Malawi National Netball Team must wear brave skin when facing hosts and defending Commonwealth Games champions England in a Group B opener today.
Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa is confident her charges can register their first ever win against England in the competition.
“We have had thorough preparations. In South Africa we played them and lost with a small margin. The game gave us an opportunity to see areas which we needed to improve. We tried different combinations and we believe all we have been practicing in training with the girls is enough to give us a good result,” she said.
Chawinga-Kaluwa faces selection headache as top shooters Mwawi Kumwenda and Joyce Mvula are all available for selection after impressing at club level last season.
It is not known whether Chawinga-Kaluwa will turn Mwawi or Mvula into a goal attacker or will rest one of them to incorporate a natural attacker like Jane Chimaliro.
Goal-shooter-cum-attacker Sindie Simtowe- Msowoya is another option having been registered in the squad at the expense of Tendai Masamba.
At centre court Bridget Kumwenda, Takondwa Lwazi and Thandi Galeta have all been convincing but only two will start the game to be responsible of supplying telling passes to the attackers.
In defence Queens will likely deploy captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira and goalkeeper Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda.
The pair will need to be an alert to contain Mvula’s former teammate at Manchester Thunder Eleanor Cardwell who will be playing at her first Commonwealth Games.
Meanwhile, Mtukule- Ngwira said facing England in a competitive match after four years was motivating.
“We have had no good results against them in a major competition but history is made. We want to beat them,” she said.
Queens are winless against England in a major tournament having lost all the three games they played recently.
On April 6, 2018, Malawi lost 74-49 as England went on to claim the title.
Queens will Sunday face Northern Ireland before taking on New Zealand on Monday. They will meet Trinidad and Tobago on Wednesday.
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.