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LOBAMBA – The national netball team has an interesting challenge ahead of the continental qualifiers.

The Africa Netball World Cup Qualifiers will take place in Pretoria, South Africa, from August 20-27 and practice matches are being played with local men netball teams as part of the preparations. National team head coach Nhlanhla ‘Friction’ Mayisela said the male teams were the ideal challenge for the national side, as they presented the aggression and agility which the ladies were tasked to beat.


On top of their weekly training sessions held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at KaLamvelase in Manzini, they played practice games with the forces’ male netball teams on weekends. A fortnight ago, they went up against Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) and lost 24-29. They suffered a second defeat in the hands of their police male counterparts, Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) who beat them 41-35. Goal shooter (GS) Nonkululeko Sihlongonyane was carefully marked by goal defender (GD) player Brandon Dlamini and Nkabinde Shabalala seized every scoring opportunity on the other end of the court.

“The boys are more aggressive than the ladies and we pit the ladies national team against the male teams, so that they build on their resilience and agility. We have only one month left to the qualifiers and we will keep pushing them hard in training so that they are ready by August,” Mayisela said. The qualifying teams will then take part in the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, and this will be the first time this competition is played on African soil. Eswatini will compete against countries like South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda and Botswana in the qualifiers. South Africa will qualify as hosts.

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