Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE national junior handball teams are scheduled to meet in Harare ahead of their departure to Mozambique on Friday for friendly matches in Beira over the weekend as they take a step further in their build-up to the IHF Trophy Zone Six in April.
The Zimbabwe Handball Federation engaged Mozambique in a move to give the teams some exposure ahead of the regional competition and the coaches will get to assess the players in a competition situation after holding some periodic camps.
ZHF vice-president Alfos Mhondiwa said the teams will meet tomorrow and Thursday in Harare for some final touches before they leave for Beira on Friday.
The matches are scheduled to take place on Saturday.
“Preparation of the teams is okay. We had our last camp this month, so we have the Under-21 which have been camping every month since September last year. We also have the Under-19 team which was finalised early this month, so the teams are in place. They are meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.
“During the games in Mozambique our coaches are going to assess the players strength and capability. They are also going to test their tactics and combinations as well as the technical mettle, to see where the players can fit under pressure,” said Mhondiwa.
Mhondiwa is convinced that Mozambique, being one of the strong nations in the region when it comes to handball, will give them an insight on what they need to work on and areas they need to improve.
“Mozambique is a handball country, they have better exposure than us so I think we are going to learn a lot from them. We have never had friendlies before and this shows how serious we are (about the IHF Trophy Zone Six),” said Mhondiwa.The local handball mother-body had hoped Swiss coach Rolf Haussener, who has been working with the Under-21 team, will be part of their delegation to Mozambique but he will not be able to make it due to other commitments.
They are now expecting him for next month’s camp as they intensify their preparations for the regional tournament.
Zimbabwe are set to host the Zone Six event from Apri1 24 to 30 and the African Handball Confederation director of sport Noel Assemian was in the country last week to inspect the match venues and accommodation facilities.
The national association picked Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex and City Sports Centre for the matches.
And Assemian highlighted the need to spruce up the facilities, mainly the surfaces among other issues.