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SA’s top netball regions ready for more brutal action
- Updated: May 5, 2015
SPAR Proteas coach Bennie Saayman expects defending champions the Free State Crinums and runners-up the Gauteng Jaguars to continue to set the pace in the 2015 Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League, which starts on Friday.
With just days to go to before the start of Africa’s most prestigious netball competition, Saayman, said the Crinums and the Jaguars would set the pace and be disappointed if they didn’t make it to the final.
The 2015 season, which runs every weekend from 8 May to 7 June, will again feature 10 provincial teams from the nine provinces and will be divided into two divisions. The premier division 1 is made up of the Free State Crinums, Jaguars, Southern Stings, Golden Fireballs and North West Flames
Division 2 will see Kwazulu-Natal’s Kingdom Stars, Limpopo Baobabs, Mpumalanga Sunbirds, Northern Cape Diamonds, and the relegated Eastern Cape Aloes fighting for a chance at promotion into South Africa’s elite division.
Saayman said the Western Cape Stings could be the surprise package of the season. Having led the Cape Town-based side to victory in Division 2 last year, and promotion to Division 1 with a comfortable win over Division 1 side the Eastern Cape Aloes, she knows the team well.
‘The team has got what it takes to go all the way to the finals, only if they put their mind to it. It would be great to see the Southern Stings go all the way. They are capable of doing that, but remember there the Crinums, the Jaguars and (Gauteng) Fireballs so it is going to be epic.
‘I haven’t mentioned some of the teams here but they can make to the finals. We have brilliant netball players and all of them can do the job. It all depends on how they do on the day.
Saayman said she was not writing off the other teams because anything could happen on match day. The experienced coach has cautioned coaches to get it right from scratch if they are to survive in the five week-long tournament.
She knows there can only be one winner at the end, but Saayman has said the coaches will need to lay a solid foundation and keep players motivated – in her view the main secret to winning.
Saayman said the players would have to dish out their best because it was a good opportunity and platform to show off their talents as that might open doors for them.
The national team coach said she was expecting fireworks in this year’s competition and believes the players are capable of delivering because of the pressure and the level of competency in the tournament. ‘I’m very excited about the tournament and I cannot wait to see what the girls have got to offer. I am looking forward to tight competition and again this is a good platform to see how far the players in the selected Proteas squad have come,” Saayman said.
‘We are always looking for talent and I believe we will be blown away. It is very important for coaches to get it right from the beginning and make sure they have set certain goals and stick by them,” she said.
‘It is also very important to make sure your players are motivated even if it means you have to talk to them individually. This league is very important and the exposure is really good because some players who are in the national team were spotted right here players must bring out their best.”
The tournament will be played at the University of Pretoria’s Rembrandt Hall for the second consecutive year. The overall winner in second division will then face a promotion battle with the bottom team in the first division.
Picture of the provincial players showing off the team colours, courtesy of Reg Caldecott