Namibia coach Francois van der Merwe excited with talents in store; says future looks bright
Namibia returned to action with a bang after they registered three victories out of four T20s against an APS U-14 side on Sunday (August 2). The matches served as a perfect opportunity for new head coach Francois van der Merwe, to have an idea about the talents in store and what improvement could be done in the coming days.
Van der Merwe, who has coached South Africa’s top provincial side, North West and Emerging Proteas, was excited to see the talents on display. “I already came here in February on a consultation visit so I’ve met the players before, but I was quite impressed by what I saw. They are very keen to learn, so now we must just give them more opportunities to play,” he said on Wednesday (August 4).
The 44-year-old joined the side over the weekend after undergoing a two-week quarantine and immediately got into the business. “We are moving into a new environment – we want to make the women’s game semi-professional in Namibia, and are training every day. We have two sessions per day, Mondays to Fridays, at the Wanderers nets, while the girls also have strength and conditioning sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays,” he said.
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While Namibia won one game and lost one on Saturday (August 1), they won both games on Sunday. In the third encounter, APS U-14 were restricted to 94 for 3 in 20 overs, before Kayleen Green (41, 51b) and Irene van Zyl (41 not out, 42b) steered them to victory despite a shaky start, losing just three wickets in the process.
“There is fantastic talent here and the future looks bright. They just need to get playing opportunities now. There are no international matches on the horizon now, but we will try and organise some tours by South African provincial teams to Namibia,” added the head coach. “The women haven’t played for a while, so we just started with the U-14’s, but we will definitely get them stronger opposition soon.”
In the fourth and final game, Namibia won by 12 runs. Batting first Namibia posted 102 for 5 in 20 overs with Arrasta Diergaardt (24 not out) and Kayleen Green (21 not out) being the top scorers. In reply, APS U-14 could manage only 90 for 5 in 20 overs. Eveleen Kejarukua (1/9) and Namusha Shiomwenyu (1/4) bowled well for Namibia.