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Upbeat Under-17 girls take on Zimbabwe

KABELO BORANABI
Battle ready: Under -17 captain, Lorato Motlogelwa (left) and coach, Tapaphiwa Gaebolae addressing the media PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
The Under-17 girls begin their 2020 Women's World Cup journey this evening when they face Zimbabwe at the National Stadium.

The team is on the back of a very successful 2019 after reaching the semi finals at the inaugural Under-17 Women’s COSAFA Championships and coach, Tapaphiwa Gaebolae is looking to go a step further.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Gaebolae whose side has been in camp over the festive season, hopes to continue last year’s exploits.  “We have long started in March with a talent identification programme. We had 30 players making the final cut that we are working with. We had a chance to play at the Under-20 COSAFA (Women’s Championships) with this squad,” she said.

“We finished fourth at the Under-17 COSAFA. This has all been part of our preparations. We had our camp over the holidays; we took a break on December 31 and retuned on January 3. We have been working on fitness since the girls last played an international match in September.”  Gaebolae also said she would have liked to have an international friendly game as she anticipates a difficult clash against the neighbours.

“We have been working very hard for this match, we

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are ready to face Zimbabwe. We did not play any international friendly game like we have wanted but we played two games (against local teams). In those games, we tried combinations and style of play, I believe we are ready for the match. I have to say, I do not know what Zimbabwe are about, they remain a closed book to us, as we are to them,” she said.

For her part, the team’s captain, Lorato Motlogelwa said the mood in the camp was at peak as they look for a positive home results against Zimbabwe in the preliminary round encounter.

“We have that fighting spirit in the camp. We believe that they are on equal footing as us, so we want to do the job here before we visit them for the away game. The morale has been high since the first day, from us the players to the technical team,” she explained. The duo pleaded for support from the public. Kick-off for the game is at 6pm and entry is free of charge.



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