JOHANNESBURG - Netball South Africa (NSA) announced another Test series at a press conference in Bela-Bela on Wednesday afternoon.
The president of the association, Cecilia Molokwane, confirmed that the SPAR Proteas will host Uganda in a three match Test series that will take place from January 20 next year.
“The series against Uganda, ranked seventh in the world, is part of our preparations for the Netball World Cup,” said Molokwane.
“It is important for our players to play as many competitive matches as possible so that they get some game time under their belts and at the same time give coaches adequate time to try out various combinations.”
Molokwane also announced that the SPAR SA Under-21s, a President’s XII, the Uganda Under-21 and Namibia will also be playing a series during that period.
The Proteas U21 will be playing at the 2021 Netball Youth Championships so their involvement in that series will be in preparation for next year's tournament in Fiji.
Dorette Badenhorst, the SPAR Proteas coach said that the Test series against the Cranes will not only be for the team to prepare for the 2023 World Cup but also to prove that they are Africa’s best.
“After our success against World No 5 Malawi in Sun City earlier this month, we want to show that we are indeed No 1 in Africa,” said Badenhorst.
“The Test series against Malawi and Uganda is very important for ranking purposes. Any match against a team that is within 50 points on the rankings table can earn us a lot of points. That is any team from world No 2 New Zealand, to the tenth ranked team, Trinidad and Tobago. “
Badenhorst further stated that Uganda has always been a tough nut to crack and that she and her squad would have to strategise and prepare well before the two teams meet.
“They (Uganda) have a lot of height at both ends of the court, which makes them difficult opponents,” said the Proteas coach. “We will have a training camp of at least a week before the start of the series to prepare.”
The Proteas coach said she has been scouting for talent at the SPAR National Netball Championships but believes that she will not have much change from to the national squad.
“You always identify talented players at the national championships. Because it is being played on a district basis, more players have an opportunity and I have been watching B-section as well as A-section matches. I do not think there will be many changes to the national squad, but there will be some,” concluded Badenhorst.
The SPAR Proteas squad that will be playing at the 2021 Test series against Uganda and the venues will be announced in the early days of next month.