Kingdom Stars prepped for
exciting 2016 season
Durban – With their agonising defeat in the 2015 Brutal Fruit
Netball Cup promotion match now a distant memory, the Kingdom
Stars have been hard at work preparing for their assault on the
larger, more competitive 2016 edition which gets underway with an
opening clash against the Eastern Cape Aloes this weekend.
The team has been hard at work at their base at Prime Human
Performance Institute and, through their involvement in the
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation backed Elite
Athlete Development Programme, the team is in the right space
going into the third edition of the tournament.
The Kingdom Stars were voted the fittest team at the 2015 edition
of the tournament and will be looking to continue that level of
preparation and with some match-winners amongst them, they hope
to challenge even some of the stronger teams in this year’s
“Everything has gone according to plan for us in the build-up to
our opening match this weekend,” coach Marchelle Maroun said. “We
are probably going into this game as prepared as we will ever be
and the girls are really excited to get the competition
“Everyone got a short break after the tournament last year but
they have been working really hard with the team since coming
then and are extremely grateful for the opportunity that they
have received to continue as part of the EADP!”
The integration of the first and second divisions into a single,
larger group of teams for this year’s extended tournament has
seen the Kingdom Stars get in some additional personnel to
strengthen their squad.
“We have gained two very exciting players in Elsje du Plessis and
Phumza Maweni. Both are South African representatives which now
takes us to four national players.
“This experience can only boost the other girls as it adds
another competitive element to selection for match-day squads as
well as to the starting line-up!
“We have had a look at the Aloes team and it doesn’t seem to be
too different from the one that we played against last year. We
are looking forward to the game and ending what has been a busy
and long pre-season,” an expectant Maroun added.
On top of their stringent preparation at Prime HPI, Maroun has
also called in outside help to get the side mentally prepared for
what will be a challenging tournament.
“We changed our preparation a bit this year and I really wanted
to focus on getting the girls mentally prepared for the
“We have been working closely with psychologist Kirsten van
Heerden, trying to get the girls into the correct head space.
“She has been with us for a while and she is really trying to
instil a great team spirit amongst the girls which will hopefully
also help translate into strong performances on the court,” the
With matches against the top netball teams in the country coming
up, the Kingdom Stars have shown a great will to challenge these
powerhouse teams and push for top honours throughout their
“The commitment that the girls have shown has been incredible but
they also know that they have to step up this season – it’s a
completely different game now!
“They have said from the start that they don’t want to just
participate and make up numbers, they really want to be
competitive against the best sides in the cup.
“If it wasn’t for the EADP and the staff at Prime helping us with
conditioning I don’t think we would be nearly as prepared as we
are,” a grateful Maroun confessed.
information can be found at
Kingdom Stars Squad for their
opening games v Eastern Cape Aloes:
Bongiwe Msomi (C), Nothando Mthembu (VC), Michelle Segal, Zanele
Gumede, Elsje Susanna Du Plessis, Nonhlanhla Shezi, Fezeka
Gambushe, Kalipa Gibisela, Luleka Ndyibithi, Mandisa Hlela, Dolly
Mavumengwana, Phumza Charmaine Maweni,
Coach: Marchelle Maroun, Manager: Phindile thusini,
Asst Coach: Nonjabulo Mtshali, Physio: Nande G