13 October 2020 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo BackpagePix
Khanyisa Chawane, a Protea player, should be one of the stars for the Free State Crinums in the Telkom Netball League. She was the Player of the League in 2018.

Having to play 11 matches in so many days before the knockout stage will be a daunting task, but their fitness levels are up to standard, says the coach of the Free State netball team. Burta de Kock of KovsieSport will again guide the Free State Crinums in the Telkom Netball League, which will be taking place between 14 and 27 October in Bloemfontein.

All but one of the 12 members of the team are studying at the University of the Free State (UFS).

“Planning will be of the utmost importance to manage the load on the players. We also have four players (Rolene Streutker, Chanel Vrey, Boitumelo Mahloko, and Refiloe Nketsa) who will participate in the South African U21 team that will play five invitational matches during the competition,” said De Kock.

In previous years, the competition took place over four to six weeks, but now it had to be fitted into two weeks due to COVID-19.

“So, it will be a tall order to play so many matches, but an exciting challenge. I believe the hard work the players had put in during the lockdown period will bear fruit. They were exceptional and very determined to stay in shape.”

The Crinums won the first three years of the competition, but couldn’t reach the final in the following three years. Apart from the 11 Kovsies in the Crinums team, there are 9 current or former UFS students in other teams participating in the league. 

They are Zandré Smit, Bianca Pienaar, Dané Klopper, Arné Fourie, Bethenie du Raan (all Northern Cape Diamonds), Maryke Coetzee, Danelle van der Heever (both Mpumalanga Sunbirds), Rieze Straeuli (Western Cape Tornados), and Alicia Puren (KZN Kingdom Stars).

The Crinums team: Boitumelo Mahloko, Ané Retief, Jana Scholtz, Khanyisa Chawane, Lefébre Rademan (captain), Sikholiwe Mdletshe, Claudia van den Berg, Bianca de Wee, Rolene Streutker, Chanel Vrey, Lerato Chabwe, and Refiloe Nketsa.

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