Netball South Africa (NSA) on Sunday announced an experienced Spar South African team for a three-Test series in Jamaica next month, “We need to have an experienced team to play against a team like Jamaica,” explained coach Elize Kotze.
“Three of our very experienced players – Adele Niemand, Claudia Basson and Karla Mostert – were not available for selection, because of work commitments and injury, but this has given us the opportunity to bring in some younger players.”
The three newcomers to the established squad are Annemarie Frost, Anaret Viljoen and Mampho Tsotetsi. Frost has represented South Africa at the All-Africa Games, while Viljoen and Tsotetsi have played for South Africa Under21.
The team was announced after a weekend training camp, where the national training squad was put through its paces.
“I was very pleased with their level of fitness,” said Kotze. “It showed their commitment and their understanding that if they want to succeed, they have to keep training. “It would be naïve to think that we can just go to Jamaica and beat them.
Jamaica are ranked fourth in the world, and to play them at home is going to be tough. “But the players believe we can do it. “We have spent time watching the video of our match against them at the World Championships in Singapore last year, where they beat us 74-45, and we have studied every member of the team. “I think we know more about the Jamaican players than they know about us,” said Kotze.
NSA President Mimi Mthethwa said Amanda Mynhardt would remain captain, even though she had not been at the camp.
“Amanda is playing in New Zealand at the moment, gaining valuable experience and she is too valuable as a player and as a captain for us not to take her to Jamaica,” said Mthethwa.
“We are also very happy to welcome back our former vice-captain, Precious Mthembu, who will play an important part in the team,” she said.
One of the stars of the team is centre court player Erin Burger, who was named Player of the Tournament at the World Championships in Singapore last year.
Spar national team: Amanda Mynhardt (Captain) Zanele Mdodana (Vice-Captain) Chrisna Bootha Anaret Viljoen Annemarie Frost Bongiwe Msomi Erin Burger Mampho Tsotetsi Maryka Holtzhausen Nokuthula Qegu Vanes-Mari du Toit Precious Mthembu Non-traveling reserves: Melissa Myburgh Zukelwa Cwaba