Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
WITH just a few days left before they face arch-rivals Zambia in the final qualifying round for the Africa Women Cup of Nations, the Mighty Warriors are not wasting any time as they got their preparations underway yesterday at the ZIFA Village.
A 26-member-squad composed mainly of the players who play against Namibia in the first round got into camp on Wednesday for their tie against Zambia.
The Mighty Warriors will get their ball rolling in this final qualification round to the continental football show-piece away in Lusaka on June 6.
The return leg will be played on June 10 at Rufaro and the winners will join seven other countries in Ghana later this year for the tournament.
The senior women’s side did not waste any time as they got down to serious business yesterday at the ZIFA Village, where they went through fitness drills with coach Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda pleased with the positive response from her charges.
Sibanda said her charges are motivated after making it into the second round.
“These players are raring to go and at the end of the day that’s a plus. We don’t mind that our opponents have been there or whatever. But as long as the mentality is right, it will transfer to the physical side of it and I think we will be ready.
“The response was quite overwhelming, first session everyone in, it shows how eager they are for the game.
“Obviously, the experience will come into play but also the fact that the better part of the squad played in the Namibian match, they know what to expect, they know what we did to take us through that Namibia tie.
“From there they were looking forward to the Zambia game, already the mentality was that we were able to beat Namibia, we qualified to play Zambia and obviously in the mind they are waiting for that game,” said Sibanda.
Zimbabwe and Zambia have previously clashed twice in the final qualifying round of the Africa Women Cup of Nations.
Sibanda reckons it’s not going to be an easy assignment but is convinced with most of the experienced players forming the backbone of the squad they can take whatever challenge Zambia throw at them.
“Teams are improving with each day and with each competition. But it doesn’t mean we are also stagnant, we are also improving.
“We have started camp our players’ response is quite overwhelming.
“They are raring to go, so we have got a positive mind, the attitude is positive, the attitude is good. So I would say we are expecting a good game against Zambia.
“At the end of the day our aim is to do well against Zambia and find ourselves in Ghana,” said Sibanda.
With chief striker Rutendo Makore back in the squad after missing the first round tie, it’s also a boost for the side.
But coach Sibanda made it clear she will have to fight for her place in the team just like any other player.
Goalkeepers: Chido Dzingirai, Manyara Mandara, Shebba Rauli.
Defenders: Nobuhle Majika, Lynette Mutokuto, Sheila Makoto, Edeline Mutumbami, Patience Masitara, Sithembile Nyoni, Nobukhosi Ncube, Tabeth Mutinhiri, Sarudzai Chikowore.
Midfielders: Talent Mandaza, Emmaculate Msipa, Daisy Kaitano, Felistas Muzongondi, Mavis Chirandu, Marjory Nyaumwe, Vimbai Mharadzi, Kudzai Chiparausha.
Strikers: Rutendo Makore, Erina Jeke, Berita Kabwe, Susan Nyama, Maudy Mafuruse, Tafadzwa Tsunguro.