MIGHTY Warriors captain Talent Mandaza is aiming at winning the Cosafa Women’s Championship ahead of their first Group A match campaign against Madagascar at Barbourfields Stadium today.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The Black Rhinos midfielder, who featured for the Mighty Warriors in the Rio Olympics in Brazil last year, said she is happy with the preparations they have gone through so far and is confident they will cruise all the way to the final.
They started their training in Harare three weeks ago under coach Sithethelelwe Sibanda.
“Zimbabweans should expect a lot fromfrom us. We are setting ourselves a high target of reaching the final and retaining the trophy,” Mandaza said. “So far so good, I can’t complain. We have trained for two days here in Bulawayo. Harare was warm and Bulawayo a bit hot, but we will adapt, this is our country. It’s not like we are in a foreign land.”
She hopes the Rio Olympics experience will come in handy as they have a number of players in the squad who were in Brazil.
“My experience at the Rio Olympics will play a big part, but of course we have junior players in the team but I hope they will blend well with the senior players who were in Brazil. We will rally up the youngsters who are in the team,” she said.
The Mighty Warriors face Madagascar today before they take on Zambia on Friday at BF and play their last group match against Malawi at Luveve on Sunday.
“Every game for us is big game. We are not going to underrate Madagascar because we have not seen them play. I know Zambia are a bit physical, but we will take each game as it comes. Every game is very important for us. Every game is like a cup final.
Morale is high in camp; the girls are excited and they should not fear anything and I am certain we are going to do well.”
Three matches will be played today with another Group A match featuring Zambia and Malawi on before the Mighty Warriors/Madagascar game in the afternoon.
The tournament kicks off in the morning with a Group C match pitting Namibia and Botswana.
Twelve teams — hosts Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and guests Kenya — take part in the two-week tournament.
The official opening of the tournament will be held in the afternoon before the Zimbabwe/Madagascar game.