Mignon du Preez's Love Affair with Northerns Still Burning Strong
When you walk into a Northerns Women's practice, there are two certainties. The daisy on the chest will be prominent - and a certain Mignon du Preez will be wearing it with the same level of pride that she did two decades ago.
It is one of the most enduring love affairs in the South African game, and Du Preez shows no signs of letting up with her attitude off the park and performance on it.
"I've played for Northerns for over 20 years. Playing for such a successful Cricket Union, with the Daisy on my chest, has always been extremely special and a huge honour. I would definitely not be where I am today without the support from Northerns' and their coaching throughout my playing career," Du Preez said, as she looked forward to another dash with the Daisies.
A massive part of her approach to cricket is to have fun. That much is evident in the ever-present smile on her face, which masks a gritty attitude and ability to dig her teams out of the unlikeliest of holes.
"One of my main roles is encouraging the youngsters and bringing my energy to fielding. It is also very important for me to keep making match winning or game changing contributions."
One of her most recent contributions on a cricket field was the last-gasp heroics against England at the T20 Women's World Cup in Australia. Her six in the final over got the Momentum Proteas over the line, in her 100th appearance for the side, and it gripped the attention of the entire cricketing public.
"I am still having fun, and really enjoying my cricket. I just want to keep leading from the front with my work ethic," she said of her plans for the next page of her indefatigable story.
"It's important for me to keep encouraging the youngsters and to bring energy to the field. I also really enjoy sharing my knowledge and experience with the younger players," the veteran pro added.
The next generation is something that Du Preez always has an eye on, and she has already noted some good signs from a few players within the Northerns group.
"There is a lot of talent within the Northerns squad. An exciting youngster to keep an eye on this season is Eliz-Mari Marx," she tipped.
And, given just how much talent Mignon du Preez has seen over the years as a Northerns legend, it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on anything she points out.