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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Lesotho names provisional squad for Netball World Cup qualifiers

Lesotho will attempt to qualify for the 2019 Netball World Cup in August...

Lesotho has named a provisional squad of 17 players for the 2019 Netball World Cup Regional Qualifier tournament for Africa in August.

The qualifying championship will be held in Lusaka, Zambia from August 13 to 19 and will decide the two African teams that will join next year’s field at the Netball World Cup.

The 17-strong preliminary squad will start training this week and will be trimmed to a final list of 12 players a month before the tournament in Lusaka starts.

Lesotho’s national netball team is coached by Matobako Molai with Thabo Mokobocho as his assistant coach.

“It will not be an easy challenge,” Molai said. “Therefore, we have to work hard in order to prepare a competitive and competent team for the tournament.”

Molai said Lesotho will look to secure friendly matches against neighbouring countries, such as South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland, to prepare.

Molai continued: “Based on the recent performances and standards in the (Lesotho Netball Association) domestic league I believe the national team players have what it takes to stand the pressure in the competition. The (Africa Qualifier) will help to boost our new players get international exposure.”

The 2019 Netball World Cup will be the fifteenth staging of netball’s premier competition which is contested every four years. The tournament will be held from July 12 to 21 in 2019 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

16 nations will contest the 2019 tournament. Lesotho is looking to qualify for the first time.

Five teams – Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi – were automatically qualified into the tournament in January by virtue of their high positions in the INF World Rankings while England also qualified as hosts.

The remaining ten teams were to due qualify via regional qualification tournaments with two teams selected from each of the five international netball regions – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

In January, Northern Ireland and Scotland qualified from the Regional Europe Qualifier and then, in April, Samoa and Fiji qualified from the Regional Oceania Qualifier.

Netball World Cup Qualified teams

Australia (#1 ranking as of January 2018)
New Zealand (#2 ranking)
Jamaica (#4 ranking)
South Africa (#5 ranking)
Malawi (#6 ranking)
Northern Ireland

Apart from the Africa tournament in Zambia, the Americas will decide their qualifiers in August and September in Barbados while Asia’s decider is scheduled for September in Singapore.

Provisional Lesotho Netball Squad:
‘Marethabile Sepiriti, Khahliso Matsinyane, ‘Malesenyeho Matsepe, Neo Mothobi, ‘Maboiketlo Khethollo, ‘Mamotšabi Lekhabunyane, Lisebo Tlali, Lerato Moeti, Tseleng Molefi, Rethabile Ntobo, ‘Mapaseka Mokilane, Thato Lekhooa, ‘Maneo Mosito, ‘Malintša Khanyetsi, Paballo Rannetla, Pulane Leuta, ‘Mamahali Khohleli

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