HARARE - Zimbabwe senior netball coach Lloyd Makunde wouldn’t have craved for any better preparations for his side’s maiden World Cup berth.
The nine-day global tournament is scheduled for Liverpool, England, from July 12.
Yet, the team’s preparations had suffered an early setback after warring parties threatened to derail the whole process.
But after the intervention of authorities, the team went into camp and they have been preparing for the tournament earnestly.
After they were handed a reality check in Uganda where they lost all the four friendly matches they played in the East African country, the Gems this weekend head to South Africa hoping to further fine-tune their act.
The Uganda trip was sponsored by the government.
The Gems are pencilled to face South Africa’s Spar Proteas who beat them in the Diamond Challenge in Polokwane last year.
Makunde said he was happy with the preparations they have had so far.
“Nothing on this earth can be ideal. We seek perfection but obviously, there is nothing like that on this earth. We are happy as a team for the preparations we have had so far and the schedule is quiet encouraging,” said Makunde.
“As a coach of a national team which will be expected to hoist high the country’s flag, you will obviously ask for more in terms of preparations but I am so far satisfied.
“We picked a lot of lessons in Uganda where despite losing those matches. Mostly you tend to learn more from defeats that wins. We would have wanted to win all the friendly ties we played but we definitely took a lot of positives from those encounters.
“We head to South Africa now and we start to implement all what ought to be done to pick a victory. The team beat us last year in the Diamond Challenge but a lot has happened in between and we hope to win this time around.
“We are not very much looking at getting results but rather at seeing where we have to improve and what ought to be done to achieve such aspects as cohesion, intensity, speed, strength, agility and various other motor qualities to become a competitive team.”
After the match against the Spar Proteas, the Gems are also expected to play at least two other friendly matches before heading to England for the World Cup.
The Gems are in Pool A along with defending champions Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.