Netballers ready to face Barbados

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

The national netball team is applying the final touches before their first Test match against Barbados tomorrow in Cape Town.

Griqualand West centre court player Liezel Wium was named captain of the team last week, with Precious Mthembu vice captain.

Wium, 31, is experienced and has spent two years playing in New Zealand, one of the world's top netball countries.

Wium was also the lifeblood of the giant-killing Griqualand West team at this year's national championships in Tshwane, steering her province to famous wins. They only finished seventh after they lost points because they did not adhere to the quota system.

"She also has an unbelievable work ethic, both on and off the court," said national coach Carin Strauss. "Being a midcourt player means that she is very involved in the game, and this can help her control the game.

"Precious doesn't have the experience of Liezel, but this is a good opportunity for her to grow."

Strauss said she was very happy with the training camp held in Potchefstroom last weekend.

The South Africans, ranked ninth in the world, are favourites to beat eleventh place Barbados. The Test matches will be played at the Goodhope Centre tomorrow, on Friday and on Saturday.

South African team: Liezel Wium, Precious Mthembu, Mary Ngwenya, Tsakane Mbewe, Refiloe Mochaka, Nontle Gwavu, Erin Burger, Simone van Heerden, Annemarie Frost, Zukelwa Cwaba, Claudia Basson, Zanele Mdodane, Amanda Mynhardt, Kgomotso Itlhabanyeng, Bongiwe Msomi.