THE senior national women team finally kick-started their preparations for the third round Olympic Games qualifier second leg tie against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday at Rufaro. The team was initially expected to start camp last Friday but the players failed to pitch up and only started coming in on Sunday night at
Coach, Rosemary Mugadza and her technical team yesterday took the team through their first training session at Rufaro with 19 players before Kudzanayi Chiparaushe joined the squad in the afternoon.
Captain Felistas Muzongondi, midfielders Marjory Nyaumwe and Emmaculate Msipa, defender Nobuhle Majika and goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai were among those that were involved in the first training session at Rufaro in the morning.
With the way the camp went in July, with players staging a sit-in demanding their outstanding allowances and failing to travel for the first leg tie, it appeared Mugadza was yesterday relieved to have the players in camp. “We are happy that at least we have started our camp today. Their morale is high. I was very worried about morale and I am happy, at least, they are willing to work and this is exactly what we need going towards this game,” Mugadza said.
Cote d’Ivoire are leading 3-0 from the first leg that was forfeited but Mugadza, who has retained most of the senior players for this tie, said they will not give up easily.
“It’s possible as you know that we played Ghana and lost 1-2 after we had last participated in a (competitive) competition for almost a year. “We played Ghana here at home and we drew 2-2 and considering that Ghana drew 2-2 with Cameroon, it shows that we are not that bad. “And having the right attitude towards the game we can turn the tables, it’s up to the girls to rise to the occasion on Sunday.
“We are looking at experience considering the time of preparations that we have and our league has not been very competitive. “So we need to, at least, have most of the senior players for us to prevail. We are hoping for the best,” Mugadza said.
The Mighty Warriors coach, however, conceded that they have a huge task ahead of them. “It’s going to be difficult from the word go but we need to make sure that we at least progress to the last and final round of the qualifiers.
“They are a very good side considering that they went to the World Cup and we have a few hints of how they play. “We are not underrating them, having qualified to go to the World Cup, but our girls can turn the tables if they are willing to,” Mugadza said.
The technical team was still expecting Moleen Murandu, Berita Kabwe, Deliwe, Makaha, Tafadzwa Tsunguro and Melody Musasa to join the rest of the team late yesterday.
Chido Dzingirai, Process Chatsamwa, Deliwe Makaha, Nobuhle Majika, Moleen Murandu, Melody Musasa, Shiela Makoto, Talent Mandaza, Emmaculate Msipa, Chido Muhara, Samkelisiwe Zulu, Marjory Nyaumwe, Erina Jeke, Rutendo Makore, Rudo Neshamba, Mavis Chirandu, Felistus Muzongondi, Rejoice Kapfumvuti, Eunice Chibanda, Lynette Mutokuto, Berita Kabwe, Viola Ndlovu, Daisy Kaitano, Kudzanayi Chiparaushe, Tafadzwa Tsunguro.
Credit : Herald