Malawi Queens’ camp training ahead of the Fast5 World Netball Series has been shifted to an undisclosed date, a development that coach Griffin Saenda says might negatively impact the national team’s readiness for the international contest.
Saenda in an interview yesterday said this will affect the team’s preparations for the international contest set for October 29.
Initially, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) annoucned that the team would go into camp tomorrow, but general secretary Carol Bapu yesterday said the camp will delay because the association is finalising some undisclosed arrangements.
“Nevertheless, the squad will be called into camp within the first week of October,” she said.
But Saenda yesterday said some players need ample time to acclimatise to Fast5 rules.
“We will try hard to prepare within the period that NAM will give us. What I can comfortably say is that most of the players in the squad will need ample time to learn how to compete in Fast5 contest where rules are somehow different from our normal game,” he said.
Fast5 uses a unique format that allows a player to score a three-pointer if she shoots outside the goal circle, a two-pointer just inside the goal-circle and earn a single point deep inside the goal-circle.
“Most of our players are not aware of these rules and we will need some time to let them practise before going to the international event,” said Saenda.
The Queens are expected to fly to Australia on October 27 without their experienced captain and defender Carol Mtukule-Ngwira, who is on maternity leave.
The national team will also depart without having an international training match after rivals South Africa Proteas sidelined them from the annual Diamonds Netball Challenge.
The Queens have been relying on the invitational Diamonds Challenge for the past few years to tune up for global events, but South Africa decided to invite Jamaica and Africa’s lowly-ranked sides Uganda and Zambia. n