SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

2 May 2014

South Africa: First Semi-Professional Competition for SA Netball

South Africa's first semi-professional netball competition, the Brutal Fruit Netball Cup, will see 120 of the country's best players in action in Pretoria from 10 May to 8 June.

The Brutal Fruit Netball Cup, presented by Netball South Africa in association with Brutal Fruit, was unveiled earlier this month and is set to be a game changer for the sport in the country.

'There is so much expectation'

"The excitement is building up and there is so much expectation from the netball followers and fans via social media," Netball South Africa President Mimi Mthethwa said in a statement this week.

"We at Netball South Africa are not at all surprised by the hype as this tournament has been a long while coming.

"The teams were selected following rigorous trial processes held across the provinces, where the most talented players were selected. We can promise that the Brutal Fruit Netball Cup will be a spectacular showpiece the likes of which have not been seen on homes soil."

League format

The new competition will feature 10 teams from the nine provinces, divided into two divisions: a Cup and Shield competition with a promotion/relegation league format.

Division One includes the Golden Fireballs and Jaguars from Gauteng; Free State Crinums; Eastern Cape Aloes and North West Flames. Division Two will feature the Southern Stings from the Western Cape; Kingdom Stars from KwaZulu-Natal; Limpopo Baobabs; Mpumalanga Sunbirds and Northern Cape Diamonds.

'We are ecstatic'

"As players, we are ecstatic," Spar Proteas' star Zanele Mdodana commented. "For every player, it's an answered prayer and a beginning for great things to come for netball.

"All the teams are strong and it's going to come down to who wants it the most. We can promise that the action will be intense and we are going all out to win it," the Eastern Cape Aloes' star added.

Venue

For 2014 edition of the Brutal Fruit Netball Cup, all matches will be played at the Rembrandt Hall Sport Centre at the University of Pretoria Sport Campus over consecutive weekends, starting with round one on 10 and 11 May.

Most of the matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

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