By Muziwethu Hadebe
KHUMALO HOCKEY STADIUM in Bulawayo hosted yet another successful International Hockey series Open Tournament for men and women that saw four nations including Zimbabwe take part during the first weekend of December.
The other three nations were Egypt who won the men’s tournament unbeaten, Namibia and unranked Zambia.
Credit should go to the local organizing committee headed by Kalpesh Parshotam for managing the event well and adding another cap to Bulawayo’s sporting events organizational skills.
Mysports shares some of the lessons it picked from the three day event and hopes the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe learnt one or two things from the engagement with these nations.
What they said about stadium;
Sue Simmonds- Tournament Technical Director
“This Khumalo Hockey stadium is phenomenal, it is world class in my view and it has made running the tournament easy, many thanks to the Local Organizing Committee, I think we should have more tournaments here in Bulawayo”.
Gus McVey- Zimbabwe Hockey Women’s Coach
“The future of Zimbabwe Hockey is looking good, look at this facility it’s a great facility and I think many teams would like to come and play here as we have the facilities”.
Ezz Ahmed- Egypt Hockey Men’s Captain
“This is not my first time here in Bulawayo and at this stadium, I always enjoy my stay and my game here and this tournament has been good”.
Zimbabwe coach Tongai Mukwewa said “We are improving, the last time we played Egypt we lost by 13 goals, so it’s a plus for us and I think the gap is closing between us and Egypt as we have lots of young players in the team and this is a future team”.
Erwin Handura- Namibia Women’s Hockey coach
“It was a great tournament and competitive, I have seen lots of players from Zimbabwe who play for universities in Namibia as I coach at university, they have been playing for the past 4-5 years and I think they can compete at this level”.
In other facts and figures, while the men’s section produced 54 goals, with Egypt scoring 34 goals and Elganaimi Ahmed emerging as the top scorer with 10 goals, the women’s section produced 9 goals from 9 different players.
By Muziwethu Hadebe
ZIFA Bulawayo Province board member Allan Mpofu has urged junior football clubs to implement Online Registration for their players to ensure that the teams get compensation/development fee when the players turn professional.
Mpofu was speaking at the Lobengula Rovers FC (juniors) awards ceremony held at Lobengula Hall in Bulawayo recently.
“I heard the president list the players you have produced yet you have picked little in terms of compensation fees, it’s painful to use your own resources and then the big boys come and snatch your players and that has to stop, but before it stops Lobengula Rovers and all the other Junior clubs have to embark on online registration as this becomes a permanent record for the club,” said Mpofu.
Mpofu who is also a director at First Mobile Academy who play in serie A Junior league praised Lobengula Rovers for hosting the awards for its players but was quick to put the team’s executive to task to attend Junior league meetings and have a say on the operations of the league.
“ This is a good project(Lobengula Rovers), I however have not seen your representatives at our meetings, Mr President this is my challenge to you, please attend the meetings as Junior football can only improve if we put our heads together in shaping it forward, our football will only be improved by the people”.
Mpofu also urged Lobengula Rovers to maintain their philosophy of developing young players.
“We need to address the problem of age cheating and this usual comes from the directors when they put pressure on the coaches, I request that you stop putting pressure on the coaches to win games and the coaches end up wanting to win at all cost, I was happy when the Vice President said the major aim of the club is to develop and I did not see where he said the aim is to win, at the same time kindly look into your U18’s and don’t throw them away, consider setting up a Division 3 or 2 team”.
He apologised for the delayed log standings in the junior league especially with Serie B where Lobengula Rovers plays.
“I would like to apologise for the delayed log standings and promise that next season we should have log standings at most by Thursday of every week,” Mpofu added.
Lobengula Rovers FC (juniors) trains and plays at the Lobengula Rugby Grounds popularly known as eRugby. It was once in partnership with the now defunct New West City and went on to produce players like Rahman Kutsanzira, Innocent Kutsanzira, Zibusiso Sibanda, Warren Dube and most recently Arthur Musiyiwa(Bulawayo Chiefs) and Vincent Moyo(Highlanders).
