Griffin Saenda backs Kukoma Diamonds dominance
Malawi Queens Coach, Griffin Saenda, has backed the dominance Kukoma Diamonds players in the Malawi Queens squad for the Africa Netball Championship set to throw off in Uganda on Saturday.
Saenda picked four players from Diamonds in the 12-member squad that left the country for the East African nation on Sunday.
The four are Wezzie Mzemba-Msiska, Bridget Kumwenda, Alinafe Kamwala and Jessie Mazengera-Sanudi.
Thunder Queens contributed three in captain Joanna Kachilika, Martha Dambo and Thandie Galeta-Saenda.
The veteran coach said it was unfortunate that some quarters were questioning his selection criteria when Diamonds and Thunder performed well last season.
“Mind you, I was not alone when selecting the players. I was with my assistant [Sam Kanyenda of Blue Eagles] and other members of the technical panel. Players from the two teams have been in good form.
“Diamonds swept all national trophies and Thunder Queens also performed well. Above all, the players were also outstanding during our training camp. So you mean I should have dropped them just because they play for the same team?” Saenda qurried.
He cited last year’s surprise omission of Kamwala from the team that finished third during the Fast5 Netball World Series in Australia as a case in point.
He said despite winning best shooter awards in three competitions, Kamwala was dropped because her performance in training was poor.
“When it comes to issues of national interest, I do not compromise because I have a reputation and integrity to protect. Last year, nobody expected me to drop Alinafe [Kamwala] but I had to do it because she was not good enough at that particular time,” he said.
Civonets have contributed two players in vice captain and shooter Jane Chimaliro and defender Colleta Mwalilino.
Tigresses and Blue Eagles Sisters have a player each in Uganda after contributing Beatrice Mpinganjira and Julie Sambo respectively.
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