EASTERN Cape Netball president Mpumi Javu yesterday announced that a 21-member East Cape Aloe Ventures squad to take part in the newly formed national senior women’s Netball Premier League (NPL) starting in April had been selected.
EC Netball this past weekend held their last round of trials which finished on Sunday at the Hudson Park High School Centenary Hall.
Javu outlined their plans with the squad ahead of the league’s debut season.
“The squad is scheduled to converge for a training camp from February 22-24 in East London,” said Javu.
“From that training camp, the squad will them be trimmed down to the final 12. However, we have selected a big squad for a good reason.’’
Continued Javu: “We want to keep the squad training together which will add depth to the team and we have also brought in some very promising youngsters to groom for the future.”
The trials were composed by teams from all regions in the Eastern Cape and lived up to the expectations of many – especially juniors who aspire to play at such a level.
The EC Netball board is set to announce the appointment of an Eastern Cape Aloe Ventures general manager who will oversee administrative affairs.
Furthermore, the board is also expected to name the team technical staff in a week or two ahead of the training camp scheduled for later this month.
Javu said they have gone on to identify three venues which they will be looking to utilise as homegrounds during the national league.
“When we thought of home venues, we thought of bringing netball to the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Javu.
“We chose the Nelson Mandela Metro University, the University of Fort Hare Alice campus and Hudson Park .
“We wanted to accommodate everyone under Buffalo City Metro and East London was more central whereas with NMMU and UFH. We also wanted to include the students because of the support and the vibe the youngsters bring.”
The league, divided into two streams, with five team in each pool, will comprise all nine provinces with Gauteng producing two teams .
The Eastern Cape Aloe Ventures have been grouped with Gauteng I and II, Free State and Northern Cape in their pool.
The team is expected to be spearheaded by Spar Proteas women’s netball captain Zanele Mdodane, who has gone on to prove her leadership skills in the international arena.
According to Javu, the team has a positive blend of youth and experience which will be key for continuity in the future.
“We also had the BCM U21 team participating in the trials this weekend and we have also identified a couple of young players who we will be calling up to training camps as well,” said Javu.
With the BCM U21s – the SA Champs defending champions – the move will form part of their preparation for their title defence at the SA U19 and U21 championships hosted in Mpumalanga in July.
- The EC squad: Elzanne Lotter, Janine Daniell, Euleen Grobbelaar, Zandile Njeza, Zanele Mdodana, Sbongiseni Dlova, Dumisani Chauke, Colleen Ferreira, Zanele Vimbela, Lungelwa Nglanga, Yandiswa Makasi, Zeadine Januarie, Nadine Kirchoff, Sameshia Esau, Surette van der Westhuizen, Maryka Kirchoff, Noluvuyo Nodludlume, Mudi Mungengwa, Pinkie Kose, Nonny Lusaseni, Zukelwa Cwaba.