Each of the registered 63 players in the U14, U16 and U18 received a certificate of appreciation for completing the season while there were individual awards in each age category.
Prince Ncube was the U14 top goal scorer with 11 goals. Prince Mloyi was named the U14 player of the year.
Eugene Sibanda found the net 10 times to emerge as the top goal scorer in the U16, with Genius Ncube picking the player of the year in the U16.
Junior Dube was the top goal scorer in the U18 with 14 goals. Thulani Maphosa was named the U18 player of the year.
The individual awards winners received certificates as well as trophies which were sponsored by the club’s vice president Tari Mudadada.
By Muziwethu Hadebe
Zimbabwe Women’s Hockey National team coach Gus Mcvey was left convinced that the future of women’s hockey in the country is bright despite the girls losing their two matches and finishing bottom at the Hockey Series at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo over the past weekend.
“It was an extreme strong performance, we started late and the ball movement was slow because of the rains, this was our game and we had our chances which we couldn’t utilise, against Zambia we were a bit unlucky and we missed eight chances which we failed to score, the future of hockey is looking bright and we have plenty young girls and we have so much talent in this country and this facility will make many teams want to come and play us”, Mcvey said soon after the Zimbabwe girls lost to Namibia 1-0.
Namibia scored in the second quarter after 26 minutes through a field goal converted by their captain Margreth Mengo.
It was their second win after they beat Zambia 3-0 in their other match to finish top without conceding a goal.
Zimbabwe had led well but lost their other match 2-3 to Zambia to finish at the bottom of the log behind Zambia who settled for second position.
Zimbabwe captain Mary Campbell said, “I thought we fought hard, we made silly mistakes, the Zambia game was painful as we conceded two goals in the last five minutes, they are however lots of positives in this squad as we have young players that we can grow into world class players”, after the tournament.
The Namibia captain Mengo described the tournament as very difficult. “It was not easy for any of the teams, we are happy to be making it into the next stage of the series which will be in Europe as its always important for Africa to be represented, we have played lots of indoor Hockey and it’s good to be playing field Hockey because it’s important”.
By Muziwethu Hadebe
Zimbabwe Men’s National Hockey team finished second at the ZAPALALA Hockey Series open Tournament at the Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo.
The tournament which ran from Friday to Sunday saw the hosts draw 2-2 with Zambia on Friday. They then lost 4-1 to eventual winners of the series Egypt on Saturday.
On the last day Zimbabwe was involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Namibia to end the series on two points, the same as Zambia and Namibia.
Zimbabwe however had a better goal difference as Egypt trounced Namibia 17-1 and Zambia 13-0. Namibia and Zambia had drawn their match 4-4.
On Sunday Zimbabwe led Namibia 1-0 at the end of the first quarter with a Field goal from Arnold Mpofu after 14 minutes into the match.
Namibia then scored two goals in the second quarter through Van der Merwe Cody in the 17th and 24th minute and all coming as a result of Penalty Corners as they headed into the third quarter leading 2-1.
Just as the Namibians had done in the second quarter, Zimbabwe had a strong third quarter performance as they equalised through Philip Machaya after 32 minutes and Machaya added another field goal to lead 3-2 going into the last quarter.
Zimbabwe maintained their lead for most of the match until the last minute when Namibia who earlier had two opportunities saved by the Zimbabwe defence line snatched a last minute goal through Lian Hermunus in the 59th minute as Namibia proved powerful with Penalty corners.
Zimbabwe coach Tongai Mukwewa said as expected it was a tough and intense match.
“It was more of a derby and very hard as is the case each time we play Namibia, we expected this and it happened, we led and they led until the draw, there were many positives, Egypt are a step ahead but we are hot on their heels, we all wanted to come out with a win but coming second with a draw or a win is coming second and we have done well there”, he said.
Zimbabwe Captain Tendayi Maredza said , “It was a good game, discipline counted, we were 2-1 down and came back into the game which was good and good for the young players in the team, to lose 4-1 to Egypt was quite great as they are ranked much higher than us, so that was an achievement”.