THE UK-based players that have finally decided to play for Zimbabwe have set a true example of what patriotism is all about.
Suddenly there is a buzz around the Warriors once again. Suddenly there is a group of ecstatic Zimbabweans waiting at the Harare International Airport to welcome soccer stars that look set to light the scene in African football.
Never mind the fact that the players are here for two international friendly matches set for Wednesday and Saturday.
Never mind that we are only playing Lesotho and Namibia in the two friendlies.
And never mind that influential Warriors captain Knowledge Musona and goalie George Chigova have been ruled out of the matches.
There is still an excitement in the atmosphere. An excitement so good it’s almost tangible.
This is what the Warriors should feel like and credit should be given to these players – who could have remained in Europe and played for other more developed countries like England but decided to trace their roots and play for their forefathers’ children.
Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare must be commended for not giving up in his efforts to bring the four stars home.
The quartet of Tendayi Darikwa, Admiral Muskwe, Macauley Bonne and Kundai Benyu arrived in the country on Monday and got the heroes welcome they deserve.
Darikwa turns out for Nottingham Forest, Muskwe is at Leicester, Macauley Bonne is with Leyton Orient while Benyu is at giants Celtic but they still left these lofty club careers to serve a motherland they had barely lived in.
Darikwa’s father for example, Timothy, left his humble home in Mufakose’s Muvanga street to search for the proverbial greener pastures in England decades ago.
His son was born in England and had never stepped foot in Zimbabwe until football called him.
That is not an easy decision and Tendayi must be applauded for that.
Almost the same script applies for Benyu as well.
Their parents also deserve special mention for encouraging these youngsters to play for their motherland.
Benyu is still a teenager and grew up in Europe and could easily have weighed his chances to play for England but he has taken a bold step to play for the Warriors where he will be appreciated like a star.
May these youngsters be an example to other Zimbabwean footballers out in Europe.
British newspaper, The Sun, also recently reported that Zimbabwean teenage star Trystan Nydam could be on his way to English giants Arsenal.
However, he is believed to have set his sights on playing for England and not Zimbabwe and this just goes to show the options that are available to players plying their trade in Europe.
We hope he changes his mind and join the four stars aforementioned. We hope more are on the way.