National team needs continuity in style of play

By Innocent Kurira

Football coach Abraham Mbaiwa believes it has been difficult for the national senior team to get accustomed to a particular type of play because of lack of continuity.

Zimbabwe Warriors
Zimbabwe Warriors

He said this whilst facilitating a virtual football formations workshop with the Southern Region Sports Journalists on Wednesday.

Bongani Mafu, chairman of the Bulawayo Coaches Association was also a guest on the platform.

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There has been debate on how the national side should play, as each coach that had taken charge brought in his own style, making it difficult to establish a known national style of play.

In recent years, perhaps Norman Mapeza’s passing game has been the best the Warriors have played. Callisto Pasuwa led the national side to the 2017 Afcon finals, his brand of football was not beautiful, but he had a way of notching results.

In the last Afcon finals when Sunday Chidzabwa was in charge, the general feeling was that he was too defensive in his approach.

“In Zimbabwe it is difficult to state our favoured system of play as at most we have seen different coaches come in at national level and tried out different systems because we lack continuity with our players from junior ranks to the senior team,” said Mbaiwa.

“In other countries you find that players at national level have moved from Under-15 up to senior level as a group playing the same pattern of football, but here we basically have a new for every tournament .”

The problem is that Zimbabwe football doesn’t have a defined culture from the foundation up to the top.

“Our structures are struggling at the bottom because of neglect. Instead of having the best brains at junior level, we still find uncertified personnel there.

“As a nation we need to have high performance centres that will monitor selected junior national teams so that the group is taught the required tactical awareness for continuity purposes,” said Mbaiwa, who is presently coaching at FMSA.

Mafu agreed, indicating that players need to be taught to understand football systems and tactics at a young age.

“In our country we are in a bit of a fix because at the bottom players are not coached on tactics. So when they graduate to the top the minute you begin to teach tactics, it’s a boring game and the boys are not interested because they are not being challenged to think on how they are going to play the game,” Mafu said. The Chronicle

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