The SPAR Madibaz outfit are geared up for a tricky opener against University of Johannesburg in the Varsity Netball tournament when they clash in Port Elizabeth on Monday.
The Nelson Mandela University team reached the semifinals last year, but coach Lana Krige said they were now firmly focused only on what lay ahead.
“We know that anything is possible in sport and your team is only as good as the 60 minutes that you play,” she said.
“It will be a tough opener against UJ, who have players with above average height.
“We are going to have to be very clever in how to get the ball in to our shooters.”
Krige said the class of 2019 comprised a good combination of experience and new faces.
“We are missing some senior players from last year, but we are confident that the new talent will stand up and be counted.
“Netball is a team sport and we need all seven players to fire. The game has evolved to such a level where you are only as strong as your weakest link.”
As the sport enjoys a groundswell of popularity in South Africa following the national team’s effort in reaching the recent World Cup semifinals, Krige said they had worked hard in their preparations, knowing the competition would be tough.
“The Madibaz High Performance Centre has played a big role in the physical preparation of the players and we are looking forward to great results on the court,” she said.
Madibaz Sport netball manager Melinda Goosen acknowledged the role played by the team sponsors, SPAR Eastern Cape.
“Their contribution to the success of the team and the club as a whole is invaluable,” she said.
“Thanks to their support we are able to provide for our players to optimally enhance their skill and capabilities as players and students in this prestigious competition.”