos), Hardlife Zvirekwi (CAPS United), Felix Chindungwe (Chicken Inn), Eric Chipeta (Hwange)
Midfielders: Masimba Mambare, Peter Moyo, Milton Ncube (Highlanders), Tawanda Muparati (Dynamos) , Danny Phiri, Kuda Mahachi (Chicken Inn), Pascal Manhanga (Triangle), Charles Sibanda, Ali Sadiki (FC Platinum)
Strikers: Simba Sithole (How Mine), Simba Sithole (Dynamos), Donald Ngoma, Nelson Maziwisa (FC Platinum).
Zimbabwe vs Morocco 12-01-14
Zimbabwe vs Uganda 16-01-14
Burkina Faso vs Zimbabwe 20-10-14
All matches at Athlone Stadium in Cape Town.