Wesley Botton

Compiled by Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Proteas team ‘working hard’ ahead of Netball World Cup

Cecilia Molokwane, the NSA president, said the national federation expected the Proteas to secure their first World Cup medal since 1995.

The Proteas management team and Netball South Africa (NSA) believe the national side will have sufficient preparation together as a squad ahead of the Netball World Cup in Cape Town in July, as they target a medal in front of their home crowd.

Proteas coach Norma Plummer announced a 15-member team at the weekend for the global showpiece, which will be held in Africa for the first time.

While the SA team has struggled at top-flight events in recent years, without getting enough time together ahead of major tournaments and series, Plummer said she was pleased with the squad’s build-up and she was confident they had picked a full-strength side for the World Cup.

Plummer, who guided the Proteas to the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool, had been in camp with the SA squad in Stellenbosch since 7 May, and she said they had done their best to ensure the best team was selected.

‘Best options’

“We have worked very hard with the players at our disposal. We have had some technical and tactical aspects of the game put to the players,” Plummer said.

“We managed to get some practice matches as well so that we are sure we have chosen the best 15 players (12 traveling and three reserves) which we believe are the best options.”

ALSO READ: Proteas avoid top three teams in Netball World Cup draw

The players will return to their respective domestic and provincial teams for the remainder of the Telkom Netball League that ends on the 1 July, and they will meet again in Stellenbosch for the final stretch of the World Cup preparations.

Cecilia Molokwane, the NSA president, said the national federation expected the Proteas to secure their first World Cup medal since 1995.

ALSO READ: Proteas need better quality competition year-round, says Plummer

“As a federation, we have given Coach Norma and her management team all the support they needed in preparing the best team for the World Cup,” Molokwane said.

“This will be the first time in 60 years that a Netball World Cup is hosted on African soil, therefore our expectation for a podium finish as hosts is a fair one. We can’t host and become spectators in our own backyard.”

Proteas team

Bongiwe Msomi (captain), Karla Pretorius (vice-captain), Khanyisa Chawane, Izette Griesel, Owethu Ngubane, Refiloe Nketsa, Phumza Maweni, Lenize Potgieter, Lefebre Rademan, Nicola Smith, Jeante Strydom, Nichole Taljaard, Elmere van der Berg, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-Mari Venter

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