Preliminary trials for ­Erongo netball team concluded

Tough criteria
Michelline Nawatises
The trials to select a provisional squad of 18 players for the u/19 Erongo netball team that will represent the region at the Newspaper Cup took place at the Vineta Sports Centre in Swakopmund.

A total of 18 players qualified for the final trials, which will take place in July in preparation for the Newspaper Cup – which will be held on 26 August in Oshakati.

This number will be narrowed down to only 12 players.

“These 12 players will be called up for a training camp around the end of July to prepare for the Newspaper Cup,” said Emsie Esterhuizen, who served on the selection panel alongside Michelle Brookes, Juanita Witbeen and Charlene Minnaar.

A total of 14 players from Omaruru, Karibib, Usakos and Daures were among the 26 that showed up for trials, with the rest being from Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Several rounds of 20 minutes each were played, where the players had to give it their all. Four u/19 players from the Erongo region who are part of the national team automatically qualified for the selection of the Newspaper Cup team.

Eldicha /Uises, one of the players chosen, expressed her excitement: “The trials were difficult, but I am delighted I was chosen for the Erongo team’s final trials.”

Criteria

Esterhuizen elaborated on the criteria of the selection process. “Players playing more than one position, rather than specialized positions, were scouted. Being a versatile player is one of the criteria; if you can play more than one position, you have a better chance of being selected. Exceptional players who caught the eye of the selectors in stand-alone positions were also chosen.” According to Esterhuizen, ball control, mobility in space, reacting to situations, handling pressure, and the ability to understand the game were closely observed aspects of the players’ overall performance.

Esterhuizen said that netball has advanced to the point where one can no longer focus solely on one position. “You can’t have a stationary shooter; you need a shooter who can move, as well as a defender who can take up the position of centre. This is because adaptable players may be quickly replaced in the event of an injury.”

The selected players are: Melissa Botha, Ndeapo David, Eldicha /Uises, Megan van Lieres, Jorinda Fourie, Leandré du Preez, Janice Mbaire, Carla Schutz, Uasora Kauripeke, Anneli Chicalo, Jermonia Gabriel, Veronica Matheus, Lina Shimanda, Roberta Manale, Meagan Louise le Roux, Elizabeth Besser, Sarah Awases and Usuta Muvunga.