MIGHTY Warriors midfielder Emmaculate Msipa believes they have the pedigree to claim their second COSAFA Women’s Championship title when they battle it out at this year’s edition in South Africa.
The Zimbabwe senior women’s side won the tournament in 2011 when they beat rivals South Africa in the final.
Msipa was part of the team.
Banyana Banyana had won the championship three times going into the 2011 competition. The tournament took a six-year break before it returned last year and Zimbabwe, hosting the event in Bulawayo, could not retain the championship after finishing runners-up to South Africa.
Msipa missed the tournament last September due to work commitments.
But she is part of the team that will be carrying the nation’s hopes at the regional showpiece that kicks off on Wednesday.
It runs until September 22 and the Mighty Warriors are scheduled to leave for South Africa today.
“I am promising the nation that we are going to do our very best to bring the trophy back home. We are not underrating any country. They have been preparing and have their own tactics and as the Mighty Warriors we have our type of play. So we are going to do our best.
“Everyone has been working hard, morale is very high and everyone is fit. I think we have a good chance to bring the trophy back home,” said Msipa.
After missing qualification for the Africa Women Cup of Nations later this year, Msipa said this is their chance to redeem themselves.
“We have got a fresh wound after we lost to Zambia in the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers. So, we are going to put maximum effort to heal that wound. We are going to put everything into this tournament to try and win it.
“Last year we finished in a good position. After missing last year’s tournament, my wish is to bring a positive change to the team and we will do our best to encourage each other.
“I know it’s going to be very tough,” said Msipa, who was named one of the vice-captains for this assignment.
Mighty Warriors coach, Sithethelelwe Sibanda, retained most of the senior players and Msipa believes it’s an advantage for the side.
“That’s one advantage, most of the players in the team are players who have been around for some time. The combinations are there, we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
“I am happy to be one of the captains. I will try to encourage my teammates so that we do our best, prove our talent.
“Maybe one or two players will be scouted during this tournament,” said Msipa.
Zimbabwe are up against Namibia, Swaziland and Uganda in Group C.
Hosts South Africa will play Botswana, Madagascar and Malawi in Group A while Group B consists of Zambia, Cameroon, Lesotho and Mozambique.
Mighty Warriors team
Goalkeepers: Chido Dzingirai (Correctional), Shebba Rauli (Auckland), Lindiwe Magwede (Cyclone Stars).
Defenders: Nobuhle Majika (MSU), Danai Bhobho (Harare City), Nobukhosi Ncube (Correctional), Lynett Mutokuto (Black Rhinos), Sheila Makoto (Blue Swallows), Sithembile Nyoni (Weerams).
Midfielders: Emmaculate Msipa (Black Rhinos), Marjory Nyaumwe (Correctional), Kudzanai Chiparausha (Blue Swallows), Mavis Chirandu (Black Rhinos), Felistas Muzongondi (Black Rhinos).
Strikers: Rutendo Makore (Black Rhinos), Berita Kabwe (Correctional), Shamiso Mutasa (Harare City), Erina Jeke (Correctional) Maudy Mafuruse (Faith Drive), Susan Nyama (Herentals).