Gems captain Kwangwa shines at Surrey Storm

Shelly Guni

England-based Zimbabwe senior national netball team (Gems) captain, Felistus Kwangwa is in top form for her Vitality Netball Super League team- Surrey Storm.

Kwangwa who has managed to command a first team position in her second season said she has adjusted well to her team’s type of play, adding that hard work has contributed to her current form.

Currently, Kwangwa has featured in 13 of the 17 games that Surrey Storm has played so far.

“It feels great that at least they now have trust in me,” Kwangwa told Review & Mail.

“And I think I have adjusted well to their style of play.”

Last season, the 27 year-old player could hardly break in the team’s line-up, which is now a thing of the past as she has made has made seven starts in 13 games.

“It was really hard for me to just be in the line-up and I didn’t know the reasons. But I believe they (coaches) felt like I had not reached where they wanted me to be.”

Kwangwa joined Surrey Storm last year from Platinum Queens where she was on loan.

She became the first local netball player to ply her trade in one of the world’s professional netball leagues.

In her maiden season, the team finished eighth on the log.

“I have adjusted well to the style of play of my team. As a team we are rebuilding so it was not a matter of me lagging behind but we were trying to gel.  Even up to now we are still in the rebuilding process.

“But it’s now better off, because now we have a better understanding of each other. I believe if we are to go for the next three seasons with the same people in the team as of now, chances of us winning the championship in the next three years are very high.

“We seem to be in a better position this season as compared to last.

“Though I’m still heartbroken that we could have made it into the top four but unfortunately we did not.

“But trying to compare from our performance last season when we had three or four wins. We have improved so much and I think this is because of hard team work. 

“Remember last season our team was rebuilding and we are still in the process of rebuilding and I believe next season chances of the team doing much better than this season are very high.”

Recently Kwangwa was named player of the match following her team’s 55-52 win over Strathclyde Sirens.

Commenting on that, Kwangwa said:

“Before the game I told myself that I needed to do my best as an individual and be myself. I also think everyone contributed well towards me being the player of the match and I really appreciate them because it was a team effort. Without them it was not going to be possible,” she said.

The Gems are preparing for the Netball World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for August this year in South Africa.

And Kwangwa believes if she can maintain her form and her teammates are in form, the Gems will come out with positive results at the qualifiers.

“Possibly we can bank on that but depending on the level of fitness my other teammates are on now, remember this is a team, I don’t play alone. And even if no matter how good you are you still need your teammates to be able to win.

“I believe all of the players who will make it to the qualifiers including me, I might tell myself that I’m in form whilst other people back home are better.  Remember this is a slot to fight for and I keep my fingers crossed that I make it into the squad,” she said.

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