Despite finishing the continental netball championship on a runners-up spot, the International Federation of Netball Associations, IFNA, has been impressed by the standard of the game attained by the country.
IFNA’s African regional development manager Joan Smit said Tanzania stands a great chance to improve its current global and continental ranking.
The new rankings will be released by IFNA next February as Smit remained optimistic over a drastic improvement.
She said the standard of the game displayed during the week-long championship has exhibited how the country is making progress towards new heights in netball.
Smit said Taifa Queen’s performance at the tournament have been marvelous as it showed maturity and technical greatness.
IFNA rakings are revised every eight months and the new release is expected early next year.
The home side emerged overall runners-up breezing past Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The team lost to holders and eventual winners Malawi. Zambia were third, Botswana fourth, Zimbabwe fifth and Lesotho are tail enders.
The IFNA official said before releasing of the new rankings teams would be considered the number of games won on sanctioned tournaments.
Another criterion to be used during ranking of the teams is based on behavior of the players and technical staff.
She said the Tanzanian side at the tournament was completely deferent with the one played three years ago during a similar tourney and ended fifth.
“The Taifa Queens I saw this week was predominantly new but they played well, displaying good technical skills and the behavior of the players was good”, she said.
The IFNA official added that Queens should be active before January by organising and searching high profile test matches which could enable the country gain more points.
She attributed the team’s improvement to investment in youth netball and also coaching singling out Filbert Bayi Netball Team coach and Taifa Queens technical consultant Marry Waya, as being behind the team’s technical strength.
She said Waya’s unique way of playing was seen in the team and she asked the netball association (CHANETA) to keep the coach so that she helps the team to reach great heights.
“With due respect to all Taifa Queens coaches, to me Waya has transformed this team, it was playing well and CHANETA should keep her to sharpen up the team”, she said.
Her remarks were also shared by Malawi Netball Association president Rosy Chinunda who attributed Queens to youth development and the arrival of Waya made a huge improvement.
She said despite Malawi team having many good and experienced players, physiological advantage as the best team in Africa, they found it hard to beat the host side.
“In your national team I have seen four young players who last time visited Malawi with Filbert Bayi side netball for friendly matches. To me that is good and encouraging. Maintain Waya as part of the technical panel of the team, she is good at developing and nurturing players’ talents”, she said.
Malawi and South Africa are the only African teams in IFNA top ten standings, Botswana are Africa’s third best and 16th in the world. Tanzania is fourth in Africa and 21 in the world. There are 25 teams ranked worldwide with India at the bottom.