A SQUAD of 30 national senior women football players reported for camp yesterday morning to prepare for the upcoming 11th African Women Championships (AWC) first round first leg qualifier away to Botswana next week.
There are no major surprises on the list of the players as coach Rosemary Mugadza has maintained the squad that has been doing duty for the country in recent times.
All the 20 players that went to Egypt for two friendly matches late last month have been retained while former Young Mighty Warriors captain Eunice Chibanda, defender Rhoda Jongondi and striker Kudakwashe Bhasopo have been recalled.
Mugadza has also handed first national team call-ups to five players who impressed the Mighty Warriors gaffer during the NetOne Challenge Cup matches over the past weekend: Cyclone Queens pair of Talent Mbepo and Perseverance Sibanda, Berita Kabwe and Rachel Mutseneki both of Tennax and Chipo Muvavarirwa of Masvingo Queens.
However, there was no place in the team for striker Rufaro Machingura who has been in and out of the team due to disciplinary problems.
The first leg match, to be played at the Molepolole Sports Complex, some 60km southwest of Gaborone, was initially pencilled for Sunday next week, but has been brought forward to Thursday.
Women football boss Mavis Gumbo confirmed the latest developments, saying the Mighty Warriors are expected to leave Harare this weekend ahead of the clash.
The reverse fixture will be played in Harare in early March with the aggregate winner progressing to the second and final qualifying round where they will meet the winner between Tanzania and Zambia in May.
The Mighty Warriors players arrived back into the country a week ago from Cairo and briefly broke camp before being recalled yesterday. They played two preparatory matches against their Egyptian counterparts, losing the first match 2-3 before winning the second one with a 2-1 scoreline.
The AWC, which will be held in Namibia this October, also serves as a qualification tournament for the 2015 Canada Fifa Women’s World Cup, with the top three teams going through.
Mighty Warriors squad:
C Dzingirai, E Jeke, M Nyaumwe, R Neshamba, R Jongondi, N Majika, S Dube, M Mandara, L Magwede, F Muzongondi, T Mbepo, P Sibanda, M Musasa, R Mutyavaviri, E Msipa, N Ndlovu, P Khumalo, P Mukutya, B Kabwe, D Makaha, R Mutseneki, P Mujuru, T Mandaza, R Makore, K Bhasopo, V Bepete, E Chibanda, M Chirandu, K Chiparaushe, C Muvavarirwa