Ahead of a busy international season, Netball South Africa (NSA) has named a 26-member SPAR Proteas squad for a training camp in Pretoria in July.

The squad was named after the conclusion of the eight-week Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League (BFNPL).

Head coach Norma Plummer and her assistant Nicole Cusack watched the last two weekends of competition, before meeting with NSA officials to discuss the selection of the squad.

‘We want to have a look at the top players ahead of an international season that includes the Quad Series, the Diamond Challenge, and two Tests against Fiji,’ said Plummer.

‘We watched the play-off stages of the competition, and so were able to see how the players performed under pressure,’ said Plummer. ‘We have also watched videos of the other matches, so we got a very good idea which players stood out.’

Four members of the squad – Lenize Potgieter, Bongiwe Msomi, Erin Burger and Karla Mostert – did not play in the BFNPL because they were playing overseas, Potgieter in New Zealand, Msomi in the United Kingdom and Burger and Mostert in Australia.

Plummer said she had followed their performances. ‘I watched Erin and Karla playing in the Australian competition, and I was able to watch the others by live streaming. They have all done very well. Bongi was the player of the match in the final of the super league in England.

‘I have also been in contact with their coaches, so I know what they have achieved,’ she said. ‘They have been playing at the highest level, and they will bring that experience back to the rest of the team. They will set a benchmark for the other Proteas.’

A team of 12 will be announced at the end of the training camp. Plummer said they would be concentrating on selecting the right blend of players for the international season.

‘We will be looking for players who can push the Proteas to greater things. They have reduced the goal difference against the top teams, and are getting to the stage where they can really challenge them,’ said Plummer.

The Jaguars, who won the BFNPL, leave later this month for New Zealand, where they will play in an international club tournament. Plummer said this would be a fantastic experience for them, and would assist the Jaguars who were in the national training squad.

SPAR PROTEAS NATIONAL TRAINING SQUAD

Shooters: Danelle Lochner (WC), Deancke Rohde (GP), Hélene Steyn (WC), Ina-Mar Venter (GP), Lenize Potgieter (GP), Lindie Lombard (GP), Maryka Holtzhausen (FS), Renske Stoltz (NW), Sigi Burger (NW)

Centre Court: Bongiwe Msomi (KZN), Erin Burger (GP), Izette Griesel (GP), Khanyisa Chawane (FS), Marlize de Bruin (GP), Nadia Uys Pienaar (GP), Romé Dreyer (NW), Precious Mthembu (KZN)

Defence: Fikile Mkhuzangwe (NW), Karla Mostert (FS), Juline Rossouw (WC), Phumza Maweni (WC), Shadine van der Merwe (GP), Tanya Mostert (FS), Rochelle Loubser (WC), Zanele Vimbela (GO), Zanne-Marie Pienaar (GP)

– See more at: http://www.sascoc.co.za/2017/06/15/proteas-prepare-for-busy-international-season/#sthash.YOrqyNDh.dpuf