Jenny van Dyk debunks 'overlooked' notion after finally securing Proteas job

Jenny van Dyk debunks 'overlooked' notion after finally securing Proteas job

New SPAR Proteas head coach Jenny van Dyk has moved to dismiss any belief that she was previously overlooked for the national team job despite her impressive coaching resume.

Netball South Africa on Wednesday unveiled van Dyk as the successor to Australian mentor Norma Plummer following an application process that was open to the public.

The former SA under-21 coach, who is the country's most successful netball coach – having won a record five consecutive Telkom Netball League titles, has signed a four-year deal to lead the team to the 2027 Netball World Cup in Australia.

Talking to the media after the announcement, she was quick to point out that she was never "overlooked" back when she was shortlisted in 2019, when Plummer was tasked with selecting her successor at the time.

"I wasn't overlooked. I had a medical emergency and I actually missed my interview opportunity, and Norma and Nicole [Cusack] were flying back that day," she explained.

"So I believe that's part of God's plan – I could literally not make it to the interview, so obviously there wasn't an opportunity for me to get to that.

"I believe things happen for the right reason when it's supposed to happen, and I'm ready for this job now, and I'm excited to start.

Taking over from Plummer, who led South Africa to its most respectable finish at a World Cup – ending fourth in 2019, van Dyk is determined to get the Proteas back to its peak.

"I'm going to leave everything on court and make sure that I do absolutely everything in my ability to get to that performance," she added.

"And, in saying that, we obviously know what we're up against, we know that everybody around us is not sitting back and waiting for things to happen, they're proactive and they're really putting up great performances. 

"But we have shown in the past that we can be competitive within those units. Maybe we dropped back a little bit in the last few runs that we had, but if we could do it once, we can do it again.

"And I do believe that it's something this young squad is willing to do, and they're quite a determined young bunch of players, so I'm excited to work with them."

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