46 players selected for Queens, Under-23
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has attracted the wrath of some quarters following revelations that 46 players have been selected to be included in Malawi National Netball Team and Under-23 squads.
Nam, under the guidance of Malawi Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, conducted three-day trials at Mpico Netball court in Lilongwe, where 105 players attended.
The association’s vice president Chimwemwe Bakali said besides selecting 46 players for the first team [Queens] and Under-23, they have identified 26 players for Under-21.
“The trials have helped in identifying talent but also creation of a pathway for players,” he said.
Bakali said they were now planning to start home-based camps for the national team.
“Next is camp training followed by other home-based training camps. We will also hold camping for a possible series, funds permitting, and more,” he said.
Former netballer Neffie Kammata said Nam got its priorities upside down.
“Honestly, it is absurd to be holding trials when our opponents are busy with test series ahead of the Netball World Cup which will take place in July.
“If the trials were done as a separate activity with an eye on future events at senior or junior level, it would have made sense. It seems both Nam and the technical panel are clueless. It does not make sense to waste resources when the money could have been used to help strengthen the main team,” she said.
Another analyst Lusekelo Kayuni said it was impossible to fuse in 46 new players into the Queens squad.
“Much as it was important to hold the trials but the timing was wrong. Maybe if they had said they had selected few players to fill in fragile positions, it would have carried weight,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chawinga- Kaluwa, who facilitated the trials, told Malawi News Agency that the essence of the exercise was to ensure players are available for proper transition into the national team.
“We corrected the error that was there, that we didn’t have a thorough pathway for transitions but now we have under 19, 21, and 23 teams. The under-23 team will be our developmental side, which will promote players to the national team,” she told Mana.