Veronica Gwaze in Pretoria, South Africa
ZIMBABWE senior netball team head coach, Lloyd Makunde, has showered praises on the Government for making their trip to South Africa a success despite the challenges weighing heavily on the economy.
The Gems will be battling it out with the Spar Smileys today at the University of Pretoria and the gaffer is optimistic of positive takeaways.
“Firstly, I say kudos to our Government for the support it is giving to us, contrary to malicious reports that the Gems are being neglected.
“Despite our economy, they (Government) are ensuring that all is in order and they are fulfilling our wishes which was to have, at least, three friendlies before the World Cup.
“We are very grateful and putting everything into this is what we need to do, in fact, at the World Cup we are looking forward to going beyond the group stages and that will be our gift to the Government for standing by us.’’
Makunde said the Gems should be wary of their opponents and leave no room for complacency.
The Spar Smileys are made up to the locally-based Spar Proteas.
“We’re looking forward to playing our first game against the locally-based Proteas and we need to make sure we have no room for complacency because they are equally a force,’’ said Makunde.
“The game is as tough as they come, they are part of the Spar Proteas and, for that fact, their play is not different in any big way save for that the other players have international experience.’’
Zimbabwe brought a 16-member squad.
“We brought a big number of players, it’s the best platform to see how they all perform against quality competition.
‘’We are still in the process of building up for the World Cup, therefore, such competitions are critical because we want the best possible combinations for our World Cup squad,” he said.