A ‘draw of lots’ will take place this coming Thursday to determine the fate of teams as the 2017 Netball Youth World Cup nears. The nail biting final draw, which will be hosted by the International Netball Federation (INF) and the games’ Local Organising Committee (LOC) will be held in Gaborone.
The draw will determine which of the qualified national teams will play against one another in the group stages of the tournament and knockout stages leading to the final match that determines the winner of the tournament. The outcome of the draw will undoubtedly spark plenty of discussion about which nations will survive through the group stages and favourites to poach the trophy.
Among those expected to grace the event are INF President Molly Rhone and INF officials who were part of the delegation that came into Botswana earlier this year to inspect the facilities and infrastructure which will be used to stage the event. The INF President and her entourage are expected to arrive in the country today (Wednesday).
At least 20 nations from the World’s five (5) continents are expected to descend into Botswana next year to compete. Fiji, Cook Islands and Samoa were the last nations to qualify for the world cup berth. The three nations join the likes of New Zealand, Australia, England, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada, Barbados, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa and hosts Botswana.
Meanwhile, despite the draw commencing the national under 21 team has not yet finalised terms with the identified coach expected to take over as the mentor. According to sources, while a coach has been identified, the Botswana Netball Association (BONA) top brass will settle for local coaches if they fail to agree terms with the identified coach.
Should this attempt to lure a coach fail, it will be the second time that BONA had failed to secure a coaching target for the country’s junior netball national team. Early this year, the association failed to agree terms with another coach they had identified. According to sources, the two parties could not agree on the monetary aspects of the deal.
In an interview with The Telegraph, BONA President Tebogo Lebotse Sebego said they are still negotiating with the coach with an option to continue roping in local coaches if they fail to secure an international coach. ‘’We would have loved to have the coach by now but it has not happened so we are doing the best we can with local coaches,” Lebotse Sebego told The Telegraph.
Asked if the budget for the coaches allows the association to hire an international coach, Lebotse Sebego said ‘’BONA has always been ambitious and we always punch above our weight. Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) has pledged to support in the coach’s budget so we are talking to another coach after failing with the one approached previously. If we can afford the coach’s terms we will engage her as soon as possible,” the BONA President explained.