Malawian Kumwenda returning to Tactix in 2015

BRENDON EGAN
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2014
Mwai Kumwenda
Photosport
SHARP SHOOTER: Mwai Kumwenda has returned impressive shooting stats in her first year in the trans-Tasman championship.

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Tactix shooting sensation Mwai Kumwenda will return next season as she looks to build on her outstanding rookie campaign.

The franchise yesterday confirmed that they had re-signed the 24-year-old Malawi international, who has been a revelation in this year's trans-Tasman netball league.

Kumwenda has been a rare bright light for a Tactix side, who have won just one of their 12 games.

She is the highest goal-scorer in this year's competition with 498 from 544 attempts at 92 per cent.

With Southern Steel's Jamaican import Jhaniele Fowler-Reid under an injury cloud for their final game, Kumwenda has a strong chance to finish the regular season with the highest amount of goals.

Kumwenda, who is the first Malawian to feature in the competition has improved as the season has worn on and lifted her shooting volume.

She has scored 40 or more goals in a game on nine occasions and boasts a season-best of 53 against the Northern Mystics in Christchurch.

The Tactix had been in talks with Kumwenda's agent for the past month and she was always keen to return.

When the slightly-built Kumwenda signed with the Tactix last year, there were question marks about how she would handle the physicality of the trans-Tasman league and taller defenders. She has answered her critics and posed frequent problems in the shooting circle with her elevation, athleticism and accuracy.

The Tactix have again applied to competition organisers, trans-Tasman Netball Limited, for two import players next season. English midcourter Jade Clarke has been a standout for the side over the past two years. Her future with the Tactix will depend on whether a second spot is granted and what the new coach wants to do.

The Tactix have been allowed two imports for the past three seasons due to the extraordinary circumstances they face after the 2011 earthquake.

Kumwenda has adapted well to her new life in Christchurch, where she has been living with a host family. She was excited about taking her game to an even higher level next season.

"I love it in Christchurch and am blessed to have the opportunity to play [trans-Tasman] netball with great team-mates and the chance to train in a supportive environment," Kumwenda said.

Meanwhile, the Tactix began advertising for their head coaching vacancy yesterday. The final date for applications will be June 17.

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