Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has set up a team of six former players to assist in identifying new talent, the senior and junior sides, in rebuilding the Malawi national netball team.
The six are Ellenour Mapulanga, Ruth Kaipa-Chimombo (south), Lexia Chiumia (north), Esther Nkhoma-Munthali (east) Trisser Chipolopolo and Dziwanji Mtunduwatha (centre).
Nam president Khungekile Matiya confirmed the appointment of the six former players saying they will work jointly with newly-appointed technical director Sam Kanyenda.
“They will help the national team coach in identifying players for the national teams. So they will be working together with Kanyenda so that the best are selected for both senior and junior sides,” she said.
Matiya said the new arrangement would help the association to cast its net wider when selecting players and also ensure that players are selected on merit.
“This is an on-going project because we will have a pool of players to be in our [Nam] programme for monitoring. Whenever, there is a call-up, these players will be the ones that will be in the squad for various international games,” she said.
Matiya declined that the selectors’ duties will not clash with the role of the head coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa.
“This is a project whereby netballers from remote areas also have a chance of being scouted for different national team assignments. It is hard for the coach to visit each district. The selectors are there to help the coach. At the end, the coach will assess the players and have the final say. In a simpler way the selectors will be unearthing raw talent for the coach to assess,” she said.
However, the six members were waiting for official communication before commenting.
Chawinga-Kaluwa could not be reached for a comment.
Meanwhile, Kanyenda welcomed the appointment of the six saying they will simplify work for the coach.
“Of course I will be working with them. I have a huge role but they will be complementing it. Elsewhere this is how it works. You select the players on behalf of the coach who assess them before drafting them into the team. It means we have taken the right step in our effort to develop netball in the country,” he said.
Kanyenda said the selectors will not clash with the national coach as it was not automatic that all players will pass the grade.
“The coach will be required to assess the players to see who can fit into the team,” he said.
Currently, the Queens are ranked seventh in the world and third in Africa.