Protea players kick off NSL season

netball16 February 2024 23:16| © SuperSport
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Owethu Ngubane © Twitter

The new 2024 Netball Super League season is about to kick off and some members of the Spar Proteas are about to dazzle fans in the United Kingdom.

South Africa have a total of nine players who will likely feature in the opening day of the competition which kicks off on Saturday, 17 February in a festival style.

All the 10 teams will take to the court on the opening day in Nottingham.

South Africa have exported several players to other leagues around the world, and this year’s NSL will have the highest number of South African players.

The NSL was launched in 2005 and sees ten teams from England, Wales, and Scotland compete for the title.

The top four teams after the 18 rounds of matches progress to the semifinals which are set for 22 June.

The final and the bronze medal game will take place on 29 June.

The competition has produced six different champions throughout the 17 seasons, Nicola Smith’s Loughborough Lightning are the defending champions.

CARDIFF DRAGONS  (Khanyisa Chawane)

The Dragons are the competition’s only team from Wales. The team, previously known as the Celtic Dragons, has played in the competition since it was launched and their best performance was in the 2013 season where they reached the grand final. Jill McIntosh’s side will be looking to better their performance from the 2023 season where they only managed to secure two victories and finished at the bottom of the table.

Bringing on a player like Chawane will be key in steering the team to a better performance. This will be her debut in the competition following her withdrawal from Team Bath who had signed her for the 2020 season. She opted to return home to be with family due to the vicious coronavirus.


The Mavericks missed out on the semifinals by an inch. The led side will be hoping to go back to its glory days and aim to get into the top four at the end of the season. Mavericks have two titles to their names from the 2008 and 2011 seasons.

The team is boasted by goal shooter Venter who finished in the eighth position of the top goal scorers from last season. The goal shooter joined the club in 2021. She has been a solid member of the team since she joined and her reliability in the shooting circle has made her one of the valuable players for the team.

LONDON PULSE (Nichole Taljaard)

Pulse will be hoping to continue where it left off last season. The Sam Bird-led side made history by qualifying for a place in the grand final for the first time ever, and will be looking to do one better this season.

The addition of Taljaard will bring excitement to Pulse’s shooting circle. She is both lively and animated on the court, especially in the shooting circle. Her presence will be key in helping Pulse be one of the contenders of the season.


Scotland-based Sirens joined the league in the 2018 season. The Lesley MacDonald will be hoping to better their performance from last season where they finished eighth with 14 points.

Ngubane is a rising star in the sport following an impressive breakout year in 2023 where she earned her first national cap and also secured an international contract with Sirens. Her performances in two Netball World Cup matches were enough to attract Karen Atkinson’s attention.

MANCHESTER THUNDER (Shadine van der Merwe and Elemere van der Berg)

Thunder are one of the favourites in the competition. The side has won four league titles with the last one being in the 2022 season. Although the Karen Greig-led side secured a top-four position, they missed out on the grand final but still managed a podium finish after winning the bronze medal match.

Van der Merwe will don the gold and black for the third season. She first joined the side for the 2022 season and saw the club win its third league title. Shasha was also part of the team’s leadership group last season.

Van der Berg will be making her debut in the NSL after missing out on the 2023 season due to injury. She is an exciting signing for Thunder who will be crucial in the team’s attack


Lightning are strong contenders to retain their title, having kept hold of most of their key players. Vic Burgess’ charges will be looking to win back-to-back titles as they are looking for a third one.

Smith was unlucky to miss out on the 2023 NSL season due to injury. Her defensive prowess will be key in guiding the two-time champions to the top again.

SEVERN STARS (Sigi Burger and Lefebre Rademan)

Stars had an improved season in 2023 where they finished in sixth position, having ended 11th in the previous season. This was their highest-ever finish in the competition.

Burger is a seasoned campaigner in the NSL. She has been playing in the UK since 2018. She was crucial for the Stars in 2023, she was the fourth top goal scorer with an impressive 672 goals. for.

Rademan will be marking her return to the NSL after missing out in the 2023 season due to injury. Although she missed out on playing in the World Cup, she will likely contribute successfully to the Stars.