United States based and former Young Warriors player Tendai Jirira is looking forward to making his international debut for the Zimbabwe Warriors senior national team when they take on Botswana at the Obedi Itani Chilume stadium in Francistown on Thursday 25 March, in the first of the last two Africa Cup of Nations qualifier
The 29-year-old center back who is also a natural left back could be thrown straight into the starting eleven against Botswana to take up the vacant left-back position in the absence of regular left-backs of Divine Lunga, Ronald Pfumbidzai, Adam Chicksen and Jordan Zemura who are all out of the encounter due to various reasons.
Jirira told Soca263 that he is happy to be back representing Zimbabwe and that it has always been his wish to represent the senior national team, the Warriors .
“It’s a great feeling coming back. I am really excited,” said Jirira.
It’s something I have always wanted to do, to represent the senior national team and for it to come at a time like this, I can’t be more grateful,” he said.
“My club has cleared me to travel. The coaching staff have faith in me and my capabilities, if given the chance I will do my best to help out the team,” Jirira said
Jirira who once represented Zimbabwe at U14s, U15s and U17 level before moving to the United States of America on a football scholarship is expected to arrive on Wednesday before the team departs for Botswana the same day.
The former Friendly Academy product made a name for himself after spending four years at NAIA University of Northwestern Ohio where he also featured for USL league 2 Side Cincinnati Dutch Lions before signing for Detroit City F. C during the club’s Great Lakes Conference Championship run in 2019.
During his four year tenure with the team, the Racers have made deep runs into the NAIA national tournament and in his final campaign 2016, the Racers won an astounding 19 games.
He has won many awards with Detroit City including league championship and the independent trophy last season and will be looking to transform his club form to the national team.
Zimbabwe Warriors are second in group H with five points from four matches and need to win against Botswana to maintain their hopes of qualifying to their third in a row Afcon final.