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Griffin Saenda for strong start

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Malawi National Netball Team Coach, Griffin Saenda, has promised a strong start to the African Netball Championship in Uganda which throws off Sunday.

The opening game is between the hosts Uganda and Botswana, whereas Malawi will date Zimbabwe Sunday before facing Uganda on Monday.

The Queens will then meet Zimbabwe on Tuesday before returning to the court on the final day with a tricky assignment against Botswana.

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The tournament is in round-robin format and the team with the most points will emerge champions.

Saenda, speaking in a telephone interview from the East African nation, said it was important to start strongly for the girls to gain confidence to enable them garner maximum points.

“We need to make our intentions clear. It will be tough but we have to win to build confidence and send out a message to our opponents,” he said.

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Saenda said it was no use to keep worrying over the absence of six players that include Melbourne Vixens shooter Mwawi Kumwenda, Captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, vice Captian Grace Mwafulirwa- Mhango, goalkeeper-cum-defender, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, centre Takondwa Lwazi and shooter Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya.

“We can’t keep talking about the players that have withdrawn due to different reasons. Most of those reasons are valid and there is nothing we can do about them. We just have to focus on the team we have. I see a group of hungry players ready to prove their prowess,” he said.

The coach kept a tight lid on his possible starting line-up, saying it was too early to do so.

“What I know is that we have prepared the team to compete and win silverware for the nation,” he said.

The Queens lost the Africa Netball Championship on home soil in 2013 after going down to continental rivals South Africa at the Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC).

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