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Sigrid Burger of South Africa celebrates after winning the preliminaries stage two schedule match between South Africa and Uganda.

Sigrid Burger of South Africa celebrates after winning the preliminaries stage two schedule match between South Africa and Uganda.

Three 2021 Vitality Netbal Superleague (VNSL) stars and a host of familiar faces have been selected in the latest South Africa SPAR Proteas squad for their upcoming Caribbean Clash series.

Head Coach Dorette Badenhorst assembled a 25-member squad over the past week in preparation for the upcoming Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series against Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in October.

The VNSL has representation in the form of shooters Sigi Burger, Lefebre Rademan and Ine-Mari Venter who all featured heavily in the recent 2021 campaign. Both Burger and Rademan turn out for London Pulse during the domestic season while Venter enjoyed her debut with Saracens Mavericks last term.

Meanwhile, a host of ex-Superleague players have also been included in the squad. Of the 25, 10 have played in the VNSL. Familiar faces include Surrey Storm’s Shadine van der Merwe, Team Bath Netball’s Lenize Potgieter and Severn Stars’ Phumza Maweni.

The full squad is as follows:

Defence: Phumza Maweni; Boitumelo Mahloko; Shadine van der Merwe; Karla Pretorius; Simoné Rabie
Mid-Court: Bongiwe Msomi (c); Refiloe Nketsa; Tshinakaho Mdau; Izette Griesel; Khanyisa Chawane
Shooters: Lenize Potgieter; Ine-Marí Venter; Lefebré Rademan; Sigi Burger, Elmeré van der Berg, Jessica du Plessis

The last time South Africa took to court was in March when they played the SPAR Tri Nations Challenge against Uganda and Namibia down in Cape Town, a series that they won.

Considering that the 2022 Commonwealth Games are less than a year away, the coaching staff are working on building a strong and formidable team that will not only compete at the Commonwealth Games, but a team that will also be there in 2023 when South Africa host the Netball World Cup.

“As a federation, it is very important that we give Coach Dorette and her management team the support that they need as they get a team that will play in Jamaica, the Commonwealth Games and lastly the World Cup,” said Netball South Africa President, Ms Cecilia Molokwane.

“We have made it very clear that we cannot be the hosts of the World Cup and then bow out at group stages, a podium finish is first prize for us. For us to get this, we need to make sure that we begin to fine tune the team that will do the job for us.”

Badenhorst had called up players for a training camp in Rustenburg and this was the first time that the team hosted a training camp this year. Players selected here will be the traveling team for the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series in October.

“This training camp has been an exciting one for us. It was for the first time that I could spend some time with the players training before going into trials and selections. I am honestly happy with the performance of the players, it is always great to have a balance of both new and experienced players on camp, we were also able to give some of the younger players a bit of a run,” said Dorette Badenhorst, SPAR Proteas Head Coach.

“We are looking forward to a great series in Jamaica and get more game time for some of the players especially at this level. We need these types of games and competitions ahead of the Commonwealth Games and World Cup. We will use every playing opportunity to build our team and make sure that we achieve our podium finish goal in 2023.”

Molokwane concluded: “We have utmost confidence in the team that the coaches have selected, we believe that this is a good start for us as we build a team that will play against Trinidad & Tobago and the Sunshine girls. All the players that are here understand the responsibility bestowed upon them and I trust that they will take ownership of it. We wish them everything of the best.”

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