Netball South Africa (NSA) says it will not stand in the way of the captain of the Spar National Netball team, Amanda Mynhardt, if she wishes to go to New Zealand to gain experience, as long as she follows the correct procedures.
Twenty-six-year-old Mynhardt confirmed on Tuesday that she planned to travel to New Zealand, a netball powerhouse, at the end of February. However, the defender said this did not mean she was turning her back on South Africa and the Proteas.
Mynhardt will be playing for a club suggested by former New Zealand coach Yvonne Willering, and will return to South Africa at the end of July, unless she gets a chance to play in a provincial league, in which case she will return in October. Mynhardt stressed that she would be available to play for South Africa during that time.
Although there are no major tournaments this year, NSA are planning a triangular series, and have also been invited to play a series against Jamaica later this year.
NSA President Mimi Mthethwa said NSA would not stop Mynhardt from travelling to New Zealand to gain experience, but said the correct procedures had to be followed, particularly if she still wished to play for South Africa.
“No players are contracted to NSA, and they therefore have the right to decide on their own future,” she said. “However, there are specific terms of reference to be agreed upon by NSA and a player who wishes to continue to be part of NSA’s programme while playing overseas.”
Mthethwa said NSA had asked Mynhardt to provide them with the necessary documentation, including correspondence from Netball New Zealand and the club she will be playing for, before her departure, so that she could continue to be part of the NSA programme.
Netball New Zealand’s (NNZ) High Performance director said in an email to NSA that Mynhardt would be playing for an amateur club, and would not be under any contract in New Zealand.
“Yvonne Willering has told us that during the World Championships in Singapore last year, she was approached by several South African players, including Amanda, seeking to gain experience in New Zealand.”
“She advised Amanda that if she came to New Zealand, she would find her a club to play for, and if she was good enough, she could possibly representative netball. Yvonne said she was aware that Amanda’s first priority was to South African netball.”
In the past, several South African netballers have travelled to New Zealand to gain experience.
Goal shooter Irene van Dyk, who was part of the South African team that won a silver medal at the World Championships in Birmingham in 1995, has become one of the most famous Silver Ferns of all time, but others, like former Proteas captain Liezel Wium, have returned to South Africa to pass on what they have learned in what is arguably the strongest netball nation in the world.