Warriors vice captain Ovidy Karuru has encouraged warriors fans to support the young players in the team so that they boost their confidence when they play their 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying rounds.
The Zdravko Logarušić-coached side, which is in Group G together with Ghana, South Africa and Ethiopia, will play its opening and closing matches of the campaign at home.
“Football fans need to support the young ones because that is the only way that they can get confidence. For us the seniors, inasmuch as we try our level best, we know our days with the national team are numbered.
“We have big games coming up and some players will naturally have bad games, so it will be important not to criticise the younger players, but to support them because they are the future.” Karuru said.
“For people like myself, Knowledge Musona, Onismor Bhasera, Teenage Hadebe, Kuda Mahachi, Marvelous Nakamba, Tino Kadewere and other senior players, we can handle whatever is brought to us because we have been there.” He added
The Warriors center forward said, while all the matches would be crucial, a good start would be vital in the team’s quest to progress to the third and final rounds of the qualifiers.
“A good start is always important because it gives us a good foundation on which to build our campaign going forward,” Karuru said.
“World Cup qualifiers are tough and only the best team will progress. That means we will need to win almost all the matches in the group to go through. Winning the first match will obviously give us confidence. I’m happy that we are going to start at home.
“There is also a possibility of these qualifiers going to the last round (of matches) so it will be good for us to play the decisive round at home.” he said.
Meanwhile the warriors number ten is hopeful that by the time the qualifiers start, football fans would have been allowed back into stadiums.
“We obviously need them. Without them, some players won’t fight harder than they should. Supporters always give us that extra push. As players, we always thrive when they are around.” said Karuru.
Zimbabwe will begin its World Cup campaign at home against neighbor, South Africa between June 5-8 this year before travelling to Ethiopia the following week.
The qualifiers will resume in September with back-to-back clashes against Ghana in the first week of that month.
The Warriors will then travel to South Africa between October 10 and 12 and wrap up their campaign with a home match against Ethiopia the following week.
The top team in the group will progress to the final qualifying round, where they will join nine other group winners from the continent to play home and away over two legs.
The five winners will represent Africa at the World Cup finals in Qatar next year.
SOURCE Bulawayo 24