The Sunday News
Mandla Moyo, Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Polocrosse team left the country last Thursday enroute to Australia for the 80th Edition of the World Cup slated in for 22-28 April in Warwick, southern Queensland.
Speaking before they left the team manager Leanne McBean said they are leaving a bit early so that they get time to rest for a day then start training in an effort to get used to their horses.
“We are leaving a bit early so that we get a day to rest since it will take us two days to get to Australia, after that we will resume training with the horses mainly focusing on giving them a run so that the team gets used to them,” said McBean.
In terms of targets at the tournament, the team is focusing on winning at least two games in the group stages.
“We are targeting to win at least two games that is against USA and Zambia in the group stages so that we can progress to the knock-out stages.
“As team Zimbabwe we are excited and are not going to make up the numbers but are hungry for success in addition to flying the Zimbabwe flag high during the tournament,” she added.
The Zimbabwe Polocrosse World Cup team is made up of Graham Keith, Sophie Sergeant, Suzanne Sergeant, Kirsten Swan, Dannie Swan, Paula Sparrow, Andrew Baker and Ross Shand.
The side is coached by Gavin Cocker, an experienced gaffer who was part of two World Cup winning teams from South Africa.
As part of their preparations towards this biggest Polocrosse extravaganza the team played a number of preparatory games in Bulawayo as well as in Harare plus a training trip to South Africa.
There was also time for an international friendly match against Ireland at Bulawayo Country Club who they beat 3-0 in a series event.
Eight countries will battle it out at the 80th edition of the Polocrosse World Cup with defending champions South Africa, last edition’s runner up Zambia, hosts Australia, UK, USA, Ireland, New Zealand and Zimbabwe set to take part.
Zimbabwe is in group B alongside their northern neighbours Zambia, USA and Australia.
Winners from this group will play against runners up from group A which is home to South Africa the reigning champions, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Teams that fail to make it out of the group stages will battle it out for the fifth position up to the last.
According to the set up third-placed team in pool A will take on third-placed pool B, the same applies to the two fourth-placed teams.