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Spoonful fans welcome The Queens

Malawi national netball team received a cold reception at Chileka Airport in Blantyre Tuesday on arrival from the Commonwealth Games in Australia.

Having slumped to position seven from six at the Games, the Queens could only brag about their historic 57-53 victory over world number two New Zealand’s Silver Ferns.

The Queens, who won four games and lost twice at the Games, did not receive the usual pomp and fanfare, as few people welcomed them.

Football Association of Malawi Technical Director, John Kaputa, who is also Malawi Olympic Committee Vice-General Secretary, Southern Region Netball League General Secretary Annie Hanjahanja and husbands to some of the Queens players were among the handful people that welcomed the fallen Queens.

Netball Association of Malawi President, Khungekile Matiya, while calling for corporate support, admitted that time was ripe to invest in the youth and infrastructure.

“We need to come up with under-17 and 21 [national team] structures so that we should groom other players. We have been crying for an in-door court for so long, and we can only hope that the corporate world will assist us,” she said.

She added that they will discuss with the Malawi National Council of Sports on how best to engage a coach on a long-term basis.

“You must also appreciate that, sometimes, circumstances beyond our control force us to change coaches,” she said.

Matiya also said Nam would look at ways of ensuring that the team prepares well for 2018 Fast5 Netball World Series and 2019 World Championship.

The Queens’ Captain, Joanna Kachilika, echoed Matiya’s statements.

“We have shown signs that we can do well and we just need to start our preparations earlier so as to be a strong force,” she said.

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