Take a bow Mighty Warriors

A team on the rebound. That was the Mighty Warriors last year. The resurgent national women’s football team gave fans something to smile about.

Rosemary Mugadza: women’s soccer captain
Rosemary Mugadza: women’s soccer captain

Administrators and the technical team this week promised a future that shines brighter. Already, the Rosemary Mugadza-led side can claim to be the most successful soccer team of 2011.

They failed to qualify for the London Olympics, but their COSAFA triumph and qualification for the Maputo All-Africa Games was worth celebrating.

Mugadza was elated. “We are now ranked 11th on the continent and will continue to rise,” she said. “We want to atone for our Olympics failure by qualifying for the African Women’s Championships.”

Fans said the male version of the sport should take a leaf from women’s soccer boss, Mavis Gumbo, who resuscitated women soccer from the “intensive care”.

“We will continue to source sponsorship for the Women Premier League, which has supplied the bulk of national team players,” said Gumbo.

“When I took over, there were no tangible structures, but we managed to ‘resurrect’ the feeder women’s league. We are not yet there, but have made significant strides and the results are there for all to see.”

Mugadza hailed the players’ perseverance and hard work. “The players are motivated and thirsty for success,” she said.

“They worked hard all year and beat bogey sides like South Africa’s Banyana Banyana to shrug off the perennial whipping girls tag.”

The side capped the fine year by thrashing arch-rival South Africa 3-0 and clinching the Unity Cup in December last year. Fans called on the male version of the sport to follow suit.

“We are happy with our women’s team, but we are disappointed with ZIFA because their squabbles cost the Warriors, especially the Zimbabwe- Cape Verde tie, where the decision on co-coaches back fired and cost the nation a place at AFCON 2012,” said Arnold Zveushe.

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