Confusion reigns over SA Netball coach

FILE PICTURE: Mimi Mthethwa. Picture: Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Mimi Mthethwa. Picture: Gallo Images.

The coaching structures in the SA netball team were left in a murky shambles yesterday, after the expected appointment of former Australia mentor Norma Plummer was called off.

Plummer, who guided the Australian national team to the global title in 2007 and 2011, arrived in the country on Sunday, and while she was confirmed as a consultant for the Proteas squad, she was not named head coach.

Netball SA president Mimi Mthethwa said the national body was still in discussions with the International Netball Federation (INF), which had seemingly delayed the expected announcement.

“We are not talking about positions right now,” Mthethwa said.

“We want to look at how the coaches work together.”

Bennie Saayman, who replaced former head coach Elize Kotze in January, was still in charge of the squad, along with assistant coaches Elsje Jordaan and Martha Mosoahle.

The 70-year-old Plummer, who had previously worked as a consultant with the SA squad in 2011, and again at a training camp in Pretoria earlier this year, returned in an official consulting role on the eve of this week’s four-nation Diamond Challenge series.

Ahead of the World Cup in Sydney in August, Mthethwa said they hoped to employ a fifth coach to join the top-flight structure, though she would not confirm who the individual was, or who they preferred to lead the group.

“We are still waiting for somebody else from outside the country, but we can’t reveal any details until we hear back from the INF later this week,” she said.

“We’re looking at five people on the bench at the World Cup but we can’t say we prefer anyone.”

The Diamond Challenge, played between South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Uganda, starts in Margate today.




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