Malawi Queens coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda has said there is a need for the national netball team to fast-track preparations for the Netball World Cup scheduled July 12 2019 in Liverpool, United Kingdom to have realistic chances of earning a top-three slot.
“We need to have ample time for training as well as some international friendly matches. The players have not trained together for months and we need to regroup so as to build coordination and improve out tactics ahead of the world cup,” he said.
“But as for the logistics and planning, NAM could be in a better position to comment,” he added.
The coach made the statement after noting that most of top-ranked teams have already intensified their tune-ups ahead of the global showpiece.
Uganda, England and South Africa have all have been busy since November preparing for the global showpiece to be hosted by England from July 12 July to 21.
The She Cranes, as Uganda are fondly called, have just returned from England where they played three test matches against the England’s Roses while South Africa’s Proteas were involved in a week long Diamond Netball Challenge which ended last Saturday.
The tournament drew Zambia, Zimbabwe and hosts South Africa.
On its part, NAM says it is working round the clock to secure friendly matches for the Queens.
The association’s president Khungekire Matiya said: “We are looking for teams that we can play friendlies with. We are also planning that the team should depart leave early so that it can play friendlies enroute to the tournament.”
Sixteen teams will take part in the tournament. Except for hosts England, five teams—Australia, England, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi—automatically qualified by virtue of their high ranking position in the International Netball Federation (INF) world rankings.
Matiya also said they are courting the corporate world to assist towards the Queens’ cause.
However, the NAM president said she did not have the Queens’ budget at hand.
“The treasurer is outside the country. We will be able to provide details once she is back,” said Matiya.
In the 2018 budget, government allocated K200 million towards the Queens, but she could not say how much is remaining. na