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Cats coach says netball standards are falling

TUMELO MOUWANE
BDF Cats won the My Spar My Botswana netball league
BDF Cats coach, Mapene Ntwaagae has said the standard of netball has gone down after she watched her side down UB Crystals in the final of the My Spar My Botswana national league finals on Saturday.

Despite being crowned champions, Ntwaagae said the quality of local netball has depreciated.

In particular, she said this disadvantaged TASC as there was no competition in the north.

“There wasn’t much challenge in the semis. Netball quality has really gone down. That’s why TASC failed to go through to the finals but for us, we are very lucky to have a determined squad. My players are really passionate about the sport.

“For us we had a very challenging season in the south. We faced the likes of UB Crystals, Notwane and Police while no team really challenged TASC in the north and that was a disadvantage on their side,” Ntwaagae said.

 Ntwaagae ended the league stage on top with 24 points while UB came second with 18 points and Notwane fell short on 16 points.

TASC and Orapa Wanderers represented the north region with both fielding youthful sides.

The Tango Girls had defeated all the northern teams and ended the league stage with 18 points ahead of Orapa at 16 and Bots Rail at eight points.

TASC captain, Oarabile Thabo said their squad is still growing and will continue sharpening in the off-season.

“We played well throughout the tournament and we tried to fix errors mid court. We brought a young squad

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and we are still grooming. We have Under-17 players within our squad and we tried to introduce them to the pressure and I think we played well in all our games,” Thabo said. UB Crystals proved to be the surprise package. Despite some players arriving in the camp on the eve of the finals, the students went back with a silver medal.

Their coach, Abednico Chitelo said they went into the finals looking to build character and give spectators good netball. Contrary to what Ntwaagae said, Chitelo believes netball is improving.

 “The level of our netball locally looks promising.

We came to this finals looking to do our best, to give spectators good netball and to win. My players exemplified that character throughout. It wasn’t easy for us to prepare for the finals. My team setup structure is hard to control. Some players stay too far from the training venue and we sometimes have only four players during training.

Mokeresete Mokeresete, Orapa Wanderers coach said they had a successful season having reached the finals for the first time.

“I think it is all because of hard work that we have arrived at the finals. Netball is growing locally. We are growing too as a team,” Mokeresete said.



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