Share this article

As the veteran of the team and having tasted success in this format, the five newcomers in the South African Fast5 team will look towards Maryka Holtzhausen to set the tone when they take to court this weekend.

Holtzhausen will play in her sixth Fast5 World Series. In her first participation in 2010, three of her newcomer teammates in 2017, Deancke Rohde, Renske Stoltz and Romé Dreyer were still in school. Jessica Khomo and Zanne-Marie Pienaar are the other two who will make their international Fast5 debut in Melbourne.

Holtzhausen wasn’t considered last year due to an ACL injury from which she has recovered well. Towards the end of the Quad Series she was back to her very best. With no World Series in 2015 her last participation was in 2014 when South Africa ended fifth.

“I think the game has definitely changed since 2014, it is even faster and more competitive than it was back then. Playing Fast5 is quite an adjustment, but netball stays netball. We just need to change the way we think,” she said.

Holtzhausen, who turned 30 this year, was in action in last month’s British Fast5 All-Stars Championship where she represented the Severn Stars who lost in the semi-finals.

“The British All-Stars Champs was a great experience. It was a lot of fun and a great concept. A trend I picked up is the one-point shots staying in the game, rather than taking it from the two- or three-point range every time.

“Though as a shooter it is always great to get some extra points for a long range shot, especially during the power play.”

Will we see her and Stoltz both on the court at the same time, taking those shots from outside the circle? “It is something you will have to wait and see. We can’t give away any of other strategies, can we?” Was all that she was prepared to say.

She and Stoltz, both a goal attack, haven’t played in the same team before. South Africa’s best performance at the World Series was back in 2012 when they won the bronze medal. “I think our success during the 2012 competition was intelligent play, taking the right shots at the right time and never giving up.”

Holtzhausen, who has represented the Proteas in 88 tests, expressed the need for a local Fast5 competition. “I definitely think so. It is exciting, fun and great to keep you fit during a long off-season in South Africa. It will also give more players the opportunity to play and will act as a stepping stone into the SPAR Protea team.”

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. See more broadcast details here: