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Bukhosi-Sibanda

WARRRIORS’ CALL UP DELIGHTS BANTU SKIPPER

YOUNG Warriors and Bantu Rovers captain, Bukhosi Sibanda says his inclusion in the Warriors squad for the Council of Southern Africa Football Association (Cosafa) tournament which kicks off in South Africa at the weekend, is a big opportunity for him to learn and improve on his footballing career.

 

BY FORTUNE MBELE

Sibanda’s exploits in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer, which have seen him bang in 10 goals in 14 matches for the league side have attracted the interest of coach Sunday Chidzambwa to include him in the 23-man squad which went into camp yesterday ahead of the trip to Pretoria on Friday.

Chidzambwa is the team’s coach exclusively for this tournament, in a bizarre arrangement by Zifa, which also saw Rahman Gumbo appointed Warriors coach for the African Nations Championship (Chan) tournament.

Norman Mapeza remains the interim Warriors coach and will only take charge of the team’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign.

The midfielder, who turned 20 in January, has attributed his sterling performance in the league this far, to hard work and the assistance he gets from his coaches and teammates.

“This is a big opportunity for me. I would like to thank the Bantu Rovers’ family, the players and my coaches because without them the Warriors’ coach (Chidzambwa) would have not selected me. This is a chance for me to go and learn. There are a lot of things that I have to improve on as a player,” Sibanda said.

He says he wants to follow in the footsteps of such international stars as Marvelous Nakamba, Kudakwashe Mahachi and Danny “Deco” Phiri and FC Platinum’s Nqobizitha Masuku who started their career at Bantu Rovers before flourishing on the big stage.

“There are number of players that I admire and I am in constant communication with former Bantu Rovers’ players Nakamba and Mahachi. These are the people who have encouraged me including Deco and Nqo (Masuku) and I would like to follow in their footsteps. This is a big challenge for me and it’s not only about impressing the coaches but going there to learn from the players that have more experience,” Sibanda said.

Sibanda, just a goal shy of matching last year’s Golden Boot winner Caps United’s Leonard Tsipa, is coy on winning the top goal scorer award this year.

“I am not a natural striker but the goals keep coming. I cannot say much about the top goal scorer award. The competition is stiff. There are many players that are scoring goals and we are only in the first half of the season,” he said.

The Warriors call is his first for the senior national side, having previously captained the Young Warriors’ in the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games hosted by Zimbabwe in 2014, the Under-20 Cosafa squad in South Africa last year and the Caf Under-20 championships qualifiers, also last year.

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