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SA netball coach pleads for high-level league

2019-01-17 12:08
Norma Plummer (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Proteas netball coach Norma Plummer has once again pleaded for the introduction of a topline professional league to enable the Proteas to compete against the top teams.

Speaking ahead of a tough weekend for the Proteas, who will be taking on two of the world’s top netball teams when they play England and New Zealand in the SANZEA Quad Series in Liverpool.

England are the reigning Commonwealth Games Champions and New Zealand are the World Cup silver medallists. 

Last weekend, the Proteas played against the Australian Diamonds and got off to a brilliant start, leading the Diamonds by five goals at the end of the first quarter and forcing coach Liza Alexander to make a number of changes.  

However, the experience of the world champions helped the Diamonds to come back and to beat the Proteas 62-45.

“I think we played reasonably well against Australia, particularly in the first half, where we took it right up to them,” said Plummer.  

“What has to be understood is that Australia have a fulltime daily training environment.  South Africa don’t have this. I have just five days to get them together, while the Australians have camp after camp with their team together. 

“They also play in a fulltime professional national league.  The players are professional athletes who do not have to work. Australia are the world champions and South Africa are ranked fifth.”

Plummer said the Proteas had reviewed the match against Australia and looked at where they had not achieved the key performance indicators (KPIs).

“We’ll be looking at ways to achieve those KPIs on Saturday and Sunday.  Last time we played England, we were within three goals of beating them,” said Plummer.

“England and New Zealand are like Australia, with their competitions.  They have 14 round, plus finals, while South Africa doesn’t have a national league to that standard.  It really has to come if they are to compete.” 

Several South African players, including captain Bongiwe Msomi, goal defence Karla Pretorius and goalshooter Lenize Potgieter, have gained invaluable experience playing in the Australian, New Zealand and England leagues and efforts are being made to get more South African players into those leagues.

The Proteas play the England Roses on Saturday, after the match between perennial rivals, the Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns. Last weekend, the Roses beat the Ferns 54-41.

On Sunday, the Proteas play the Silver Ferns after which the Roses take on the Diamonds. 

Proteas squad: Erin Burger, Sigrid Burger, Khanyisa Chawane, Rome Dreyer, Maryka Holtzhausen, Phumza Maweni, Tshina Mdau, Bongiwe Msomi, (captain), Lenize Potgieter, Karla Pretorius, Monique Reynecke, Renske Stoltz, Shadine van der Merwe, Ine-Marie Venter, Zanele Vimbela

Read more on:    proteas  |  norma plummer  |  netball


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