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Queens throw off continental championship with South Africa tie

AT THE HELM—Chawinga-Kaluwa

Malawi national netball team begin their image restoration exercise in the Africa Netball Championship with a daring tie against South Africa at Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town this evening.

The Queens last won the championship some seven years ago in Tanzania and lost it to South Africa in 2013 at Blantyre Youth Centre.

Malawi have struggled in the last two editions of the showpiece after finishing as runners-up behind Uganda.

The tournament will be the first for Queens’ Coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa who replaced veteran trainer Griffin Saenda Snr last month.

Chawinga-Kaluwa said there is renewed hope that her team could do well.

“I have a team that is ready. We have trained well and foreign-based players have joined. We now have a full squad. Preparations have been progressing well and the players responded positively to all training sessions,” she said.

The First Choice Tigresses mentor said she believes her charges could stun the hosts if they execute the game plan.

“We hope the players are going to stick to the instructions. I am impressed with the players’ workrate and this gives me hope for a great result. Although we had limited time for preparations, the players have adapted quickly and are looking sharp. This is a team that can perform wonders,” she said.

Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula is expected to start in attack with either Jane Chimaliro or Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya partnering her.

In defence, the Queens have a pool of talented and exciting players such as Captain Caroline Mtukule- Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Grace Mwafulirwa- Mhango and Lauren Ngwira.

Takondwa Lwazi is expected to link up with either Bridget Kumwenda-Chalera or Beatrice Mpinganjira at centre court.

The match will also be the first assignment for South Africa coach Dorette Badenhorst and her assistant, Dumisani Chauke.

After squaring with South Africa, the Queens will face Zambia tomorrow and Lesotho on Sunday.

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