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Liverpool, United Kingdom: Despite the SPAR Proteas falling short of a podium finish at the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool on Sunday, they were given some consolation with the news that their wing defence Karla Pretorius was named Player of the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup.

Pretorius was honoured during the medal ceremony in front of a pact M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

“I feel very honoured to have been named the best player of the World Cup. You are only as good as those around you and the team did so well at this World Cup, and even though we won’t return home to South Africa with a medal I know that we all put our hearts and souls into each and every game in Liverpool and can hold our heads high. This good run obviously was what inspired me to play as well as I did and I am grateful to have been recognised by the tournament and given this very special award” said Pretorius.

The last South African to win the same award was Erin Burger ironically was the touring roommate of Pretorius who was given player of the 2011 Netball World Cup in Singapore.

“When Erin won the award eight years ago it really inspired me. I have always believed that we can compete with the best in the world even though we don’t play as often as we would like against the top nations. Me winning this award shows that South Africa have the talent, players and team to go to the top. I am excited about the future of the SPAR Proteas” continued Pretorius.

Pretorius returns to Australia on Monday to re-join The Sunshine Coast Lightening team for the remainder of the Super Netball League there.

Meanwhile supermarket giant SPAR announced that they would better their bonus promised to the SPAR Proteas in Liverpool. SPAR as team sponsor originally announced if the team win gold they would pay R1mil to the team, R750k for silver and R250 for bronze plus R200k for qualifying for the semi-finals.

SPAR announced through the President of Netball South Africa, Cecilia Molokwane that they would reward the team with R1.2 million in appreciation for the SPAR Proteas sterling effort at the 2019 Vitality World Cup.