Top local netball player Zanele Mdodane (Absa-NMMU) has been included in the Protea team for a tri-nations tournament that will take place in South Africa in October.

The 24-year-old wing attack, who plays for the Absa-NMMU club, impressed the selectors at the national trials held in Potchefstroom over the weekend and was named in the squad of 15.

“The team will most likely play against Malawi and Trinidad & Tobago next month,” said Reg Sharp, convener of technical affairs of netball in Nelson Mandela Bay. He said both countries were highly rated.

In a telephonic interview yesterday, Mdodana said she was ecstatic about the news and that she was looking forward to the challenge ahead.

Two other Absa-NMMU players, Sameshia Esau and Dumisane Chauke, were also among the select group invited to attend the senior trials. Chauke was also named in the initial squad of 20, but failed to make the cut for the final 15.

Esau (20) showed that she was a star of the future when she was included in the national U/21 team that will take part in the Countries of Southern Africa’s Netball Association (Cosana) tournament in Lesotho next month. She was named best defender at the recent Senior National Netball Championships.

“We are very fortunate to have players of this calibre in our midst. It is a proud moment for the province,” said Sharp.

Sport manager of netball at NMMU, Theresa le Roux, said Mdodana has made a remarkable comeback after giving birth to a baby boy a mere seven months ago. “She is one of our top players and will be one of our trump cards in the upcoming national club championships.”

Mdodana, Esau and Chauke are all members of the Absa-NMMU team that will represent the province at the championships in Gauteng later this month.

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