JOHANNESBURG – The two South African netball teams set to do battle at the Diamond Challenge in Limpopo this coming week were announced by national coach Norma Plummer in Tshwane over the weekend.
Following a week-long training camp, two teams were selected to take on national sides from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia over five days of scintillating action at the Ngoako Ramathlodi Sports Complex in Seshego from Tuesday to Sunday.
South Africa will be represented by the Proteas as well as a President’s XII, which will showcase some of the up and coming stars of the game.
Speaking at the announcement, Plummer explained: “I was extremely happy with the standard of players at camp to be able to select the strongest possible Proteas team," said Plummer.
Plummer, when asked about South Africa’s dominance in previous tournaments, added: ‘”We will respect all teams we play in the Diamond Challenge and we will be working hard to win these games.
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"Africa play a unique style of netball and our girls need to adapt to that style as four African players will be at the World Cup in Liverpool next year and the Proteas need to be well prepared."
Bongi Msomi was named as captain of the Proteas, with Karla Pretorius serving as vice-captain. Jessica Khomo was selected to fill the captain’s role for the President’s XII team, with Danelle Lochner as her vice-captain.
Msomi added: "I am very happy for the platform the Diamond Challenge will provide for all the young players. It is very important for them to get exposed to playing teams from other countries."
Diamond Challenge action gets underway on Tuesday afternoon with the Proteas taking on neighbours Namibia before Botswana battle it out with Zimbabwe later.
The last match of the day will then see the President’s XII up against Zambia. The games will be broadcast live on SuperSport 8.
African News Agency (ANA)