UJ caretaker coach David Maree was elated with the final result the team displayed in the conclusion of the 2018 Varsity Netball season.
The Auckland Park based side struggled in their campaign this spell and went the majority without securing any registered points. However, despite walking away empty-handed, UJ stuck to their guns and chose to work on their strategic strengths to build and nurture the young girls who joined the squad. Through their perseverance, the Johannesburg side managed to reach their goals and eventually won their final fixture against VUT to cement their seventh place position on the illustrious log.
Maree described how ecstatic he was at his team’s performance against VUT.
“I’m extremely proud of the girls in the way they played their final fixture. They stuck to the game plan and they really put their bodies on the line, I think I was quite worried after quarter one but it seems they got their rhythm as the game progressed. As part of our strategy, I had different combinations that break the closeness of the game and we managed to pull away from the game. [I was] very, very happy with this win, it was already a great follower-up from our game against UWC.”
Maree said the challenges they faced this season were nothing compared to the optimistic spirit the girls showed throughout.
“I think the season started with great difficulty against Pukke as they are very strong and we battled in that first game, so we really did have a terrible start to the season. However, as the season progressed, the girls did manage to improve and really came to the party and implemented the game plan and strategy. We obviously had all kinds of challenges to deal with but I think the girls dealt with the challenges in the most professional manner.”
Maree said gaining those extra points for surpassing the 50 point mark was his greatest highlight of the 2018 season.
“As much as winning our final game [against VUT] was a highlight, I must admit that last week’s [against UWC] was a bigger highlight. We were working to firstly beat UWC and to also get those bonus points for scoring 50 points or more, this was huge for us because we have battled to get past that goal all season. In the last two games, we have managed to break that and get 50 points. That to me is a highlight. Of course their win tonight [against VUT] was a massive highlight as the girl’s hard work paid off as they got their win and they got their points.”
By Liziwe Mbha