A pre-tournament press conference was held with six of the first round coaches at the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup on Friday.
With the tournament set to kick-off on Saturday, here are some selected thoughts of the coaches present.
The COSAFA Castle Cup competition runs from June 11-25 and begins at the Sam Nujoma Stadium on Saturday when Zimbabwe play Swaziland take on Seychelles and Madagascar.
Harris Bulunga, Swaziland coach
“It is a tough draw for us, our worry is not only Zimbabwe but the other two teams from the islands, Seychelles and Madagascar. We will take it one match at a time, the recent matches against Zimbabwe won’t count for much. It’s a different tournament, a different mentality and we are bringing different teams. Our team is probably 75-80% of the team that we had when we met in March. It’s a different ball-game, our aim is to progress to the knockout stages.”
Calisto Pasuwa, Zimbabwe coach
“It’s great for me to be at the COSAFA Castle Cup, remember I was a player in the tournament in the past, so I wanted to be there also as a coach. In terms of continuity, we want to see how these players respond when I am around, my presence needs to be there to see how they perform.”
Auguste Raux, Madagascar coach
“Our objective is to do better than last year. Last year we finished third, this year we try to go to the final. The team has 10 players that played in the last edition, so for the 2016 COSAFA Castle Cup we have half a new squad.”
Ernest Mtawali, Malawi coach
“It was a humiliating [0-3] defeat against Zimbabwe, but we have kept the same squad, maybe with just one change. We are very critical of our performance whenever we play. We were competitive against Namibia [in a 0-0 draw] but I personally feel we didn’t do that well. We still working to try and improve on our mistakes, by the time we face Angola on Sunday, we will be ready to go far in this tournament.”
Ralph Jean-Louis, Seychelles coach
“It’s going to be a very difficult match for us against Madagascar. We have 10 players who were at the last edition of the COSAFA Castle Cup and we expect to showcase Seychelles football. We have made some progress, we want to play a good match against Madagascar and later progress to the next stage of the competition.”
Joe Tshupula, Mauritius coach
“We are really happy to be here, we are trying to improve football in Mauritius and we have had some good results in the African Nations Cup qualifiers. For the young squad we have, the COSAFA Castle Cup will be really good for us to grow as a team.”