Bambo questions Cosafa Cup success

Moses Chunga

Moses Chunga

Grace Chingoma, Harare Bureau
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 some 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 shortcuts. 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 gem 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 local-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 last year.

“I had a programme to work with the Under-17 players but these things are frustrating. You get into camp less than a week in preparation for 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.

Warriros’ coach Sunday Chidzambwa, however, insisted that winning the Cosafa Cup was not his mission but it would be a bonus.

Chidzambwa said he needed the games to see how some of his key players, including Billiat who had not played for the Warriors in more than one-and-half years, would blend in the team.

The coach said this was his best opportunity to look at some of the players he will use for the Afcon qualifiers which resume in September.

With the World Cup set to dominate the football landscape until next month, Chidzambwa said there would be little time to look at some of his players in competitive matches ahead of their Afcon games.

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  • Ndaba

    Bambo has a good point and observation. Cosafa is not a major tournament and Charles Mhlauri proved to all and sundry that it can be developmental tournament as happens world over. He took locals and won it beat Zambia in 2005 ironically in South Africa..Ten years he is in USA and we are rolling the red capers for winning with full squad against teams that fielded locals. How times have changed. It is unfortunate that we had to win in overtime and penalties at full strength using foreign based players. This is a lost opportunity. In the international world like Confederations trophy advanced countries use that for development and field developmental sides to test them. We don’t get many tournament like that so while we can celebrate Zambia will simply fill the holes and advance. By the time we meet them at major tournament our legion will be retiring and them unleashing new talent. The team we fielded is now all we have. I miss Charles Mhlauri at national team. I don’t like Bambo but this is inconvenient truth moreso when we are all in celebratory mood. True a win is a win but this is a lost opportunity and much ado about nothing. When we qualify and go beyond first round then we can all celebrate. We have done this Cosafa 6 times yet we have not won Afcon should be cause for concern. SA and Zambia have already won at AFCON and here we are falling over each other about Cosafa.

    • benjamin

      We cannot afford being overexcited about COSAFA success when we are still minnows at Africa continental level. Bambo has a massive point here.

      • Dube

        you guys are always complaining, We have to start somewhere and make our way up. Congratulations to Zim and whats wrong with playing foreign based players, it is an advantage as they also come with diversity. So now Argentina should not play Messi is that what you saying.

    • Wellington

      and the type of football displayed by the national team at the tourney was an eye sore atrocious to say the least yet we had internationals and foreign based stars

    • Dube

      A lot has changed since 2005, in case you did not notice the state at which Zimbabwe is in right now compared to 2005 is very different, and if you want players of Billiat’s caliber to play locally make it attracting

  • Mutyorahosho

    Mhofu uyo agara hapana chozikanwa hapana, akabvira kare kuunza ana Peter Ndlovu kuuya ku Cosafa uyo, bhora rake rasara zvakanyanya muchaona zvatichaitwa pama qualifier ipapa. We need modern coaches not type yana Mhofu iyo.

  • Bongani Dlamini

    This over celebrated clown is talking bullshit. Mhofu balanced development and experience and there is nothing wrong with that. Besides its the only opportunity he has to get the players together in competitive game situations.

  • Sokalava

    Bambo,
    Cool your guns Sir! We all know that working with young players is your thing. During the last tornament in Zambia which you the coach for the U17 team, you went with a U15 team and you were embarrassed. Your argument was that you wanted to develop young players. Really!!! You cannot continue to develop players year in and year out without letting those players showcase their abilities in the national team. Whenever the young players make it to the national team, you refer to them as old. The national team is for the finished product. Besides, Chidzambwa said it clearly that the goal for cosafa this year was to put a team together that would compete in the ACN, hence the calling of Billiat and company. I am not seeing where your problem is. I’m sure if they appoint you a U10 coach, you will select only U8 players. I’m sure you got the idea.

  • Wellington

    uyawumana Bambo you were given under 17s and went on to select players from academies in Harare negleting all those around in Harare just to please your masters even drafting your son and your girlfriend’s sons in the national team hence you went on to be thrashed left right and center by minnows