Assistant coach Nkululeko Ndlamini revealed that the team will be in camp until their scheduled departure for Maputo on August 31. Dhlamini says they are going to play a number of men’s top sides to fine tune the team ahead of their second appearance at the Games.
The Mighty Warriors have just returned from Germany where they went for two weeks playing against top football teams in that country ahead of the continental sporting festival. The women’s soccer team returned in three batches with the first batch arriving last Saturday and the last on Monday.
Coach Rosemary Mugadza is also happy with the preparations that has been accorded her team during the qualifiers and after qualification has been secured adding that the Mighty Warriors will not be at the All Africa Games to make up the numbers but to win the tournament.
The Mighty Warriors qualified for their second All Africa Games after eliminating Zambia and Angola. The last time they were at the Games was in Abuja, Nigeria in 1987, but that time the team did not qualify but participated through invitation. They did not win a single game at their maiden appearance but Dhlamini says times have changed adding that the Mighty Warriors are stronger than ever.
The Zimbabweans will join neighbours South Africa as southern African representatives at the All Africa Games. The two teams have been drawn in the same group having also met at the Cosafa Women’s Championships final held in Harare in July which the Mighty Warriors won 1-0.
Apart from the Mighty Warriors, Zimbabwe will also be represented in other sporting disciplines. The Sport and Recreation Commission has announced the team for the Games. The team will be led by top swimmer Kirsty Coventry, a winner of seven medals at two Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.
Coventry won seven gold medals and three silvers at the last All Africa Games in 2007 and leads a team that also includes top athletes Ngoni Makusha, Nyasha Mharakurwa, and Brian Dzingai. The Zimbabwean team is scheduled to leave for Maputo at the end of August.