Zimbabwe: Young Mighty Warriors Prepare for WC Qualifier

18 February 2020

Following the request by the Young Mighty Warriors to have a longer camp ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia next month, ZIFA have said they will grant the team adequate time to prepare.

The Zimbabwe Under-20 national women's football team will travel to Addis Ababa on the weekend of March 20 to 22 before they host the East Africans a week later.

And the Young Mighty Warriors gaffer Rosemary Mugadza has requested for an early camp of at least three-and-a-half weeks so that the squad gets enough time to prepare.

Yesterday ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said the association will make sure that the junior national team is ready by the time the World Cup qualifier resumes next month.

Zimbabwe progressed to the first round after beating Malawi 2-1 on aggregate. But their coach Mugadza reckons that the opposition is getting tougher with each round hence the need to prepare thoroughly.

"Most teams have not started training since it is still off-season so we are hoping that we can regroup at least three-and-a-half weeks before we go to Ethiopia.

"The long camp will enable us to try other players and also assessing each and every player. It also creates competition in the team with no player guaranteed a place as we seek to build a formidable squad for the World Cup qualifiers," said Mugadza.

Ethiopia cruised past Burundi with a comfortable 7-0 aggregate. However, Mugadza is not reading much into that statistic.

"The game of football is very crazy and it's difficult to make an assessment based on that result only. But to our credit, I have managed to gather information about Ethiopia, who have about two players who are really mobile in the midfield so we have observed their type of play and we will prepare.

"We know that every country is taking these qualifiers seriously and will be adequately prepared so we also need to prepare and a longer camp will help us achieve the endurance we would want. We will also engage boys teams as part of preparatory matches," said Mugadza.

While the Young Mighty Warriors have submitted their programme to ZIFA, the Mighty Warriors, who will feature in the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers in April, are yet to begin planning for their matches.

The senior team has been inactive since they boycotted the Olympic qualifier reverse tie against Zambia at the National Sports Stadium last September.

The Mighty Warriors, who were complaining that they were not receiving their allowances, appearance fees and bonuses from ZIFA, took the matter into their own hands when they left camp on the instructions of their clubs, leaving the national association embarrassed as they failed to fulfil a home fixture.

The team is now expected to regroup for the first time since that debacle for the AWCON when they meet Mauritius in the first round between April 6 to 14.

Should Zimbabwe progress past the Indian Ocean islanders they will meet the winner between Zambia and Mozambique.

Sithetheliwe "Kwinji 15" Sibanda's troops missed the previous women's version of the Africa Cup of Nations but would be seeking to reclaim their place on the continent where they pride themselves as one of the four teams that have featured at the Olympics.

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