U21 team unfazed by defenders drop out
THE Zimbabwe Under-21 netball squad technical bench is not panicking over the dropping out of two defenders from the team due to age ahead of the World Cup finals set for Botswana next year, as they have identified able replacements.
Defenders Sithembile Chitiva and Felistas Kwangwa have been ruled out of the jamboree as they will be over 21 years next year, despite playing a pivotal role in the qualifiers held in Botswana this year.
Zimbabwe Netball Association (Zina) developmental coach Menfree Tanyanyiwa confirmed the duo had been dropped, but the coaches had planned for it.
“The national team coaches were aware of this and had identified some replacements. To ensure that these replacements were ready for the World Cup, they took three of the players with them to Botswana for the qualifiers, although they were not part of the official squad, they watched the games from the terraces. This helped the girls get an appreciation of the level of competition,” said Tanyanyiwa.
He said the Zimbabwe National Youth Games had also provided an excellent platform for talent identification, with the coaches again identifying some new talent from the provinces.
“Some will be drafted into Under-20 squad that will compete at the Region Five tournament in Angola in December.
“This will give these girls a chance to compete at the highest level as a team and improve coordination. Most of these players are attached to teams, some of which are in the Super League, and I hope they will stay in shape and be continuously developed,” said Tanyanyiwa.
Zimbabwe were drawn in Group B together with 2013 losing finalists Australia, Barbados, Singapore and South Africa.
The finals will run from July 8-16, 2017, and 20 countries will take part — @skhumoyo2000.