Van Dyk unveiled as new Spar Proteas netball coach

netball28 February 2024 12:46
By:Busisiwe Mokwena
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Jenny van Dyk © Gallo Images

Jenny van Dyk will take over the Spar Proteas coaching reins. Netball South Africa appointed her in the coaching position for the next four years.

The former Gauteng Jaguars coach will be responsible for taking the team to several competitions, including the 2026 Commonwealth Games and will conclude with the 2027 Netball World Cup in Australia.

The federation will then decide whether to renew her contract following the team’s performance in the four years.

Van Dyk will be assisted by former Proteas captain and back-to-back University Sport of South Africa (USSA) Netball Championships winner, Zanele Mdodana.

The former Botswana coach says she is happy about her appointment and she is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

“I am stoked, I couldn’t have asked for something better at this stage. It is something that I have been working towards for a long time. I can’t wait to start working with the team. I am an idealist, a strategist, and an analyst. I dream big, that is what I do. Ever since I was very young I have wanted to win the World Cup and it is still something I want to do.

“I know it is going to take a massive team effort and it won’t be a straight line to get to that top performance but I think it is worth the shot. I am going to make sure that I do everything in my ability to get to that performance. We know what we are up against, we know everybody around us is not sitting back but we have shown in the past that we can be competitive,” says van Dyk.


Although NSA have not set a mandate for the new coach, Van Dyk says it is important that South Africa maintain its dominance on the continent by staying at the top.

“There is still a lot we need to discuss, we need to remain the first team in Africa. We have a bunch of players and coaches over the years that have kept that position and ranking for us, it is something we have to work on.

“We also have to try and improve our ranking, it’s easier said than done. We need to be meticulous with that but the whole idea is to get our squad performing and be highly competitive. Once we get them to be in a position where they are highly competitive, we know they can win.

“A bunch of us went to the last Proteas camp and we got to look at all the players. All the coaches and selectors agreed on the players that we felt would be part of the core of the new group of players. We definitely will be looking in the Under-21 team that will be playing in the African qualifiers, we always want to keep an eye on them,” she explains.

Netball SA hosted a Proteas selection camp in January, which Van Dyk was a part of, although the national team was not announced.

The new coach says there is a lot of work to yet be done before a team is selected and a new captain will be announced following Bongiwe Msomi’s retirement in December.

“That will take a little bit of time, we need time for the squad to settle before we can have that conversation. We need to make sure that we settle on the contracts and the squad. But we do have a few strong candidates in mind, we are excited about that announcement as well.

“The players that we have in mind are ready to take over the position, they know what it takes. I think also introducing younger players in the captaincy position will help us elevate performance in years to come as well,” she says.


President Cecilia Molokwane says the federation had to take the four candidates through a rigorous process to find a suitable candidate.

“We didn’t want to repeat the same mistake. They had to apply, which we didn’t do in 2019. We had to vet them because they are working with players. The safeguarding policy in sports is very important, we make sure we are not taking the wrong person who would abuse players.

“We had to be rigorous about that. I know it was not a nice process for them but we had to do it,” says Molokwane.

Vice-captain Karla Pretorius says NSA’s decision to go with a South African coach is a monumental one.

“It was important that we look into our own coaches and I think we did have enough coaches to pick out from.

“I am very happy that Jenny has been picked, I think she will do a great job. Her knowledge and understanding of the game is great.

“I think it’s now building on all the good things that had been done by our previous coaches and go forward,” says Pretorius.