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New Spar Proteas coach Van Dyk ready to bloom

Jenny van Dyk will lead senior national netball team to the 2027 Netball World Cup in Australia
Wed, Feb 28, 2024

Jenny van Dyk was announced as the new head coach of the Spar Proteas at SuperSport Studios. Image: Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu

Netball South Africa has named Jenny van Dyk the new Spar Proteas coach. Van Dyk has been tasked with leading the senior national netball team to the 2027 Netball World Cup in Australia.

She was offered a four-year performance-based contract until after the next global competition. Former Proteas captain Zanele Mdodana will be her assistant coach.

“I am stoked that it is Zanele – she has so much fire and passion. You can just hear it in the way she does things. She is bringing in the expertise and she is someone that wants to push performance, that is the type of people we need to surround ourselves with.”

Image source: @zanelemdodana

The five-time Telkom Netball League winning coach will be taking over the reins from renowned now-retired coach Norma Plummer who led the Spar Proteas through two different tenures. Her second sojourn ended in December 2023 following the conclusion of the three-test series against England.

Van Dyk, among the nation's most decorated coaches, has clinched victories in every major competition, notably the Spar National Netball Championships and Varsity Netball. She has served as the lead coach for the Baby Proteas and contributed to the South African squad's gold medal victory at the 2016 World University Netball Championships. In December 2022, she guided Botswana to its first Nations Cup triumph, maintaining a flawless winning streak throughout the six-team tournament.

She will be leaving her role as senior club manager at the University of Pretoria to fully focus on just being the Proteas coach.

Van Dyk says she had been dreaming of fulfilling her dream as the senior national coach and the appointment came at the best time.

“It’s something that I have been working towards for such a long time. It’s not about me but the team and I can’t wait to start setting out all our goals. I had been following Norma Plummer for quite a while. In the first few years that she had been coaching the Proteas, we were allowed to attend all their camps and I didn’t miss out on an opportunity to work with her,” says Van Dyk.

“One of the most important aspects she shared was that we need to stop spoon-feeding our players and start teaching them to think for themselves on the court. I went back and applied those then for the next five years I found myself in the top position, winning with Jaguars five years in a row.”

She reckons that she will have a great working relationship with Mdodana.