ohannesburg – Netball SA have selected a strong and balanced team for the three-Test series against England later this month, according to coach Elize Kotze.
Kotze said she was happy with the team which would do duty starting September 22 in Bath, even though Erin Burger, Zanele Mdodana and Chrisna Bootha were unavailable for selection because of injury.
“Losing that much experience is a serious blow, but I'm very pleased with the team that we've selected,” Kotze said on Wednesday.
“Some young players, like Lindie Lombard, are going to be given a chance to show us what they can do, and we're also very happy to have a player like Yolandi Stone, who actually gave up netball for a while, back in the fold.
“Lindie went to the Quad series (against Australia, New Zealand and England) last year, but only got about 10 minutes of game time before she was injured
“But now she is back from recovery and rehabilitation, and she is very good back-up for a player like Maryka (Holtzhausen).”
Kotze said Stone would be a suitable replacement for Burger, who was named player of the tournament at the World Championships in Singapore in 2011.
“She's a good team player, and an excellent distributor of the ball,” said Kotze.
The coach said she was pleased with the progress made at a training camp in Pretoria at the weekend and believed that current world number three England would pose a formidable threat to the visiting Proteas.
“We have been viewing a lot of footage of England in action, and every player has been studying their opponent so they know how to deal with them.
“I think we're going to know a lot more about England than they will know about us.”
Following the opening game in Bath, South Africa travel to London to take on their hosts at Wembley on September 25, before concluding their tour in Worcester on September 27.
Proteas team: Melissa Myburgh, Lindie Lombard, Yolandi Stone, Maryka Holtzhausen, Bongiwe Msomi, Simnikiwe Mdaka, Nokuthula Qegu, Karla Mostert, Precious Mthembu, Adele Niemand, Vanes-Mari du Toit, Nontle Gwavu. – Sapa