DESPITE limited preparatory time, the Mighty Warriors are confident that they can put up a good show at the Cosafa Women Championships in Gauteng, South Africa.
The senior women's football team leaves the country today for the regional tournament kicking off tomorrow and ending on October 15, with 12 teams ready to battle it out for honours.
Zimbabwe will play their opener on Friday against Lesotho and will take Namibia two days later, before closing their pool matches on October 11 against Botswana.
Going into this campaign, the Mighty Warriors, who have been in camp for just over a week aim to go beyond the group stages, having failed in their previous two attempts.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday, coach Shadreck Mlauzi highlighted that the team has a huge task ahead and more focus has been put in creating a competitive team fit for the assignment, despite lacking adequate time for preparation.
“We are wrapping up our training sessions today (yesterday), but so far the response from the players was superb. We couldn't ask for more. We are carrying the responsibility of the nation that is success-starved and we are going to the competition having that in mind. At times, in football, you lack sufficient time especially with the national team, but we maximise the time at our disposal. We have made it clear to the girls that it doesn't matter that we have been in isolation and had limited time to prepare, but we will go out there to be extremely competitive,” said Mlauzi.
“It is with hope that the nation fully understands where we are coming from and from our side we don't forget what we want to achieve as a team. We want to remain extremely competitive in this tournament and give each player an opportunity to play in the national team. We come from dysfunctional junior systems where our juniors lack the opportunity to play in their respective age groups and a huge chunk of players end up being thrown in the deep end.
“We target to do our best as a team and if we can bring the cup home, why not?”
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Striker Rudo Neshamba, who was chosen as the team captain on Sunday, expressed confidence in the team, highlighting that the girls are raring to go.
“The preparations have been going on well and I think we are ready for the tournament. It's such an honour to lead such a big talented group and we have quite a lot of youngsters who are playing for the first time in the national team but we will make sure that everyone is comfortable,” said Neshamba.
Neshamba is being deputised by goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai and Nobukhosi Ncube.