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The Queens back home today

By Mphatso Malidadi:

The Malawi national netball team returns home today after finishing on fourth position at the Fast5 World Netball Series in Melbourne, Australia.

Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said the association will be welcoming back the team convinced that it will perform well at next year’s World Netball Cup in Liverpool, England.

“The team will be back home on Tuesday afternoon [today] and we will welcome it with satisfaction. We set a target for it to finish in the top five and that has happened. What remains is for us to mobilise resources to help in preparing for the World Cup,” Bapu said.

Meanwhile, former Queens captain Emmie Chongwe has advised the team to avoid getting too excited with the fourth-place finish.

“Last year, we finished on position six and now we are fourth. This means that we have achieved something. England were last year’s champions but now they have moved to fifth. Finishing on fourth position is quite commendable.

“But the Fast5 format is quite different from normal netball which has seven players and this is where we need to plan carefully and prepare thoroughly,” said Chongwe, who captained the Queens for over 10 years.

Chongwe said players should be picked on merit to help the Queens shine at the event.

“What I noticed at Fast5 should not be repeated at World Cup. The choice of players was not quite good. Shooting was our weakest area. We needed to pick target players. Since Mwawi [Kumwenda] was not available we should have made sure to bring in Sindie Simtowe Msowoya.

Alinafe Kamwala did not play to the expected standards.

“At centre court, Takondwa Lwazi was the only useful player. As a result, she did not have enough rest to give out her best. So we needed an alternative centre court player,” Chongwe said.

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