THE Zimbabwe Handball Federation are set to take the Under-18 and Under-20 trials to Midlands and Masvingo next month before they can start periodic camps in preparation for the International Handball Federation Trophy Zone Six.
Zimbabwe are expected to host the regional tournament from April 25 to 30, 2022.
Under-18 and Under-20 coaches, Alan Mandeya and Cephas Mushati, led trials in Harare and Bulawayo just over a week ago and indications were they are likely to begin periodic camps either at the end of January or early February.
However, ZHF technical director, Farai Gwisai, yesterday said they are now set to have another round of trials in Masvingo and Midlands before the periodic camps take off.
“At the moment we have done trials for the two age groups. Already we had some players graduating from Under-16 to Under-18, and Under-18 to Under-20. So we had trials to check if we could get new players that can make it into the team.
“We are also going to have another round of trials at the beginning of January, this so for Under-20. Under-18s most of them are still writing exams so we can wait and conclude end of January.
“So from February going into March, we will then have periodic camps because by then we will have our team in place,” said Gwisai.
Gwisai admitted lack of activity in the last two years is their main drawback and will need some time to get the players into shape.
“The challenge now is that most of the players are not that fit to match the standards. So at the moment we are pushing hard for their conditioning, for their fitness level to improve. Then I think around February that’s when we will be talking about the tactic side of it.
“So we have to work hard on conditioning the players to get to the fitness level we want then work on the tactic aspect around February,” said Gwisai.
The players that were selected during the trials in Harare and Bulawayo were given a training programme to guide them until the group trainings begin.
Meanwhile, the local organising committee led by secretary general Edson Chirowodza was set to have their second meeting yesterday to come up with a roadmap on how preparations to host the tournament will proceed.
Zimbabwe were initially given the green light to host the regional tournament in 2020 but it could not take place because of the Covi-19 pandemic.
However, after getting this opportunity to host next year’s edition, the local handball family is hoping they will not face the same challenge again.