JOHANNESBURG - Looking to ride the wave of a positive 2017 into the new year, Proteas netball coach Dr Elsje Jordaan will gather her troops for a training camp in early January.
Jordaan will assemble a squad of 18 players on January 10 ahead of the Quad Series matches in London and at home in Johannesburg during the same month.
Jordaan said the Quad Series will provide players with a final opportunity to secure their places in the squad for the Commonwealth Games scheduled for Gold Coast, Australia in April.
“This will also be the last chance for the players to impress the selectors ahead of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April,” said Jordaan, who formally takes over the reins from legendary Australian coach Norma Plummer next month.
“We have invited some of the players who have been injured to come to the camp and we are delighted that Ziggie Burger and Izette Lubbe, who have been sidelined by injury, are back in action and will be at the camp.”
The Proteas will travel to London for a once-off match against Australia before their return to South Africa for matches against New Zealand and England on January 25 and 28.
The side experienced a fruitful 2017 during which they made steady improvements that included a victory over the England Roses for their maiden Netball Quad Series win.
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They lost to Australia and New Zealand by less than seven points, before claiming a 2-0 series drubbing of Fiji.
Jordaan said the six players in the squad that regularly play in the semi-professional and professional leagues in England, Australia and New Zealand have exposed the conditioning weaknesses of local players.
“We have seen how our players who have played in professional leagues in England, Australia and New Zealand have improved because of their conditioning and that is what we want to get right with all our players,” she said.
“I plan to work with the provincial coaches so that we can raise the level across the board. Physicality is a major aspect of international netball.”