The SA U21 squad sent to Singapore during their pre-departure camp on 26 January 2013, (back, from left to right): Deancke Rohde, Zandré Kruger, Nobubele Phuza, Simphiwe Sithebe, Fortunate Bagula, Melanie von Gunten, Danellé Willemse and Mari-Lena Joubert, and (front, from left to right): Izette Lubbe, Bhongolethu Ngubeni, Nothando Mhlongo, Nontuthuko Khomo, Juline Rossouw, Shadine van der Merwe and Rochelle Lawson. Picture by: Reg Caldecott

The South African Under-21 netball squad made a clean sweep of all their matches in their short tour of Singapore, playing the Singapore Under-21, Malaysia Schools and the Singapore Open teams during their brief visit.

Squad coach Dorette Badenhorst is very happy with the outcome of the matches, with South Africa showing complete dominance on the court. “We have a great group of players with a lot of potential,” said Badenhorst. “This ensures some exciting combinations, and I expect a good performance at the World Cup.”

She said the players had learned a good deal during the tour. “It was a learning experience both on and off the court,” she said. “For some of the players, it was their first time out of South Africa, and they now know something of the challenges that playing away from their country can bring.

“The players supported one another and this helped them deal effectively with difficult circumstances, such as the extreme heat and humidity. “They also adapted quickly to playing on the international stage. Once again, the support for one another was very important, especially for those who had won their first caps,” said Badenhorst.

The tour of Singapore formed part of the squads’ preparations for the Under-21 World Youth Championships in Glasgow in August, and Badenhorst believed it was important that the momentum gained in Singapore should be maintained.

“We (the management team) need to see the players at least once a month,” she said. “We need more game time together, and the key to our preparations will be managing the players and their coaches.”


SA U21 Results during their tour of Singapore 2013:
SA bt Singapore U21: 65-26
SA bt Singapore U21: 70-29
SA bt Singapore U21: 62-31
SA bt Malaysia Sport School: 50-35
SA bt Singapore Opens: 57-33
SA bt Singapore Opens: 54-20
The SA U21 Netball Squad to Singapore:
Deancke Rohde
Zandré Kruger
Nobubele Phuza
Simphiwe Sithebe
Fortunate Bagula
Melanie von Gunten
Danellé Willemse
Mari-Lena Joubert
Izette Lubbe
Bhongolethu Ngubeni
Nothando Mhlongo
Nontuthuko Khomo
Juline Rossouw
Shadine van der Merwe
Rochelle Lawson