Netball star relishes SA call-up

2011-11-19 16:43

Rustenburg-born netball player Kgomotso Itlhabanyeng says she will “cherish and savour” her national call-up for the World Fastnet Netball Series in Liverpool, England this week.

Itlhabanyeng was one of the Spar SA Netball team members who gathered in Potchefstroom, North West, this week to prepare for the tournament that involves six top ranked countries from 2010 – Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, South Africa and Fiji.

South Africa is ranked fifth.

Itlhabanyeng says she is looking forward to making a name for herself in the national team.

Just as Twenty20 cricket has revolutionised cricket and attracted a whole new audience, Fastnet is expected to attract big crowds. It is fast, frenetic and furious.

“I’m probably in the best shape I’ve ever been. It’s one of the occasions that I will savour and cherish for the rest of my career,” she said.

Itlhabanyeng has been involved in the Netball South Africa training programme since the beginning of the year, and she was part of the South Africa team for the All Africa Games in September in Maputo.

“I am happy to be back in the team because it means that the coach recognises that I am doing well wherever I am.
“It is a good feeling and hopefully, I will do well for the country,” she said.

“I think my inclusion in the national team to Maputo was a turning point,” Itlhabanyeng added.

Quarters are only six minutes long, shooters can score from inside or outside the goal circle, with goals scored from outside earning double points, and rolling substitutions are allowed throughout the match.

Each team can also select one quarter as a power play when all goals scored are doubled.

Coach Elize Kotze said Fastnet would help the players polish their skills and improve their performances.

“It’s very fast and exciting. You have to play a very technical and tactical game.

“Our shooters, Maryka and Chrisna, have been practising shooting from outside the circle, because during the power play, goals scored from outside the circle are worth four points.

“Those things become important, because you know that every time you score a goal, the other side is going to get the ball,” added Kotze.

» Full squad: Tsakane Mbewe, Chrisna Bootha, Maryka Holtzhausen, Vanes-Mari du Toit, Bongiwe Msomi, Erin Burger, Nokuthula Qegu, Amanda Mynhardt (captain), Itlhabanyeng, Zukelwa Cwaba, Karla Mostert and Precious Mthembu.

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