Johannesburg, South Africa – In a conference call on Thursday, SPAR Proteas coach Elize Kotze described the team’s experience of the Quad Series as a ‘new dimension of netball.’ Having played a total of five matches, all ending in defeat, Kotze said that their eyes had been opened, and that the South African team members would never look at netball in the same way again.
“Netball is in a different dimension in these top three countries” said Kotze, “everything is faster and stronger, and we can no longer look at ourselves in the same light.” Kotze described that despite having had a very good year of netball, winning a test match against Jamaica, defeating Northern Ireland in the SPAR Challenge and winning the Diamond Challenge, playing lower ranked countries may have instilled a bit of false confidence in the South African side. “We think that we do well playing lower ranked countries, but coming here we have realised the difference between amateur and professional netball, and it has made the players more driven and focused.”
“This experience has been an incredible learning curve for me as a coach, as well as for our players” said Kotze “You have to fight with everything you have on court. Not winning any matches thus far has been tough, but it has taught us to learn from our mistakes, adapt basic skills, improve counter movements and to be less predictable.”
The Proteas last match of the series pins them up against third-ranked England on Thursday 1 November. After some intense analysis of their opponents, Kotze says that her team is ready to prove themselves in their final match. “This match will indicate the growth in the team. We only lost by 9 goals in our previous game, and this is the match that we want to remember the tour by.”
The SPAR Proteas vs. England match with be broadcast live on Supersport 6 / HD 4 at 06h55 on Thursday 1 November.