Ngwira backs agent


Tigresses all-rounder, Lauren Ngwira, has backed her English agent, Natalie Swift, following accusations that she was forced to stay in England to undergo trials at Super League side- Northumbria.
Ngwira insisted that she remained in England after the Queens’ three test matches against England to attend trials at Northumbria.
She said her burning desire is to follow in the footsteps of compatriots Mwawi Kumwenda, who plays for Melbourne Vixens in Australia, and Joyce Mvula of England’s Manchester Thunder.
“The desire to enhance my career convinced me to consider undergoing the trials. I need to make a career out of the game after playing in Malawi for many years,” Ngwira said.
The lanky star netballer was reacting to accusations from her childhood side, Tigresses, which expressed concern over the handling of the trials.
Tigresses Team Manager, Helene Mpinganjira-Tasosa, told Tuesday’s edition of The Nation that Swift had held on to Ngwira without the club’s consent.
Ngwira was offered trials following an incredible performance during the Vitality International Series against England last week.
Following the accusations, that have the potential of ruining her chances of being signed, Ngwira came out of the cocoon to voice out her side of the story.
“I made a difficult decision to stay and take an opportunity to train and be considered for the UK Super League team [Team Northumbria]. It has been a difficult decision for me as I do not want to let down anyone in Malawi.
“But I know that when my local club coaches have thought through how important this matter is, they will understand that this is not just for me. If I make it to Northumbria, or any other team, the whole country stands to benefit in many ways,” she said.
Ngwira, whose attempt to force a move to Serenity Stars (formerly Alliance Capital Stars) last season ended in frustration, said the trials are important because they would also help her prepare for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast City, Australia.
“As part of the trials, I will be playing against a number of other Super League teams as well as Scotland who are in the same pool as Malawi for the Commonwealth Games. I will have the opportunity to be trained by top New Zealand coaches.
“One of them is an ex-Silver Ferns defender and I believe I will learn quite a lot from just being with her. I will also be training with, and playing against, English, Australian and other world class players,” she said.
Ngwira further said she would be offered a professional strength and conditioning programme which will make her a better player ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
In an interview with a local paper, Mpinganjira-Tasosa said Tigresses have sacrificed a lot of games this season and cannot afford to miss Ngwira’s services in remaining league and cup games.
“We have no intention of barring the player from attending trials at the English side or even blocking her prospects of a bright future. We are even ready to terminate her contract so that she can join any club of her choice.
“But we would like to see proper procedures ]being] followed first. Why is it difficult for them [Northumbria] to let the player return home first?” she wondered.
Tigresses have been suffering a severe cash squeeze from the time they parted ways with College of Medicine Sports Complex.
The team used to be a force to reckon with, especially during the years of sponsorship from Admarc.
But Tigresses have been boosted by the recent return of several seasoned players whose presence seems to have injected a new lease of life into the team as it looks forward to doing well in Presidential Cup national finals and the Rainbow Paints Blantyre and Districts Netball League.

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