Zimbabwe will be ready for COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championships

Zimbabwe coach Annie Konje has declared her team ready for the COSAFA Women’s Under-17 Championship that will be staged in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay from November 4-14.

It will be a debut at the competition for Zimbabwe, who missed out when the inaugural competition was played in Mauritius last year, where Uganda lifted the title as they defeated South Africa in the final.

Konje had been working hard with her team ahead of the championships, and believes they will be as ready as they can be under the circumstances.

“The team is ready for the challenge. Yes, it has been a long time since our players took part in any competitive matches due to COVID-19, but I can confirm that they are ready and fit enough to play in the COSAFA Championships,” she was quoted by the Southern Times.

“I can’t say we didn’t have enough time to train because we have been in camp since last week and we have been training. My girls are mentally and physically prepared to go and play in South Africa.”

Zimbabwe will open their campaign against South Africa on Nov. 6, before facing Comoros Islands (Nov. 8), Tanzania (Nov. 10) and finally Zambia (Nov. 12) in the round-robin competition.

The top two sides in the pool advance to a final to be played on Nov. 14.

The team are coming off a tough 7-0 aggregate loss to Botswana in the qualifiers for the 2021 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with a first leg 5-0 loss away followed by a 2-0 home defeat.

They also initially entered the 2008 qualifiers but withdrew before their tie against DR Congo.

Zimbabwe skipped the next five set of qualifiers, before making a return for the latest batch ahead of 2021 and will now look to grow their team in this age-group.

Competing in Nelson Mandela Bay will certainly go a long way towards helping them do that.

Provisional Zimbabwe squad: 

Goalkeepers: Tariro Chirume, Sikhethiwe Sibanda (Faith Drive), Timmly Kavhura(COSA), Thandiwe Msipa (Mpopoma), Sasha Matshona (Chinhoyi City).

Defenders: Plaxedes Matanda, Melinda Mapasure (Faith Drive), Sarah Manduna (Harare City), Rudo Machadu (Maningi), Nokukhanya Ndlovu (Barrow Jets), Lauryn Maphosa (Street Set).

Midfielders: Priscilla Mankosi, Elice Moyo, Thando Sibanda (Mpopoma), Bethel London, Tinotenda Taurai, Margaret Kanjekete, Natalie Chigodira (Faith Drive), Courtney Tsamba (AYSA), Tanyaradzwa Chihoro, Nelly Pindura (Maningi), Praynence Zhuwanda (Cyclone Stars).

Strikers: Tabeth Mafunga, Brenda Ndarowa, Melody Chikore (Faith Drive), Ntandoyenkosi Moyo (Barrow Jets), Morelife Nyagumbo.