HomeSportGems on rebuilding exercise

Gems on rebuilding exercise

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BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Zimbabwe senior netball team coach Lloyd Makunde has started rebuilding the team and will incorporate younger players in the upcoming Pent Series.

The series is scheduled for November 1-5 in Windhoek, Namibia, and will see six nations competing.

Zimbabwe will join Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Makunde said he incorporated some new players so as to prepare a better squad that is fit for the competition.

“We are building a team for the future, hence bringing in young blood in the team. Of course, we’ll be adding new players as long as they are good enough,” he said.

Makunde added Nobukhosi Ndlovu, Nokhutula Mbano, Sinethemba Ncube, Lynnet Tanhira, Beatrice Busu, Priscilla Ndlovu, Tafadzwa Matura, Paidamoyo Tinoza and Tatenda Dziva to the initial 17-member squad.

The Gems will be looking to use the series to improve their rankings.

Currently, Zimbabwe sit on 12th position in world rankings and Malawi (6) and Uganda (7) are the two teams ranked higher than them at the tournament.

Makunde is concerned about his players’ fitness levels considering that they only started playing competitively two weeks ago, having been idle for almost two years due to
COVID-19.

The Gems last played a competitive game at the 2019 African Championships hosted by South Africa.

“The preparations are going on well. The challenge is that players have been idle for quite some time, so the fitness levels are a bit challenging,” Makunde said.

“The squad is gelling well and we’re still working on it.”

The Pent Series was established in 2017 and the Gems won the opening edition.

GEMS FIXTURES

November 1; Malawi vs Zimbabwe

November 2; Zimbabwe vs Kenya

November 3; Zimbabwe vs Uganda

November 4; Zimbabwe vs Namibia

November 5; Zambia vs Zimbabwe

Follow Magreth on Twitter@MagrethRuzvidzo

 

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