Indoor hockey side lacks proper finishing

By John Tuerijama

Although the senior national indoor hockey

team recently topped the visiting Zambian team, head coach Erwin Handura believes there is still much work to do on the finishing of the strikers.

Reflecting on the team’s performance against Zambia, the hockey mentor said they experimented with var- ious systems as six of the players are based in neighbouring South Af- rica. He said this made it difficult to do thorough preparations as only half of the team’s players are based in the country.

During their stint against Zambia here in the capital, Namibia’s female indoor hockey team conceded three goals while in total they amassed 14 goals. “We have worked on a couple of combinations against Zambia but now with

the South African match we are working on implementing a system that will give us victory, but it is important we work on our finishing.”

The national indoor women’s team is scheduled to leave for South Africa on 23 May, with matches lined-up for 24 and 25 May. The team will use the international friendly matches as preparation for the 2020 Olympic Games qualification campaign from 19 to 27 June in Valencia, Spain.

Namibia is pitted against Belarus, Canada and Spain in that con- test, while South Africa will fight for top honours against Italy, Thailand and Wales. The top two teams will automatically qualify for the Tokyo Summer Games, but the African Olympic hopefuls will have another go at securing entry to the Summer Games at the Africa Cup of Nations slated for August in South Africa. Looking at Namibia’s chances in the qualification campaign Handura said they have a 50/50 chance to make it to Tokyo, as he was not too worried about the ranking bragging rights. “As far as I am concerned, ranking is just numbers based on past performances, but what matters is how you prepare. I currently have 14 players training four times a week and they

are playing friendly games against the men’s hockey team, working on their speed and competitiveness.”

Arguably Namibia’s most decorated hockey coach, Handura said the team has financial backing from government through the Namibia Sports Commission and that he is confident of a good showing during the 2020 Olympic qualification phase.