National netball coach Griffin Saenda is on Friday expected to name his final 12-member squad for next weekâ€™s trip to South Africa for the three-day Netball Diamond Challenge.
Saendaâ€™s team of 21 players has been in camp since last week, preparing for the tournament that will also feature Botswana, Zambia and hosts South Africa.
He said in an interview on Wednesday that he has taken time to drop players because the training camp was also a learning process for new players.
â€œBy Monday this week, I should have dropped some players, but I thought it is important that we keep the new players in the system as long as possible so that they should be learning.
â€œWe need to be building a back-up, so it did not make sense to call players and drop them after just a week,â€ he said.
Meanwhile Australia-based Mwawi Kumwenda arrived in the country on Wednesday and will go straight into camp Thursday.
Mwawi who plays for Victorian Netball League (VNL) outfit Peninsula Waves, arrived through Chileka Airport.
â€œShe will have to rest for a day, but definitely she will join the other girls on Thursday. We are glad to have her in the team. She will boost morale in the camp,â€ said NAM president Rosy Chinunda.
In an interview on Monday, Mwawi said she is looking forward to playing in South Africa.
â€œIt is always an honour to play for your country. I will give my all to help the team win. We already have god players and I think we can do well there,â€ said Mwawi who finished the recent VNL season as top goaler for a second successive season.
Just like South Africa, the Queens are itching to play in the World Top Six Series to be staged in Liverpool, England in December and for them to make it there, they have to maintain their current global ranking.
The team leaves on Monday and Saenda believes the 15 days of training will be enough to put it in shape for the tournament.
â€œThe good thing is that the local teams are busy playing leagues and are coming straight from a competitive Presidential Cup, so we had no problem getting them organised physically and technically,â€ said Saenda.
The games will be played from August 15 to 18 in Pretoria.