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Nichole Taljaard – Player of the Tournament

She is already a Maties Sport legend and now Nichole Taljaard is also a Varsity Netball legend after being named the 2021 Player of the Tournament.

It was Taljaard’s fourth Varsity Netball tournament and the second time she was nominated as Player of the Tournament after she was also one of the best players in 2018.

This year the goal-attack was nominated along defender and teammate Syntiche Kabuya and UJ’s Monica Gomases, also a defender.

“In all honesty, I did not expect to get this award. Even when the final three were announced I was sure Syntiche would get it,” said Taljaard.

“I had some good moments during the tournament where I felt really good. But it was more a feeling that the team was gelling so great and not me as an individual performing well.

“Getting the award means so much. For sure! I have been gifted with the most amazing team who trust me. I would not have been able to play the way I do if my teammates did not trust me with the ball. I could not thank our management enough for the amount of love and support they invested in me. For the amount of times they believed in me…especially the times when I did not believe in myself.

“I’m thankful for having all these people around me willing to support and help me be the best player I can possibly be.”

This year there was no crowds to play in front of because of Covid-19 regulations. “I was part of such an amazing team. The way we supported each other during matches felt like we were indeed playing with a crowd of supporters!”

Currently Taljaard is playing for the Southern Stings in the Telkom Netball Challenge. She plans to go study Medical Prosthetics at TUT next year. Thus continuing her netball career in Pretoria.

“I also still hope to one day play for the Proteas if the opportunity arises.”