BY STEVEN WYSON
Top defender withdraws from Queen’s squad.
Malawi national netball team will be without in-form goalkeeper-cum-goal defender, Towera Vinkhumbo-Nyirenda, at the forthcoming Africa Netball Championship after she withdrew from the squad on personal grounds.
The Queens, who are ranked on position three out of eight teams in Africa and seventh out of 42 sides in the world, want to reclaim the continental championship they last won in 2012.
Netball Association of Malawi General Secretary, Carol Bapu, said Towera gave a valid excuse for her withdrawal from the squad which is preparing for the championship set for Cape Town, South Africa, from October 18 to 23.
“It is not for public consumption but as an association, we understand her case. We could have loved her to be part of the squad. “We want all our best players at the tournament to boost our chances of doing well but we can’t do otherwise,” Bapu said.
Towera, a mother of one, refused to disclose reasons for her withdrawal from the squad which is camping in Blantyre.
“Please don’t write anything regarding that issue,” Towera’s mother said.
The player has attracted praise locally and on the international scene following her involvement with senior football women’s squad and the Queens.
She played for the Queens as they finished on sixth place at the Netball World Cup in England in July.
In the same month, she was one of the outstanding performers for Malawi women’s football team during Cosafa Cup in South Africa then Olympic qualifiers.
In her absence from the Queens squad, First Choice Tigresses goalkeeper, Beauty Basiyawo, Tropical Queens goal-defender Martha Dambo and Civonets’ Colleta Mwalilino will battle it out to make the final squad alongside seasoned campaigners such as Captain Joanna Kachilika, Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira and Grace Mwafulirwa-Mhango.