With just 13 days left before the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations Women Championship (Cosafa) gets underway in Bulawayo, Mighty Warriors coach, Sithethelelwe Sibanda says Zimbabwe are ready to face any opponent.
Sibanda has been working with a group of 30 players since August 20 and is satisfied with how preparations have gone so far.
“Even though I would have wanted friendly matches before the team convened for the final camp, I am happy with the way things have gone so far,” she said yesterday.
“The major boost is that the tournament comes at a period when the players have been playing regularly in the league.”
Apart from the match fitness, the players have from regular club football, the coach said her team consisted of knowledgeable coaches, who were all conversant with fitness training required by the players to see them through the tournament without fatigue issues.
“We are improvising by integrating the training of both the physical aspects of the game and the technical and tactical side,” she said.
Zimbabwe were drawn alongside Zambia, Madagascar and Malawi in Group A of the three groups of four teams each, and the coach affirmed the need for the team to be focused on winning in spite of who they are playing.
“We expected to be grouped alongside any participating team, thus, we are going to prepare the same way for every team that we are going to face, without necessarily focussing on the name of the opponent,” Sibanda said.
“We have played Zambia before, with varying degrees of success, but all that is in the past now and this time it will be a completely different game.
“We have to guard against complacency if we are to do well.”
The 30-member squad will be trimmed to 20 as the tournament kick-off approaches.
Friendly matches will be played behind closed doors in the next few days, as the technical department continues to seek the winning formula.
Zimbabwe are going into this year’s tournament aiming to defend the crown, which the Mighty Warriors won in 2011, when the last edition was held in Harare.
The tournament runs from September 13 to 24 and the matches will be played at Luveve and Barbourfields stadiums. — Zifa