Hockey aspirants get chance to show talent

14 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Hockey aspirants get chance to show talent HAZ are looking at selecting between 30 to 35 players.


Ellina Mhlanga

ASPIRING hockey players will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and earn a place in the national Under-21 women’s team when the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe holds an open squad training next week in Harare.

The training sessions are due to take place on June 22 and 23 at St John’s Educational Trust Astro Turf.

It will be led by the Under-21s women’s team coach Brad Heuer.

Speaking to Zimpapers Sports, Heuer said the training is open to all interested players who believe they have the potential and wish to be part of the team.

“It is just an open session for all Under-21 players who want to try out for the team.

“We will probably just split them into teams and let them play so the selectors can watch,” said Heuer.

The training marks the beginning of a build-up towards the Junior Africa Cup (JAC) to be held later this year.

The continental tournament is also serving as a qualifier for next year’s FIH Hockey Junior World Cup.

“The Junior Africa Cup (World Cup Qualifiers for 2025) is supposedly being held in October this year.

“The details on dates or venues are not out yet,” said Heuer.

HAZ are looking at selecting around 30 to 35 players. The squad will be trimmed as they continue with their assessments before coming up with the final team.

“It will be quite a large squad to begin with, and we will cut it down in the months to follow. Probably around 30-35 players.

“And then we will continue to have squad training sessions,” said Heuer.

The Under-21 women’s side has over the years represented the nation well after qualifying for the Junior World Cup in 2005, 2016, 2021, and 2023.

They earned their ticket to the global competition held in Santiago, Chile last year when they came second behind South Africa at the Junior Africa Cup staged in Egypt.

Zimbabwe were placed 14th out of the 16 participating countries at the Junior World Cup.

They dropped two places from their performance at the 2021 edition held in South Africa where they finished on position 12, which remains their best show at this level so far.

However, more can still be done including more competition and game time for the junior side to also leave a mark when they compete at such a big stage as the Junior World Cup.

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