Netball Association of Malawi eyes top spot for Queens
Netball Association of Malawi President, Khungekile Matiya, has said their ultimate wish in the New Year is to ensure that the Malawi national netball team topples South Africa as Africa’s number one netball team.
Malawi have been struggling to catch up with South Africa and Uganda in recent times after dominating them for many years in the past.
Matiya said the association is planning a series of test matches against the Proteas and other strong teams on the continent as one way of improving the Queens’ performance.
“We expect to use our newly-found FDH bank sponsorship to arrange more test matches against top-ranked South Africa and Uganda to reclaim our glory. Lack of test matches in the year 2019 contributed to the team’s poor performance in international tournaments,” she said.
Matiya said the Queens’ poor showing at both the World Cup in Liverpool, England, and the African Netball Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, emanated from lack of test matches.
She said they were banking on the three-year K200 million FDH Bank sponsorship to help them engage top teams for test matches in order to improve their rankings.
“We are leaving no stone unturned after enduring a poor showing in most of the tournaments played in 2019. We will arrange matches against top teams in order to improve on our performance. South Africa and Uganda are on our priority list. We need to do away with them and get to the top,” Matiya said.
Malawi finished the Netball World Cup on position six and failed to beat South Africa in the African Netball championship where they came second.
Meanwhile, Queens Coach Peace Chawinga Kaluwa has commended Nam for appreciating the need for test matches.
“This is a great idea. In fact, all these teams that are doing well play such games from time to time and they just do not play any team. They engage top teams and this helps them to learn and improve,” Chawinga Kaluwa said.
In recent years, Malawi has been exporting talent to overseas teams with icons Mwawi Kumwenda, Joyce Mvula and Laureen Ngwira signing for top clubs.
Queens centre player Takondwa Lwazi also had a stint with English team Loughborough Lightning who recruited her for last year’s British Fast Five.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.