W'e will do country proud: Katsande

HARARE - Warriors skipper Willard Katsande said they are excited about participating at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament and are ready to make the country proud by making it past the group stages.

Kalisto Pasuwa’s charges are currently in camp and have since intensified their preparations with only 10 days left before the tournament kicks off in Gabon.

The Warriors are scheduled to leave for Cameroon at the weekend for their final international friendly match on January 10 in Yaounde against the Indomitable Lions and Pasuwa is expected to announce the 23-man squad that will travel to Gabon today.

And while acknowledging that the Warriors who are the lowest ranked in the group will be underdogs, Katsande is not writing his team off completely and is adamant they can go and do the nation proud.

“We have to make our country proud. This is Afcon and we all know what is at stake. The tournament itself motivates us to do well and we are only focusing on playing football at the moment,” Katsande said.

“We are enjoying ourselves working hard. The atmosphere is good; remember we are professionals we have told ourselves that we need to go do well and hopefully we can do just that.”

In Gabon, the Warriors are in Group B alongside continental powerhouses Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia with the matches being staged at the Stade de Franceville in Franceville.

Algeria and Tunisia are former African champions while Senegal remain African giants and boast of some of the best talent who ply their trade in European leagues.

On paper, it’s one of the toughest groups of the tournament but Pasuwa will know that at this level of the game there are no easy assignments and rankings count for nothing.

Katsande is of the view that all their opponents pose the same threat.

“To be honest, all the three matches are going to be tough but it is us who can only make it easy in terms of how we will apply our game plan,” Katsande said.

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