MIGHTY Warriors coach Rosemary Mugadza has confident in her troops do well against Botswana in the Unity Day Cup Challenge at Rufaro this afternoon. The senior women's team will be out to defend their title and Mugadza said they are looking beyond today's match as they prepare for their international matches starting next year.
"It's not going to be an easy game. As you know all teams in Africa are improving. All teams are looking ahead to 2013 so it's not a friendly match but a competitive match.
"It's good to have more matches that's why we are trying different combinations. We need to have two strong squads for the Mighty Warriors.
"We have the African qualifiers coming and the Olympic qualifiers and we need to have more players to consider from," said Mugadza.
The Mighty Warriors coach urged her players to treat the game seriously and not to underrate their opponents because of the young team they have brought for today's match.
"I was in South Africa last week, they (Botswana) have been in camp and they played South Africa showing how serious they are about this game.
"It's not a development side but they are planning for the future.
"Everyone is planning for 2016 and we know we are not going to have it on a silver platter.
"Everyone is ready in the team and they are all looking sharp.
"It's very hard to be a champion, we need to defend our title and keep above the rest.
"It's a big challenge for us and we need to do the right thing to remain on top," said Mugadza.
Mugadza said they were dedicating today's match to the late Warriors legend, Adam Ndlovu, who passed away last Sunday.
"Losing a person who has done well like Adam, we have to come on top tomorrow and win this for him.
"It has motivated the players, they knew how Adam played and they are going to demonstrate one of his celebrations if they score tomorrow.
"We are motivated to at least play for him," added Mugadza.
Her counterpart Gaotlhoo Nkutlwisang said they were excited to be part of this year's Unity Challenge Cup.
"We feel very honoured because it's going to be the first time to play in this cup. What I am saying is we are very happy to participate in this kind of cup.
"I will just say we are going to make it and we feel the people of Zimbabwe should go to the stadium and see the ability that is going to be displayed by the young ladies," said Nkutlwisang.
The Botswana coach said they have brought in eight new players for exposure as they prepare for the future.
"I think the game will be just the same since we got more young players, about eight players, the youth.
"We know very well it's going to be a tough game. The girls are going to enjoy the game.
"We are going to look at it just like any other game. The idea is to build up the morale for them, we are building the team for the future.
"Next year there are some qualification games for some competitions, that's why we brought more young players so that they feel the pressure in this kind of game.
"This is an event we are very happy about and we are going to enjoy it.
"And I wish the people of Zimbabwe a merry Christmas and happy New Year.
Botswana captain Bonang Otlhagile said the hosts should not expect any favours from them.
"We have played Zimbabwe before and we know how they take every game seriously.
"The difference is the fact that they haven't seen us playing with these youngsters that we have introduced in our team.
"They have nothing they know about us because we have changed our team a lot, just a few senior players and most of them are the young ones.
"I think they made this cup, it's very important to them but what I am saying is we are not just going to let them roll and make them happy because they are the owners of the cup and they obviously they win that cup, we are going to fight
"All I am saying is may the best team win," said Otlhagile.
Zimbabwe beat South Africa 3-0 to win the title last year.
Zimbabwe: Onai Chingawo, Chido Dzingirayi, Nobuhle Magika, Danai Bobo, Melody Musasa, Ruvimbo Mutyavaviri, Talent Mandaza, Felistus Muzongondi, Marjory Nyaumwe, Rutendo Makore, Rudo Neshamba, Nokhutula Ndlovu, Emmaculate Msipa, Patience Mujuru, Violet Bepete, Sicelo Dube, Kudakwashe Basopo, Rufaro Machingura.
Botswana: Lebangang Setereke, Balothlanye Johannes, Peggy Segokgo, Kgomotso Molefe, Thuso Leseane, Amogelang Moahi, Thuto Ramafifi, Phatsimo Bosa, Bonang Otlhagile, Marata Silabo, Refilwe Mathlo, Oneile Tom, Kesegofetse Machawe, Patricia Motingwa, Sedilame Boseja, Masego Montsho, Golebaone Selebatso, Nondi Mahlasela, Dikatholo Modise.