L-R. (Behind) Fortuna Bagula, Rochelle Lawson, Anneline Lewis (Director of coaching NSA), Izette Lubbe, Danelle Willemse, Nobubele Phuza, Nontuthuko Khomo, Bhongo Ngubeni, Simphiwe Sithebe, Charlotte Scholtz (Asst coach), Zandre Kruger, Deancke Rohde, Shadine van der Merwe, Nothando Mhlongo, Tumi Komane (Physiotherapist), Elize Kotze (SPAR Proteas National team coach) and Christine du Preez (Director selectors NSA). Front: (Kneeling) Melanie von Gunten and Rochelle Lawson. (Standing) Mimi Mthethwa (President NSA), Thana Basiretsi (Manager) and Juline Rossouw.

Netball South Africa (NSA) selectors announced on Sunday a strong South African Under-21 squad for a short tour to Singapore as part of their preparations for the Under-21 World Youth Championships in Glasgow in August.

“It’s a brilliant squad,” said NSA Director of Selectors, Christine du Preez. “They have the potential to be gold medal winners, and they are all very good future prospects for the SPAR national team.”

The U21 training squad has been attending a training camp in Pretoria, and the team leave on Monday for the tour which will include three matches against the Singapore Under 21 team, two against the Singapore Open team and one against Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).

“We plan to use this tour to see who copes best with the pressure of playing away from home and to see what we need to do to prepare for the World Youth Championships,” said Under 21 coach Dorette Badenhorst. “I am very excited about this squad. They have only had three training camps, and because they come from all over South Africa, they’ve had to work on their own, following their individualised and specialized fitness programmes. “We have been able to see the effect of their hard work, and it shows how much it means to them to be in the squad. “I have been particularly impressed by their discipline both on and off the court.

Badenhorst said the Singapore tour was just the start of the preparations for the World Youth Championships. “Traditionally, the Under21 squad doesn’t get to play very often, so this tour will be very valuable. After that, we will take things month by month, but are planning some exciting games with regional teams, the SPAR Protea team and perhaps even a tri-nations.”


South African Under-21 Netball squad to tour Singapore:
Danellé Willemse
Deancke Rohde
Mari-Lena Joubert
Melanie von Gunten
Bhongolethu Ngubeni
Izette Lubbe
Nontuthuko Khomo
Nothando Mhlongo
Simphiwe Sithebe
Mukozo Fortunate Bagula
Nobulele Phuza
Rochelle Lawson,
Shadine van der Merwe
Juline Rossouw
Zandré Kruger