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Morale high

Queens open Pent Series campaign against Zimbabwe

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Peace Chawinga Kaluwa

Despite the absence of some key players including Melbourne Vixens shooter, Mwawi Kumwenda Malawi National Netball Team Coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa is confident that her charges will shine during Pent Series, which gets underway today in Windhoek, Namibia.

Chawinga-Kaluwa said the Queens’ morale was high ahead of their clash against Zimbabwe this evening.

“Everything is perfect and all the players are fit. We know some players are not part of the squad but we believe we have taken a strong squad,” she said referring to the absence of Mwawi, Takondwa Lwazi, Beatrice Mpinganjira and Thandie Galeta.

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The Queens coach also refused to be tagged as favourites, saying other teams such as Uganda and Zimbabwe were equally good.

Before departure on Friday, Queens coach Peace Chawinga- Kaluwa was confident that her charges would do well in a tournament that has a bearing on world rankings.

“It is the best squad we have assembled in four days training. We will try our best to combine them [experienced and inexperienced players] in order for us to do our best,” she said.

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Manchester Thunder shooter Joyce Mvula will likely partner Jane Chimaliro in attack whereas Sindie Simtowe-Msowoya and Tendai Masamba are options.

At centre court, Chawinga- Kaluwa will have to exercise caution in her selection as the likes of Rose Mkanda, Shira Dimba, Bridget Kumwenda and Flora Chipeta are battling for the position.

In defence, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda of Strathclyde Sirens, Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango, Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira and Beauty Basiyawo are also in contention for a starting place.

Malawi will then meet Uganda tomorrow before clashing with the hosts, Namibia on Wednesday.

The Queens will take on Zambia on Thursday before winding up the campaign against Kenya on Friday.

All the teams are also expected to take part in Africa Netball Cup which will begin soon after Pent Series.

Meanwhile, Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary Isaac Chimwala has said Pent Series was crucial for all participating teams.

“While our main focus and that of the rest of countries in Africa is on Africa Netball Cup games, it was noted that most African teams do not have capacity to play many international games and only end up losing out when it comes to world rankings,” he said.

Chimwala said the games would help the Queens prepare for Commonwealth Games scheduled for July 2022 as well as 2023 World Cup games.

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