JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 21, Elize Kotze during the SPAR South African netball team press conference at OR Tambo International Airport on June 21, 2011 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Netball SA (NSA) president Mimi Mthethwa confirmed on Monday that they had asked Elize Kotze to stay on as head coach until the end of the year.

“We would love to give her a contract until after the World Championships in 2015,” Mthethwa said.

“We are in no doubt about her value to the team, but she understands that at this stage we are not in a position to offer contracts to anyone.

“We discussed the situation with her during the Challenge series against Northern Ireland in Cape Town last week, and she had agreed to stay on until the end of the year.”

Mthethwa said the team had shown a definite improvement since Kotze took over last year. The team will play against the top three in the world – Australia, New Zealand, and England Ä in October and November.

She said NSA was talking to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula about the need to make netball more professional by offering contracts to coaches and players.

Mbalula said last week that netball, the biggest women's sport in South Africa, needed more support.

“Elize understands that we have a long-term plan, and we hope very much that she will be a part of that,” Mthethwa said.

“Part of her job will be to work with other national coaches, such as the Under-23, U-21, U-19 and Fast Net coaches, so that they are all on the same page.”

Mthethwa said Kotze's task would also be to reach out to the regions and work with regional coaches so that players and coaches were more exposed to top-level netball.

“She has agreed to work with us and help us plan the road ahead, and we very much hope that we will be able to keep her in this position until after the World Championships in 2015,” Mthethwa said.

“In the meantime, we are very pleased that she has agreed to stay on until the end of the year.” – Sapa