Desert Jewels’ captain Nanguloshi Kamutushi said they are ready to make the country proud at the World Cup qualifiers in Pretoria, South Africa from Sunday to 27 August.
Speaking during the team’s official send-off ceremony held yesterday at the Namibia Sports Commission in the capital, Kamutushi said they will go out and execute the job, which is to qualify for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.
The team will leave today to compete in the World Cup qualifiers.
“Thanks to Netball Namibia and the sponsors for believing in us. Without you, the journey would be impossible but we still have a lot ahead,” she said.
Netball Namibia secretary general Emelda Nerongo said they have no other intentions than qualifying for the World Cup.
Nerongo said she believes the players have done what they could and they are ready to march on to next year’s World Cup.
She further said the group they are in is quite a “good” group and the fixtures reveal that it could be in their favour.
“The players have shown that they are deserving and we know most of our opponents in this competition. South Africa is a tough team but we know a bit about them, including Botswana whom we compete with well.”
Meanwhile, head coach Mary Waya expressed similar sentiments, saying the team is physically and mentally ready and the players have proved themselves in training for the past three weeks she has worked with them.
“This year is Namibia’s year. We are going to qualify for this top competition. I have been with these players and we worked on all aspects of the game, they have shown that they are ready for this competition.”
The coach further asked the nation to rally behind the team and support them while they are on the journey of qualifying for the World Cup.
“I plead with the country to continue with the support while we are on the journey, and that way we will manage to execute our plan,” she said.
Namibia is drawn in Pool A alongside South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Sponsored by Debmarine Namibia, the Desert Jewels will open their campaign with a clash against Botswana on Sunday, followed by what is expected to be a thrilling encounter against Zimbabwe on Tuesday.
Their third match will be against Tanzania the following day, before facing South Africa on 25 August in their last group match.
Called the Africa Netball World Cup, the qualifiers are the second of the five qualifiers for the Netball World Cup 2023.
Pool B comprises Malawi, Zambia, Kenya and Eswatini.
The two top finishing teams from the event will then be invited by World Netball to compete at the NWC2023, this does not include South Africa which has already pre-qualified for the NWC2023 as hosts.
If South Africa finishes in the top two, the third-place team will be invited to compete at NWC2023.
The competition will be played in a round-robin format, with the nine teams split into two pools based on the most recent results from the Africa Cup 2021 final placings.