Nine of the South Africans who played in the Netball World Cup in Cape Town last month have secured contracts to play professional netball overseas.
The Proteas finished in sixth place in the tournament, but have retained their fifth-place world ranking, ahead of fellow Africans Malawi in sixth and Uganda in seventh place.
South Africa Assistant Coach Dumisani Chauke believes having so many players gaining experience in professional leagues in the United Kingdom and in New Zealand is good news for the SPAR Proteas.
“These players will be playing at a high level on a regular basis,” said Chauke.
“The more game time our players have, the better it is for the SPAR Proteas. Australia, New Zealand and England all have very competitive professional leagues and that is one of the reasons why they remain at the top of the international netball world.
“We need our own professional league but until that time, we need as many players as possible playing a high level of netball on a regular basis,” she said.
“All countries have their own style of netball, and it is also to our advantage to have players who know how the game is played in other countries.”
Jeante Steyn will be playing for Southern Steel in New Zealand, while the other eight have contracts with teams in the Superleague in the United Kingdom.
Elmere van der Berg and Shadine van der Merwe will be joining Manchester Thunder; Khanyisa Chawane will play for the Celtic Dragons, based in Cardiff; Lefebre Rademan is joining the Severn Stars in Worcester; Nicola Smith is going to Loughborough Lightning; Nichole Taljaard will play for London Pulse; Owethu Ngubane for the Strathclyde Sirens in Scotland and Ine-Mari Venter will turn out for the Saracens Mavericks in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
However, the Proteas will be undertaking a three-Test tour of Australia before the players join their professional teams. The three Tests against the Diamonds will be played in Cairns on Thursday, October 26, and in Hobart on Sunday, October 29, and on Tuesday, October 31.
Written by: Ntsako Mukhari