proteas prepare for new delhi

THE Spar national netball team leaves for New Zealand today, a day before the kickoff of the 2010 Fifa World Cup tomorrow, but the players say their thoughts will be with their soccer counterparts.

THE Spar national netball team leaves for New Zealand today, a day before the kickoff of the 2010 Fifa World Cup tomorrow, but the players say their thoughts will be with their soccer counterparts.

"We're so proud of what Bafana Bafana have achieved, and how they have been playing recently," said team captain Liezel Wium.

"They have done so well and have clawed their way back. We believe in them and are confident that they can go through to the second round and then who knows what can happen.

"We have been enjoying the build-up to the World Cup and we're sorry we won't be here for most of it, but we are sure that Bafana will still be involved when we get back on June 28."

The Proteas will travel to Auckland today as part of their preparations for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.

While in Auckland, they will play a series of matches, including one against the Mystics, a team from the competitive Australia-New Zealand league.

"This tour is very important because we haven't travelled abroad since Jamaica in 2008," Wium said. "Some of the girls have never been out of South Africa and this will give them a chance to learn about playing in different conditions. We will also have some coaching clinics from former New Zealand coach Yvonne Willering, who will be working on our defensive tactics," she said.

The Proteas will also rely on the experience of Nthabiseng Moabi.

From New Zealand, the Proteas will travel to Samoa for a two-Test series, which start on June 23. The match will be played on June 25.

Samoa are ranked No 8 in the world, two places behind South Africa. - Sapa

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