Despite sweeping all the trophies in the 2016/17 season, Kukoma Diamonds have unveiled plans to recruit new players.
The team’s coach Griffin ‘Zagalo’ Saenda revealed the plans at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday after beating Thunder Queens 41-34 to clinch the Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) crown with straight wins in 18 games.
He said: “Of course, we have a very strong team at present, but we want to make it even stronger because we do not want to take any chances on our title-defence next season.
“We know our opponents will work extra hard to strengthen their squads to return to the netball courts with renewed vigour. Therefore, we will not sit on our laurels but recruit; we do not want our current squad to be in comfort zone.”
In the just-concluded season, the Capital Oil Refining Industry (Cori)-sponsored outfit also won the Airtel Money National Netball Tournament and the Presidential National Netball Championship.
Diamonds, who received K700 000, have finished the season with 54 points, nine ahead of runners-up Tigresses and third-placed Thunder Queens.
Tigresses coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua and her Thunder Queens counterpart Christina Nkwanda-Nsinji said they will do their best to wrest the crown from Diamonds.
In individual awards, Nkwanda-Nsinji was named the Best Coach of the season while her player Chikumbutso Kaminjolo was Best Shooter.
The best defender and centre accolades went to Diamonds’ Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and Shizaella Queens’ Hawa Chikoya respectively.
Eleanor Mapulanga was named Best Umpire.
Rainbow Paints representative Jangale Mponda said they were impressed with the conduct of both the teams and administrators.
However, she said they are yet to decide on the sponsorship next season.
SRNL chairperson Khungekile Matiya, who was accompanied by Netball Association of Malawi vice-president Chimwemwe Kachingwe and general secretary Carol Bapu, thanked Rainbow Paints for the support and urged other companies to emulate the gesture. n