Taking on the top three ranked netball countries in this year’s Quad Series in Cape Town, the home team, the SPAR Proteas are looking to see what they are made of.
Playing teams of the highest quality (Australia, New Zealand and England), head coach Norma Plummer hopes this series is the ideal preparation for the Netball World Cup later this year. The fifth ranked side will be looking to turn on the best performances possible this year in front of their home fans.
The Inner Sanctum takes a look at five players to watch during the Quad Series in January.
Making her return to the international stage after fifteen months due to pregnancy, the netball community will be eager to see Pretorius, who is one of the best defenders in the world.
One of the best interceptors in the game, she is constantly working hard to win back ball for her team, coupled with the solid partnership that she has formed with Phumza Maweni at international level.
She has continued to help the Sunshine Coast Lightning win titles with the team missing out on finals this past season without her, and her addition to the SPAR Proteas Squad could be the spark they needed to help create offence off the back of her defence, which could win them the series.
Missing the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022 due to injury, Potgieter was a massive loss in the attacking end for South Africa. Along with the unavailability of Pretorius, they struggled to make much headway and took home a sixth place finish.
Playing in the Suncorp Super Netball league for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2022, she scored 351 goals with 92 per cent accuracy which was significant given the low supply she was receiving when compared across the league.
She brings accuracy under the post and a significant amount of experience against defenders like Australian Diamond Courtney Bruce and English Rose Geva Mentor.Embed from Getty Images
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A teammate that will look to link up with Lenize Potgeiter in the team will be Venter who plays in the attacking end, making herself a more mobile option that can play out of goal attack as well as goal shooter.
Initially starting out playing a more goal shooter game, she’s added the more goal attack style of game out of necessity, she’s now reaping the benefits at international level.
She is a very clean user of the ball and one that delivers the ball in well to her goal shooter while having the accuracy to finish off her work inside the circle.Embed from Getty Images
Shadine van der Merwe
Coming into the series named as the vice-captain, Shadine van der Merwe is now one of the more experienced players in the South African line-up. Playing between the defensive positions (mainly at goal defence and wing defence), her strength is her speed and her netball IQ.
Playing within the SSN for the Adelaide Thunderbirds a few seasons ago, to playing for the Thunder in the Vitality Superleague, van der Merwe’s experience against some of the opponents that she is used to be playing will be invaluable.
Being one of the most experienced mid-courters in the game, notching up over 150 caps, 34-year-old Bongiwe Msomi will go into the Quad Series as the captain of the SPAR Proteas.
Playing centre and wing attack, Msomi is both physically sharp and speedy but also possesses netball IQ and natural leadership which is not only important within the team setting but also in terms of helping to usher through the younger and less-experienced players.Embed from Getty Images
South Africa SPAR Proteas Quad Series Squad
Lenize Potgieter; Ine-Marí Venter; Nicholé Taljaard; Nomfundo Mngomezulu; Sesandile Ngubane; Bongiwe Msomi (C); Khanyisa Chawane; Izette Griesel; Refiloe Nketsa; Boitumelo Mahloko; Phumza Maweni; Karla Pretorius; Shadine van der Merwe (VC); Zanele Vimbela; Monique Reyneke-Meyer
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