'We'll shock many'

MIGHTY Warriors assistant coach Johannes Chikaola insists they will have no excuses when they embark on their Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON ) journey scheduled for Cameroon later this month saying “they are an ambitious group eager to do the nation proud”.

Chikaola said the goal in Cameroon for the Mighty Warriors team will be to advance out of their group which also includes the hosts, South Africa and Egypt.

Having started their preparations late, Chikaola said there are a lot of positives and will be ready for the tournament.  
“The training is going fine. The girls are improving each day and we are hoping.

“With the way the girls are training, I think we will definitely be ready for Cameroon,” Chikaola told the Weekend Post.
“We are mostly taking note of Egypt and South Africa because we have played them before and we know some of the weaknesses which we will try to use to our advantage.”

Most of the Mighty Warriors had been inactive since their participation at the Rio Olympic Games due to the confusion in the Zimbabwe Women’s Football assembly.

The Mighty Warriors, however, are not letting that affect their spirits as they hope to make an impact in Cameroon. 
“The only worry we are having is that our local women’s league is not functioning properly so it makes it difficult for the national team especially in as far as fitness levels are concerned.

“We will, however, try and panel-beat what is there in this short time,” Chikaola said.
“As the technical team, we are very ambitious, we don’t cry about the number of days we spend in camp.
“We are going to push the girls to make sure we go there not just to add numbers but to compete.
“We have set ourselves a target of reaching the knockout stages.

“And it’s very possible especially if we can make use of our matches against South Africa and Egypt. I think playing South Africa and Egypt is actually an advantage to us.”

The Mighty Warriors, who are pitted against African powerhouses Cameroon, South Africa and Egypt in Group A will begin their account against neighbours South Africa at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé on November 19 before facing Egypt three days later.

Shadreck Mlauzi’s charges will then complete their group assignments against Cameroon on November 25 with the top two teams proceeding to the semi-finals.

Group B consists defending champions Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Kenya.
The AWCON finals will run from November 19 to December 3.
As part of their preparations the Mighty Warriors played Egypt at Rufaro Stadium last month in a hastily-arranged friendly match, which they won 2-1 where Mlauzi had to do largely with a makeshift side after some league teams declined to release their players for national duty.

And yesterday they played against South Africa at the National Sports Stadium.Interestingly, the Mighty Warriors are in the same group with both teams. —Godknows Matarutse

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