Ten Varsity Netball 2019 players have been named in the South African Under-21 squad to face Zimbabwe Under-21 in a series of matches come the end of November.
The Baby Proteas matches against their neighbours, from 29 November to 1 December, will served as curtain-raisers for the senior national team’s clashes against England in the SPAR Challenge International Netball Series at the Bellville Velodrome – the same venue where the Spar Proteas claimed the Africa Netball Cup in October.
Among the 12-player squad named by Dr Elsjé Jordaan (who was Madibaz assistant coach in 2016), four helped Tuks claim the 2019 Varsity Netball title; namely shooters Venetia Grobler and Danielle van Zyl, Mbali Ntuli who plays in centre court and defender Jamie van Wyk.
Nicola Smith, who claimed the MTN Interceptor award in the final at Rembrandt Hall, is the only Maties player to make the Baby Proteas squad while Jami-Leigh Goeda is Madibaz’s only representative.
Kovsies, meanwhile, also have four players in the squad to face Zimbabwe, with star centre-courter Sikholiwe Mdletshe named as captain. ‘Sne’ will be joined in the squad by Rolene Streutker (the leading scorer in Varsity Netball 2019), Bianca de Wee and Chanel Vrey.
The only non-Varsity Netball 2019 alumni are Panashe Chiranga who plays for Wits University and Elmeré van der Berg, still in high school at Jim Fouché in Bloemfontein.
FULL SQUAD (Varsity Netball alumni in bold)
Panashe Chiranga, Bianca de Wee (Kovsies), Jami-Leigh Goeda (Madibaz), Venetia Grobler (Tuks), Sikholiwe Mdletshe (Kovsies) – captain, Mbali Ntuli (Tuks), Nicola Smith (Maties), Rolene Streutker (Kovsies), Elmeré van der Berg, Jamie van Wyk (Tuks), Danielle van Zyl (Tuks), Chanel Vrey (Kovsies)
Coach: Dr. Elsjé Jordaan (Madibaz). Team manager: Edna Dolamo
FIXTURES (all at Bellville Velodrome)
Friday, 29 November: SA U-21 vs Zimbabwe U-21 (centre pass: 17:00)
Saturday, 30 November: SA U-21 vs Zimbabwe U-21 (centre pass: 13:00)
Sunday, 1 December: SA U-21 vs Zimbabwe U-21 (centre pass: 11:00)