BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Platinum Queens coach Simbarashe Mlambo has raised concern over the new cluster competition approach recently announced by Rainbow Amateur Netball League (RANL) as the first step in the resumption of the game in the country following the COVID-19-induced long break.
RANL announced the format where the participating teams will be grouped to compete in five different venues.
Mlambo said the cluster competition format would be too demanding for players who are coming from a long break and teams will need bigger pools of players to pick from.
“What it means is that many teams will have to rotate their players and they have got to be physically fit and their mental aptitude should be very good,” he said.
“I guess we won’t be playing week in and week out.
“We have been trying to prepare the girls for this and trying to work various and numerous combinations so that at the end of the day, no matter how many games we play, we’ll be able to rotate the squad. They are bound to be prone to injuries and so if you get an injury from a key player, you must have someone to fill in the gap.”
Mlambo said they would soon be testing their players’ preparedness.
“Most probably it’s going to be very difficult for most teams but we have been preparing well and we are going to test our players in a week or so. Just get one or two friendly matches and see how they do under strain or under game conditions,” he said.
Platinum Queens finished in second position last season.
Mlambo implored RANL to pick venues that have good standards for the competition.
“I think RANL should make sure that the different five venues are up to standard. There is always that rain concern later on in the year,” he said.
“But I think it’s a welcome development that we are finally getting to play because at the end of the day everybody just wants to play.”
The fixtures have not been released but the teams that have confirmed participation have upped their preparations.
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