Malawi Queens coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda says he is targeting a runners-up slot at the 2018 edition of the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne, Australia this weekend.
Speaking before departure yesterday, the Queens mentor said he is optimistic his charges will perform better than last year when they lost all their five games to finish bottom of the six-team showpiece.
Saenda said they would like to evoke memories of two years ago when the Queens punched above their weight to beat giants—Jamaica and England—enroute to their historic third-place finish.
“Realistically it is difficult for us to eye the first place, but my target is either the second or third place,” he said.
However, the coach rued lack of international friendly matches ahead of the tournament.
“It could have helped us, but then there is nothing we can do about it. We just have to go there and try to give out our best.
“We will have to do with the local preparations we had and I have confidence in my players. They are capable of delivering on the big stage,” he said.
Team captain Joana Kachilika said the Queens are hoping to do better.
“As you know Fast5 is a bit tricky because of its unique format and anything can happen,” she said.
The Queens will play three games on the opening day on Saturday against Australia, England and Jamaica. On Sunday, they will face South Africa and New Zealand.
The tournament is played on round robin and the top two teams qualify for the finals while the second and third-placed teams battle for third position.
The Queens’ full list of players is as follows: Joyce Mvula, Jane Chimaliro, Alinafe Kamwala, Jessie Mazengera-Sanudi, Thandie Galeta, Takondwa Lwazi, Joana Kachilika, Martha Dambo, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda and Laureen Ngwira.