“Senior players will help us qualify for World Cup” – Mthembu

Written by on 15 March, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

Newly appointed Baby Proteas coach Precious Mthembu believes the senior players in her selected squad of 12 will help her team qualify for the 2025 Netball Youth World Cup, as they will take to the court for the African qualifiers this weekend. Mthembu, alongside recently retired Spar Proteas legend Phumza Maweni who is her assistant coach, selected a strong 12-player squad that will compete against six other African nations at Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall from 17-23 March.

Half of the squad is made up of experienced players who have represented the country in previous occassions and have accolades collected from various tournaments, including the Telkom Netball League. Mthembu will be looking to players like Karla Victor, Jade Atkins, Phopi Nematangari, Sanmarie Vissier, Zane Bodenstein and Sunel Smit to steer the team to World Cup qualification, as the Baby Proteas will look to replicate their 100% winning record achieved at the previous qualifiers in Botswana.

Africa will be granted four spots at next years Youth Netball World Cup in Gibralta, as the tournament returns for the first time since 2017. Mthembu believes the experienced players, who will subsequently fall out for next years World Cup, will help the team to qualify for the show piece event.

“We have a lot of senior players in the team who will help us qualify for the World Cup, and next year those senior players will drop out for the World Cup,” said Mthembu speaking on Extratime Unlocked on Gagasi FM.

“We selected players who played Telkom League, Varsity Cup who have experienced a lot of plays. We have adjusted the team with a lot of under 19s and 18s who played the region 5, so they also have a lot of experiece. So we will use the senior players for Africa (qualifiers) going into the World Cup next year.”

Picture: Supersport.com

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