Mmegi Online :: BONA trims national team squad
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Last Updated
Thursday 13 December 2018, 12:33 pm.
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BONA trims national team squad

The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) has trimmed the pool of 24 players who were in camp in preparation for the World Netball Championships to be held in Singapore next month to 15.
By Staff Writer Fri 14 Dec 2018, 08:35 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BONA trims national team squad








BONA sports development officer Onkemetse Mmampudi said the 15 would be further trimmed down to 12 after a tournament to be held in Malawi this weekend.

The team consists of five players from the shooting, mid-court and defence positions. Mmampudi said selecting an additional player for each position was done deliberately for the Malawi friendly, as it will give coaches a better picture of who to select for the final national team.

"All 15 players who have been chosen to play in Malawi are good players who have represented Botswana at international level before, so it is going to be a tough decision," she said. Mmampudi said the team consists of players like Portia Rasekhumba who was elected the best accurate shooter at the World Cup qualifiers held in South Africa last year. It also has another star shooter in Violet 'Towering' Moabi who helped her club, BDF Tasc, win the annual Spar Good For You League last year. 

Tumisang Bagidi, the youngest player in the team at just 18 years old has also been shortlisted after her marvellous performance at the COSANA Under-21 tournament held in Namibia last month.  "The mid-court is, however, in my opinion the most solid because it consists of players like Gagotheko Tshelametsi who is capable of changing the complexion of the game with her speed. She is the one who keeps the team alive because she hardly gets tired," Mmampudi said. She said the mid-court also has Kelebogile Mangole who is usually used in defence at their BDF club.

"We, however, feel she is good as an all-round player which is why we put her in mid-court," she said. Mmampudi said the defence

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line-up has also been carefully chosen. She said they would be relying on Kagisano Mawela who has been in the national team for quite some time. "She will serve as good motivation for the youngsters as she is a seasoned and disciplined player," she said.

The team is expected to leave for Malawi tomorrow (Friday). They will be engaged in a couple of friendly fixtures although it is not yet clear which teams they will be playing. They are expected home on Sunday when the final team will be selected before the final preparations begin.

Mmampudi said they are going to leave Botswana on June 26 for the World Cup which is expected to take place from July 3-10. "We are going to continue practice as usual - in the morning and in the afternoon until June 25," she said.

The Tri-Nations tournament that was hosted by Botswana last month assisted greatly in terms of preparations as they played against South Africa and Singapore who will be in the same pool at the World Cup. "We lost against South Africa and beat Singapore, but we believe that we will be able to overcome South Africa looking at our recent preparations," she said.

Botswana has been selected in Pool C together with Jamaica, South Africa and Singapore. Both Jamaica and South Africa are ranked in the world's best top 10 teams whilst Botswana is ranked 18th just a single position above 19th placed Singapore.

The team to Malawi:

Shooters
Portia Rasekhumba, Violet Moabi, Tebogo Radipotsane, Botlhale Moeng, Tumisang Bagidi

Mid-Court
Ogone Gabaratane, Gagotheko Tshelametsi, Tshegofatso Tlhabuswe, Kelebogile Mangole, Beauty Letsholo.

Defenders
Ntebogang Motlakaloso, Kagisano Mawela, Flora Keeditse, Thulaganyo Segopolo, Rosinah Ramoja.

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