The senior women side moved into luxurious boarding at the Yadah Hotel yesterday after ZIFA partner Prophet Walter Magaya availed his complex, including the training ground, to the team.
Magaya welcomed the Mighty Warriors to his five-star complex last night just after the team had had its dinner. Sibanda has been in camp with 30 players since August 20 before trimming the squad to 25 and finally a group of 20 yesterday.
The coach has included regulars such as goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai, defenders Nobuhle Majika, Sheila Makoto and Lynett Mutokuto in the team. Midfielders Marjory Nyaumwe, captain Talent Mandaza and Eunice Chibanda as well as striker Rutendo Makore are all part of the final 20.
Sibanda also injected new blood into team by drafting in upcoming goalkeeper Precious Mudyiwa, midfielder Vimbai Mharadzi and the the pair of Susan Nyama and Priviledge Mupeti.
The Mighty Warriors coach is optimistic her charges will deliver. "They have done well. Part of them, of course, they have done well in the past and part of them, you know, when it's your first time really to come to the national set-up at times you are bound to lose some belief in yourself because you are just not used to the set-up.
''But I am actually satisfied, most of them have done really well. "Obviously, we are ready for this tournament, we are really ready. As we approach this tournament we are just going to take each game as it comes.
"But we are going to do well, I can see us doing well in this tournament because the players have shown a lot of improvement and they have shown a lot of enthusiasm in our training sessions," said Sibanda.
Zimbabwe take on Madagascar in their first game on Wednesday in Group A. They will then clash against rivals Zambia on September 15 and wrap-up their group games with a date against Malawi two days later. All Group A matches will be at Barbourfields.
Sibanda said their first game is key in setting the tone for the tournament . ''First games really are important as they will set the tone for you. When you get a good result against Madagascar also the confidence among the players can be boosted unlike when you lose and you will need to pick yourselves up,'' she said.
Mandaza, who captained the team at the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon last year where they were eliminated in the group stages, is praying for a better show this time around. "At the Africa Cup we didn't play very well but I am just hoping this time around we will get something
"It's a mixture of experienced and youthful side, so the time we had together will help us when we play the tournament. And we will try our level best to win the Cup," said Mandaza.
Group B consists of East African guest nation Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Swaziland. Three-time champions South Africa are up against Namibia, Lesotho and Botswana.
The top team in each group and the best-placed runner-up will advance to the semi-finals.
Goalkeeper: Chido Dzingirai, Manyara Mandara, Precious Mudyiwa.
Defender: Nobuhle Majika (vice-captain), Danai Bhobho, Rufaro Machingura, Sheila Makoto, Nobukhosi Ncube, Lynett Mutokuto.
Midfielders: Eunice Chibanda, Rejoice Kapfumvuti, Marjory Nyaumwe, Daisy Kaitano, Vimbai Mharadzi. Talent Mandaza (captain).
Strikers: Rutendo Makore, Ethel Chinyerere, Priviledge Mupeti, Susan Nyama, Berita Kabwe.
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