Namibia’s senior netball team head coach Julene Meyer has welcomed the improvement shown by players in the just-ended MTC Namibia Netball Premier League (NNPL), saying they have embraced the challenge and stepped up their game.
She shared this perspective with New Era Sport on Saturday shortly after the end of the inaugural premier league competition, which saw Namibia Correctional Services (NCS) crowned champions.
Comparing the performances of players now and back in April when the league started, Meyer said there is huge progress in terms of competitiveness, the type of play, and the overall intensity of the game.
“The last game (Saturday) really proved that the league had evolved. The competition has become very stiff. There is improvement with the way players move with the ball; all teams have shown hunger, and that’s what we want to see in the league. I can say I am very impressed with everything,” she noted.
Meyer added that the game’s intensity on Saturday between NCS and Tigers, which determined the champion, is what she wants to see in every single match in the league next year.
“What Tigers and NCS brought to the court, that tight contest, is what I want to see week in, week out. There was a real lesson to be learned here. Remember, it’s what we can all do to improve netball in the country.”
The coach stated that if that kind of play is replicated in the following season throughout, it would be of great benefit to the national team which is pursuing a spot at the 2023 Netball World Cup to be held in neighbouring South Africa.
“It will obviously be benefitting the national team. During the week, I worked a lot with both teams because a number of these players are squad (national) members, and you could see the intensity picked up. So, it is very important for the national team if players are involved in these types of games.” Meyer revealed that she will be calling up national team players for camp this week to start preparations for the upcoming Pent Series against Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Malawi later this month in Windhoek, as well as the Africa Cup in November.
She helped guide Namibia’s Desert Jewels to their first-ever M1 Nations Cup success in Singapore in 2019, where they defeated the host nation 49-42 in the final.