SA coach to ask clubs for help ahead of Commonwealth Games

29 January 2018 - 10:25 By David Isaacson
Norma Plummer, SPAR Protea coach speaks to her team in a break during the Netball Quad Series match between South Africa and England at Ellis Park Arena on January 28, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Norma Plummer, SPAR Protea coach speaks to her team in a break during the Netball Quad Series match between South Africa and England at Ellis Park Arena on January 28, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Image: Reg Caldecott/Gallo Images

South African netball coach Norma Plummer will contact franchise and club coaches handling her Proteas players over the next two months to help prepare them for Commonwealth Games in April.

The Proteas were due to scatter around the globe from Monday following the Quad Series‚ and are scheduled to regroup again only in late March when they meet up at the Games village in Gold Coast‚ Australia.

Skipper Bongi Msomi and Karla Pretorius are heading to the professional league in Australia‚ Lenize Potgieter to New Zealand and some four players are off to England.

The remainder will return to their clubs in South Africa.

“We’ll be talking to all their coaches about what I hope they can assist us with in training‚” Plummer said at the conclusion of the series won by Australia.

South Africa finished winless‚ but came close against world champions Australia‚ New Zealand and England‚ the top three teams in the world.

“All of those [franchise] teams will have daily training environments and that’s fantastic for them.

“The girls that are left behind‚ I’ve also got to write to those coaches — they’re only going to be starting up into a pre-season — but they’ll need to assist their players because they’ll need to be pretty proud of the fact that they’ve got a player in their club team who’s a Protea.

“I will talk to all those coaches to see what they can deliver for us.”

Plummer said she would ask them to focus chiefly on endurance and agility.

“I’m big on the agility. It’s our game‚ it’s explosive‚ you’ve got to be able to work your feet.”

She was upbeat about the team’s chances at the Games given the limited amount of time they had together before the Quad Series started.

“When you look at the test matches England and New Zealand played since September‚ and we hadn’t seen each other since September‚ what these girls have produced with lack of opportunity to really train together for a period of time‚ I think they’ve been outstanding.”

They lost to Australia by four points and were beaten by five points by England and New Zealand.

“We’re close‚ but it’s the mistakes after the great turnovers. Very frustrating‚ but I know the players are very aware of that as well.”

Plummer praised the team for being able to respond to advice in the breaks‚ but added she was still trying to break old habits.

“South Africa has always been used to playing the tall shooter and the big pass in.

“Well‚ I keep saying to them‚ ‘yeah‚ we’ve got that through in the first half a reasonable amount of time but it’s a one percentage pass’. You’re never going to win on that‚ not at this level.

“Too many teams will wake up to it now.

"You can’t feed the long ball all the time‚ you’ve got to be able to work it to the edge of the circle‚ work it damn hard and … get the penalty if it’s there‚ and then feed it in and then the shooters have got to turn and go to the post.

“They’re the things we’ve got to work at when we’re at camp at the Commonwealth Games village which will be March 25.”

The Games run from April 4-15‚ with the Proteas’ opening match on April 5.

“I hope [we can go] all the way‚” said Plummer‚ whose team is ranked fifth in the world‚ with Jamaica fourth.

“Anything can happen‚ it’s a long carnival … we’re playing every day so even that preparation before we get to quarterfinals and finals is going to help us a lot just to have the touch on one another.”

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) is set to name the full SA team on Tuesday.

“They’re the things we’ve got to work at when we’re at camp at the Commonwealth Games village which will be March 25.”

The Games run from April 4-15‚ with the Proteas’ opening match on April 5.

“I hope [we can go] all the way‚” said Plummer‚ whose team is ranked fifth in the world‚ with Jamaica fourth.

“Anything can happen‚ it’s a long carnival … we’re playing every day so even that preparation before we get to quarterfinals and finals is going to help us a lot just to have the touch on one another.”

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