A training group of 30 SA Women’s players completed the first of what promises to be many training camps in Port Elizabeth in preparation for the prestigious Nations Cup tournament during August in Canada.
The get together at the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan University (NMMU) was the first formal get together since the team’s participation at last year’s Women’s World Cup in England.
The group completed a battery of fitness, conditioning and medical testing at the NMMU campus and the players will assemble again in three weeks’ time.
Several newcomers were added to the current squad in an effort to enlarge the core group of current players, while some familiar faces such as Lorinda Brown, Saloma Booysen and Ncebisa Kula were not present.
A few more new faces will be added once the SA U20 Women return from their overseas visit in July.
Denver Wannies, the SA Women’s coach, said he was reasonably satisfied with what was achieved during the first training of the year.
“We gave squad members a training programme which they had to follow and the past camp was specifically designed to gauge the player’s overall fitness and their medical condition. I’m reasonably pleased with the preliminary results, but there remains a lot of work to be done.
“Our players gained valuable experience from the World Cup and the two Test series against Scotland and Kazakhstan last year and it is now vital for us to build on that, improve our conditioning and work on our overall preparedness,” said Wannies.
Natasha Hoffmeester (scrumhalf), a former SA Women’s Player of the Year, made a welcome return to the squad after missing the bulk of last season, including the Women’s World Cup tournament in England, due to a foot injury.