GreenFuel dream big in netball league

Ellina Mhlanga-Senior Sports Reporter

FOLLOWING a good start to the Premier Netball League 2023 season that roared into life last weekend, GreenFuel coach Sibonginkosi Dube believes it will go a long way in boosting their confidence.

The PNL first round of matches was held last weekend and just like in the two previous seasons the games are being played in clusters.

GreenFuel won all their three matches against Harare City, City Angels and Expandable in the opening round.

Dube said the victories were key and served as a confidence booster for her young side.

“Quite important especially if you are coaching youth. Basically that team you can call it a youth team because three quarters of the players, their ages range from 17 to 22.

“So our starting on a high note boosted their confidence and it will be easy going onwards to make them believe they can, they can win any game, they can take anyone head-on and believe they can win.

“So starting on a high note really makes my work easier, rather than starting on a draw or loss because you know you have got to coach them (to get) their confidence back and then you are going to coach the skill in also.

“So it’s a double job, it really is a daunting task, an uphill climb to climb. But starting on a winning note, it makes my job quite easy to do and it boosts the morale and the confidence of the players,” said Dube.  

The Chisumbanje-based outfit has been on the rise and the future looks promising.

They finished in fourth position in the PNL inaugural season, in 2021 and last year they were placed second behind champions Platinum Queens.

Dube said the good thing from their opening matches was that the players stuck to the basics and it paid off.

However, she said there is still room for improvement.

“You can never get it right every time and you can never say you are fully prepared for everything, bearing in mind all the other teams play different types of netball. So you have got to prepare for all their styles of netball.

“But defensively I think the players are coming up, because that’s where I have always been on the back foot. Defensively I have always had youngsters and I have always believed in a bit of seniority in defenders.

“But because you have got young defenders, 17-year-olds, who don’t have maturity of the game as yet and who are not mentally fit at times because defence needs someone who is mentally fit all the time. It’s a daunting task to keep on defending and defending, whilst you keep losing the ball.

“So I think we are in a better state a bit defensively. Our attack has matured, our mid is a bit solid. But I think the one thing that I am still not quite 100 percent happy with, that I feel we need to work on is full-court press defence.”

“Yes we are doing it but not at the level that I need the team to be playing at,” said Dube. The next round of matches is scheduled for next weekend.

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