Crinums confident ahead of title defence
FREE State Crinums’ assistant captain Alicia Puren does not believe their dominance in the Brutal Fruit Netball Premier League is under any threat.
However, Crinums begin their mission to win their fourth Premier League title in a row without some of the players who have been key performers over the past three seasons.
Crinums start the season against three times runners-up Gauteng Jaguars tomorrow at the Durban University of Technology.
The Burta de Kock-coached side are the only outfit to have won the tournament since its inception.
Lauren-Lee Christians and Karla Mostert were among the outstanding performers for the side but won’t be in the team this season.
While Mostert is raising the South African flag high in Australia, Christians will turn out in the colours of Eastern Cape Aloes this season.
Puren admits that the players will be missed but is confident Crinums will continue to do well.
“Lauren-Lee went to Aloes and she will make that team better and Karla went to Australia. We have lost a few players but we have youngsters who want to come up and fill those big shoes,” Puren said.
“At Crinums we are not really a team but more of a family and that’s how we stay successful. I don’t know how it is like with other teams but that’s what keeps us going strong at Crinums.
“We still have enough experience in our squad, with our captain Maryka Holtzhausen back from injury as well, so it’s going to be an amazing journey for us this season.
“If we had lost her too it was going to be a different story because of her leadership qualities. She is such an inspiration to the whole team and we fight all the way for her.”
Though the 22-year-old goalkeeper is confident the team can defend their title, she acknowledges it will still take a lot of hard work as it has never been a walk in the park before.
“I think this year the competition will be tougher compared to the past three seasons because of the New Zealand trip ahead.
“But we have the experience, we have won the title three times in a row so we know how to defend it.”
NEW OUTFIT: Eastern Cape Aloes player Lauren-Lee Christians.