By Ray Bande
Goalkeeper Washington Arubi’s career-recouping move to newly formed TTM FC in the South African top-flight league has given him hope that he can still reclaim his place in the national team.
Retirement is not in the scheme of things, at least for now. Just as the national team is focusing on resuming the all-important Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with a date against highly rated African champions Algeria, 34-year-old Aubi is focusing on resuscitating his career at Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila Football Club.
For a period spanning more than a decade, that is from 2004 up to 2016, Arubi was regularly part of the nation’s flagship football outfit.
Getting the vice-captain’s armband upon his arrival at TTM instantly boosted Arubi’s confidence ahead of the start of the season.
The soft spoken Sakubva-born player endured two seasons of very little game time at Kaitano Tembo-coached SuperSport United. The star was temporarily left homeless after Matsatsantsa decided against renewing his contract.
By his own admission, life at The Swanky Boys was not rosy.
Now his latest move has brought hope of resuscitating his career and enjoying more game time. Speaking from his new base, Arubi said he feels he has unfinished business with the Warriors.
He, however, realises the need to showcase his abilities in upcoming matches.
“I have unfinished business with the Warriors. All I now need is more game time. I need to earn the respect and attention of those who select national team players.
I have no doubt that I will be playing more regularly here, unlike what was happening at SuperSport. My stay at SuperSport did not yield the success I badly needed because of little game time.
“I still have two or more seasons of active playing and I feel that I have more to offer at both club and national team levels because of the experience I have gained over the years,” he said.
Arubi says he has no hard feelings for Tembo or SuperSport United.
“I am not bitter with my former team. I enjoyed my stay at Supersport even though it did not work the way I wanted. It’s football, as players we face those types of situations. We just have to keep working hard and supporting the playing teams,” said Arubi, adding that his relationship with Tembo is great.
During his stay at SuperSport United, Arubi only featured on the team card as a substitute goalkeeper on 12 occasions. Speaking at the upcoming match, Arubi said he is convinced that the Warriors have the pedigree to match the Algerians.
He highlighted the need for adequate preparation ahead of the tie.
“We have a big chance as we have good players. We just have to work hard and remain positive. That way we will win. It also has to do with the way we prepare for the encounter,” he said.
Zimbabwe will go into the biggest battle of their 2022 Africa Cup Nations Group H qualifying campaign when they visit African champions Algeria.
The match, scheduled for November 11 at the Stade du 5 Juillet 1962 Stadium in Algiers, had originally been set for Blida on March 24 before Covid-19 forced a halt to all sporting activities.
Although the Warriors are in second place on the group table following a draw against Botswana and a victory over Zambia achieved under Joey Antipas, the Desert Foxes are the real deal given the strength of their squad.
After the first leg in Algiers on November 12, the Warriors will host the Desert Foxes at the National Sports Stadium four days later. The Manica Post