Zim take on France in prepa­ra­tion match

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Allen Khu­malo Sports Reporter

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.

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