Mutsauki- Fitness levels picking up, as Gems intensify preps

The Zimbabwe senior national netball team (Gems) coach, Ropafadzo Mutsauki, is happy with his charges’ fitness as they prepare for the upcoming Netball World Cup.

However, he believes there is still much work to be done.

The Netball World Cup will be held from July 28–August 6 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa.

The Gems, are currently in camp at Girls High as they intensify their preparations.

“They are doing fine,” Mutsauki told Netzim.

“During our first camp, our main focus was to establish a solid foundation and further enhance the players’ fitness. And I can safely say we achieved that part. And also, the fact that our players have been active in their respective clubs means that we are now focusing on other aspects of the game.”

Mutsauki highlighted the positive progress made thus far.

“We are now focusing on the combinations and ball work,” he said.

“Overall, I am satisfied with the players’ reactions. There are no major injuries that we can be worried about; it’s still early days; the team spirit is high; and we are open to improvements in every aspect,” Mutsauki stated.

Asked about the issue of foreign-based players and whether they would be able to catch up with the rest of the teams, he said, “I don’t see any challenges trying to mix them (foreign-based players) with the other local players, its not like they are new to the sport.”

The Gems have since started engaging in friendly games against the men’s team, and over the weekend they played a series of games about which Mutsauki said:

“We played against the men’s team over the weekend, and the players did fairly well. The fact that we managed to stand up against the boys a week after we started training This says a lot about the caliber of players we have in camp. I am sure that by the time the tournament arrives, we will be up to the task.”

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