Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
VISITING Swiss handball coach Rolf Haussener says there is potential for the country to grow the sport and match their counterparts in the region and continent.
Haussener was in the country for a training camp with the Under-18 team at Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex as part of the Zimbabwe Handball Federation long-term plan to set a foundation for future senior national teams.
The camp ended yesterday and he is scheduled to leave the country tomorrow.
Speaking to The Herald, Haussener said there is still a lot of work to be done but pointed out there was room for growth.
“Actually I saw, let me say, 25 percent of the players or 35 percent of the players, who could become good players.
“I think one of the problem is the infrastructure . . . handball should be played indoor and in Zimbabwe there are a few sport halls.
“So it’s a bit new world for these guys playing indoor, which makes it a bit difficult to realise the quality they have.
“But I am optimistic and I think we can really create a team of 18 or 20 guys and these guys are in an age where they are learning quickly and a lot.
“I am really excited of what we can create and I am optimistic that we will have a good team in a few years,’’ said Haussener.
The former professional player believes what needs to be looked at is continuity of the programme.
“But, after this, the big question is will these players be able to keep on training for these few years?
“Will they be fighters enough, will they be motivated enough, will they have the opportunity to come here and for the future camps because of their school or university, or work or whatever they do?
“This is something I don’t know,” said Haussener.
He was in the country last year when he worked with the senior men and women’s teams.
One of the two local coaches who are working with Haussener, Clemence Leonard, said they were grateful for the support they are getting from the Swiss coach.
“I realised he is bringing in a number of moves that are different from what we do and that is exactly what we need in terms of tactics of the game.
“And that also helps us as coaches to keep working on that even if he goes away, so that we keep improving our athletes,” said Leonard.