National coach Mwathi confident as qualifiers approach
National men’s handball team coach Peter Mwathi is confident his side will hold their own to book a slot in one of the two competitions at the Africa 2020 Olympics qualifiers set for January 15-26 in Tunis, Tunisia.
The team returned to non residential training on December 27 after a short Christmas break to continue their preparations for the competition.
The qualifiers double up as 2020 Africa Men’s Championships where the top six teams will book slots to the World Championships set for January next year in Egypt.
With only seven days left to their first match against Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mwathi’s charges are yet to begin residential training.
However, the tactician is set to name a 16-man squad today ahead of their travel set for Tuesday next week.
Mwathi maintains the team is ready and has set their sights on reaching the quarter-finals before making a road map for the top six.
The sole Olympics slot for the continent remains their main target despite the tough competition expected in Tunisia.
“All players returned to camp and have gelled well. The emphasis has been on defence as that will win us matches.
I am looking at naming the final squad today so that we can do some final training and bonding as the traveling unit,” said Mwathi.
An experienced coach in east and central Africa, Mwathi says starting the championship against DRC is good for his players as it will give the relatively young squad confidence ahead of tougher opponents Egypt and finally Guinea.
“I know most of the DRC players as we have played against them in the East Africa Club Championships and we know what to expect from them.
The same goes for Egypt, with Guinea the only unfamiliar foe at the group stage. We have, however, analysed Guinea’s videos and have planned accordingly.”