Chauke targets top-four finish in City of Roses

Fire Balls coach can't wait to turn up heat at national league

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 25: Bongiwe Msomi of Golden Fireballs in Division 1 Semi-final 2 between Crinums and Fireballs during day 12 of the Telkom Netball League at Mangaung Indoor Sports Complex
BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 25: Bongiwe Msomi of Golden Fireballs in Division 1 Semi-final 2 between Crinums and Fireballs during day 12 of the Telkom Netball League at Mangaung Indoor Sports Complex
Image: Gallo Images

Gauteng Golden Fire Balls coach Dumisani Chauke says the seventh edition of the Telkom Netball League cannot come soon enough.

The Spar Proteas assistant  coach, who posted videos of her workout on social media to motivate players, is ready to return to the court after six months of lockdown due to Covid-19.

The TNL season will be played in a bio-bubble at the Mangaung Indoor Sports Centre in Bloemfontein, Free State, from October 8-27. Chauke, a sports administrator at the Tshwane University of Technology, is targeting a top-four finish in the 13-team league. The Fire Balls’ best finish at the seven-year-old tournament was a fifth-place finish two years ago, but the mother of two is hoping for a change of fortune this year.

“We are not going to Bloemfontein to make up the numbers. The past couple of years we’ve finished in fifth and sixth positions, but this year we are looking to finish in the top four and even dream as [going as] far as the top three. That is what we are working towards right now,” said an optimistic Chauke.

The lanky coach said her team will bring a different style of play that will thrill viewers at home, with fans not will not be allowed into the centre.

“We will bring different energy, more like a revamped version of the Fireballs. The players have shown how committed and dedicated they all are for the new challenge. They take it seriously each time we step onto the court. In short, expect action-packed netball from my team,” she said.

The 2020 TNL was launched by Netball SA (NSA) president Cecilia Molokwane in Joburg last week.

The Baby Proteas will use the league campaign as part of their preparations for the Under-21 International Netball Federation (INF) World Cup in Fiji next year.

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