The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) welcomed Tendayi Darikwa, Kundai Benyu, Macauley Bonne and Admiral Muskwe to play for the country’s senior national team as the association’s efforts to lure talented footballers with Zimbabwean roots begins to bear fruit.
The Warriors played and lost two matches away to Lesotho (1-0) and Namibia (3-1) during the 6-14 November international break, but stand in coach, Wilson Mutekede, is adamant that despite the losses, there are positives to take going forward.
“I was impressed by the team’s fighting spirit even when we were down, especially against Lesotho.
“We created a few chances but we were not as clinical as we would have preferred, in the end the team which takes its chances is more likely to win eventually,” he said.
Stars Knowledge Musona and Khama Billiat were not part of the team but the coach handed full debuts to new boys, Tendayi Darikwa, Macauley Bonne and Kundai Benyu.
“The two matches gave us the opportunity to assess what the new crop in terms of the value they can add and how they acclimatise to demanding conditions on the continent, like playing on artificial turf.
“All three were exceptional from the start of the match [against Lesotho], and so was Admiral Muskwe when he came on, he has great potential to become a top marksman,” Mutekede said.
The coach said he would recommend the quartet, including Muskwe – who plays for Leicester City’s under_23 team – to any Warriors coach in the future.
“It took us a long period to woo them to come home and it finally paid off, even though it was not the start we would have wanted for them.
“The boys were excited at finally playing for their nation, and they are eagerly looking forward to the next call-up,” Mutekede
Darikwa is a right back who plays for English Championship side, Nottingham Forest;
Bonne plays for Leyton Orient in the National League, the fifth tier of the English football league system;
Benyu is a midfielder playing for Celtic Football Club in Scotland’s premier league.