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In her first year as head coach of the South African Fast5 team, with a very inexperienced side, things didn’t go all that well in 2016, but the lessons learned was invaluable, said Elsjé Jordaan.

“There was so much I learned, like the importance of balance with team selection. It is an extremely strategic game and is not only about scoring the long range shots, it is about keeping the scoreboard rolling and executing the correct shot selection at the right times. Players need to be able to switch on within seconds, since there is no time for a player to settle in.”

“Rebounding in Fast5 is a fundamental part of the game; offensive as well as defensive, so the circle players rebounding abilities are very important. The most difficult thing about Fast5 is that the circle works exactly the opposite as the normal game and that makes it really hard for the players to adapt. In Fast5 you want to be in zone two and three and in the normal game you want to be in zone one, so defenders and shooters must change their circle approach completely,” Jordaan shared some of her observations from last year.

Experience, especially in a format that doesn’t get played very often, is extremely important, Jordaan expressed.
In last year’s team only three players, Lauren-Lee Christians (twice), Phumza Maweni and Juline Rossouw (both once) played in the World Series previously. Malawi, who ended third, didn’t have any debutants.

“A lot of decisions must be made during the match and that needs calmness and experience to allow the players to make the right decisions. It is very easy to get into a rushed mode all the time, but that is exactly where you will lose the game. Although you need to be bold and brave in Fast5, you also need to be calm and collected at the same time.”

“Fast5 is still netball only played at a fierce pace where the game can change within six minutes. Experience allows players and coaches to make better decisions under immense pressure.”

Jordaan hopes a sponsor could come on board for a national tournament to be established and to build the brand.
“Like sevens rugby and T20 cricket it attracts a different type of player especially on attack and it can become another platform for players and coaches to develop and grow. This format is very exciting. Where can you see the world’s best teams play each other over two days? The purists may not like it, but it is great fun an absolute crowd thrilling game. It is growing yearly and offers a lot of excitement to the game.”

The Fast5 Netball World Series will be broadcast LIVE across SuperSport SS9, SS11 and CSN from 04:30 on Saturday 28 October and from 03:00 on SS5, SS9, SS11 and CSN on Sunday 29 October.