Tournament part of 2023 World Cup preparations

Proteas to try out new netball talent in Challenge

SPAR Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi applauds the fans after a match against Jamaica in Liverpool at the 2019 Netball World Cup.
SPAR Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi applauds the fans after a match against Jamaica in Liverpool at the 2019 Netball World Cup.
Image: Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images

In the absence of overseas-based players, Spar Proteas coach Dorette Badenhorst says she would use this opportunity to assess locally-based players.

The Proteas will take part in the Spar Challenge against Uganda, Namibia, Baby Proteas Under-21 and the President's Invitational Team in Cape Town from March 24-31.

Bongiwe Msomi will captain the Proteas and her experience will help the debutants to settle into the team. SA will host the International Netball Federation World Cup in Cape Town in 2023. Badenhorst and her assistant Dumisani Chauke will use this challenge to cast their net wide when it comes to identifying talent.

“With the Challenge, we are looking forward to getting back onto the court. This will be our first training camp and I am looking forward to working with all the players and try all the different combinations," said Badenhorst.

Badenhorst explained that the Proteas would be without the players that were selected for the Test Series against Uganda in January due to the travel restrictions.

“We will be without eight members of the original squad as they are based in the United Kingdom and Australia and one player is writing her exams. Our preparations will be hugely affected and we have to work hard on our combinations. But this will allow other players to showcase their talent," she said.

The coach will use the training camp to look at the players' skills, commitment, attitude, and discipline. She said she would not underestimate the African opponents of Uganda and Namibia in the Challenge.

“It is always difficult to play African oppositions and I will not underestimate them. Namibia are working hard on their game and want to qualify for the World Cup in 2023 and they want to become a force in Africa. Uganda are always difficult to beat and they will give us a good game,"  said Badenhorst.

She added that President's Invitational Team will play a huge role in their preparations.

“These players will play a huge role in our World Cup preparations. We would like to have at least three players in each position. We need to give these players more opportunities to play at the international level and play against the best in the world. We will prepare them the same way as the Proteas players."

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