It is as hard to ignore the influence Marlize de Bruin has on this UP-Tuks team as it is to keep your eyes off of Marlize when she is on court. The Tuks stalwart is always one of the busiest players to compete in the Varsity Netball tournament, and this is not just a matter of opinion as she was nominated as one of 2018’s Player of the Tournament.
“Mara” as she’s affectionately known, began representing UP-Tuks back in the 2014 addition of Varsity Netball and has since been an integral part of the team with her workhorse ethics at centre often being the anchor linking a strong defence and a talented attack. While she may often play the centre of the team, de Bruin’s versatility is often displayed with enterprising performances on the wings, both in attack and defence. Often winning her “FNB Player of the Match” awards.
She is often referred to as the “speed bullet” and, has over the season formed a formidable partnership with Captain Tshina Mdau which have been the catalyst to the dominant performances put forth by Tuks. Her work ethic and commitment make her parallel to a very elite club of South African players who show such good all-round netballing abilities.
“Ever since I started playing with Mara back in 2014, I’ve known her as a player that never stops. Never stops giving her all, never stops running, never stops because something is hard. And she never quits. She is one of the strongest and committed players I know and always makes a joke. Her skill set on attack is as strong as her defense and that is something that is very rare to find in a South African center player. No matter where she plays, she always have a presence on court an makes a big difference and makes a massive impact on the vibe on court. She is an inspiration.”- Ine-Mari Venter.
You can still Vote for Marlize as your player of the tournament by using Marlize’s emoticon (like) on the Varsity sports player of the tournament post. de Bruin is up against some tough competition in Nichole Taljaard of Maties as well as fellow finalist, Khanyisa Chawane of Kovsies who have both had fantastic seasons. Voting closes October 5th with the winner being announced at Monday’s final.
The defending champions will be relying on the tenacious player’s experience when they head off to defend their title against UFS Kovsies in Bloemfontein on Monday, 8 October, at 18h45 at the Callie Human.
By Theriso Lethuloe