Malawi Queens’ coach Peace Chawinga- Kaluwa has put behind the last-minute hullabaloo that surrounded squad selection and wants to help the team break into the world’s top-four ranking.
The Queens, ranked number one in Africa and fifth in the world, were expected to leave yesterday through Chileka Airport for Sydney, Australia to participate in the Netball World Cup.
“At this moment, it makes no difference to murmur about what has happened. I don’t know why some players whom I wanted to take on board were replaced,” she said.
“Nevertheless, having trained hard, we are determined to do well. Breaking into top-four is our target, but let me stress that this requires thorough and proper preparations.”
According to sources, the inclusion of Jane Chimaliro at the expense of Ellen Chibokho irked Kaluwa.
New Zealand-based professional Mwawi Kumwenda is leading the squad while skipper Carol Mtukule-Ngwira, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and GOtv brand ambassador Sindie Simtowe have made the team.
Thunder Queens’ (formerly MTL Queens) experienced defender, Joanna Kachilika, is the notable face missing in the squad.
Meanwhile, Airtel Money donated K7 million to the Queens to cater for the team’s local camping expenses.
Airtel Malawi Enterprise Director, Rachel Mijiga, said the donation was part of the K360 million from Airtel Money that caters for Queens and national netball trophy for a three-year period.
“We would like to wish the Queens the best. They should aim to move up the ladder,” said Mijiga, who was accompanied by Corporate Sales Executive, Richard Kondwani Nkombezi, at Blantyre Youth Centre on Tuesday.
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) general secretary, Carol Bapu, said the donation was timely as it would motivate national netball team players.
“We would like to urge others to emulate the good gesture,” she said.
Full Queens delegation; Shooters: Kumwenda, Joyce Mvula, Simtowe, Jane Chimaliro; Centre court: Thandie Galeta, Takondwa Lwazi, Bridget Kumwenda; defenders: Carol Mtukule-Ngwira, Vinkhumbo- Nyirenda, Martha Dambo, Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango, Laureen Ngwira; Coach: Peace Chawinga- Kaluwa, Mary Waya (assistant coach), Abigail Sharrif (team manager), Carol Bapu (Nam- GS) and Rose Chinunda (Nam president).
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