Tonight SPAR South Africa begins on a new journey towards the next FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup as they take on Zimbabwe in a five-match test series, powered by SPAR. Its the first time the SPAR South Africa ladies are playing since their disappointment in Namibia and coach Lennie Botha has opened up the team to a few new players ahead of the tour to Croatia in January to take part in the Croatia Cup.
SPAR South Africa will be led by Cindy Hack, the first South African to play 50 games of Indoor Hockey for the country and along with experienced Jessica O’Connor, Kara Botes and Kelly Reed will form the spine of the team in Durban. The team will also have the top goalscorer from AFCON in Heather McEwan and goalkeeper Nicole la Fleur. Amore de Wet gets a chance to add to her 14 caps after a while out of the side.
Four players will earn their first cap for the SPAR South Africa ladies side in Tegan Fourie, arguably one of the most exciting talents in South African Hockey, Cheree Greyvenstein, Jamie Southgate and Robyn Johnson. It will be a great opportunity to test their abilities in the National team and how they fair in International Hockey.
Zimbabwe is also using the opportunity to give first caps to a few ladies that did not play at the African Hockey Indoor Cup of Nations in May. Farirai Nengare, Roxanne Viviers, Erin de Jesus and Sarah Rudland all receive their first blazers for the National team. Skipper Jamie Haasbroek will again lead from the front (but from the back, she is a goalkeeper) and if she shows glimpses of the form she showed in Namibia will be incredibly difficult to break down again. Credit must go to Zimbabwe’s ladies too in creating a fantastic video to highlight the call to action for Zimbabwe Hockey!
The two nations met twice at the African Cup of Nations in June with SPAR South Africa emerging victorious in both meetings and Zimbabwe will be looking for their first international goal against their neighbours in the series. The matches will be played on the 16th, 17th (2) and 18th (2).