Jalai’s well-earned recognition

For years, Emmanuel Jalai has been one of the most consistent players at Dynamos.

The roving right-back played every minute of the 33 games he featured for DeMbare last season, missing only one in the process.

He was key in DeMbare finishing the season as the team with the least number of goals conceded —16.

The Aces Youth Academy graduate rarely put a foot wrong in the blue and white DeMbare strip and reached the 100-game milestone for the Glamour Boys last year, at just 24 years of age.

But somehow, a call up to the country’s senior men’s national team —the Warriors, always evaded the diminutive right-back.

Even former Dynamos captain Justice Majabvi questioned Jalai’s constant Warriors snub last year.

But finally, Jalai got the call, when he was named in the Warriors squad for the four-nations invitational tournament in Malawi,  by interim coach Norman Mapeza.

Naturally, Jalai is happy about it and insists motivation is the right word to describe the feeling of representing the country at senior level, and not pressure.

“I’m happy to receive my first call up to the senior national team. Getting recognition from the association is a big motivation as a player and I’m happy to receive my first call up,” said Jalai.

“The demand is always the same. If you see the way I have been playing at Dynamos, the demand is similar to the national team. So for me, I have to remain humble and concentrate on the task at hand.

The Dynamos vice captain insists the welcome he has gotten from senior players in the national team, has made him settle quicker.

“Honestly, the big guys that have been here before, have welcomed us warmly and that is an inspiration,” Jalai said.

“We are playing locally and they are playing in Europe, so to mix with them is a great motivation.”

Jalai urged the nation to rally behind the Warriors as they take part in the tournament in preparation for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers slated for June.

“We are asking for the nation’s support in the Saturday and Wednesday games and we are hoping for a positive outcome. As usual, we will do our best as players,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © Soccer24, 2024. All Rights Reserved