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SA netball skipper off to top UK franchise
- Updated: December 22, 2014
SPAR Proteas’ inspirational captain Maryka Holtzhausen has become the first South African to join an English SuperLeague netball franchise where she will play in the 2015 season.
Holtzhausen, a veteran of the South African netball squad with 62 international caps, will be the first South African international to play in the UK’s top domestic league and joins the Loughborough Lightning.
She will arrive in UK at the beginning of January to start her preparations with the new look Lightning squad.
Holtzhausen is renowned for her creative attacking play and accurate shooting. She is also extremely versatile, being able to play in all three front line attacking positions.
After recently captaining the South African Fast 5 squad out in Auckland, Holtzhausen spoke of her excitement to be playing in the Netball SuperLeague next year: ‘I am very privileged to be given an opportunity to play for Loughborough Lightning in the 2015 season. I am extremely excited not only about what Lightning can offer me as a player, but what I can offer them. I am truly blessed.’
Loughborough Lightning head coach, Karen Atkinson said: ‘It is fantastic for Loughborough Lightning that we are able to secure a player of Maryka’s calibre. I have watched her play for South Africa for many years and have been impressed by her skill level, play making ability and composure under pressure.
‘She will add some much needed experience to the Lightning squad and we can’t wait to start working with her.’
Netball SA CEO Blanch de la Guerre said the federation saw this achievement as an indication of the increasing recognition for the country’s netball talent. ‘This is a ground-breaking moment for netball in South Africa. As netball continues to grow across the world we are sure we will see many players make their mark on the international stage.’
For Lightning, Holtzhausen will bring leadership qualities from her role as South African captain, which will complement the current crop of youthful talent. Holtzhausen will stay until the completion of the NSL when she will return to South Africa to resume her World Cup preparations.
Picture: Reg Caldecott