Jenny Van Dyk praises Baby Proteas for qualifying for the World Cup

Jenny Van Dyk praises Baby Proteas for qualifying for the World Cup

The Spar Proteas head coach Jenny Van Dyk praised her protégé, Precious Mthembu, for her outstanding leadership as she guided the Baby Proteas to an impressive seven-game winning streak in the Africa regional Under-21 World Cup qualifiers hosted at the University of Pretoria in a long-week tournament.

In the gold medal match on Saturday, the young Proteas secured a resounding victory over Malawi, triumphing with a score of 45-26, thus completing a double triumph over their opponents whom they defeated 44-19 on Thursday.

This achievement secured their qualification for the 2025 World Cup finals in Gibraltar, maintaining a flawless record alongside Malawi and Zambia. The Proteas topped their group with twelve points.

"I'm proud of the Spar Baby Proteas, they showed a lot of character, a few moments where things were tough but they kept their composure and they went about their business. I'm also proud of Preshy with all the great changes she made at the right time to give them new energy and also just to trust the players to pull through at the end," Van Dyk said.

READ: Baby Spar Proteas qualify for the 2025 World Cup finals in Gibraltar

Van Dyk showered praise upon the team, notably highlighting Mthembu, who seamlessly stepped into her role after she was promoted to the Proteas just the previous month.

Preparations for the upcoming World Cup scheduled for September 2025 in Gibraltar are already underway.

She pledged to collaborate with Mthembu to ready the girls for the prestigious international event by exchanging ideas and pondering resources.

"Preparations start for Gibraltar, I'm proud of them that they qualified but also that they won today, it's important that the young generation understands how to play Africa but also the power that they generate for the country when they win as well.

“So, yes, now a lot of hard work will be done. We'll also be working with them and we'll try to find opportunities where we can bring them in to train against national squad players in order to give them the best possible chance in Gibraltar next year."