The SPAR National Netball team began their training camp at The University of Pretoria on Friday ahead of their Quad Series against Australia, New Zealand and England next week.
The Proteas depart for Australia on Monday and Coach Elize Kotze says their preparations are going really well. “We have good continuity from our Northern Ireland series, our time in Jamaica and the Diamond Challenge we just played. The girls are really well conditioned.”
Friday’s training session was all about practicing the tactical movements Kotze says. “Most of the girls have been around for a while now, so they know what’s expected of them.”
This will be the Proteas’ toughest challenge this year, but both Kotze and vice-captain Zanele Mdodana say they are ready for it.
“We looking to go out there and really give them a tough and hard time. We want them to know that South Africa is knocking at their doors,” Mdodana says. “It’s been a while since the team has been competitive against the top countries in the world and we are really looking forward to testing ourselves against the best.”
Their recent performances have given them the confidence to go to New Zealand and Australia to really compete Kotze explains. “It’s great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team at the moment, especially prior to the Commonwealth Games in 2014.”
“We obviously want to win every game, that is what we try to do every time we play against every team, but our main goal is to be competitive,” Mdodana adds.
“I think we’ve already won the battle in our minds and that is where our strength lies. We believe we have what it takes to beat these teams. As a player I have done all I can to prepare myself, for what lies ahead and I believe the team is ready as well.”
And this series will serve them in their preparations for the 2015 World Cup as well Kotze says. “Netball SA has requested that I stay on until 2015 which is really great because it’s the first time in a long time that the team will have the same coach for 4-years.”
“We also have two new caps in the team which is really fantastic. Nadia Uys and Lindie Lombard have joined the team. Nadia is a specialist wing attack and has great potential. We’ve been looking for a specialist wing attack for a while now.”
The tour starts in Adelaide, Australia on 14 October and ends in Hamilton, New Zealand on 1 November, 2012.
Quad-Series Fixtures: Sun 14 Oct: Australia v England (Adelaide Ent Centre) Sun 14 Oct: New Zealand v South Africa (Adelaide Ent Centre) Wed 17 Oct: New Zealand v England (Newcastle Ent Centre) Wed 17 Oct: Australia v South Africa (Newcastle Ent Centre) Sun 21 Oct: Australia v New Zealand (Allphones Arena, Sydney) Sun 21 Oct: England v South Africa (Allphones Arena, Sydney) Thu 25 Oct: Australia v South Africa (TSB Bank Arena, Wellington) Thu 25 Oct: New Zealand v England (TSB Bank Arena, Wellington) Sun 28 Oct: Australia v England (Stadium Southland, Invercargill) Sun 28 Oct: New Zealand v South Africa (Stadium Southland, Invercargill) Thu 1 Nov: England v South Africa (Claudelands, Hamilton) Thu 1 Nov: New Zealand v Australia (Claudelands, Hamilton) The SA Netball Squad for the 2012 Quad Series: Chrisna Bootha Maryka Holtzhausen Melissa Myburgh Lindie Lombard Nadia Uys Bongiwe Msomi Thuli Qegu Zanele Mdodana (Vice-Captain) Vanes-Mari du Toit Karla Mostert Amanda Mynhardt (Captain) Adele Niemand