Netball Scoop: Out of Africa – March 2022

Netball Scoop: Out of Africa – March 2022

Spar Proteas season blooms ahead of the 2022 CWG

It’s been 2 months since the last international netball series, and just 4 months remain until the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which start in July.

The fixture has been set, and the Spar Proteas grouped with Australia, Jamaica, Scotland, Wales and Barbados. Many would say it’s the tougher of the two pools with only the top two teams progressing into the final four and the possibility of a medal. The Spar Proteas have yet to beat Australia, but had the better of the Sunshine Girls the last time these two teams met in the 2019 World Championships. The latter will definitely be looking to settle the score, thus making the task of Coach Dorette Badenhorst that much tougher.

In the most recent international tests, the Quad series, expectations were high from the South African supporters for coach Badenhorst’s team to deliver. However with the absence of a number of key players this proved to be a tall ask and ultimately gave way to a couple of new caps that the Proteas can only build from going into Commonwealth Games and the 2023 World Championships in Cape Town. Despite finishing in fourth position, the Proteas built across the series and pushed both Australia and New Zealand, finishing just one goal short of the current world champions in a nail biting match.

With that said, since returning from the series, Badenhorst and her coaching staff have been hard at work preparing the locally based players for the challenge that lies ahead. Bi-weekly camps have been taking place in Pretoria to ensure that players are getting ready for the intense workload leading up to Commonwealth Games and 2023 World Cup.

Currently there is an ongoing camp  taking place in Stellenbosch where the selection of a team for the Commonwealth Games will take place. Included in the process is Badenhorst’s predecessor, world champion winning coach and netball legend Norma Plummer. She led the Spar Proteas into that historic 4th place finish at the 2019 World Cup and remains the most respected name in netball and one that Netball South Africa trusts with its vision not only for the Proteas but the development of the sport in the country in general.

Bridging the gap between the international based players and the Proteas playing in the local Telkom Netball League will be a priority, but one we can be certain the coaching staff have prepared for. The Telkom Netball League is scheduled to start in April and a number of the locally based Spar Proteas players will be in action and their progress monitored.

In line with those preparations, Netball South Africa has arranged for a series of international matches between the UK based England Roses and the Spar Proteas in Cape Town in June. This series will serve as practice matches for both squads, the big last test before the start of the games. With the Roses coming into this year’s tournament as defending champions, it will be important for coach Badenhorst’s Spar Proteas and their confidence to be able to put on a competitive showing if they are to compete for a top four finish.

Speaking to Netball South Africa, Badenhorst said there was a good spirit amongst the players, who were excited about the year ahead.

 

Who is performing overseas?

A number of Proteas are currently featuring in English and Australian leagues. Playing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball, Lenize Potgeiter shot 28/33 (85%) in her first game as she helped her team to a win. After a prolonged absence from the court, Potgeiter looked slightly rusty to start with, but grew into the game.

Six Proteas are taking part in the Vitality Super Netball League, including goal defence Shadine van der Merwe who has been in fine form for the undefeated Manchester Thunder, while Phumza Maweni (Team Bath), Lefebre Rademan (Celtic Dragons), Sigi Burger (Leeds Rhinos), Zanele Vimbela (Loughborough Lightning) and Ine-Mari Venter (Saracen Mavericks) have all seen plenty of action. Venter has been particularly impressive, although is currently recovering from injury and won’t return to court for a few weeks.

Other African athletes are also looking at home on the world netball stage: in the English league Proscovia Peace (Uganda) and Mary Cholhok (Uganda) are ranked first and second for the number of goals scored, Joyce Mvula (Malawi) is ranked fourth for goals scored, and Towera Vinkhumbo (Malawi) is ranked second for creating the most turnovers. In Australia, Mwai Kumwenda (Malawi), who plays for the Melbourne Vixens, is one of the league’s leading goal scorers.

 

National Men’s teams

South Africa has a thriving men’s competition, and another exciting development for Netball South Africa has been the recent selection of the Senior Male and U/23  Squads. The teams were announced following a camp held earlier this month in Pretoria. All invited players were selected from the Mens National Championships held in Upington in February.

Congratulations to all the players selected.

 

Senior Male Squad         

1              Luke Woolman

2             Sfiso Mtambo

3              Maiwashe Lutendo

4              Nakedi Nkosi

5              Eugene Sinxesi

6             Willie Mtshali

7              Kwandile Sithole

8              Mokaila Shiko

9             Muzikayise Mthombeni

10           Sicelo Gamede

11          Lucky Mokoena

12           Edward Manyathela

13           Siyabonga Thabede

14           Ashwin Bosman

15          Nkululeko Nkosi

16           Kopano Nkosi

 

U/23 Male Squad

1              Shane Labuschagne

2              Mcedisi Mngomezulu

3              Ralto Mckenzie

4              Nico Peters

5              Wandile Gumede

6              Sabelo Sebuyi

7              Simosihle Mkhize

8              Philani Mkhize

9              Smanga Mpanza

10          Nceba Mlandu

11           Khulani Ngobeni

12           Lungani Nyawo

13           Njabulo Nekhavhumbe

14           Vukile Zulu

15           Masixole Mange

 

 

 

 

 

 

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