By Ellina Mhlanga
THE Under-20 women’s football team to represent the country at the African Union Sports Council Region Five Youth Games in December went a gear up in their preparations for the event when they had their first training session on Sunday at Gwanzura.
The Young Mighty Warriors are part of Team Zimbabwe that will participate at this year’s Games in Gaborone, Botswana from December 6 to 16.
Zimbabwe will also field athletes in athletics, athletics for the visually impaired, netball, swimming and tennis. The football team will be under the guidance of Langton Giwa.
The players have been working with their respective clubs and coaches.
Giwa said they have been monitoring players and Sunday’s session whereby they had most of the players in one place.
“The players out of Harare, we have a programme that we gave to their coaches since the league is running as well as Division One. Most of them are in clubs except for two or three. So yesterday (Sunday) we were working on technical and tactical aspects because in terms of fitness they are okay.
“For those that are outside Harare, I see them when they come here and I am happy with their performance. They have been working with their coaches in their provinces.
“Now we have this programme every Sunday became some of the players are writing exams and also Sunday the clubs would have played their games. So we are now going to have our sessions every Sunday until we have the final camp.
“And we have a few players outside Harare, so we continue monitoring their progress,” said Giwa.
Giwa, who has been to the Games on several occasions said their priority for now is to reach the finals.
“This year we have a strong team and the players are committed. We have some experienced players from the Mighty Warriors — Maud Mafuruse and Evermore Mutandwa.
“This is modern football, so we will have more small-sided games, work on how to maintain ball possession and finishing. If we focus on that I think we will be in a good position.
Team Zimbabwe chef de mission, Charity Nyamayedenga said all the sports codes to compete at the Games have been working with their athletes while they are still finalising on the final camp that will bring all athletes together before departure.
“We are planning a pre-departure camp which will be a week before leaving. The challenge is most of the athletes are in school, so as soon as schools close or as soon as exams are over they will meet for an integrated camp.