Tjivera hoping for a top three finish

08 Aug 2018 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 08 AUG (NAMPA) – Manuel ‘Mansie’ Tjivera, Netball Namibia (NN)’s senior national team coach is hopeful of his ‘Desert Jewels’ squad’s chances of making the top three at the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Zambia.
The Desert Jewels, as the senior national netball team is known, travelled to Zambia on Wednesday morning to compete at the African Women’s Netball Championship qualifying tournament, which also acts as a World Cup qualifier.
The six-day championship will be hosted by the Netball Association of Zambia in Lusaka from 13 to 18 August 2018, with eight countries - host Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe - battling it out for ranking points as well as a place at the World Cup.
Speaking to Nampa after the team’s capping ceremony that was hosted at a local hotel by NN on Tuesday night, Tjivera said the technical team’s goal at the competition is to make their first World Cup appearance.
“If we win the tournament in Zambia that will mean we qualify for the World Cup that will be held in Liverpool, England in July 2019, but the competition is not going to be easy. That is why finishing in the top three will also improve our ranking,” he said.
Tjivera added that two teams from the competition will qualify for the continental championship.
“We have eight countries competing at this African Women Netball Championship, but Malawi has already qualified for the World Cup alongside South Africa, so they are only competing at the event to keep the team active.
“Two African countries will join them, that’s why it’s important that we finish in the top three and hoping Malawi is one of those three,” Tjivera said.
Namibia’s senior national netball team made its return to the International Netball Federation (INF) world rankings after competing in the Africa Senior National Netball Championship in Kampala, Uganda in June 2017.
They are now ranked 28th out of the 35 countries ranked by the INF.
The squad of players and coaches that will represent the country is comprised of Cherlyn Muesee, Melissa Neis, Imbileni Shuweninawa, and Diana Tjejamba (defenders); midfielders Uehengisa Tjozongoro, Vijandamuje Kamberipa, Uzuvira Uatjiua and Selma Bittler; and shooters Anna Kaspar, Catheline Tjihero, Vendjihonga Katjaimo, Dorkas Tjipetekera and Zauana Jaumbauije; Tjivera (head coach), Antoinette Wentworth (assistant coach) and Elsie du Plessis (team manager).