Netball team raring to battle the best

2011-06-18 19:29

Coach, not many people know much about you.
Elize is a mother and an artist – a painter. But on the other side, I am a passionate netball coach.

I also own the Raloka Netball Ranch where I share my experience with the coaches and players.

I was the vice-captain of the Proteas team that won silver in England in 1995.

Has it always been your wish to coach the national team?

Since I retired as a national player (in 1995) I dreamt of coaching the Proteas one day.

But being the coach at this level is the biggest responsibility I’ve ever faced.

How well do you know South Africa’s opponents at the World Cup – Singapore, Jamaica and Botswana?
We beat Singapore (in April) and Botswana (in May) in the Tri-Nations series.

Jamaica will be our toughest competition as they are rated among the top four in the world but we analysed them thoroughly via DVD material.

We also played a test series against Trinidad and Tobago (last month) to get a feel of a Caribbean side.

We did our homework and we are well prepared.

What are the Proteas’ chances at the championships?
Our goal is to get into the top four. We have a good mix of youth and experience and the players are strong and mentally fit.

Netball is regarded as one of the most popular sports in the country, but it seems to be the last in line in terms of exposure and sponsorship.
There is no doubt that netball is the biggest women’s sport in the country and has more participants than soccer, rugby and cricket.

I don’t understand why we don’t get the same support from the government and the sponsors.

How has netball evolved from your playing days to now?

The science part of the game has developed a lot. I also believe that the game is much faster now.

What is your view on SA netball at club level?
There are only one or two clubs that dominate in regions and it is really a concern.

We should be focusing on reinstating a proper club system as it has such a huge influence on the provincial and national teams.

Why has it taken the Proteas so long to climb up the ranks?
The new coaching staff has been with the team for only five months.

We would like the Proteas to play more often against the top four (New Zealand, Australia, England and Jamaica).
We cannot grow as a team if we don’t play the best.

What is your plan for the team after the Singapore championships?
My appointment is only until the championships, but I would love to see the Proteas engaging Jamaica and England in a Tri-Nations series in South Africa in October and then against Australia and New Zealand early next year.

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