By Mphatso Malidadi:
Versatile athlete Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda is in dilemma due to her divided allegiance to the netball Queens and national women’s football team.
Towera is a first-choice defender for both teams, which have crucial assignments next month.
The Queens will travel to Liverpool, the United Kingdom, for the World Cup, which throws off from July 12 to 21, while the She-Flames have Cosafa Championship to participate in from July 31 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Queens are expected back either on July 24 or 25, just in time for the She-Flames’ departure for South Africa.
The dreadlocked defender is in camp with the Queens squad in Blantyre but, having featured in 11-1 and 3-0 wins over Mozambique in the Olympic qualifiers, the She-Flames Coach, Abel Mkandawire, also requires her services.
“First, let us see what will transpire at Queens’ camp then we will decide. Being a multi-talented player, we can look at it in a special way and see how best to assist each other for the betterment of the country,” Mkandawire said.
The Queens Coach, Griffin Saenda Senior, refused to comment on whether the player would be part of the squad bound for England.
“Of course, in the recent past, she was a key member of the squad but it is not automatic that she would be in the team. Nevertheless, we value her services,” he said.
Her involvement with the Queens means that Towera might not train with the women’s team.
Towera, meanwhile, put the ball in the court of both coaches to decide on whether they need her services.
“It is always an honour to play for the national team and I would be delighted if given a chance in both teams. I am with the Queens’ squad preparing for the World Cup. I don’t know if I would be in the final squad for the trip to England. I also don’t know if the national football coach would pick me for Cosafa,” she said.
The Kukoma Diamonds player said, given a chance, she would serve two masters.
“I am fit because I am training. So, I don’t have any problem with my football skills because this is where I started off before joining netball,” Towera said.
She was introduced to football by his brother, Aubrey Vinkhumbo (now deceased), who was Be Forward Wanderers’ defender.
Malawi women’s team date Kenya in the second round of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers next month.
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