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Netball coaching reshuffle

Less than three months after taking part in the Commonwealth Games in India, Netball South Africa (NSA) goes into the year of the World Championships in Singapore minus both head coach Carin Strauss and assistant coach Cecilia Molokwane.

Both cited personal reasons for their resignation and NSA President Mimi Mthethwa said NSA had accepted the resignations, and dismissed suggestions of a crisis in netball. ÔÇ£The Executive Committee has plans in place to ensure that the SPAR national team perform to the best of their ability in the important year ahead,ÔÇØ she said.

ÔÇ£We will appoint a panel of nine coaches, under the leadership of Director of Coaching Benny Saayman, to plot the way forward to the World Championships.ÔÇØ ÔÇ£We plan to have several training camps ahead of the Tri- Nations in May, and the World Championships in July.┬á The first training camp, at the end of January, will be quite a short one, but after that, we plan to hold camps lasting three to four weeks,ÔÇØ said Mthethwa.

ÔÇ£Longer training camps will give the team time to really develop a rapport with one another, and will also give the coaches time to work intensively on strategies going forward.ÔÇØ

Mthethwa said the top 30 players in South Africa would all be given a schedule of the proposed training camps as well as fixtures, and NSA would expect total commitment from them.

ÔÇ£Any player who says she is not available for a training camp will be dropped,ÔÇØ she said.┬á ÔÇ£In the past, we have had a number who have not been available for the training camps, but suddenly become available when it is time for a tournament or an international series. ÔÇ£We have a lot of very good players, and we have no place for people who do not commit themselves wholly to the team.ÔÇØ

Strauss, who took charge of the national team in 2008, said her decision to resign was not taken lightly, and she had agonised over it for some time. ÔÇ£The post of national coach is not a fulltime one, and I think it’s time to concentrate on my career in school netball well as my own netball academy,ÔÇØ she said.

ÔÇ£I have enjoyed my time with the national team, and wish them everything of the best in the future. I would also like to thank the sponsors, SPAR, for their generous support, and NSA for the confidence they placed in me. ÔÇ£I like to think I will continue to contribute to the development of netball in South Africa through my work with the schools,ÔÇØ she said.