The Malawi women national football team left the country Wednesday for Lusaka, Zambia, where they will face the Ã¢â‚¬ËœShe-polopolo girlsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ in their first leg match of the 2012 African Women Championships this Saturday.
National coach Temwa Msuku said he is confident that his squad, which has been trimmed from 23 players to 18, will deliver at the continental showpiece.
“I have been impressed with the improvements the girls have so far made during training in terms of fitness and skills. We are going to Zambia with confidence of winning our first game,” said Msuku.
The teamÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s captain Chisomo Kadzisonga said they are ready to take the She-polopolo girls head-on to make strides on the Fifa rankings where they recently slid down from position 126 to 129.
“We are aware that we will qualify for the World Cup if we at least reach the semi-finals at the African Championships. So, we want to make history while marketing ourselves for international professional deals and improving our position on the rankings,” Kadzisonga said.
Led by technical director David Dube, the team, which also has a technical backing of assistant coach Richard Chipungu, team manager Syveria Chalira and team doctor Hilda Phiri, flew to Zambia through the Chileka Airport in Blantyre.
The squad is as follows:Goalkeepers, Thoko Mwase, Chimwemwe Madise and Alice Msiska; Defenders, Eliza ChiphangÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ombe, Aniya Lizi, Charity Chikondi Banda, Tisadane Bokosi, Kadzisonga, Hanna Moses and Chisomo Mickson.
Midfielders; Sungeni Msiska, Violet Chihana, Bridget Mkuzilire, Ringo Dyce and Rina Chipiri. Strikers, Chawinga, Latifa Malunjika and Linda Kasenda.