Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Gems have returned home from their tour of Uganda where they played four friendly matches against the hosts as part of preparations for the Vitality Netball World Cup set for Liverpool, England, in July.
Despite losing all the matches, coach Lloyd Makunde said they drew a number of positives from the encounters while also identifying some areas they need to improve before heading to their maiden World Cup.
“It was a good trip, we noted that we are not that bad as a country especially considering that we were playing against a higher ranked opponent than us.
“We matched them pound for pound and what gives us satisfaction is that we were not using the same players but trying different combinations and approaches to the game,” said Makunde.
The opening fixture on Sunday ended in a 57-53 win for the hosts, followed by 57-53 and 58-48 wins on Monday as well as Tuesday’s 58-54 victory.
Makunde said they will be working hard in areas they feel they are lacking.
“As we resume our camp and continue with our preparations, we will be working hard on those aspects of the game that we felt we fell short.
“The other aspect we are going to be working on is the psychological aspect of the girls to ensure their mindset is fully focused, even though it’s clear to everyone that the World Cup on its own is a self motivator,” Makunde said.
The Gems are expected back in camp on Sunday as the countdown to Liverpool gathers momentum.
Zimbabwe, who are ranked 13th in the world, are in a tough Group A with the world’s top-ranked team Australia, Northern Ireland (eighth-ranked) and Sri Lanka (16th-ranked).
Meanwhile, more than 70 000 tickets have already been sold for the World Cup final.