Brave Gladiators race against time
Brave Gladiators coach Jaqueline Shipanga has pressed the panic buttons ahead of her side’s clash with Zambia’s Chipolopolo in the first round qualifiers for this year’s Africa Women Cup of Nations in March.
Shipanga who was the helm of the Brave Gladiators in the 2014 CAF African Women Championship held in Windhoek which saw Namibia beat Zambia 2-0 is uncomfortable that her side has not started with preparations for the qualifiers thus far.
“I will not want to lose to Zambia after we beat them 2-0 in the last championship here at home. It will be steps backwards. But we don’t have resources to start with camp and the ladies are very unfit and we need funds from somewhere for us to start with this new campaign to reach Cameroon 2016”, Shipanga said.
She added that the worrying factor was that Zambia has been in and out of camp since last November and the Gladiators are yet to commence.
“We gave the girls a program for the during the festive season but as you can see, they are very unfit and it is our responsibility to make sure that they are top shape in time to face Zambia. The last time we were in camp was when we went to Spain and that is like five months ago. We need to have an international friendly match before the Zambia fixture. After 2014 we have two players off to Europe and if we can make it to Cameroon we can have more players and that will also bode well for our development structures. We need help,” cried Shipanga.
Last year The Confederation of African Football released the fixtures for the women’s continental football spectacle qualifiers and seven teams will emerge from the qualifiers of the Africa Women Cup of Nations to join hosts Cameroon for the final tournament scheduled for 19 November to 3 December 2016.
Namibia host Zambia in the first leg on 4,5 or 6 March 2016, with the return fixture set for 18, 19, or 20 March. The winner of the Namibia vs Zambia tie will go on to face either Tanzania or Zimbabwe for a place in Cameroon.