The captain of the Spar South African netball team, Amanda Mynhardt, arrived back in South Africa last week in time for the team’s final training camp before their departure for a three-Test series against Jamaica.
Mynhardt spent three months in Auckland, New Zealand, playing for Collegiates Club in the North Harbour netball league. “I learned so much from my three months there,” she said on Wednesday. “They play a very different style of netball and we played at least once, and sometimes twice a week.
“Getting so much game time was very valuable. We don’t get nearly enough game time in South Africa, and that is one of the things that is preventing us from competing on equal terms with countries like New Zealand.
“It is important to have game time where you can put into practice what you have learned in training.”
Mynhardt said the North Harbour League was very competitive and it had provided her with invaluable experience at a high level.
“I also sometimes trained with the Magic team, which is one of the franchises in the Australian-New Zealand (ANZ) league. The ANZ is probably the best netball league in the world, and I really benefited from being involved in Magic’s training sessions.”
She said the netball community in New Zealand had a very high opinion of South African players. “They think we have some very talented players, and that is one of the reasons why they keep inviting South Africans to go and play there,” she said. “What we need is a proper league that will provide us with more time on court.”
Mynhardt was confident about South Africa’s chances in Jamaica, even though the Sunshine Girls trounced the Spar Proteas by 74 goals to 45 at the World Championships in Singapore last year.
“We know what’s expected of us,” she said. “We have watched that match over and over, and we know what mistakes we made. We have three matches, and we can improve with every match. But one thing I know is that we are all going there to win.”