As part of their preparations for the Africa Youth Netball Championship, the Under-21 national team this afternoon takes on Airtel Money Netball champions Kukoma Diamonds at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) in a strength testing match.
Junior Queens assistant coach Whyte Mulilima told The Nation yesterday the training match is one of the encounters that have been lined up to help the technical panel identify the final squad and build confidence in the players ahead of the tournament to be held in Botswana between July 23 and 30.
“We started our camp training on a high note and it is very encouraging how the players are grasping what we are imparting in them. However, they need exposure to game situations to have adequate decision-making skills,” he said.
“This will lead the players to think through situations and execute skills in a match environment while at the same time helping them have higher work rate as they compete for slots in the final squad. Kukoma Diamonds are a big team that will help us in this aspect.”
Mulilima could, however, not tell when the selection of final squad, among the 25 players, will be finalised and announced.
“We currently have 18 players in camp as some are writing Malawi School Certificate of Education [MSCE] examinations. We hope to have a final squad of 12 or 14 players,” he said.
Diamonds assistant coach Noel Mussa said they have accepted to play against Junior Queens to help the technical panel build a strong squad for the continental championship, which will see the best three teams qualifying for the 2017 World Youth Netball Championship. n