Future of SA netball 'bright'
Johannesburg - The future of South African netball is bright, according to Netball South Africa CEO Christine du Preez.
Du Preez was speaking after the preliminary Under-21 squad of 15 was announced for the World Youth Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, in August.
"We're very excited about this squad, and about the future of netball in South Africa," said du Preez.
"The players selected for the training squad were all given exercise programmes to follow at home, and their response has been tremendous.
"When we assessed them at our training camp over the weekend, we were impressed by their discipline and dedication."
Du Preez said the Top 15 would undergo a series of training camps before being cut down to a team of 12.
"We are planning an Under-21 Tri-Nations next month, where the players will get some international experience.
"We are still negotiating with the other countries, who will also welcome the opportunity to play internationals ahead of the World Championships," she said.
Du Preez said the players would also attend training camps with members of the senior National Netball Team, with the first taking place later in April.
"They won't play in the national Under-21 championships in eMalahleni in July this year. Instead, they will compete in the men's national championships in Rustenburg in August.
"We want them to get some very hard and competitive game time, and we believe the men will provide them with this."
The Under-21 team will also play in the Diamond League tournament after the National Championships in August.
Two players, Sibonile Lungile Mthembu and Jeanie Steyn, will attend all the training camps, although they are not part of the preliminary squad.
Under-21 SA netball squad:
Deancke Rohde, Danielle Willemse, Mari-Lena Joubert, Melanie von Gunten, Nonthutuko Khomo, Simphiwe Sithebe, Izette Lubbe, Nobubele Phuza, Fortunate Bagula, Rochelle Lawson, Bhongolethu Ngubeni, Shadine van der Merwe, Fifi Tsotetsi, Zandre Kruger, and Juline Rossouw