The 1990s were the golden generation for the Zimbabwe national team.
Every Zimbabwean of a certain age will remember the Dream team years which started with that 4 -1 drubbing of South Africa at the National Sports Stadium.
This match will forever be remembered for that great goal by Peter Ndlovu which Charles Mabika described as ‘cutting through the South Africa’s defence like hot knife through butter.’
The game will go down as one of the greatest matches ever seen at the giant stadium.
Reinhard Fabisch, find http://demainechiropractic.com/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-manager.php who led the team from 1992 to 1995, capsule was a clever tactician who galvanised the team and taped into the patriotic fervor of the nation.
The whole nation was behind this team – blacks, whites, and Asian communities – rallied behind the team, fostering a new feel good comradeship among the populace; football united the country.
Notable stars in the team were Bruce Grobelaar, Ephraim Chawanda, Francis Shonhayi, John Phiri, Norman Mapeza, Mercedes Sibanda, Willard Khumalo, Benjamin Nkonjera, Memory Mucherahowa, Vitalis Takawira, Peter Ndlovu, Adam Ndlovu and Agent Sawu.
Players like Rahman Gumbo, Madinda Ndlovu and Paul Gundani also played an integral part in the team but the failure to qualify for the 1994 Nations Cup courtesy of that Kalusha Bwalya headed goal resulted in a collective national heartbreak.
Interest in the national team began to wane and, although it revived in 2000, it was never the same.
The new era
There is a school of thought in the Zimbabwe football fraternity that the current crop of players could be team to deliver success to the nation.
After returning to the African cup of Nations for the first time since 2006, Zimbabwe is looked at as one of the dark horses that will be in Gabon.
Littered with stars everywhere from Khama Billiat to influential captain Williard Katsande, Tendai Ndoro to Knowledge Musonda name it, the warriors are expected to make a great mark on their third attempt.
The initial two appearances in 2004 and 2006 didn’t yield anything with the team failing to go past the group stage phase.
The coach| Callisto Pasuwa
At 47, Pasuwa is looked at as one of the best coaches in Zimbabwe.
After guiding Power Dynamos to four consecutive league titles from 2011-2014, Pasuwa took on the mantle to guide the Warriors also serving as the U23 coach.
He went ahead to guide Zimbabwe to their third appearance at the African cup of Nations.
The Captain| Williard Katsande
Amidst all the troubles that Kaizer chiefs have gone through in the previous season, Katsande has stood out putting up stellar performances and was crowned Chief’s player of the year.
The 30 year old midfielder will lead Zimbabwe at the 2017 African cup of Nations.
How Zimbabwe qualified
Zimbabwe were in group L in the qualifying campaign.
13/Jun/15 Malawi 1-2 Zimbabwe
6/Sept/15 Zimbabwe 1-1 Guinea
25/Mar/16 Swaziland 1-1 Zimbabwe
28/Mar/16 Zimbabwe 4-0 Swaziland
5/Jun/16 Zimbabwe 3-0 Malawi
4/Sept/16 Guinea 1-0 Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe are in group B alongside Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria. Zimbabwe
Goalkeepers: Donovan Bernard (How Mine), Tatenda Mkuruva (Dynamos), Nelson Chadya (Ngezi platinum), Takabva Mawaya (Hwange)
Defenders: Costa Nhamoinesu (AC Sparta Praha), Blessing Moyo (Maritzburg United), Bruce Kangwa (Azam FC), Elisha Muroiwa (Dynamos), Hardlife Zvirekwi (Caps United), Oscar Machapa (AS Vita Club), Liberty Chakoroma (Ngezi Platinum), Onismor Bhasera (Supersport United), Lawrence Mhlanga (Chicken Inn), Teenage Hadebe (Chicken Inn), Tendai Ndlovu (Highlanders)
Midfielders: Danny Phiri (Golden Arrows), Willard Katsande (Kaizer Chiefs), Khama Billiat (Mamelodi Sundowns), Raphael Kutinyu (Chicken Inn), Kudakwashe Mahachi (Golden Arrows), Marshall Mudehwe (FC Platinum), Talent Chawapiwa (ZPC Kariba), Marvelous Nakamba (Vitesse Arnhem), Ronald Chitiyo (Harare City)
Strikers: Cuthbert Malajila (Bidvest Wits), Evans Rusike (Maritzburg United), Knowledge Musona (KV Oostende), Nyasha Mushekwi (Dalian Yifang), Mathew Rusike (Helsingborgs IF), Tendai Ndoro (Orlando Pirates), Tinotenda Kadewere (Djurgardens IF)