National Under 21 netball team coach, Kelebogile Mocuminyane, is optimistic her young charges can come back victorious from the Confederation of Southern African Netball Associations (COSANA) games billed for Namibia this weekend.
The team, which left for Namibia this past Friday night, will face hosts Namibia in the games’ opening match today (Sunday).
Speaking in an interview on the eve of the team’s departure for the COSANA games, the under 21 National netball team mentor said her team is not a ‘one man/lady team’ and everyone of the selected players is capable of having a big impact in the outcome of the games.
“I believe we have selected a very good side. Yes, we have had one or two who were considered for the national team or are members of the national team but I believe they are all very talented and if properly nurtured, they can make the core of the senior national team in the near future,” the mentor said.
She added that with the core of the current team having been part of the Under 20 netball team she coached at the Supreme Council of Sports in Africa (SCASA) in Swaziland, there is already a good understanding between both the players and the technical team.
According to Mocuminyane, when the team takes into the courts today, their aim will be to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the region.
Among the teams expected to give the young ladies a tough time is the South African team, which beat Botswana to deny them a final berth at the Swaziland SCASA games.
“If you look closely at our encounter with SA in Swaziland, they only beat us with a single point and went on to the finals. This time around, our wish is to win against them when we do face them,” Mocuminyane said. While expressing confidence in the selected team, the coach says the only problem is they have not had enough time to prepare for the games. She says they have only had one week of preparations leading to the games, and, as such, have not had enough time to work on some aspects of their game.
“We went into camp on the 29th of April and had a game during the Tri Nations tournament on the 30th, meaning we only started serious training this week,” the mentor said.
She further added that while they have had good training at the beginning of their preparations, things have not gone as they would have wished as the young ladies have not been involved in any competitive matches due to the league season having not started.
She says, with most of the young ladies members of clubs, they have therefore not had enough matches.
Among players expected to start for the team will be national team Goalkeeper, Ntebogang Motlakaloso, as well as Notwane Netball club’s young Goal Shooting sensation, Tumisang Bagidi.
Other members of the 15-girl squad are Kgabidi Banda , Gosego Tsele, Bronia Ntshabele , Chedza Matshaba, Franciana Eyman , Amantla Gaofiwe , Boitumelo Makgaritla , Hilda Binang , Kempho Ngongorego , Onnalena Morapedi, Kefilwe Bakwinya , Sami Mmui and Keitumetse Makasiri.
The team is expected to be back in the country next weekend.