The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) has named both the boys and girls Under-18 teams to take part in the African Youth Games set for Algiers in Algeria next month.
BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
The players will troop into camp next month where they will play preparatory matches with club sides as they prepare for the tournament.
HAZ secretary-general Sarah Bennet said that the coaches have selected the best team which she hopes will qualify for the Olympics.
“Our players (both boys and girls) have been training. It is my hope that they will do well at the tournament. Our aim is to qualify for the Olympics. Only three teams can qualify from Africa, so we need to make sure we are in the top three,” she said.
Girls’ coach Tendayi Maredza is happy with the ammunition at his disposal and believes the team has what it takes to make an impression.
“We had practice sessions during the holidays with the final travelling team and the non-travelling reserves. We also had practice sessions with the help of the Netherlands coaches that came to Zimbabwe for the St Johns Clinic. Right now, with schools open and the hectic hockey season, we will meet up with the girls every Sunday to have our practice sessions,” he said.
“We will have a camp over the half term in June where we will play senior club teams and hopefully we can get Zambia to come and play friendlies.”
Maredza said preparations are at an advanced stage and the players were excited to participate at the tourney.
“I think we have really done well so far with the preparations and credit goes to the players and the parents for their support and I believe we have a good chance of qualifying for the Olympics because we have a good team.”
Boys: Tatenda Mugore, Brett Hounsell, Taurayi Tugwete, Tony O’Riordan, Tadiwanashe Kamusewu, Ryan Hamalala, Sean Davis and Alec Chamunorwa
Girls: Natalie Terblanche, Ruvimbo Dobbie, Alexei Terblanche, Simone Herbst, Bekezela Mbofana, Lillian Pope, Mercedes Beekes, Mazvita Gwaradzimba and Taya Trivella