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Netball team to play W/C qualifiers

Mon, 23 June 2014 01:47
by Michael Uugwanga

CThe Namibian National Netball side will play World Cup qualifiers in Gaborone, Botswana in August this year.
 According to the Namibian Netball Association (ANNA) Secretary-General, Lydia Mutenda the qualifiers which will start on August, 31 and end on September 5 will see Namibia competing for a place in Sydney, Australia in 2015.
“We are going to play the qualifiers in Botswana against all African netball playing nations and we are ready to go and play there,” said Mutenda.
Only the top two countries from each region will make up the 16 teams at the show piece and countries will be seeded based on their International Netball Federation (INF) rankings.
The Netball World Cup is held every four years and this will be the second time it will be held in Sydney after Australia hosted it in 1991.
Mutenda said the players selected to represent the country in Gaborone are those who took part last year at the African championships that was held in Malawi.
Namibia failed to progress to the semi-finals at the African championships.
“ We already have a team that took place at the championships but we are going to add some few players, so that we have a strong team,” she said.
Mutenda, however said lack of experience could cost the national team of qualification to the World Cup.
Namibia has previously qualified for the World Cup on two occasions in 1987 when they finished in 13th place and in 1995 when they finished in a disappointing 16th place.
“We do not have many professional players like some countries and that might be our short coming in the qualifiers. We all know that we don’t have a professional league like other countries. We are going there to fight for a place, so that we make it to Sydney,” said Mutenda.
Australia are the current holders of the World Cup they won in 2011.
Northern Ireland have won the World Cup more times than any country (11) titles, followed by Wales who won it 10 times respectively.