Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
15 Jan 2022
7:47 am

Proteas eager to ‘step up’ against netball giants

Wesley Botton

South Africa will face hosts England in their opening match of the five-day Quad Series tournament.

The Proteas netball team will compete in the Quad Series starting this weekend. Picture: Reg Caldecott

Having flaunted their dominance at continental level once again, winning the Africa Netball Cup in Windhoek in November, Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst hopes her team can now step up against the global elite.

South Africa, ranked fifth in the world, will face the top three teams – Australia, New Zealand and England – in the Quad Series which starts in London on Saturday.

“It is always great to play against some of the best teams in the world. This gives you a sense of where you are as a team,” Badenhorst said this week.

“I am delighted that we will get a chance to compete at this level… we just need to do a bit of adjusting now and step up.”

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The national squad were in isolation in SA before their departure, arriving in England last week ahead of their opening Quad Series match against the hosts this afternoon.

After linking up with three of the overseas-based team members in the UK, Proteas captain Bongi Msomi said the 14-member squad were ready to take the fight to their opponents in an attempt to punch above their weight against the sport’s powerhouse nations.

“It is always an honour for any one of us to take to court and represent our country,” Msomi said.

“The mood in the camp is very jovial and everyone is incredibly positive. We have a few young players in the team and we as the senior players need to make sure that we guide them and hold their hands in this series.”

Preparing to face the global elite again later this year at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Badenhorst said they needed to take this opportunity to sharpen up in an attempt to end a lengthy medal drought at the quadrennial showpiece.

“This is probably the last time we will be together before the Commonwealth Games in July,” Badenhorst revealed.

“We will also be looking at getting some game time with teams that will not be playing in Commonwealth. From our side, preparations are already underway, and we just need to finalise an opponent.”