Sport

Shanduka appointed national team netball head coach

Moorosi Tsiane

DECORATED netball coach Munyaradzi Shanduka has been appointed the head coach of the national under-19 and under-21 teams as the Lesotho Netball Association (LNA) prepares for next year’s Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Games.

The games will be hosted by Lesotho next year after Botswana hosted the previous edition last year.

Shanduka also coached the national team at last year’s edition of the games.

According to LNA secretary General Boiketlo Hanyane, they presented the appointment letter to Shanduka last week although he is yet to formally accept the appointment.

“We sent him the letter on Thursday but we haven’t received any response from him, so we can’t really talk much about it now,” Hanyane said.

She said among other things, Shanduka is expected to prepare the under-20 team for the Region 5 Games as well as assembling the under-21 team which will be playing at the 2021 Fiji World Cup qualifiers.

“He will be expected to evaluate, recruit, train and coach the players to compete in the Region 5 Games next year and the World Cup Youth Games qualifiers in Fiji in 2021,” she said.

On his part, Shanduka told the Sunday Express on Friday that he is yet to receive the letter of appointment from LNA but said he will be happy to coach the teams once again.

“I haven’t received any letter or any official appointment for the position you are talking about but we have discussed it earlier with the LNA president and I told her that I wouldn’t mind to coach the teams again,” he said.

Shanduka is the National Netball League defending champions, Leqele High School coach, and fared fairly well last year unlike in 2016 where they lost all their matches.

“We did better last year unlike the team that went to Angola in 2016 which lost all its matches. At least, we managed to win some. I was not entirely happy with the performance but it was promising,” Shanduka said.

He however, said he has his own conditions which he wants the LNA to meet before he accepts the job.

“I want to have consistency in my team, so I want to work with people who share the same vision as myself and one of my conditions before accepting the LNA offer will be that they allow me to select my assistant coach.

“I need someone whom I will be grooming so that at least in the next two years, they will be ready to take the team even if I am not there.

“I also want them to give us a knowledgeable manager, who will understand exactly what we want to achieve with this team. It is only then that I will present my work plan and start working.”

He said it will be better to start now as they will have enough time to scout all the players all over the country.

“If given the job, I would like to start as soon as possible because we still have time and we can go around the country scouting for talent.

“There is a lot of raw talent in the country, so in most cases, when one is appointed to head the national team, the time will be limited and I am forced to take only players whom I know can deliver.”

He said he was hopeful that the under-21 team will make history and qualify for the World Cup.

“I don’t see why we can’t qualify. We just need adequate time to prepare the girls and you will see that we can qualify,” Shanduka said.

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