Gary Brent pays visit to Zimbabwe U-21 hockey team

Zimbabwe national women’s cricket team head coach, Gary Brent

USED to high intensity competitions as a player and coach, Zimbabwe national women’s cricket team head coach, Gary Brent gladly accepted an invitation from the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) to talk to the Zimbabwe Women-21 as they prepare for the World Cup.

Brent was invited to the camp by the team manager, Carla Jones as the youngsters prepare for the 2023 Junior World Cup which will be held at the end of the year in Santiago, Chile.

The Lady Chevrons gaffer, told Chronicle Sport that he told the country’s next great hockey stars that they should enjoy themselves at the global showpiece and prepare well for the tournament. He added that he taught them how they can deal with pressure.

“My main message was just a lot of mental sorts of tricks with the upcoming World Cup in Chile. So, I just wanted them to really enjoy themselves and obviously prepare themselves well and make a few sacrifices if they want to do well.

“I am hoping that chatting to them about pressure and what pressure is all about will give them an insight on how to maybe, prepare themselves mentally for when that pressure does come and some sort of tactics on how to calm themselves down and just concentrate on things that they can control,” said Brent.

From his time with the team during their practice session which is taking place in the capital, Brent added that the team has been putting in the work and their preparations look well on course and is looking forward to the future.

“From what I gathered they are working hard and preparations are going very well so I look forward to seeing their results in the few months to come. It was a great chat, it was fun,” he said.

Zimbabwe was drawn in Group B of the World Cup alongside Argentina, Korea and Spain. The tournament is set to run from 29 November to 10 December.

The Brad Heuer coached Zimbabwe Under-21 women’s hockey team booked their place to South America after securing a second-place finish in the Africa Junior Cup (AJC) which was held in Ismailia, Egypt, in March.

Heuer’s charges finished with six points from a possible nine while South Africa, who topped the standings won all their three games to secure nine out of nine points. In their three matches at the continental showdown, Zimbabwe lost their opening encounter against South Africa 3-0 before going on to bounce back in the second match, beating the hosts, 4-0. The team ended their campaign on a high note with a thumping 7-0 win over Kenya.

The team’s technical set up is made up of Heuer (head coach), Tapiwa Pongweni and Nicolle Grant (assistant coaches) and Jones (manager). The technical team also has Tiffany Driscoll who is a sports therapist and Kudzanai Tembo, a videographer.

In other related news, HAZ also announced new appointments to the senior national sides’ technical teams. On the men’s side, Tongai Mukwewa was named the head coach and will be assisted by Kudzai Nyabezi while Kiara Cordy was named manager.

Bhavik Chauhan was appointed the senior national women’s team head coach and will be assisted by Bridget Reilly and Chris Fourie. The team’s manager will be Tracy Du Plooy.


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