Continuity, chemistry key for Zimbabwe women’s hockey team

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Zimbabwe women's hockey team players pose for a group photo before their departure for Ghana on Friday

Zimbabwe’s national women’s hockey team captain Mary Houghton believes the togetherness and bond created amongst the players in the team during their lengthy preparation will stand them in good stead ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) which begins in Ghana on Monday.

The Patricia Davies-coached team left the country today for Accra, Ghana where they will compete in the continental championships which run until January 23.

The senior women’s side has been working together for some time, since the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers that were held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in August 2019 and team skipper Mary Houghton is confident that this will serve them well in their quest for a podium finish.

“We have been training probably for two years now since the Road to Tokyo, the Olympic qualifiers in Stellenbosch. Not much of the team has changed since then, five new people have come in. Our goal is to have a podium finish. So we are hoping to finish in the top three,” said Houghton

The team is under the guidance of coach Patricia Davies and she expressed satisfaction with the work they have put in for the continental event.

Zimbabwe are in Pool A together with South Africa, Namibia and Uganda while Pool B consists of the hosts Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

They get their campaign underway with a clash against South Africa on Monday.

They then take on Uganda the following day and conclude their pool games against Namibia on January 19.

From the pool matches, there will be cross-pool play-offs and then the final games to determine the final rankings.

Zimbabwe Team: Georgia Allardice, Amy-Lee Levey, Mary Houghton (C), Belinda Marais, Jordyn Clipstone, Jenna Mathieson (GK), Tinodiwanashe Elijah, Farirai Nengare, Nicolle Grant, Jenna Palmer, Simone Herbst, Lillian Pope, Natasha Hess, Alexei Terblanche, Iman Johnson, Natalie Terblanche, Kelly-Ann Kaulback, Michelle Williams.

Non-travelling: Victoria Janda (GK), Christina Kondos, Devon Turner, Rumbidzai Zimuto.

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