Brave Gladiators coach Jacqui Shipanga has never felt as confident going into a qualifier and assures football lovers and the country at large that her charges are ready to take on Zambia for their 2016 CAF Women African Cup of Nations preliminary first leg qualifiers in Lusaka on Sunday.
The Gladiators have been in camp for about two weeks, with 27 players initially called up, but Shipanga yesterday trimmed the squad somewhat before announcing the travelling 19 players.
“I’m very happy that we had two weeks of camp, which is a great luxury for us. The Women Super League has also helped a lot and the team managed to play three competitive matches. I’ve never been this confident before a qualifier and the spirit in the camp is ever encouraging.”
Shipanga adds that the discipline of the players is very high and they are raring to go.
“Look, it’s been a while since we played a competitive international game and the ladies are ready for this game. Most of the players played against Zambia when we beat them 2-0 in the AFCON of 2014 at Sam Nujoma Stadium and they are aware that things have changed and they will handle it differently,” Shipanga explained.
The Gladiators will leave for Zambia today ahead of their Sunday clash. The return leg will be played on Friday, March 18 at 16h00, also at Sam Nujoma Stadium. The winner will play Tanzania or Zimbabwe in the second and final round of qualifications on route to Cameroon 2016.
The travelling players are:
Goalkeepers: Agnes Kauzuu and Mellissa Matheus. Defenders: Uerikondjera Kasaona, Ndapewa Katuta, Stacey Naris, Ester Amukwaya, Lovisa Mulunga and Lorraine Jossob. Midfielders: Thomalina Adams, Emma Naris, Anouska Kordom, Juliana Skrywer, Juliana Blou, Vistorine Shangula, Memory Ngonda, Veweziwa Kotjipati. Strikers: Zenatha Coleman, Anna Shikusho and Stella Williams.