After missing out on last year’s Africa Netball Championships, Zimbabwe’s vice captain Clara Gumbo has vowed to make the difference in the team’s bid to qualify for next year’s World Cup.
Zimbabwe is set to leave for Botswana tomorrow for the Africa Netball Championships, which is also serving as the World Cup qualifier, from September 13-20 in Gaborone.
Two best performing teams in Botswana will join already the qualified Malawi and South Africa to the World Cup in Sydney, Australia.
Gumbo, who unfortunately missed out on last year’s tournament after her mother passed on the eve of Zimbabwe’s first match, is hoping to make positive contributions to the Gems.
“I am there for the team and would like to make a difference,” she told The Sunday Mail on the sidelines of their final training session at Reserve Bank Sports Club yesterday.
“We are really happy with our preparations, we are a strong team in all quarters and we would want to continue improving,”
The final 14 member squad has seven new faces in Nehanda’s incisive mid court player Yvonne Madzikangava, experienced Daphine Agere of Glow Petroleum, Cynthia Gamuchirai (Mambas Queens), Pauline Mutandwa (Tenax Queens), Felistus Kwangwa (Khami Prisons), Sheila Manyatela and Catherine Kwekulu (Hwange Colliery).
Gumbo believes senior players will need to contribute significantly and help out some of the inexperienced members.
“We have very high moral in camp, the new comers are quite impressive and they will need our support to gel. We are encouraging them not to be intimidated at the big stage,” she said.
Zimbabwe, who are ranked 26th in the world, are placed in group A alongside hosts whom they play first on Sunday, 14th ranked Tanzania and Kenya (not ranked).
Group B contains Uganda (15th), Namibia (28th), Zambia (22nd) and Swaziland (not ranked).
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