The Proteas will face England in three tests at the Bellville Velodrome this weekend.Photo: @Netball_SA on twitter

CAPE TOWN – Proteas netball captain Bongi Msomi is expecting the three-Test series against England to be a “tough job”, but is confident that the South African team can cause somewhat of an upset in Cape Town this weekend.

The Proteas will face the Roses at the Bellville Velodrome on Friday night (7pm), Saturday afternoon (3pm) and Sunday afternoon (1pm) in what could be regarded as a ‘revenge’ mission.

That is because England defeated South Africa twice at the Netball World Cup in Liverpool in July, including the bronze-medal match.

The Proteas will hope that it would be a case of third time lucky, and Msomi feels that her team have prepared well, having won the Africa Cup recently.

“I have to be excited that we are African champs. The girls really did well, considering we lost a couple of the senior players that we really have so much respect for. Other than that, we all know that African netball is quite different to what we are going to experience this weekend, which is really great for us as the Spar Proteas,” Msomi said at a press conference on Thursday.

“The only thing that can happen here is for us to improve as a side, and get the girls to fit in and get the experience. It’s going to be a tough job, and I’m sure that they are expecting a hard one, which is why we are really pleased to play against England.”

Coach Dorette Badenhorst won’t be able to call on the services of stalwarts Erin Burger and Maryka Holtzhausen, who have both retired, while World Cup player of the tournament Karla Pretorius has been given a break until the end of December.

But while she admits that their absences have made it a tricky selection process, the England series will provide an ideal challenge for the squad in what can be regarded as the start of their journey to the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

“It is always a difficult selection process. We lost a few key players, and to replace those players isn’t easy. We still have three brilliant shooters, and one of them will fit into a goal attack position, where we lost Maryka,” Badenhorst said on Thursday.

“So, it’s always a difficult one in an attacking side to select the players. It will depend on who will perform under pressure. Playing against the Vitality Roses, it is always a test for our players to see who can really cope at international level.”

Proteas Squad

Shooters: Ine-Mari Venter, Lenize Potgieter, Renske Stoltz, Lefebre Rademan, Sigi Burger.

Centre Court: Bongi Msomi (captain), Izette Griesel, Rome Dreyer, Khanyisa Chawane, Kgomotso Itlhabanyeng.

Defence: Phumza Maweni, Shadine van der Merwe, Zanele Vimbela, Monique Reyneke, Precious Mthembu.

@ashfakmohamed

 

IOL Sport

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