Zim take on France in preparation match
THE Zimbabwe Under-21 women’s hockey team rounded their preparations for the Junior World Cup opening match against the United States of America (USA) in Santiago, Chile today with a warm-up draw against France.
The goalless draw against France lifted Zimbabwe’s confidence having lost 2-0 to neighbours South Africa in Tuesday’s warm-up encounter.
Jenna Palmer, Zimbabwe’s fitness coach, said the games against South Africa and France played an important part in boosting the confidence in camp.
“The score line against South Africa did not reflect the true nature of the game. We held them 0-0 in the first half and it was only in the last few moments of the second half that they put in two goals. The girls played their hearts out and displayed brilliant hockey.
“This has been a huge confidence boost for the team because we once lost to South Africa 10-0 in March during
to do well in sport we’ve to identify, nurture and develop talent at grassroots level which are primary schools.
“The turn-up has been great considering that this is the first edition of the primary schools tournament. Our aim is to raise awareness and demonstrate that basketball is a sport with a series of development.
In order to have a better and much stronger team we need to catch these players at a younger age so that we are able to identify and nurture talent. Once we identify talent we will be able to channel these kids in the right direction,” said Ndlovu.
He said 30 teams, including 11 teams from Zambia, Malawi and Botswana have registered to take part in the tournament. Ndlovu urged participants to demonstrate sportsmanship during the four-day event.
“In the senior tournament we expect fireworks because we have teams from Zambia, Malawi and Botswana. For the seniors, this is an opportunity for the players to demonstrate their skills and size each other as they try to impress their national team coaches in preparation for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) competition which is scheduled for February next year,” said Ndlovu — @khumzallen. the qualifiers. It’s a very positive sign and the girls are bonding well as a team. Spirits are high and the girls seem confident of their abilities on the hockey field,” she said.
Zimbabwe are in Pool A together with United States of America (USA), Korea and Netherlands. The top two teams in each of the four groups will progress to the the quarter-finals.
Zimbabwe booked their Junior World Cup place early this year after coming second to South Africa at the Junior African Cup which was held in Windhoek, Namibia.
Zimbabwe are making a return to the global showpiece after 11 years. Team Zimbabwe will have to be at their best to progress to the next stage of the tournament. The Netherlands who are vying for their third Junior World Cup title, having won the 2009 and 2013 editions, are their biggest threat.
The Netherlands also boast of five players who were part of the team which became European Champions in 2014.
Team Zimbabwe: Jordyn Clipstone, Lauren Dent, Carla van Oudtshoorn, Stephanie Campbell (captain), Kelly Diplock, Chelsea Dollar, Aimee-Beth Nativel, Megan Shaxson, Tyler Groenewald, Jessica Dollar, Simone Herbst, Sinead Cockcroft, Sophie MacDonald, Estelle Stambolie, Cheryl Dzapasi, Michelle Kabaira, Simone Machussen, Fariyah Omarshah, Mufaro Mazambani
Technical Team: Patricia Davies (coach), Tendayi Maredza (assistant coach), Jenna Palmer (physiotherapist), Colleen Nativel (team manager) — @khumzallen.