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Head coach of the SPAR National Netball team Elsje Jordaan says she is excited about the makeup of the team selected for the Fast5 World Series to be played in Melbourne, Australia, at the end of October.

“Last year, Netball South Africa (NSA) chose a young squad, to give some of our rising stars a taste of international netball,” said Jordaan.

“But we have seen that countries like England and Australia are sending their best possible teams, so this year we have opted for more experience and a better balanced squad,” she said.

“All the members of the Fast5 team are in the SPAR national training squad, except for Lauren-Lee Christians, who is recovering from injury.  But Lauren-Lee did a very good job as captain last year, and so I have chosen her to captain the side again, to provide some continuity from last year.”

Jordaan said she had a better-balanced team than in 2016.

“Last year, we didn’t have specialist goal attacks, whereas this year we have two, in Maryke Holtzhausen and Renske Stoltz.  Maryke brings so much to the team, with all her experience and her exceptional talent.  Renske hasn’t been to the Fast5 World Series before, but she has international experience, and she and Phumza Maweni have been invited to play in a Fast5 tournament in England next month,” she said.

“This will be a massive benefit for us, because they will learn a lot there and will be able to pass that on to their teammates.”

She said she had taken too many centre court players to the Fast5 last year.

“There is no point in taking players who normally play wing attack or wing defence,” said Jordaan.

“A Fast5 team is made up of goalshooter, goal attack, centre, goal defence and goalkeeper.  If you take centre court players, they will be playing out of their comfort zones and will be less effective, so we have picked two very good centres in Lauren-Lee and Rome Dreyer.”

The Fast5 team was named after the SPAR National Netball Championships played in Durban last week.  The selectors also named a youth squad and added four names to the SPAR training squad.  These players are Tshina Mdau, Jessica Khomo, Kgomotso Ithlhabanyeng and Nobubele Phuza.