Two more key players Cecilia Mtukule and Tina Kamzati have pulled out of Malawi Netball Queens squad, but head coach Mary Waya believes the team will still make the grade at the Fast5 Netball Series in New Zealand. The event begins on November 7.
Mtukule said she was sitting end-of-semester examinations at Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA). However, Kamzati could not be reached to explain reasons behind her withdrawal.
Mtukule said: “I was busy with my examinations which I completed yesterday [Wednesday]. I have notified the technical panel that I am now available, but they told me now it is too late.”
The two have followed the country’s only netball export Mwawi Kumwenda who excused herself from the camping squad due to dental problems that require medical attention abroad.
Now, the squad has 13 players in camp from which 10 will make it into the final selection before departure for New Zealand this weekend.
Yet, when the Queens’ official sponsors Airtel Money gave out K6 million to the team for training and camp expenses at Blantyre Youth Centre on Tuesday, Waya was confident that the team will still make the grade at the international event.
“I have trust in the players that are currently in camp,” she said. “We need 10 players in the final squad and I believe we will make a good squad from the 13 players in camp.”
Nevertheless, Airtel Malawi’s public relations manager Edith Tsilizani urged the Queens to do their best to maintain the number one position in Africa and improve on their fifth slot in the world.
“We believe that this news [Airtel Money Support] will not only fire up the Queens in their camp, but also drive the much needed energy in them so that they break into the top-four zones of the global rankings through this year’s Fast5 competition,” said Tsilizani during the function also attended by Netball Association of Malawi president Rosy Chinunda.