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Griffin Saenda backs selection

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Malawi National Netball Team Coach, Griffin Saenda, has backed the inclusion of unfit Lauren Ngwira in the Queens’ squad and the dominance of Kukoma Diamonds’ players.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) released the 21-member squad on Tuesday to report for camp yesterday at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).

The Queens are preparing for Fast5 World Netball Series to be held at Hisense Arena, Australia at the end of the month. The Queens will leave for Australia on October 24.

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The inclusion of Ngwira sparked debate on social media as the player has not featured for her side, Tigresses, this season.

Ngwira is locked in a transfer dispute as she wants to force her way out to Alliance Capital Stars.

Some quarters also questioned the dominance of players from Diamonds, who Saenda coaches.

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“In my opinion, I think this is a fair selection because it has been done on merit. It is true that Lauren is not playing, but I think she might be useful in the squad. She has been training at Blantyre Youth Centre singlehandedly and at times, with some teams. We just want to monitor her. If she fits in our programme, we will include her in the final squad,” he said.

Saenda said Diamonds players also deserved the call-up, having won the GOtv Netball Champions League, Airtel Money National Netball Trophy and the Presidential Trophy.

“However, this does not mean that their inclusion in the final squad is automatic. Together with my assistant, we will make a thorough assessment to produce a strong squad regardless of names or which club they play for,” he said.

Full squad:

Defenders: Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, Wezzie Mzemba (Diamonds), Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango, Ngwira, Catherine Yikwanga (Tigresses), Joanna Kachilika (Thunder Queens) Juliet Sambo (Eagles).

Shooters: Mwawi Kumwenda, Jane Chimaliro (Civonets), Jessie Mazengera- Sanudi, Alinafe Kamwala (Diamonds), Joyce Mvula, Mary Banya (Blue Eagles), Sindi Simtowe-Msowoya (Tigresses).

Centre court: Shira Kapasula Dimba, Bridget Kumwenda, E n e l e s Mdezo Manda (Diamonds), Beatrice Mpinganjira (Tigresses), Takondwa Lwazi (Blue Eagles), Thandie Galeta-Saenda and Pilirani Msukwa(Thunder Queens)

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