Queens coach pleads for patience

Queens coach pleads for patience

Newly-appointed Malawi Queens coach Joana Kachilika has pleaded for patience as she starts the task of rebuilding the team to regain its lost glory.

Kachilika was recently appointed Queens coach on a two-year performance-based contract, replacing Peace Chawinga- Kalua.

She inherits a side struggling in global tournaments as for first time in 20 years they finished outside the top six bracket at the 2023 Netball Cup in South Africa last August and anchored the six-team Fast5 World Netball Series after losing all their six matches last November.

Kachilika said: “The nation should be patient as the team will be undergoing transformation process. However, netball lovers should expect an improved performance,” the former Queens captain and defender said.

“I, therefore, plead with the public, the corporate world and all the stakeholders to join hands in supporting the technical panel and the team during this period.”

The Queens are also at risk of falling outside the sixth ranking in the World due to failure to compete at the Africa Netball Cup in Botswana three months ago after failing to secure K128 million funding from the government.

Kachilika: Queens will transform

Despite that, Kachilika is tasked to fix the Queens’ broken pieces following the recent retirement of some senior star players such as centre Takondwa Lwazi-Chiwaya and goal attacker Jane Chimaliro.

Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has given her a target of winning at least 90 percent of games she will be in-charge of and ensuring talented young players from the Under-21 level quickly adapt to the Queens’ playing style and philosophy.

Kachilika said she is in the process of selecting players with fellow technical members and is consulting various coaches on how to come up with the best squad.

She has also asked NAM to organise camps and international friendly games ahead of the Africa Netball Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the Netball World Cup.

“With enough time for preparations, I believe I will be able to assemble a formidable team that will stand the pressure of the games,” Kachilika said.

Meanwhile, the Queens are expected to engage South Africa in test series matches later this month and early preparations are key.

NAM general secretary Isaac Chimwala said the new coach’s wishes for thorough preparations, including friendlies, will depend on the availability of funds.

Kachilika’s appointment two weeks ago came about eight months after NAM fired former head coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, who recently sued the association for unlawful dismissal.

The former Queens captain is being assisted by former Queens defender Eleanor Mapulanga while former wing-attacker Beatrice Mpinganjira is the physical fitness trainer.

Kachilika, who is also Imosys Netball Club coach/player, co-coached the Malawi Under-18 national team that claimed silver at the 2021 African Union Sports Council Region 5 Games in Maseru, Lesotho alongside Carol Mtukule-Ngwira.

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