MIGHTY WARRIORS coach Rosemary Mugadza says fatigue could be a major factor in their African Women’s Championships (AWC) first round first leg match here against Botswana tomorrow.
HENRY MHARA IN GABORONE, BOTSWANA
The match will be played at the Molepolole Sports Complex, some 60km from where the team is staying here in Gaborone.
Kick-off is 1600hrs.
Mugadza is worried that tiredness might negatively impact on her girls’ performance after their energy-sapping road trip from Harare to Gaborone — a distance of 1 069km.
The team, which left Harare on Sunday morning, arrived here in the early hours of Tuesday.
“We are definitely worried about that (fatigue) because we spent almost 36 hours on the road. Today (yesterday) we worked on their conditioning, and energy regeneration. We had a swimming pool session with the girls and I think they are recovering well. We will have another swimming session in the evening soon after the afternoon training session. We will try to have another one tomorrow (today) morning. I’m just hoping that they would fully recover by the time the match starts,” said Mugadza.
The team’s physical trainer Gerald Maguranyanga said: “We are working on the girls’ recuperation and regeneration. Because they spent a lot of time travelling and most of their muscles virtually inactive, most of them are struggling from venous pooling. We can only do away with it by doing a lot of swimming sessions and we are doing it twice a day, it’s very good for recovery.”
The injury-hit squad left Harare on Sunday morning and arrived in Gaborone just after midnight on Monday after a stop-over in Bulawayo where they put up on Sunday.
Key players Rutendo Makore and Erina Jeke missed the trip due to injuries while Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri and Rudo Neshamba are carrying knocks. Kudakwashe Bhasopo and Talent Mbepo have replaced the absentees in the team.
If Zimbabwe progress past Botswana, the team they beat 5-0 a year ago, they will meet the winner between Zambia and Tanzania in the second and final qualifier for a ticket to the AWC finals which will be hosted by Namibia this October.
The AWC finals, a version of the men’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament, also serves as a qualification tournament for the 2015 Canada World Cup, with the top three teams going through.
Meanwhile, the match will be handled by officials from Zambia and Malawi.
Highly-rated Gladys Lengwe of Zambia, who also officiates in matches in the country’s premier league, will be the centre referee assisted by her counterparts Mercy Zulu and Diana Chikotesha.
Sara Selemani, also of Zambia, will be the fourth official while Flora Mwandira of Malawi is the match commissioner.