Gems back under the spotlight
By Ellina Mhlanga
After their impressive debut Netball World Cup appearance, Zimbabwe’s netball team coach Lloyd Makunde says they need to work around the clock to maintain the bar they set at the global stage.
They will take part in the African Championships next month from October 16 to 23 in Cape Town, South Africa.
“Obviously, we are expecting a tough competition considering we had a good run at the World Cup,’’ he said.
“So, almost everyone, including the minnows, would want to beat us since we had a success story at the World Cup.
“We set ourselves a bar, so we have to maintain it. We have to pull up our socks and play better than we did at the World Cup.’’
One of their weak points, exposed during the World Cup, was the height of players.
“We are looking for height. We are going to work on our speed, offensively and defensively,” said Makunde.
The coaches may also need to fill the gaps left by some of the seasoned players, including captain Perpetua Siyachitema, who called time on her playing career after the World Cup.
She is now coaching Kwekwe-based side, Glow Petroleum.
“We knew before we went to the World Cup that she was going to be calling it quits.
“Considering what she did for the team, we have to be thankful for her contributions.
“She is one player who had been there with the team, bringing the team together as the captain.
“She left a legacy and every mid-court player wants to emulate what she did.
“Obviously, there is the vice-captain (Felistus Kwangwa), for now she will have the reins because she has been there,’’ said Makunde. The Chronicle