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Haniisha Muhameed

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Haniisha Muhameed is ready to grow up, and fast.

Surrey Storm’s newest international recruit made the biggest decision of her career when she agreed to leave home and sign for Mikki Austin’s side.

The 24-year-old has had to adapt quickly to the differences between life in Uganda and the UK, as well as to the demands of the Netball Super League.

But Muhameed is determined to take it all in her stride as she looks to make her mark in Guildford and beyond.

“I’ve not been away from home for this long and I’m a baby!,” she joked.

“But that’s not important. My dad told me when you get to a certain age, you’ve got to go out there and figure it out yourself, so I’m trying to enjoy it.

“My coaches are really exciting, really helpful. We have coaches that don’t just care about what you bring on court, but also what your life is like outside sport.

“I had a couple of opportunities after the World Cup probably based on my performance at the World Cup and I had to make a hard decision.

“When you have a bunch of opportunities laid on the table, you’ve got to choose the best option for you and then at the end of the day, I had to choose Storm.

“I wanted a space or an environment where I’m going to learn a style of play, grow, adapt on and off court and I feel like Storm are giving me that at the moment.”

The acclimatisation process for Muhameed at Storm will be aided by the presence of compatriot Proscovia Peace, who has returned to the squad after missing the end of last season.

Peace is one of the league’s most revered shooters and Muhameed, who can play in both circles, is keen to soak up as much knowledge as she can from her teammate.

“I did have a couple of conversations with her before joining,” she revealed.

“Peace has been here for quite some time and said, ‘This is a beautiful place for you to be and I think you’re going to be able to learn.’

“We started preseason without her but now she’s back to the squad she’s really exciting to see her. I’ve played alongside Peace for some time now, it’s even more exciting that we’re going to be playing at the same club.

“There is so much you can learn from her, I call her the legend of netball. She’s accomplished a lot of things and I’m excited to see her around.”

Both Muhameed and Peace’s presence in the Netball Super League is a reflection of the growing strength of Ugandan netball, with Loughborough Lightning star Mary Cholhok also amongst the She Cranes’ ranks.

A first Vitality Netball Nations Cup against England, Australia, and New Zealand proved a potential watershed moment for the nation that is intent on climbing the world rankings, and Muhameed believes it is just the start of something bigger.

“I feel like there’s so much we can offer in netball,” she said. “Lots of teams should be looking at Uganda, we have really exciting players, very competitive, very fearless.

“I think we need to just appreciate the fact that it’s going to take some time, but it’s going to get there at the same time.

“I didn’t think at any one point I would get here to the Netball Super League, but I’m here. So probably so many other girls can be afforded the opportunity to come through and get into really amazing clubs because they really deserve to.

“But you’ve got to keep working, you’ve got to keep, being consistent.

“We need to opportunities, if you want to see so many Ugandan netball players come here, we need to play in such tournaments.

“We’re not really scared to go out there and play in those games. We’re not scared to go out there and challenge the Ferns or the Roses.

“I hope these opportunities keep coming. I hope people understand that we are such a great team and give us more opportunities. We would love to play all these big tournaments because we really deserve to be on that stage.”

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