Proteas ready for Fast5 netball series - TeamSA
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Proteas ready for Fast5 Netball series

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The Proteas are ready for the Fast5 Netball World Series set to take place this weekend in Melbourne, Australia. With a few new faces, the Proteas are determined to do better than last year’s fifth-place finish after beating Malawi 28-17 in the fifth-sixth place playoff.

The two-day international tournament is contested by the six top national teams in the world according to the INF World Rankings, which include teams from Australia, England, Malawi, Jamaica, New Zealand and South Africa. They will play six 24-minute games across the two days.

The Proteas proved to be a strong and resilient team last year and, under the leadership of their fierce teammate Sigrid Burger and captain Shardine van der Merwe, they are determined to move up the ladder.

Van der Merwe says they are excited to play against the top teams from around the world.

‘Fast5 is a great platform for netball, and the style of play is also different and unpredictable, so any team can win; we are very excited to see what happens,’ Van der Merwe said. ‘The tournament gives netball players the opportunity to showcase their talents, and any opportunity to play netball on a higher level is good.’

Playing on Australia’s home ground, Van der Merwe says they are looking forward to playing with the home team.

‘Australia always brings their A game, so it’s always exciting to play against them. In fact, all the teams are great teams so we cannot underestimate any team and we have to give it our best.

‘Over the years, our national netball team has improved, so we still need to work hard in order to meet the standards that other SA national teams in other sporting codes have set. Hopefully next year during the World Cup, we will get there,’ Van der Merwe added.

The Proteas are set to face Jamaica in their opening match on Saturday, then play against New Zealand and England. On Sunday, they will face Malawi and Australia.

Photo: Protea player Phumza Maweni of South Africa in possession against Malawi last year, courtesy of Robert Prezioso/Getty Images for Netball Australia


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