Netball SA Finally Issue Plummer World Cup Mandate

Netball SA Finally Issue Plummer World Cup Mandate

Netball South Africa (NSA) expect coach Norma Plummer to lead the Proteas to a top-three finish at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town in July. President Cecilia Molokwane confirmed the news to SABC Sport.

The 77-year-old replaced coach Dorette Bodenhorst in November 2022 without a contract or clear mandate. She joined the Proteas as a consultant during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last July but was promoted to head coach.

And as SABC Sport previously reported, the NSA had no expectations of Plummer at the world tournament until now.

“We demand a podium finish, we are hosting the World Cup. We eventually decided to give the coach mandate because the coach needs to have a mandate. She cannot go into the World Cup without a plan. 

“We had a meeting with her, and she promised us that the team would not embarrass the nation. The team is currently in camp in Stellenbosch, and we cannot waste millions of money on numerous camps and not go into the World Cup without a clear mandate for the coach,” said Molokwane.

 Plummer, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, does not have a contract with the NSA but receives a monthly fee. The association also pays for her flights and accommodation when she comes to SA to lead training sessions during camps.

“We have a good relationship with the coach and do not need a contract with her. We pay her on a consultancy basis. We pay her good money, and she is happy. She will retire at the end of the tournament.”

 Plummer guided the Proteas to fourth place at the 2019 World Cup finals in Liverpool, England, after joining the team in 2018. Plummer resigned in 2019 but NSA reappointed her for the 2023 World Cup and Molokwane defended her decision to reinstate the coach. Molokwane believes Plummer is respected by the players and knows the team culture.

 “She was the best available option in a short space of time. She brings discipline, and the players love her. We can trust her, having worked with her before, and we know what she brings to the table.”

Molokwane met with the players after she gave the head coach clear objections to the tournament.

 “The coach knows how to handle players and prepare them for the tournament. But the players must come to the party. They are playing for the nation, not the coach. The girls are working hard, and they promised me a top-three finish after our meeting.”

Plummer is in camp in Stellenbosch with the 22 contracted players but will make the final announcement of the 15 World Cup players in June. The highly anticipated World Cup will be played at the International Convention Centre in Cape Town from 28 July to 6 August. The Proteas are in Group C with Sri Lanka, Wales and Jamaica.