Happy-sad Msomi heads for fourth netball WC




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Sport | General

● Bongiwe Msomi was overcome by mixed emotions when Netball South Africa (NSA) announced the 15 players for the Netball World Cup in Cape Town in July and August. Though excited to be given the responsibility of captaining the team at a home World Cup, Msomi was saddened that not all the players had made the cut. Notable players such as Zanele Vimbela, Monique Reyneke, Boitumelo Mahloko and Tshina Mdau did not make Norma Plummer’s final squad. “I had mixed emotions because I have worked with these ladies from the beginning of the year ... actually we started last year already,” said Msomi. “I am sad that not all the ladies, who have put in so much work, did not make the cut. I told them that it is not based on their skills but on numbers. “They are going to be sad but we will go back home and back them up, they had a good crack and it was not to be.” At the same time, Msomi is happy with the composition of the squad that boasts a good balance of experience and youth. “This is such a great group of talented players, it’s just amazing to see the growth of netball in our country. I am pleased with the effort that the girls have made over the past few weeks and I think the squad is good to go,” she said. The likes of Msomi, who will be playing in her fourth World Cup, Karla Pretorius, Phumza Maweni and Lenize Potgieter will lead inexperienced players like Nicholé Taljaard, Elmere van der Berg, Sesandile Owethu Ngubane, Nicola Smith and Jeante Strydom. “One can take confidence in preparations we have done going forward, we have done a lot of work up to now and we are confident. Now that the squad has been announced reality will start kicking in and we are looking ahead. “This is going to be my fourth World Cup and I am aware that it is not every athlete that gets a chance like that. I do so much work behind the scenes and basically netball is my life. “I coach and I manage netball at the University of Johannesburg and I play my part for the Spar Proteas, not just to be part of the squad but play my a role with regards to leadership. “In one moment, when you get your name announced you start realising that it is not a given but reward for all the hard work. There are so many people out there who have hopes in you, it is an honour to represent your country at a home World Cup. “I never pictured myself captaining my country when I started playing ... today to think that is going to happen on home soil and in front of my family is exciting. “The idea of knowing that this might be a once-off thing because it may never come back to our country again says that we have to give it our best shot. “We have done well with preparations so far, we are still going to make sure in the coming weeks and during the tournament itself. We want to change netball in our country and also in Africa at large. We have all these other players coming to our country and we have to give it our best shot.” Spar Proteas Squad: Bongiwe Msomi (capt); Karla Pretorius (VC); Khanyisa Chawane; Izette Griesel; Owethu Ngubane; Refiloe Nketsa; Phumza Maweni; Lenize Potgieter; Lefebre Rademan; Nicola Smith; Jeante Strydom; Nichole Taljaard; Elmere van der Berg; Shadine van der Merwe, IneMari Venter