DURBAN – There has been a change of policy regarding the selection of the SPAR National Women’s Netball team which was announced last week to play in the Fast5 World Series in Melbourne, Australia, later this year.
Last year the tournament was won by New Zealand with Australia runners-up.
South Africa will play full international matches in this year’s tournament against Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica and Malawi on October 28-29.
Fast5 netball incorporates some dynamic rule changes with teams made up of five players instead of seven, shorter quarters and power plays making for more shots at goal.
Head coach Elsje Jordaan said that last year Netball South Africa (NSA) had chosen a young squad to play in the Fast5 Series to give some of our rising stars a taste of international netball but that this year it was decided to go with a more experienced and better balanced squad.
“We have seen that countries like England and Australia are sending their best possible teams to the World Series and we will do likewise.
“In fact I am very excited about the makeup of the Fast5 team as all members are in the SPAR national training squad except for Lauren-Lee Christians, who is recovering from an injury.
“Lauren-Lee did a very good job as captain of the side last year and so I have chosen her to captain the side again in order to provide some continuity from last year,” said Jordaan.
“I believe we have a better-balanced team than in 2016. For example, last year we did not have specialist goal attacks whereas this year we have two in Maryke Holtzhausen and Renske Stoltz.
“Maryke brings so much to the team with all her experience and her exceptional talent while Renske, who has not been to a Fast5 World Series before, has a lot of international experience.
She and Phumza Maweni have both been invited to play in a Fast5 tournament in England next month which will be of massive benefit to us because they will learn a lot there and they will be able to pass that on to their teammates.”
Jordaan went on to point out that she had taken too many centre court players to last year’s Fast5.
“There is no point in taking players who normally play wing attack or wing defence,” said Jordaan, “as a Fast5 team is made up of a goalshooter, a goal attack, a centre, a goal defence and a goalkeeper.
“If centre court players are included in the side they will be playing out of their comfort zones and will be prove to be less effective and so we have selected two very good centres in Christians and Rome Dreyer.”
The Fast5 team and a youth squad were both announced at the conclusion of the SPAR National Netball Championships played in Durban last week, at which time another four players were added to the SPAR training squad, namely Tshina Mdau, Jessica Khomo, Kgomotso Ithlhabanyeng and Nobubele Phuza.
SPAR Fast5 Squad
Deanke Rohde (Gau), Maryke Holtzhausen (Free State), Renske Stoltz (Gau), Charmaine Baard (W Cape), Rome Dreyer (North West), Lauren-Lee Christians (E Cape, captain), Phumza Maweni (W Cape), Fikile Mkhuzangwe (NW), Jessica Khomo (KZN), Zanne-Marie Pienaar (Gau). Non-travelling reserves: Talja Venter (W Cape), Tshina Mdau (Gau), Shadine van der Merwe (Gau).
SPAR Youth Squad
1 Chante Louw (Gau), 2 Anja Esterhuizen (North West), 3 Talja Venter (Gau), 4 Nicole Taljaard (W Cape), 5 Jessica du Plessis (NW), 6 Anique Grobler (Gau), 7 Carla Werth (W Cape), 8 Khanyisa Chawane (FS), 9 Shongi Hlungwane (Gau), 10 Melodine Jacobs (E Cape), 11 Juzelri Garbers (Gau), 12 Lauren Adendorf (W Cape), 13 Stephanie Brandt (W Cape), 14 Jasmine Ziegelmeier (Gau), 15 Pamela Chukwa (Gau), 16 Nolusinsiso (Lucy) Twani (E Cape), 17 Sne Mdletshe (FS), 18 Akosua Mensah (Gau), 19 Monique Reneke (NW).