Madibaz star Nobubele Phuza says the hard work they have put in this year paid off when they won their opening two matches in the Varsity Netball tournament in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
Playing at Nelson Mandela University’s indoor sports centre, the SPAR Madibaz team defeated University of Western Cape and Vaal University of Technology to be joint-leaders on the log.
The 25-year-old Phuza based their success on their extensive preparations for the competition.
“As a team we have worked hard to be mentally, spiritually and physically ready for the series,” she said.
“Unlike week-long tournaments, you need to pace yourself in this tournament, ensuring that you play your best netball when it counts – in the final stretch.
“I think the work that has been put in by our coaching staff and management showed in the first matches. So we will go into the rest of the matches feeling good and ready for the challenge.”
After losing to UWC at the USSA tournament, Phuza said their win over the same opponents was a boost for their morale.
“We were obviously excited to walk away with maximum points,” she added.
“But we also realise that there are things we still need to execute because the series just gets tougher from here.”
Phuza, who plays wing defence, was recognised for her contribution by being named player of the match in both encounters.
“Personally, I am feeling confident in what I have achieved,” she said.
“I managed to execute the things that I have been working on with the coaching team.
“But I know I need to work on certain aspects of my game, like my over-ball defence, to offer more to my team.
“With that said, we must remember that defence depends on teamwork and I must acknowledge the work done around me by my colleagues to make space for the intercepts that I took.”