Zimbabwe Under-21 women hockey team captain Mutsa Bera said the team was targeting a podium finish at the ninth edition of the rescheduled FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, South Africa next month.
Initially scheduled for December 5 to 16 last year, the biennial field hockey competition had to be postponed following the outbreak of a new coronavirus variant in the host country.
The 16-team FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup will now run from April 1–12 at the same venue.
Zimbabwe has been drawn in Pool A alongside Canada, Netherlands and the United States.
“As a team I think we are looking to push for a podium finish, that is the big goal. But I think it is also just to go out there and learn a lot playing at such a big event,” Bera said in an interview with the International Federation of Hockey media.
“It’s also about taking up the challenge, just going in there and putting up a fight. I think just going in there and enjoying our hockey, making sure that we are having fun as we play. And from there I think we can really be able to play well.
“It’s such a big thing to be able to go out there and make a mark for Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe hockey, to really show how much we have been preparing and how ready we are to do this,” the former Chisipiti Senior School student added.
Zimbabwe will play their first match against Canada on April 1 before entertaining the US the following day. The team will wind up the Pool A fixtures with a date against Netherlands on April 4.
The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe announced a 20-member squad coached by Tendayi Maredza.