The Blues will field a side with at least four of their five World Cup Proteas available for the contest, i.e. Erin Burger, Leigh-Ann Zackey, Chrisna Bootha and Vanes-Mari du Toit. The uncertainty surrounding national captain Amana Mynhardt’s availability because of injury is somewhat compensated for by the inclusion of the very experienced Des Kotze in their squad.
The international, with well over 50 test caps, and the presence of the national coach and namesake Elize Kotze could be vital in a match where absorption of pressure will count for as much as skills and talent.
The depth of the talent the Blues van draw on is further underlined by the young stars who have recently clinched both the national under-21 and Under-19 titles for their respective Gauteng North sides.
The Jets, on the other hand, do not have the luxury of many internationals to carry them through. On the other hand, they have four players in Melanie de Lange, Bianca Rhode, Candice Berge and Ilze Jones who have made the national Under-21 squad.
The Jets’ team spirit and the hunger for success that goes with young players augment their talent – and it would pay the Blues not to underestimate the side which is based in Kempton Park.
The semi final match takes place on Saturday, 23 July at the Rembrandt Hall at the University of Pretoria and starts at 12pm. It will be preceded by the final of the CUBS competition (Northern Section).
First Netball Grand Series Semi-Final, 23 July 2011
Programme of Events in the Rembrandt Hall, Univ. of Pretoria (R35 Entrance):10h00 Welcome 10h00 NGS Schools Warm-up 10h20 Schools Teams Announced 10h30 Hoërskool Hugenote vs Mondeor High School 11h30 NGS Teams Warm-up 11h50 NGS Teams Announced 12h00 NGS 1st Semi-final: Galaxy Blues vs Starlight Jets
The Netball Grand Series Log Positions after the Preliminary Rounds:1. Lightning Roses 35 2. Galaxy Blues 30 3. Starlight Jets 28 4. Black Diamonds 21 5. Ibhayi Gales 21 6. Red Kestrels 13 7. Western Storms 12 8. Kingdom Queens 7