There is optimism at United Kingdom-based Team Northumbria (TN) that Malawi national netball team star Lauren Ngwira will help solve their defensive problems created by a long-term injury to their New Zealand defender Tuaine Keenan.
According to www.northumbriasport.com, Keenan praised Ngwira, saying she is capable of filling the gap she has left. Keenan underwent surgery to fix a ruptured Achilles. She is expected to be out for six months.
“It was good that Lauren managed to come over before Christmas so I could get to see her play. She seemed to slot in straight away and we are all looking forward to her coming back,” Keenan said.
The New Zealand international said she expects Lauren to be a great addition to the team as they launch the National Super League (NSL) campaign on February 10 against Team Bath.
“She’s a good player and has that X Factor that I really like. I like her style and the fact that she’s prepared to test the boundaries,” Keenan added.
Ngwira’s said she felt honoured to be praised by Keenan, but stated that she was yet to agree with TN on the modalities of the deal.
“I expect to talk to the club today [yesterday]. I think I will be able to comment more after that discussion,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tigresses team manager Hellen Mpinganjira-Tasosa has said that they cannot sanction the move because TN have not officially asked for Ngwira’s release.
“She is still our player because her Tigresses contract will expire in 2019. We were expecting Northumbria to write us but up to now they have not,” she said.
Ngwira caught TN’s attention after starring for the Malawi Queens against England in Test Series late last year.
After the national team matches, she remained in the UK to undergo trials at TN much to the displeasure of her local club Tigresses who cried foul that they were not consulted.
Ngwira’s transfer has been embroiled in uncertainty because Tigresses and TN are yet to open discussions on the terms of the deal despite the UK league kicking off early next month. n