Three members of the Absa-NMMU netball team in Port Elizabeth may soon join the Proteas – if they manage to impress selectors once more at a training camp and trials in Potchefstroom this weekend.

Zanele Mdodana, Sameshia Esau and Dumisane Chauke are among the select players who have been invited to attend the senior trials where the next national team will be selected.

According to Reg Sharp, convener of technical affairs of netball in Nelson Mandela Bay, all three players stand an excellent chance to be included in the team.

“The team that will be selected will represent the country in a tri-nations netball championship in South Africa during October. The other two teams will most likely be netball heavyweights Malawi and Trinidad and Tobago.”

He says Absa-NMMU has high hopes that the three local girls will be among the fifteen players to be included in the squad.

Esau (20) was named best defender at the Spar Senior National Netball Championships, which took place in Pretoria last month. This, says Sharp, is a remarkable achievement for such a young player.

“She (Esau) is very versatile and is equally adept at goal defender and wing defender. As a result, she was included in the South African U/21 team to compete at the Countries of Southern Africa’s Netball Association (Cosana) tournament, which will take place in Lesotho later this year.”

Chauke, who was previously included in the SA U/21 squad, is one of Absa-NMMU’s top goal shooters. However, selectors identified huge potential when she substituted the goalkeeper in one of their matches and subsequently included her in the training squad in this position.

Zanele Mdodana (wing attack) formerly played for the Proteas.

In addition, Esau and club mate Noxy Mbinda have been included in a squad of twenty from which fifteen players will be chosen to form a national U/21 team. This team will represent the country at the World Youth Tournament in the Cook Islands next year.

According to Sharp, this team may already be announced within the next two weeks to afford the players enough preparation time.

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