HomeSportGems ready for Malawi tourney

Gems ready for Malawi tourney

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BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
THE Zimbabwe senior netball team together with the Under-19 team trooped into camp yesterday as they ramped up their preparations for the tri-nation series scheduled for June 12-16 in Blantyre, Malawi.

The series is part of the Gems’ preparations for the World Cup qualifiers that will be held in South Africa in August.

In Malawi, they will face the hosts as well as Namibia, in a tournament that will have a bearing on world rankings.

Gems manager Agnes Chiroodza believes they put together a good squad capable of glory but stressed that the door was still open for the players that didn’t make it.

“We are going to change and shuffle as per performance. Sharon Bwanali had an injury and she needs time to recover. Nobukhosi Ndlovu was not feeling well and she also needs time to recover, so we will consider them on the next trip. There are other players who failed to make it in the first 12, but have the potential. They should continue to train so that they secure a position on the next first 12,” Chiroodza said.

“This trip to Malawi we are going with the locally-based players then the foreign-based will join us on the next trip in the UK and they are also coming for the World Cup qualifiers in South Africa. We are going to include the foreign based with the likes of Joyce Takaedza and Felistus Kwangwa (pictured).”

Both teams are set to face a tough competition, especially from Malawi who have proved to be a tough opponent for the Gems in their previous meetings.

The Gems coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki said they had a strong squad in place and they were also impressed by the fitness levels.

“The team is strong and the fitness level is high. Three quarters of the squad have been competing in league games and I am not much worried about their fitness,” Mutsauki said.

“In order to gauge the team’s strength we have to see that from their performance at such a stage. But so far, I am happy with the selection and we will see their performance in competitive games because for some of the players, it’s their first time in the national team. But as players who have been in competitive leagues, I am confident they will deliver.”

The Under-19 team manager Stembile Banda also anticipates a tough encounter against Malawi, but remains confident that the team is capable of bringing a positive result.

Both teams will leave the country on Friday and will play their opening matches on June 12 against Namibia.

Gems squad

Claris Kwaramba, Priscilla Ndlovu, Chipo Shoko, Progress Moyo, Sharleen Tanaka Makusha,  (Platinum Queens), Nicole Muzanenhamo (GreenFuel), Tafadzwa Matura (ZDF Queens), Cynthia Gamuchirai (ZRP Mambas Queens), Ursula Ndlovu, Beaulah Hlungwane, Paidamoyo Tinoza (Glow Petroleum) and Tafadzwa Mawango (Correctional Queens).

Under-19 squad

Esther Kasiku, Beyonce Ndaradzi, Queen Mubaira, Faith Chitunda, Thandazile Ndlovu, Natasha Rwambiwa, Vimbai Chibi (captain), Yemurai Seven, Lethukuthula Nxumalo, Praise Garira, Thandiwe Mashore, Faith Mutero

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