Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
EXACTLY two weeks before Zimbabwe play Angola in the COSAFA Women Championships opening match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa,the Mighty Warriors are yet to get into camp to begin their preparations for the tournament.
The senior women’s soccer team have not been active since October last year when they were booted out of the COSAFA tournament in the first round.
Together with the Young Mighty Warriors, who will be featuring in the inaugural Under-20 tournament at the Nelson Mandela Bay, the two teams are still in the dark on when they will get into camp.
ZIFA are yet to announce the squads as well as the training days.
More so the local football mother-body is yet to put in place the Under-20 technical team although The Herald has established that Rosemary Mugadza has been appointed the head coach for the developmental side.
Mighty Warriors coach Sithetheliwe “Kwinji 15” had indicated that she wanted at least a month in camp with her troops. But it appears ZIFA are still battling with organising a training camp for the two teams.
Yesterday, ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said there was nothing amiss with the delay as they are still within the time-lines.
“The rules of the tournament state that a team should get into camp five days before a tournament. We will announce all the details by Wednesday regarding the camp dates and the Under-20 technical team,” said Gwesela.
However, it is these inadequate preparations which affected the team’s performance in Port Elizabeth last year.
The Mighty Warriors disappointingly fell at the first hurdle when they were beaten 1-2 by the tournament guests Uganda in their group.
In 2017 the Mighty Warriors reached the final at Barbourfields but lost to rivals South Africa.
Zimbabwe have won the COSAFA Cup once when they hosted the tournament in Harare in 2011.
The top two teams in the group will progress to the semi-finals while one best runners up will also a secure a last four berth.
The Young Mighty Warriors, who are set to play in the inaugural COSAFA tournament, are in Group A against hosts South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.
Mozambique have since replaced Malawi who went into the hat but are no longer going to take part in the COSAFA tournament.
And Zimbabwe will get their campaign underway on August 1 with a match against Basetsane. Then two days later they meet Mozambique before concluding their group with a tie against Namibia on August 5.
The top two teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals.