FNB Acacia

Netball team comes alive

SHARE   |   Monday, 14 October 2019   |   By Baitshepi Sekgweng
Netball team comes alive

… As it lines up for M1 Nations Cup in Singapore

As  the  countdown  towards the M1 Nations  Cup  tournament  approaches, the  senior  netball team  coach  Sithulile Mlotshwa  has high  hopes   for her   team  which  she selected   for  Botswana’s first national  assignment  this  year.

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Dinaledi  is expected  to  depart on October  17  for the  tournament  which  will run from October 20 to 22 at OCBC arena  in Singapore. The Asian competition has attracted six   countries amongst them Namibia, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and hosts.

Following  weeks  of hard  trials, coach  Mlotshwa  has finally  selected  a pool  of  12   players who  have the massive   task of  redeeming Botswana at the  Asian tournament. Despite  lack of action  this season, the  technical  team has  opted  for  mostly   former    members   of  the   famous  Dinaletsana    squad in the  likes of  Fatimah Dino, Maipelo Mosotho, Cheludo David,  Boikanyo Selogetso ,Barati Phesodi and  Kgomotso  Matibini. However   the youthful players have been blended   with   experienced players such as Francinah Eyman, Ntebogang Motlakaleso and Natasha Siku. Tumisang Bagidi, Kempho Ngongorego, Gagotheko Tshelametsi concludes the team.

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With Botswana’s dwindling rankings at International Netball Federation the championship   provides a   perfect chance   for team to score some vital points. Botswana   occupies  spot number  26th  on the   world  rankings  however  majority  of  the  teams which  Dinaledi    will  play are  better  ranked  with  Cook Islands  at 12th, Papua New Guinea 20th, Ireland 25th, Singapore  28th  while  Namibia  is placed 33rd .

The last time the team tasted some competitive  action  was last year during the  Diamond Series Tournament in South Africa. Since then, they have had practice matches against Sri Lanka in June who  were  busy  preparing en-route  to   the World  cup In Liverpool.

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Nevertheless Botswana  is not  new  to the   tournament  as  they  have been   competing  in  it   since  2008 where they  came  close  to  winning  the championship  but  lost  during the  finals  against  Papua New  Guinea.

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From  2009 until  2013  Botswana   did   not take part in the   event  but   returned  in  2014  and  2015    where  they   finished   third  and  fourth respectively. Botswana went on to   win a bronze   during   the 2016   edition. After missing the 2017 and 2018 editions it remains to be seen if Dinaledi will come back strong and mount a serious challenge for the championship like they did in the past years.



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