Zim U-19 netball team happy with preps

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BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO

Zimbabwe Under-19 netball team coach Simbarashe Mlambo is happy with the progress the team has made so far as they wind up their first training camp.

The team is preparing for the Region Five games that are scheduled for later this year in Malawi.

Mlambo, who is also the coach for Platinum Queens, said the co-ordination of the players had proved to be less challenging so far since most of the players were playing in the Premier Netball League (PNL).

“We do have a balanced squad, but it looks as if the defence is very good and they have given us a lot of options and variety in their playing. Most of them are coming from clubs that are in the PNL — specifically Platinum Queens and Green Fuel. Their co-ordination has just improved and we also have a girl from ZDF Queens, who is really doing well. She is partnering well with other defenders and that is one area we are happy with. We’ll be looking at beefing up our midfield, specifically looking at the height so that we match the likes of South Africa, Malawi and other powerhouses in the sport,” Mlambo said.

“We are in a good place in our preparations and the progress we have made so far. It was a good call for the Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZINA) to call this camp with players coming from right around the country. We have a beautiful midfield and defence, probably just looking more on the height issues in the midfield and shooting area.”

The squad still has four more days in camp before being released back to their clubs.

“I think aggression, anticipation in the midcourt and transitions around the ball are some areas we need to work on, but these young people are very easy to bend to your wheels. They have been really trying their best and we are just improving them as we go,” he said.

Meanwhile, Platinum Queens will host ZDF Queens, Masvingo Stars and Beitbridge Border on Saturday in the PNL second bubble.

Mlambo said his current under-19 assignment won’t affect his team as it can work well with limited supervision.

“Platinum Queens is a professional club. They have done so well even without supervision, so I think credit goes to the captains who have always managed to be there and co-ordinate with me and my assistant, Sithembile Banda, who is also the team manager for the Under-19s. There is communication always on what they have achieved and what they want to do,” Mlambo said.

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