Gladiators to lean on foreign based players
13 September 2017 | Sports
The tournament will run from today to 24 September and the team will depend on the experience of European based duo Zenatha Coleman who plies her trait for Lithuana and Veweziwa Kotjipati who plays for Germany.
Coleman helped her side Gintra University in northern Lithuania win the Baltic Women's Football League. She is the top goal scorer for her side and remains the only Namibian footballer to be nominated for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women Footballer of the Year award, after her outstanding display for the Brave Gladiators at the 2014 African Women Championship. Kotjipati, who plays for club Armenia Bielefeld, brings high level of discipline, commitment and hard work to the team as well.
The two are expected to aid the team through the group stages as the Gladiators are heading to their third regional football showpiece with a lack of game time.
This however, does not deter coach Brian Isaacs who is positive the ladies will emerge from the group stage.
“I'm positive the ladies will do us proud in Zimbabwe. We have done all we could in terms of preparations and they have what it takes to reach the next round. Facing Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa will be challenges we need to overcome as a team and the ladies know they need to believe in their own abilities for us to achieve this,” Isaacs explained before departure.
He also said that the European duo of Coleman and Kotjipati bring a new dimension to the team and gives confidence to the other players.
Captain of the team Uerikondjera Kasaona said the team spirit is great. Preparations for the tournament went well. “We are not here to participate but to compete and I'm positive that we will bring something home,” she said speaking from Bulawayo.
After today's game the team will face South Africa on 15 September and finish off against Lesotho on 17 September.
The Gladiators squad: Agnes Kauzuu, Melisa Matheus, Iina Katuta, Uerikondjera Kasaona (captain), Twelikondjela Amukoto, Stacey Naris (vice-captain), Lorraine Jossop, Ester Amukwaya, Vewe Kotjipati, Juliana Skrywer, Millicent Hikuam, Thomalina Adams, Zenatha Coleman, Memory Ngonda, Shirley Cloete, Lovisa Mulunga, Elmarie Fredericks, Elina Uulumbu, Anna-Marie Shikusho and Twanyanyukwa Anstino.
–Additional reporting NFA
TROUBLE MAKER: Zenatha Coleman will be one to watch at the tournament.