Reyneke-Meyer ready for coaching journey
Spar Proteas goal defence Monique Reyneke- Meyer is looking forward to the next chapter of her career.
Following a season in the United Kingdom’s Netball Super League, Reyneke-Meyer will be taking charge of the coaching position at the North West University- Vaal campus.
The former University of Johannesburg player decided to come back to South Africa instead of taking another contract with the Saracens Mavericks in the NSL. She was a formidable part of the team that finished fifth in the 2023 season.
“It was such a great experience, I would definitely love to go back again but (it is) a different time in my life at this stage. Being married now and everything, new experiences and new challenges for me laying ahead but the way all the volunteers, the coaching staff, and all the players really made me feel at home. I think the coaching and the lessons I got there were so much better. Coming back I can say that I have international experience playing against other international players abroad. That makes me a little more experienced as a player and I think it brings the little extra factor,” she says.
Reyneke-Meyer, who played along with her compatriot, goal shooter Ine-Mari Venter, at the Hatfield based side, says returning home doesn’t completely close the door to her going back overseas to play in a more professional environment.
“For me at this stage netball is part of my life and bills need to get paid. I need that stability in my life at this stage. I got married last year in August and I have been married for a year and have only been together for seven months of the year, it is tough.
I feel I am ready for the next step in my life. They did approach me to go back again next season, I did have a chat with the coach and she told me it’s fine. We will keep in contact, the door is definitely not closed but for now it’s new challenges.
Being appointed the coach of the North West University in the Vaal, I am really looking forward to that. It’s going to be a big challenge for me, from a player and going over to coaching. I do have a passion for coaching, hopefully, everything will settle in. I am excited for that challenge,” she says.
Reyneke-Meyer says joining Venter at the Mavericks made it easier for her to settle. Moreover, the whole team, including the volunteers made her feel at home.
“Yes, definitely with Ine there made it a little bit easier because she knows the setup already. We also stayed together and we got to speak Afrikaans and English. That made it a little better and a little bit homey.
The coaching staff and the volunteers, everyone was so friendly. They just give that family feeling, it wasn’t tough being overseas. It was just a great experience and I just loved it over there,” she explains.
Netball South Africa’s move to contracting several players is their way to moving to professionalise the sport. The Telkom Netball League winning player says although the NSL and the Suncorp Super Netball League may be leading the pack, she believes South Africa also has something to teach to the professional leaders.
“We can always do better, there is also staff that they can do better as well but I just feel the level of professionalism is peaking up a lot here in South Africa. When I was overseas it was like everyone was switched on, everyone knew their role.
Coming back and looking at what we are doing here, we are definitely on the right track. Over there, it’s just that there are international players, contracted and paid players, that is definitely the direction we are moving to in South Africa right now but we are not where they are at this stage. I feel that is a position of growth.
The pathways they have with the younger kids, that is something we can work towards. We are moving on the right path as South Africa, we know what we have to do,” she says.
Reyneke-Meyer is already sharing her overseas experience back home. She was an important part of coach Dr. Elsje Jordaan's team that successfully defended the Spar Senior Netball Championship title. Johannesburg A won the 2023 edition of the competition by a close 46-40 score line over Mangaung to retain the title.
The team went through the tournament unbeaten, they finished top of the group and only drew one game against Managung during the round robin stage.
“It was good playing at home again especially playing with a talented group of girls. What makes us a good team is that we can bring the best out of each other and we can learn from each other,” she says.