THE Warriors stepped up their preparations for the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) football tournament with a morning training session at the state-of-the-art Innovative High Performance Centre in Mount Pleasant — a big step for Zimbabwean football towards emulating modern-day training methods which have been adopted by other top professional teams around the world.
REPORT BY TAWANDA TAFIRENYIKA
It’s the first time for the Warriors to train at such a modern facility which has become home to a number of world-class sportspersons.
Ian Gorowa and his men had a workout session with well-respected local fitness expert Grant Mitchell yesterday, but he refused to take questions from the reporters about their training at the magnificent facility.
“Tomorrow (today) is the media day to field their questions. You can ask about all this tomorrow (today). We will be at the training ground,” said Gorowa.
Mitchell, who is the director at the facility, is also the strength and fitness conditioning coach of the national rugby team — the Sables.
The Innovate High Performance Centre is a high quality exercise training facility in the capital. With state-of-the-art training equipment and training facilities as well as highly-qualified fitness experts including dieticians, the Innovate High Performance Centre has become the place to train for a number of top athletes. It also has a multi-purpose field with plush green grass and a state-of-the-art gym.
The South Africa Rugby team, the Springboks duo of Arno Botha and Pierre Spies were there only two months ago using the facility for their training sessions.
Zimbabwean queen of the pool Kirsty Coventry and Olympic rower Micheen Thornycroft also use the facility, while the national 7s and 15s rugby teams are some of the local athletes who frequently use the facility.
The Chan tournament is designed exclusively for home-based players and Gorowa has a strong 29-member squad in camp which will be whittled down to the final 23 before the list is sent to the Confederation of African Football (Caf) before the start of the tournament.
The Warriors will be making their third successive appearance at the biennial soccer showcase having made it to Ivory Coast at its inauguration before earning a berth at the tournament two years later.
Sunday Chidzambwa led the Warriors to Ivory Coast while Madinda Ndlovu was in charge in Sudan. However, Zimbabwe have not managed to go beyond the group stages of the tournament in both their appearances and Gorowa will be looking to go beyond the group stages and win the tournament.
The Warriors are in Group B which also includes Burkina Faso, Uganda and Morocco. The tournament runs from January 11 to February 1.