After a frustrating last 12 months things are brightening up for the classy Madibaz defender, Jeanie Steyn.
The 22-year-old had a fantastic 2016 up until August. In that time she made her Proteas debut against Wales and was chosen for the SA Students team who won gold in America at the World Student Games.
She played her second and last Test in August of 2016 against New Zealand. However, apart from a couple of games for South Africa A in the Diamond Challenge, that was her only netball action for the remaining year as she was prohibited from playing Varsity Netball.
Steyn moved from UP-Tuks to the Nelson Mandela University where she studies visual arts. The Varsity Netball rules determine a player who moved from university can’t play for that institution in the first year.
Then midway through the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League Steyn, as a member of the Eastern Cape Aloes, fractured her foot in a freak incident when it landed under a vehicle’s wheel whilst she was traveling on a scooter.
“There were complications and it kept me out for about 12 weeks. It also meant I missed the USSA champs and only made my debut for the Madibaz last month,” she said.
It didn’t take the goal keeper too long to get back to her best and now she’s taking revenge for all the time she had to sit next to the court. Steyn has received the FNB Player of the Match award twice already this season.
“Taking to the court again is very enjoyable. One is never 100% when you return from a long lay-off, but I would say it’s going well, I’m satisfied with my form currently.”
According to Steyn, one of only two players with Proteas experience in the Varsity Sports series (the other one is her long time defending partner at Tuks and the Jaguars, Shadine van der Merwe), the Green and Gold is certainly something she wants more of.
“It is definitely an aim of mine and what motivates me, in particular, is making the squad to next year’s Commonwealth Games.”
Steyn, playing in her fourth Varsity Netball campaign, said she is enjoying herself at the Madibaz.
“Playing under Lana (Krige, a former Protea defender herself) is a great experience and I really enjoy her. Every single day I learn something new. Playing for the Madibaz is something different and a new challenge.
“Achieving a victory over NWU or the Maties in our final two matches will mean a lot for us as a team, especially if we could reach the semi-finals (as they did in 2013 and 2016).”