IN spite of the cold and wet conditions in the Netherlands where Namibia’s women’s indoor hockey team is preparing for the world cup, the players remain focused.
Coach Erwin Handura told New Era Sport on enquiry yesterday that it is cold, snowy and rainy, but they have not stopped training, adding that “conditions anywhere in the world will not always be the best or in our interest”.
The team who are the current African Indoor Hockey champions left for Europe on 17 January and have been playing various teams in the Netherlands as part of their preparations for the Indoor Hockey World Cup scheduled for 5 to 11 February 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Handura said their preparations are intensifying as the tournament draws closer, and that they have already played several matches against teams with similar styles of play as theirs.
“The team has been preparing well and we have already played three matches which I believe all went well despite losing in the last match. I think it’s a good experience for our players and we are doing very well,” he said.
Handura believes that the experience of playing against teams that also play an attacking game is beneficial to them.
“The team is motivated and I believe we are on the right track. Players are excited to play the next match which will be against the Netherlands women’s team who are currently highly ranked,” he added.
Namibia’s women’s team qualified directly for the Indoor World Cup as continental champions. They are in Pool B alongside Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and Canada. Their first match is against Kazakhstan on 5 February.
The World Cup was originally scheduled to take place in Liege, Belgium, in February 2022, but it was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year’s edition will be the sixth and the first time the tournament will be held outside Europe.
Namibia will also be represented by a men’s team.