Bonne Scores, Questions Remain

Zimbabwe international forward, Macauley Bonne, struck again on Wednesday night but with question marks hanging over his allegiance to the Warriors, it’s becoming tricky to celebrate his heroics.

The 25-year-old scored the late winner to help Queens Park Rangers edge Wayne Rooney’s Derby County 1-0 in an English Championship game.

Bonne, who was born in Ipswich to Zimbabwean parents, is believed to have been one of the three members of the British Brigade who didn’t fully commit themselves to the Warriors.

Zdravko Logarusic, the national team coach, revealed last week that three of his targets failed to provide commitment to the Warriors and he was left with no option but to drop them.

Bonne is believed to be one of those players and his name was conspicuous by its absence from Loga’s squad for the AFCON qualifier against the Desert Foxes of Algeria next week.

It’s not clear why things seem to have changed in the nine months given that in February this year, Bonne appeared desperate to represent the Warriors, only for medical issues to keep him away from national duty.

He underwent cardiac investigations, following a recent routine cardiac screen and, after discussions with a sports cardiologist, he was allowed to continue to playing, and training, as normal.

In conversation with the ZIFA national teams general manager, Wellington Mpandare, Bonne had indicated he was ready to finally represent his motherland in a Nations Cup qualifier.

The match, ironically, was scheduled to be against the Algerians before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic hailed international football.

“I can’t wait to come in March,” Bonne said back then. “I’m ready man, can’t wait to come.”

Bonne advised Mpandare he was even prepared to fly directly to Algeria from his base in London for the first game and would prefer to use Stanstead airport for that trip.

He also requested that his Zimbabwean passport, which until then had been in the possession of the Warriors’ team management, be forwarded to his home in London.

“Can you send me my passport, please,” Bonne said. “Just want it in my possession, please.”

Two years earlier, Bonne had been set to represent the Warriors at the AFCON finals in Gabon.

“It was a proud moment for my family,” he said. “Me and my younger brother are the only members of our family who were born here (in England).

“Everybody is from Zimbabwe. They left in 1991. My sister was disabled and has some quite serious medical needs.

“The facilities over there were nowhere near good enough, so that was the reason.

“I hadn’t been back to Zimbabwe since I was 10, so going out there was a great experience.

“The atmosphere, the way they treat you, it’s out of this world. It’s something I love doing and I can’t wait to get back out there again.

“I’ve actually got an (AFCON) qualifying game in September and to play in that tournament would be unreal. If you can’t play in a World Cup, then that is the big one really.

“Just look at the people who’ve played there over the years. Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba. Now you’ve got Sadio Mane, Mo Salah. It would be amazing.”

However, Bonne won’t feature for the Warriors against the Desert Foxes.

“Massive team effort,” he tweeted after scoring the winner on Wednesday night.

“Buzzing to get the goal!

“We miss you fans, but your support is felt and appreciated by us all. Onto Saturday.”

There was furore on the local football landscape when Bonne failed to come for national duty the last time.

But it was later explained he had booked an appointment with a cardiologist to attend to an urgent heart condition.

This ruled him out of the opening AFCON qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia.

Bonne then was at Charlton Athletic, where he distinguished himself as a “proven goal-scorer” by bagging 11 goals despite the side getting relegated.

He got the attention of QPR, who offered him a three-year contract, recently.

Bonne is now playing his second season in the second tier of English Football Association having made great strides from the non-league divisions in the past few years.

He has scored two goals in seven outings for his new club.

Just as he did, on his debut at Sheffield Wednesday, the striker made no mistake as he headed home the winning goal against Derby.

Bonne’s winner came in the 88th minute.

He would have provided extra firepower for the Warriors, against the defending African champions, complementing the likes of Tino Kadewere, David Moyo and Prince Dube as the main strikers.

The Warriors technical team are also checking the availability of South Africa-based forward, Terrence Dzvukamanja.

He was taken off on a stretcher during Orlando Pirates’ 1-0 win over Bloemfontein Celtic in the DStv Premiership on Wednesday evening.

Orlando Pirates interim coach, Fadlu Davids, yesterday confirmed the Zimbabwean was in a bad shape.

Dzvukamanja and teammate, Thembinkosi Lorch, both sustained injuries on the night.

The Zimbabwean collided with Celtics defender, Justice Chabalala.

“It does not look good for both players, Dzvukamanja looks like a head injury,” said Davids.

“Having come to the club with a concussion, we’ll get a report from the doctor afterwards.”

Mpandare, however, dismissed fears over Dzvukamanja’s injury.

“I spoke to him (yesterday) and confirmed one or two things about his travel itinerary.

“He was in good mood, he didn’t even mention the injury, which may mean that it was nothing serious after all,” said Mpandare.

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