Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S netball export, Felisitus Kwangwa, says the future looks bright after her English side, Surrey Storm, experienced mixed fortunes at the start of the Vitality Netball Superleague season at the weekend.
The Superleague got underway last Friday and Kwangwa made her debut, for the Surrey Storm, the following day, when they beat London Pulse 42-40 in their opening game.
She also played on Sunday when they lost 41-53 to Saracens Mavericks.
In both matches, she came from the bench in the second quarter.
The Zimbabwe captain admitted she was nervous, going into her first match, towards the end of the second quarter but quickly settled in.
“Actually, I was nervous the first time when I got into the match. But, when I came back for the third quarter I had gained confidence,’’ she said.
“I really enjoyed every moment and I am so happy that I was able to handle the pressure because there was a time that we were down and then we went up.
“And, during the last minute or last two minutes, London Pulse were giving us so much pressure but we managed to calm ourselves and contained them.”
The goal defender said it was good start, winning their opening match of the season, but was disappointed by Sunday’s defeat.
“I expected to win all the games, actually, and I was so happy when we won our first game. This is what I had really hoped for. Of course, yesterday (Sunday) when we lost, I was really down.
“But, Mavericks are also a good side, a very competitive one. So, I should have been prepared for anything.
“As a player, you want to win at all costs because I have confidence in my team. I know my team is the best. It’s very unfortunate that, yesterday, it wasn’t our day.
“But, I hope and, I believe, we are going to work on our mistakes for us to improve our game.
“We don’t want to make such mistakes again, in the coming games, throughout the season,” said Kwangwa.
Kwangwa moved to Surrey Storm in an historic move, late last year, ahead of the new season.
She became the first player, from the local league, to join the Vitality Netball Superleague.
The Zimbabwean player caught coach, Mikki Austin’s attention, at the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool, where she played a vital role in leading the Gems’ to a successful campaign.
They finished on eighth position on their maiden appearance at the global stage.
“What I realised is here, the netball is very fast. So, for you to be competitive enough, you need to be a fast and swift defender.
“And, I think what we need is accurate passes as a team and also confidence in each other because I think we, more of like, made a lot of mistakes, especially in yesterday’s game and Mavericks punished us for that, so that’s how we lost.
“I think we have to be patient and keep possession all the time.
“Going forward, I expect to win all the games that are there, of course we lost yesterday, but that’s not the end, it’s just the beginning.
“So, if we manage to win all our games, at all cost, we will be in the finals,” said Kwangwa.
In their next games, Surrey Storm take on Leeds Rhinos this coming Sunday before they face Celtic Dragons the following day.