We want to push hard for silver medal – Handura… as Namibia confront SA today
WINDHOEK – Despite narrowly losing their opening match of the ongoing African Road to Tokyo 2020, to Kenya, veteran coach of the Namibia women’s hockey team Erwin Handura believes there’s still room for the team to bounce back, push for qualification spot and at least win silver at the competition.
The Namibian ladies suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat against the physical and speedy Kenyans in their opening clash at the ongoing African qualifiers underway in Stellenbosch, South Africa on Monday, which left them rooted bottom of the table tied on zero points with Zimbabwe, who also lost their first match.
Determined and eager to bounce back from Monday’s defeat and hopefully get their campaign back on track, the Namibian ladies will today go toe-to-toe with regional foes South Africa, who are the number one ranked country on the continent.
But according to Handura, his charges are prepared and ready to put up an outstanding performance which will hopefully see them beat South Africa and proceed to the next round.
Speaking to New Era Sport from his Stellenbosch base, Handura said the pool is still open and they still have a good chance to go through to the next round if they rectify and work on the mistakes that saw them slump to a 1-0 defeat against Kenya.
“We had a good training session this morning and also another session all in preparation for South Africa. What we are targeting is to utilise our chances and create more chances so that we can of course put pressure on their defenders. We are also working on penalty corners so that we can be more clinical, because we created more penalty corners in the previous match but we could not score, so we are going to change the variation, we are looking at doing it better,” said a motivated Handura.
He also said the team might be boosted by the arrival of two experienced players, who were expected to arrive in South Africa ahead of the tie.
“Probably I’ll also have another striker Taramarie Myburgh, who is arriving today (yesterday) because she wasn’t there in the opening match. And also we might have the services of Marcia Venter who is a doctor there in Namibia. Venter will probably arrive Thursday morning (this morning), so if those two players join us, that will strengthen our squad because they both possess experience.” Ghana and Kenya lead the group with 4 points, while Namibia and Zimbabwe are both tied at the bottom with zero points. Meanwhile, South Africa who are the host nation are also on zero points but are yet to play a match.
“Zimbabwe and Namibia have lost the opening matches, which puts us at the bottom, but it’s still open for all and we really want to push hard for that qualification spot and or even for the silver medal. We just have to play very well against South Africa and try to get a point, or all three points, and also beat Ghana and finish Zimbabwe off on Sunday. If we do that we might end up having 6 or 7 points, then we are in for a medal,” an optimistic Handura added.
2019-08-15 08:01:14 2 months ago