Malawi is expected to participate in the Under-21 Africa Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers in Botswana from July 23 to 30, but Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) is yet to assemble a team to represent the nation.
The future of Malawi Under-21 netball team suffered a setback after the death of coach Connis Mhone, who was responsible for scouting youth players.
NAM general secretary Carol Bapu said during the week that they are yet to assemble a team for the Botswana qualifiers.
“We have just started processing documents which our Under-21 coach late Connis Mhone left so that we should extract names of players she identified. It is a challenge indeed,” she said.
Commenting on the development, former Queens goal-shooter Future Mtegha, who is assistant coach for Mzuzu-based Mimosa Queens, urged NAM to have a youth team in place so that it should start preparations for the tournament.
“We cannot progress further if our youth side is weak. NAM should make an effort of having a youthful side in place because the success of our netball game depends on a good youth netball team,” said Mtegha.
Malawi last participated in the tournament in 2009 in Cook Island where top netball players such as Mwayi Kumwenda, Sindi Simutowe and Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda were unearthed.
Since then, Malawi has failed to assemble a team to compete at the World Youth Championship that also took place in Glasgow, Scotland in 2013 because of lack of funds.n