Katsande salutes Mighty Warriors

HARARE - Captain Willard Katsande says the Mighty Warriors recent success stories will inspire the Warriors to secure a place at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Gabon.

The ladies senior national team, who have already secured a place at this year’s Rio Olympic Games, continued on the ascendency when they booked their place at the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals at the weekend.

Shadreck Mlauzi’s team beat Zambia 4-2 on aggregate in the final qualifying round to become the first team to secure their berth for the finals to be held in Cameroon later this year.

The Warriors are also sitting pretty in Group L of their 2017 Afcon qualifiers as they occupy top spot with eight points after four matches.

Swaziland and Guinea are on five points respectively while Malawi sit at the bottom of the log with only two points.

The Zimbabwe men’s national team last qualified for Africa’s premier football tournament way back in 2006 for the finals held in Egypt.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s need four points from those remaining matches against Malawi (home) and Guinea (away) to book their place in Gabon.

With the Mighty Warriors also flying high on the continent, Katsande believes it will spur on the Warriors to also reach dizzy heights.       

“Obviously, as the Warriors we are very happy with what the Mighty Warriors have achieved,” the Kaizer Chiefs midfielder told the Daily News from South Africa yesterday.

“We understand that they are doing well under difficult circumstances and they have brought a lot of joy and pride to the entire nation.

“I would like to wish them the best when they go and play at the Olympics and the Women’s Afcon finals later this year.

“Their achievements have definitely motivated us to do well and qualify for the Afcon finals.”

Katsande added: “All eyes are now on us, the Warriors because everyone is expecting the team to also qualify since our football looks to be heading in the right direction.”  

The Phefeni Glamour Boys midfield enforcer said the weight of expectation on their shoulders will drive them past the finishing line in Group L. 

“In our Zimbabwean culture; men are expected to do more work than women so what the Mighty Warriors have done has give us a huge challenge,” he said.

“They have done their part and have qualified for the tournament. It is now up to us to also come through and qualify for the Afcon and show the nation that we are a good and capable squad.

“It is a good challenge and I’m sure with the squad we have, we are going to qualify for Gabon.”

Katsande admitted it will not be easy for the Warriors to get those desired four points but none the less, they will try their best.

“At the moment, we are concentrating on the game against Malawi coming up in June,” he said.

“That’s all we need to focus on. Although Malawi are out of the race to win the group; they are not coming to Harare for a holiday and we need to be at our best to get the necessary three points.

“After we win against Malawi that’s when we will start talking about the away game against Guinea.”

Meanwhile, Zifa president Philip Chiyangwa has praised the Mighty Warriors for reaching the finals in Cameroon.

“The road to Yaounde was tricky given the teams we had to face in different rounds. We defeated Tanzania, and Zambia are our latest conquest. We congratulate you girls for writing another piece of history,” he said.

“The duel in Zambia was no easy task given that Zambia were keen to represent southern Africa in the Women’s Afcon championships in Cameroon.”

Chiyangwa added: “As the custodians of local football, we commit ourselves to resource our Mighty Warriors ahead of these important tournaments. We appeal to all the all-weather friends of Zimbabwe football to render all forms of support to the Mighty Warriors.”

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.