After a four-year absence, former national captain Bronwyn Bock-Jonathan was named captain of the SPAR South African netball team announced by Netball South Africa today.
 

The team will play a three-Test series against Malawi, starting in Polokwane on Saturday 21st of July 2007.  The other Tests will be played in Cape Town on Monday 23rd July and in Durban on Wednesday 25th July 2007.
 
"It’s been a long haul back," said a delighted Bock-Jonathon, who ruptured her right anterior cruciate ligament during a tour of Australia in May 2003.  
 
"I had extensive reconstruction surgery, and it took a long time to get back to playing competitively, but I’m really thrilled to be back in the team after all this time."
 
There are three new caps in the 15-member squad: midfielder Nthabiseng Mbatha, and defenders Nombulelo Shongwe and Doretha Joubert.
 
Director of selectors Cecilia Molokwane was very happy with the team that had been selected.
 
"I know we are strong enough to beat Malawi," she said.  "We showed our strength when we beat the England under 21 team last week, and I am particularly happy with our shooters, now that Sindi (Sindisiwe Gumede) is back in the team."
 
Molokwane stressed that the team selected for the Malawi series was not necessarily the team that would go to the World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, in November.
 
"Some of our top players have not been able to get time off for this series and others, like Christine Markgraaff, are injured," she explained.
 
Malawi are not likely to be a pushover for the South Africans, having won the last two encounters between the two teams, at the Commonwealth Games and the Cosana Games last year.
 
But Bock-Jonathan was undaunted.  "I’ve never been beaten by Malawi, and I don’t intend to start now," she laughed.
 
SPAR National Netball Team:
Shooters: Sindisiwe Gumede (Zululand), Claudia Basson (Boland), Maryka Holtzhausen (Free State), Leanie Kleynhans (Boland);
Midfielders: Bronwyn Bock-Jonathan (Captain, Boland) Refiloe (Nana) Mochaka (Gauteng Central), Nthabiseng Mbatha (Gauteng Central), Precious Mthembu (Ethekwini);
Defenders: Adele Niemand (Free State), Leigh-Ann Zackey (Vice-Captain, Gauteng West), Anchen du Plessis (Free State), Karin Venter (Free State), Elzet Engelbrecht (Free State), Nombulelo Shongwe (Zululand), Doretha Joubert (Free State).

Venues and times of Test Matches:
21 July:  Polokwane (Seshego) – N Ramatlhodi Indoor Sports Centre at 14h00
23 July:  Cape Town (Good Hope Centre) at 19h00
25 July:  Durban (Howard College) – Old Mutual Sports Centre at 19h00.