‘Mighty Warriors can be very competitive at Afcon’
MIGHTY Warriors coach Shadreck Mlauzi says with the right preparations they can hold their own at the Africa Women Cup of Nations where they have been drawn against hosts Cameroon, Egypt and South Africa in Group A.
The tournament is scheduled for November 19 to December 3 in Cameroon.
The draw was conducted yesterday at Palais des Sports in Yaounde, Cameroon. And Group B is made up of defending champions Nigeria, Mali, Ghana and Kenya.
Mlauzi said a good start to their campaign in Cameroon will be key and emphasised on the need for proper preparations.
“Should we start well at the tournament, we should put ourselves in a semi-final position. But first the preparations have got to be top of the notch. We are very much capable of being quite competitive and winning against these teams.
“We have won against Cameroon, South Africa and Egypt. Of course we have won against them before. So we can go there and do extremely well. Just like I said before if our preparations are better we want to conquer Africa. We have got the talent in our country,” said Mlauzi.
The Mighty Warriors coach said they are happy with the draw and the fact they have played the teams before gives them a clue of what to expect.
Zimbabwe overpowered Cameroon last October to qualify for the Olympic Games. They took on South Africa in May in a friendly match that was part of the preparation for the Olympics.
“We are happy with the draw. Most of the time when we qualify for these tournaments because of our low ranking we expect to be drawn against the big sharks for women football in Africa. It’s not going to be easy of course.
“We have Cameroon, the team baying for our blood given that we beat them in the Olympic Games qualifiers.
“South Africa has done extremely well, the experience they have, they have shown that they can play at the world stage as we saw at the Olympics. Of course they were knocked out just like us but they showed that they can play at that stage.
“Egypt we will have a feel of them on Tuesday (tomorrow). It will give us indicators to what to expect from them,” said Mlauzi.
Meanwhile the Mighty Warriors had their first training session yesterday at Gateway with 16 players of the 27 called up reporting for camp ahead of their friendly game against Egypt at Rufaro tomorrow.
The match marks the start of the senior women’s side preparations for the continental tournament.
Nigeria have won the tournament a record nine times while Equatorial Guinea were crowned champions twice.
Although they had qualified for this year’s competition, Equatorial Guinea will not be part of the teams battling it out in Cameroon after they were disqualified for using an ineligible player. They were replaced by Mali.