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With the latest singings of Maryka Holtzhausen and Phumza Maweni to an English club, a record number of five Protea players will now be plying their trade overseas next year.
Maweni and Holtzhausen will hook up with the Severn Stars in the United Kingdom’s Superleague for whom they both played in last month’s British Fast5 All-Stars Championship. Interestingly, the two was also teammates at Loughborough back in 2015. That year Bongi Msomi represented Surrey in the league.
Last year South Africa had three players competing in England – Vanes-Mari du Toit (Yorkshire), Karla Pretorius (previously Mostert) and Lenize Potgieter (both Bath). And this year there was four of them in overseas competitions. Erin Burger (Queensland Firebirds) and Pretorius (Sunshine Coast Lightning) was in action in the Australian Suncorp Super Netball league, Potgieter (Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic) competed in the New Zealand ANZ Premiership and Msomi (Wasps) in the UK’s Superleague.
In 2018 Potgieter and Pretorius will return to Australasia whilst Msomi will join up with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia.
The international exposure did wonders for Burger, Msomi, Pretorius and Potgieter who was all in brilliant form for the Proteas in the Quad Series and arguably the team’s four best players.
The five players will still be available to play for the Proteas next year.
The Superleague will be played before and after the Commonwealth Games (in April) whilst both the Suncorp Super Netball and ANZ Premiership will start after the Commonwealth Games and run into August.
Stars, a joint franchise between the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, made their debut in the Superleague last season and Holtzhausen said she watched the team’s progress.
“It’s a good up and coming club and I’m excited about the players that are in our team,” said Holtzhausen. “I hope this will help me progress as a player in preparation for the Commonwealth Games next year. It’s a much more competitive league than we get back home. No netball player in South Africa would let an opportunity like this pass them by.”
Maweni believes it will be a great experience on and off the court. “I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s not going to be easy – you have to fight for it.”