Malawi netball Queens captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, promised before departure yesterday, that the Africa’s number one team was ready to break sweat and realise 2015 Fast5 Championship glory in New Zealand.
“The nation should expect us to deliver the goods in New Zealand. We are certain that we will give it our all, but, of course, sometimes you try hard and things do not go your way. The nation should have hope that we can go a step higher at this championship,” Ngwira said.
Malawi, rated fifth in the world, and Africa’s second-ranked team South Africa are the only representatives from the continent in New Zealand where the hosts, England, Australia and Jamaica would be in action.
Fast5 games use modified version of netball with scoring allowed from range, among others.
The fast-paced format could pose a challenge to Malawi team which has been hit by the absence of star shooter Mwawi Kumwenda who has excused herself from the trip.
Coach Mary Waya also dropped defender Joana Kachilika and centre Beatrice Mpinganjira.
“The secret with this version of games is more scoring. You can defend and win the ball, but if your shooters cannot convert ,you cannot win games,” Ngwira explained while refusing to indulge in talk on whether Kumwenda’s absence, which leaves Sindi Simtowe as the only proven fluent shooter, would cripple the team.
Waya was not ready to comment when called yesterday while travelling to Lilongwe ahead of departure. Defender Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda said the Queens go to New Zealand in better shape this year than in the last edition.
“We have been playing Fast5 format on club level in the Gotv Challenge, so it is like we go to New Zealand after training for a long time. The nation should support and believe in us,” said.