The South African Spar Proteas team will begin with their Netball World Cup tournament tomorrow, Friday, 12 July, against Trinidad & Tobago.
As part of the team’s preparation for the prestigious event that is being held in Liverpool, the ladies successively clinched their two-match test series against Wales in Cardiff, proving that they are serious contenders for this year’s instalment of the Vitality Netball World Cup.
Time to Shine after 24 years Without Silverware!
Back in 1995, South Africa managed to walk away with a silver medal in Birmingham, this making it 24 years since the team have been able to come out from the world championships with honours.
However, there has been tremendous growth since the appointment of head coach Norma Plummer, who joined the team in 2015, giving much hope that this will be best chance for the Proteas to shine.
In a press conference before the national side jetted out of the country, Plummer pointed out that her team have been able to deal with the pressure, especially with having to play competitive matches.
“They have learnt to deal with pressure and how to handle uncomfortable situations,” said coach Plummer.
An added advantage has been the number of players that are currently playing in professional leagues in New Zealand, Australia and England, which will be key as they will take on a formidable Trinidad & Tobago team in Pool C in their first match.
The Trinidad & Tobago Test
As much as the South African’s have been on a positive spell, they will have to keep their guards up as they face the Caribbean team. Plummer’s side will have their work cut for them as their opponents have a long history of appearances at the Netball World Cup, having played 13 out of the 14 tournaments to date.
Also, they are the only other nation, except for Australia and New Zealand to have been crowned World Netball Champions.
Who South Africa Will Want to Keep Their Eyes
As the Proteas will be looking out for key players that will be a threat to them come 18:05 on Friday evening, there are two individuals that constantly keep the Trinidad & Tobago side ticking!
Rhonda John-Davis – the wing attack will be making the tournament in Liverpool her sixth World Cup experience and that in itself speaks of how highly rated she is when it comes to being selected for her national team. Her vision on the court is second to none, so for the South Africans they will not want to let her out of their sight.
Kalifa McCollin – aged 23, McCollin plays goal attack. Her first taste of the international stage was back in 2015 at the World Cup in Sydney where she achieved an impressive 92% shooting average and this time she will be looking to start her tournament off on the right path.
SPAR Proteas World Cup Fixtures, in Liverpool:
12 July – SA v Trinidad & Tobago (18h05)
13 July – SA v Fiji (18h05)
14 July – Jamaica v SA (18h05)
Photo 1 Caption: Spar Proteas team after their victory against Wales, clinching the Wendy White title in Cardiff in preparation for the Netball World Cup. Photo: @Netball_SA on Twitter.