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I HANDED over this column over the past fortnight to two external colleagues, Alwyn Mabehla and Nyasha Muchochomi, two good friends of this publication who I have the outmost respect for in their respective sporting codes of choice, football and rugby.

A great many thanks to Elder and Mojo for the most welcome relief, fellas!

I will be inviting more such experts to grace this corner from time to time, just to provide some variety of opinion for reading pleasure.  

But for now, I must say I learnt a great deal from our guest columnists over the past two weeks.

Just like a lot of us, I was raised on a strong diet of Zimbabwean football in which the domestic game was the lifeblood of many folks in this country.

The passion was real, the loyalty to one’s team was genuine – fiercely so to an extent.

Distressingly, the period stretching back to the past decade has not been along a similar vein because, even to a lot of old diehards, quite simply Zimbabwean domestic football has been a waste of time.

So for me it was quite refreshing to learn that there is a kind of vibe in the game these days. You cannot doubt that coming from Elder, called such from his college days in recognition of his faith, a religious young chap I had the greatest pleasure of working with in a previous time on a local daily, his knowledge of football is unfettered.

I have never personally given up on Zimbabwean domestic football myself even when it has seemed fashionable to do so, you could say this is because of a sense of duty and some reserves of patriotism existing somewhere in you.

When I read of the excitement for the 2022 PSL season from a man who takes time off his busy business schedule to watch quite a few matches every weekend, so therefore knows what he is talking about given his analytical and journalistic skills, I too was excited.  

The feel-good story of Bill Antonio’s wonder solo goal for in-form Dynamos against Black Rhinos last weekend only amplified the great anticipation, for me, for what promises to be a hugely enthralling ending to the 2022 PSL season.

Exactly what you need in these uncertain times of an international ban on this country by world football governing body Fifa. What has been happening in the PSL, with a variety of teams exhibiting some eye-catching football and showing their title credentials, is something to cheer at a time when we nearly all do not know where we are headed as a footballing nation at the moment.

What about last week’s piece on rugby by Nyasha Muchochomi? His close mates call him Mojo and, fittingly so, he has the magic charm when breaking down a rugby match.

Now, I have covered this amazing sport for the past 18 years for mainstream media in Zimbabwe, and watched it for exactly 30 years ever since I first got hooked as a young boy three decades ago.

But I will never claim to know the game better than guys like Mojo and, when I invited him to feature here last week, I knew that whatever he had to share would be worth a read and well received by our audience. I was right.

The biggest point he raised, for me, was the need of instilling a new winning culture in Zimbabwe’s rugby team by blooding new talent and doing away with players who are now accustomed to be on the losing side all the time.

Young newcomers who were groomed in the tough South African rugby system, from school up to college, bring that winning mentality to Zimbabwe, opined Mojo. All they know, he wrote, is winning.

We did not start so well in our Currie Cup opener against European side Georgia last weekend, but it was not difficult to see what these Zimbabwe newbies bring to the table. And while not a hell lot of them will play in the World Cup qualifiers in July, I foresee a few of them, to buttress Mojo’s point, being the secret weapons to the Sables’ journey to France 2023.

Just like how Alwyn has predicted in his corner about how the PSL race will be an engrossing affair.

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