The Sunday Mail
THE Zimbabwe Under-21 women’s team is set to enter the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) Women’s Junior World Cup as underdogs, a fact that head coach Bradley Heuer seems to have accepted.
The tournament begins on Wednesday and runs until December 10, 2023.
Heuer has since set realistic targets for the team.
Zimbabwe, who are in Pool B at the biennial event, will square off against Argentina, the Republic of Korea and Spain in the group stages.
Unfortunately, Zimbabwe are the lowest-ranked team in their group.
“Being ranked a lot lower than them (the rest of the group) is obviously a tough feat for us,” said Heuer.
“The target, going into the tournament, will be to repeat or better our last World Cup performance, when we finished 12th.
“That is the sort of thing we are aiming for.”
Zimbabwe have been in Chile for almost 10 days and have played a couple of scrimmage matches against local Chilean clubs.
However, Heuer did not have all his charges for the camp.
But he appears to be happy with the progress so far.
“Motivating and inspiring the girls has been pretty easy, as this is a big tournament, and the girls know that,” he said.
“The team is really excited, and they will be up for the challenge.”
Zimbabwe open their World Cup account on Wednesday when they play the Republic of Korea.
Spain are their next opponent on December 1, after which they wrap up their group games with a clash against Argentina on December 4.
FIH Women’s World Cup Pools
Pool A: Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, Chile
Pool B: Argentina, Republic of Korea, Spain, Zimbabwe
Pool C: Germany, India, Belgium, Canada
Pool D: England, United States, New Zealand, Japan