Galloway confident of Warriors call
By Don Makanyanga
England-based defender Brendan Galloway might have missed Zimbabwe’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers but he remains optimistic he will gatecrash into the Warriors party at the tournament in Cameroon in January.
Galloway, who plays for Luton Town, had been in touch with the Warriors technical crew and hoped to take part in the last round of qualifiers, which included fixtures against Algeria at home, Botswana in Francistown and the showdown with Zambia in their last assignment.
The 25-year-old has previously played for England’s junior teams but insists his heart is with the Warriors.
He hopes to link up with close friend David Moyo, who plays for Scottish top-flight outfit Hamilton Academical.
Although the timing of his decision to commit to the Warriors’ cause may have raised some questions, he could fit the bill in terms of players coach Zdravko “Loga’’ Logarusic indicated he was looking for.
“What I am looking for in a player is character, commitment and then talent. If a player thinks that he can pick and choose games that he wants to play, no, he will not. Some players in South Africa refused to come because they don’t have the country at heart. Some players who are in Europe ignored our calls when we needed them, but now that we have qualified, they are calling me. I have blocked them,” Loga was quoted as having told local media.
Speaking from his base in England, Galloway said choosing to play for the Warriors was a personal decision that was not made overnight.
“Choosing to play for the Warriors was a personal decision, with no convincing required.
“It is a decision that I have been thinking about for a long time and discussing with family. It is not something that I just woke up and made a decision on.
“There was no reason for me not to come and play for the Warriors. It will be a proud moment for me to be called upon and represent the country of my birth and heritage,” he said.
The former Everton defender, who has played 60 matches in the English Premiership, Championship and League One, said he is ready to compete for the Warriors jersey. “It goes without saying that every player must earn his place in the team. I am a firm believer that each player is an asset to the team and can contribute from their experiences in different ways.
“What we all have in common is the love of the game and a winning mentality.”
The player hopes to use the experience he gained with the England junior national teams to help the Warriors in their quest for a place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“It was a great experience playing for England from Under-16 to Under-21; it helped me in becoming a well-rounded player.
“I want to be part of a triumphant Warriors team that’s able to win games and take Zimbabwe as far as possible in big competitions like the World Cup and AFCON.
“I feel that we have a great squad of players that are ambitious and want to win. I want to a part of that and continue to make the country proud.”
He also spoke of how he has started to reach out to players he hopes will be his future Warriors teammates.
“I have spoken with David Moyo, who has been a friend of mine for many years, and I am planning on getting in touch with a few players to start building relationships and a brotherhood off the pitch which will bring chemistry and help us on the pitch,” he said.
The former West Bromwich Albion and Milton Keynes Dons player, who has been supporting grassroots football in the country, also hopes to use the opportunity of representing Zimbabwe to inspire young footballers.
“Hopefully the team and I can inspire and motivate junior footballers to chase their dreams, as there is a lot of talent in Zimbabwe.
“Having supported grassroots football in Zimbabwe over the years — and its a project I hope to continue for a long time — playing for the Warriors is like coming full circle, and I hope to represent the country to the best of my ability.”
Galloway’s decision to avail himself for Zimbabwe has been welcomed by Warriors manager Wellington Mpandare, who indicated that they are now assisting the defender to get a passport.
“His (Galloway) papers were sent on Wednesday and once we have them, we will start working on his passport.
“He is a player the technical team has been chasing for years. The coach (Loga) has always wanted him in his team. Let us hope all will be well with his passport application,” said Mpandare. The Sunday Mail