Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
BARELY a week after the Warriors were booked into an upmarket hotel, the Mighty Warriors troop into the ZIFA Village this morning amid concerns about the facility’s standards. The Zimbabwe women national football team are getting into camp to prepare for the COSAFA Championships.
The regional tourney gets underway at the Nelson Mandela Bay, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from September 28 to October 9.
The Mighty Warriors have not kicked a ball, since they featured at the 2020 COSAFA Championships, at the same venue.
The ZIFA Village provides a depressing camping facility, which doesn’t even have the minimum bare requirements like WIFI services, for a senior national football team.
The players’ only option, after training, will be to sleep. They are further expected to shuttle to the CBD, and train at Hellenic Sports Club.
Farai Dhliwayo has offered them to train there, for free. Besides Bafana Bafana, the Zimbabweans are the only team which have won the COSAFA Championships.
Mighty Warriors coach, Sithetheliwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda, has named a 29-member squad.
It includes eight Black Rhinos players, who finished runners-up in Durban, at the inaugural CAF Champions League COSAFA qualifier.
Harare City have four players and Correctional Queens, Blue Swallows, and Herentals, have each contributed three players.
However, Correctional Queens forward Berita Kabwe, who joined Nigerian champions River Angels last week, is unlikely to return home for the tournament.
Her new club will be preparing for the Champions League finals.
CAF yesterday announced the eight clubs set to make history by taking part in the inaugural Champions League finals in Egypt in November. Equatorial Guinea champions Malabo King, Kenyan Vihiga Queens, Mamelodi Sundowns, Nigerian champions Rivers Angels, Ghanaian Hasaacas Ladies, Moroccan AS FAR, Malian AS Mande and hosts Wadi Degla SC, will feature in the tournament. Kabwe is set to make history, as the first Zimbabwean, to take part in the tourney. The club’s scouts saw her during the COSAFA Championships, at Babourfields in 2017, and have been monitoring her. Zimbabwe are in the same group with East African guests, Tanzania and South Sudan, as well as neighbours Botswana.
Goalkeepers: Precious Mudyiwa (Black Rhinos), Cynthia Shonga (Harare City), Lindiwe Magwede (Herentals), Leona Bhunu ( Hearts of Oak), Chido Dzingirai (Zambia Institute for Sustainable Development).
Defenders: Nobukhosi Ncube (Correctional Queens), Sheila Makoto , Edeline Mutumbami (both Blue Swallows), Talent Mukwanda, Tabeth Mutinhiri (both Herentals), Purity Mugayi, Eunice Chibanda (both Black Rhinos), Moreblessing Bwenende (Harare City).
Midfielders: Mavis Chirandu, Daisy Kaitano, Christabel Katona (all Black Rhinos Queens), Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional Queens), Berita Kabwe (River Angels, Nigeria), Emmaculate Msipa (unattached), Alice Moyo, Shyline Dambamuromo (both Faith Drive), Ennert Chemhere (Ubuntu).
Strikers: Natasha Ndowa (Blue Swallows), Rutendo Makore, Priviledge Mupeti (both Black Rhinos), Rudo Neshamba (Harare City), Maud Mafuruse (Faith Drive), Dinarose Banda (Queen Lozikeyi).