23 January 2007

ZAMBIA : Coach proposes weekly training for Basketball squad

ZAMBIA basketball coach, Lovemore ‘Potterfield’ Sikaale, has devised a weekly training schedule that will see the Midlands and Copperbelt based players go through their paces twice during the week in their respective regions before linking up on weekends.
Sikaale said the squad preparing for the Zone Six championships in Harare, Zimbabwe had the advantage of having the three coaches attached to it coming from the two different regions.
Johnny Zimba of Napsa Hurricanes and his UNZA Pacers counterpart Curthbert Tembo would drill the Midlands based players while Sikaale takes care of the Copperbelt legion at the Zamsure Sports Complex in Ndola.
He said the technical bench had tailored a heavy training schedule in order to help the players recoup their match fitness following their rusty showing during the first session held at Barclays Sports Complex last weekend.
“We want to get a lot from these boys. We want everyone to work hard for the team, that is why we are keeping the players busy throughout. Basketball is about fitness, so we are going for nothing less than that,” he said.
The outspoken Hetro Bullets mentor, however, said despite the players only regrouping last weekend for the first session, their response has been overwhelming with all the players fighting for few places in the squad.
Sikaale said the coaching bench would not be looking elsewhere for players to beef-up the squad given the seriousness being exhibited by the provisional squad that is already in camp.
The national coach hinted that clubs from both the Midlands and Copperbelt regions would be contacted for friendly matches to prepare the team adequately between now and the time of departure for Zimbabwe.
“This is the time we need to fully utilise the good rapport that exists among clubs in our local league structure. Most of the clubs have contributed players to the national teams and I am sure we won’t find it difficult arranging warm-up games,” he said.
Sikaale, who is Zambia Basketball Association (ZBA) national coordinator, paid glowing tribute to his predecessor at the helm of the team, Brian Nsama, who has since been penciled in to attend a refresher course some time this year.
Zambia will be participating at the Zone Six championship in Harare with the hope of doing well and earn a berth to the All-Africa Games scheduled for Algiers, Algeria later this year.
The team is also in contention for a place at the Africa Cup championship slated for Angola as the busy 2007 basketball calendar kicks off with the regional show down in Zimbabwe next month.

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