Sports

Gladiators begin preparations for AWCON

Summary

Namibia’s senior national women’s football team, the Brave Gladiators, have begun their preparations in Windhoek for the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco.Namibia will face Zambia in the final qualification round of the 12th editi…

Namibia’s senior national women’s football team, the Brave Gladiators, have begun their preparations in Windhoek for the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations scheduled for Morocco.

Namibia will face Zambia in the final qualification round of the 12th edition of the Women's tournament on a two-legged clash (home and away) between 14 and 23 February 2022.

The Gladiators will play Zambia away first in Lusaka, before playing the return leg in South Africa.

Speaking to Nampa on the sidelines of the team’s morning session on Tuesday, Gladiators coach Woody Jacobs said preparations were going well, with most players in camp.

“We started training last week and everything seems to be going well at the moment besides the obvious challenges faced by the mother body. We would have loved to be in camp late last year, but finances could not allow us to. The girls are working hard, and we hope to have them ready on match day,” Jacobs said.

He added that while star player Zenatha Coleman had indicated that she was retiring from national duty, the door was still open for her to join the team.

“She has an opportunity to be part of a team that will make history. 180 minutes lies between the girls creating that history and it will be nice to have Zenatha here. I am engaging her to try and convince her to come back. Hopefully, she will respond positively,” Jacobs explained.

He said representing one’s country is the highest honour for any football player, and Coleman is no different to any Namibian.

Jacobs further noted that they will also be calling on their foreign legion of Lovisa Mulunga and Veueziua Kotjipati.

The 2020 AWCON had been scheduled to be held in 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will now take place in Morocco between 02 and 23 July and will double up as the African qualifiers for the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The top four teams will qualify for the World Cup, and two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation playoffs.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency