09 May 2018 Photo Varsity Sports
Maryke Coetzee is the new captain of the Crinums netball team
Maryke Coetzee is the new captain of the Crinums netball team.

Despite being a very young team the Free State Crinums are packed with Kovsie players, who will start the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League as one of the strongest contenders and will hopefully be crowned the country’s best netball province.

The five-week long competition starts on Friday (11 May) in Johannesburg. The Crinums is a de facto Kovsie team with all 15 squad members currently doing a course at the university. Eleven of them were in action for the Kovsies in the Varsity Netball competition in 2017. They have only lost four players from last year which, along with the defending champs, the Jaguars, is the fewest by any team. They also boast experience in every position. The four newcomers in the squad are Sikholiwe Mdletshe, Jana Scholtz, Rykie Venter and Marétha van Heerden. Mdletshe and Venter have played for the Kovsies before. 

After winning the trophy for three years in a row, the Crinums were unable to defend it in 2017 when they finished fifth. It was, however, with a team that was officially the youngest, with an average age of 21 years and five months. This year it has increased to 21 years and six months. 

The team is coached by Kovsie netball coach, Burta de Kock, and skippered by goalkeeper Maryke Coetzee. She and Tanya Mostert (goal defender) will participate in their fifth Premier league.

The Crinums start with two matches against teams they haven’t lost to before. On Friday night they tackle the Sunbirds from Mpumalanga and a day later the Baobabs from Limpopo.

The Crinums squad: Alicia Puren, Ané Retief, Gertriana Retief, Jana Scholtz, Khanyisa Chawane, Khomotso Mamburu, Lefébre Rademan, Luscha Pienaar, Marétha van Heerden, Marna Claassens, Maryke Coetzee, Meagan Roux, Rykie Venter, Sikholiwe Mdletshe, Tanya Mostert.

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