FORMER Warriors and Highlanders goalkeeper Tapuwa Kapini feels the country has done well in producing competent gloves men hence the need by national team selectors to cast their net wider.
Kapini’s remarks came at a time when local-based goalkeepers Talbert Shumba (Triangle United) and Nelson Chadya (Ngezi Platinum Stars) made it into the Warriors squad that took on Malawi last Sunday in an international friendly match that ended nil-all.
The highly rated South Africa-based trio of Elvis Chipezeze, Edmore Sibanda and George Chigova were overlooked for the assignment.
“I think we are doing well as a country in producing quality goalkeepers. Any goalkeeper that would be in top form can represent the nation. Those who are playing regularly wherever they are attached they do deserve to be assessed by the coaches just to give them the much-needed confidence to say go and do well for the nation. I’m talking of the likes of Tatenda Mukuruva, George Chigova, Edmore Sibanda and Elvis Chipezeze. I have also heard people talking about Martin Mapisa but I don’t know him that much,” said Kapini.
Mukuruva is based in the United States of America (USA) where he plays for Michigan Stars in the Nisa League. The 22-year-old Mapisa does duty for Spanish side Zamora FC.
Kapini added: “I’m not taking anything away from all the local- based goalkeepers but it has been almost a year for them without playing competitive football. So, it is going to be difficult for them to adjust to national team demands.
I know some of the local-based goalkeepers played over the weekend against Malawi. However, the real test is going to come against Algeria and we will need people who have been playing. Thumbs up to those goalkeepers (Talbert Shumba and Nelson Chadya) because it’s not easy to make it into the national team when you have been inactive and go on to keep a clean sheet. Just like what the coaches do with midfielders, strikers and defenders, other locally-based goalkeepers that include Ariel Sibanda and Munyaradzi Diya need to be given a chance.”
Kapini (36) recently joined South Africa’s GladAfrica Championship side Sekhukhune United, a club that now provides home to another former Bosso player MacClive Phiri.
Asked if he was still considering having his last dance in Highlanders colours, Kapini said: “With football you might never know what will happen next but that will always remain my wish. If all was well at home, this season I was definitely going to retrace to Highlanders.”
Kapini, a penalty specialist who runs a vehicle repair company across the Limpopo River, also indicated that to continue his romance with the world’s most beautiful game after calling it a day, he was contemplating attending coaching courses.
He said he is happy to have secured a new club as he prepares for life after football as his new employers have shown willingness to help him acquire his coaching qualifications.
Fondly known as Campos, Kapini dribbled into the hearts of local football followers with his theatrics, carving his name while in the Highlanders setup, a club he joined from the now defunct Black Aces.
He was to lead the Bosso juggernaut to successive league and cup triumphs in the process keeping goals for the Warriors before capping it off with an appearance at the 2004 Afcon showcase.
He then moved to lucrative South Africa’s Absa Premiership where he played and captained clubs such as AmaZulu.
The eccentric goalkeeper recently parted ways with Highlands Park.