Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has turned down a proposal by Malawi Queens’ coaching panel to call 59 players for camp training in preparation for upcoming international engagements.
The association’s general secretary (GS) Isaac Chimwala said in an interview yesterday that they have since reached a compromise of 30 players, who are scheduled to start camp training tomorrow in Salima.
He said: “Initially, the team was supposed to go into camp at the weekend, but there was a standoff as the coaches insisted on having 60 players in camp, including those that were identified during recent trials.
“On the other hand, we felt a squad of 20 players would have been reasonable, but still we reached a compromise and agreed on a list of 30, but ultimately, we are looking at 20.”
Chimwala said coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua’s argument was that the players were inactive for a long time and also highlighted the need to accommodate the transitional process.
“But we still felt 60 was on the higher side and we have just been tussling over that,” he said.
The NAM GS said ultimately, the plan is to have a pool of 30 players and form two teams—the main one and the feeder team comprising players aged below 21.
Said Chimwala: “The idea is that those that will be under performing in the main team will be dropped to accommodate promising talent from the reserve side. There should always be competition and no one should be guaranteed a place in the team.
“The other thing is that some of our key players are heading towards the twilight of their careers; hence, the need to come up with a proper transitional plan.”
He also said they are planning to introduce a code of conduct for national team players.
However, Chawinga-Kalua said they submitted a bloated list because her programme wasn’t followed.
“I did not have time to asses players that were selected from the identification exercise as such, we have settled for an alternative as suggested by NAM to pick 30 players,” she said
Meanwhile, Chimwala has hinted at sending two different teams for the Tri-Nations tournament in England (November 22 to 29) and the Pent Series in Namibia (November 1 to 5) as well as the Africa Netball Championship (November 9 to 16).
“Priority will be the Pent Series and Africa Netball Cup because they contribute significantly to world rankings,” he said.
The Tri-Nations will also involve England and Jamaica.
The Queens last played in November 2020 when they faced their continental rivals South Africa’s Spar Proteas who won all the three test series.