Mighty Warriors shift focus to Afcon
AFTER making their maiden appearance at the Olympics in Brazil, the Mighty Warriors are now shifting their focus to the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon later this year.
The Cup of Nations is scheduled for November 19 to December 3.
The senior women side qualified for the competition in April when they beat Zambia in the last round of the qualifiers.
This is their second major event this year following their participation at the ongoing Olympic Games, where they bowed out in the group stages.
Their journey to the Olympics was not an easy one, with lack of funds affecting their preparations.
And Mighty Warriors’ technical advisor, Barry Daka, yesterday said it was time for the team to start preparing for the forthcoming tournament in Cameroon.
“To be honest because we don’t have a very good running league for women it will be wise to go into camp early.
“There are many things we should do as a nation. If you look at the preparations, which we had (for the Olympics), we did very well.
“But now we are back we need a lot of motivation because the technical department is doing very well but the problem now comes when we need training games. They are not enough.
“We can’t keep on having in-house training. Sometimes we play young boys from Harare City, Under-17 or Under-16 which is not enough. We need to play teams from outside Zimbabwe,” said Daka.
Daka said there was need to change attitude towards the women’s team and support them financially just like their male counterparts.
“When we are in camp, the problem which we face is allowances for the girls. If you qualify for such a massive tournament and what you get should balance.
“At that level you can’t go into a camp and not get anything. Those are girls, they have responsibilities. They want to perform and the technical team wants to work but the problem is there.
“It’s difficult, I may sound as if I am bitter or as if I am complaining but it’s a fact, without financial motivation it becomes difficult.
“We know there is no revenue being brought in by women (football) but if we consider that they have managed to qualify for two major competitions, at least, something should come. We need that type of support.
“Why the boys are doing well is because they know if they play for the national team, they get to such levels and they qualify, they will get something,” said Daka.
It has also emerged that the Mighty Warriors received $500 each from the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee for their adventure in Brazil.
The Africa Cup of Nations will feature eight countries - hosts Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Zifa communications officer, Xolisani Gwesela, said they will be meeting with the technical team when they come back from a coaching course they are attending in Cameroon.
“The coaches are currently in Cameroon for a coaching course. So both (Shadreck) Mlauzi and Sithethelelwe (Sibanda) left for Cameroon on Sunday.
“Every tournament is very important. When they are back at the end of the week we will sit down with them and look at their programme and the roadmap for Cameroon. We will agree on camping dates and look at logistics formalities. As Zifa we are financially constrained, we are making a special appeal to the government, individuals and corporate sponsors to chip in and partner the Mighty Warriors.
“The funding of these national teams is not a responsibility of Zifa alone, it’s a collective responsibility for each and everyone,” said Gwesela.
Zimbabwe’s best performance at the tournament was fourth position, in 2000. The tournament was held in South Africa.