The South African Men and Women’s Hockey sides have been named for the forthcoming African Cup. The winner of this tournament will qualify for the World Cup in 2014 in Netherlands. The South African sides will be strong favourites for these tournaments, specifically with the absence of the Egyptian men.
There has been a recall to the national squad for Geoff Abbott, a 2008 Olympian, while Andrew Cronje will return after captaining the Western Province men to an outstanding victory at the Men’s Inter Provincial Tournament. The other recalls to the side are Jacques le Roux and the deadly drag flicker Matt Guise-Brown. There are also new call ups for two members of the SA U21 side, Dylan Swanepoel and Mohamed Mea.
Of course, hockey is dealt the normal blow of unavailability and Gowan Jones, Francois Pretorious, Lance Louw, Craig Haley, Miguel da Graca, Ricky West, Justin Reid-Ross and Lloyd Madsen all miss out for various reasons.
If South Africa are to defend their African crown won in 2011, Austin Smith will need to show he has shaken off the Dengue Fever that plagued his World League Semi Finals and lead the team from the front. Put a sneaky bet on Lloyd Norris-Jones finishing top scorer in the tournament too!
Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Jacque le Roux (Western Province), Andrew Cronje (WP, Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Matt Guise-Brown (Northern Blues), Jethro Eustice (SG), Dylan Swanepoel (SA U21), Mohamed Mea (SA U21), Austin Smith (capt, WP), Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KZN Raiders), Tim Drummond (KZN Raiders), Taine Paton (KZN Raiders), Julian Hykes (SG), Geoff Abbott (KZN Raiders), Pierre de Voux (WP), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP).
SA Women’s Hockey
Bernie Coston and Lisa Deetlefs will make a welcome return to the National ladies side. Their presence will be massive as legends Pietie Coetzee and Marsha Cox are both unavailable for the African Cup. Alongside Pietie and Marsha in the unavailable line are Phume Mbande, Nicolene Terblanche, Tarryn Bright and Dirkie Chamberlain.
There will also be a debut for a friend of Jabu, the exciting Kaila Fleming while Hanli Hattingh, Christine Roos and Celia Evans also return to bolster the line-up.
The success of the SA Ladies will be built on the outstanding Sanani Mangisa keeping things tight at the back and the likes of Izelle Lategan and Lillian du Plessis taking their Under 21 form into the National side.
Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng), Hanli Hattingh (Western Province), Lenise Marais (KZN Raiders), Marcelle Keet (Border), Lisa Deetlefs (SG)), Illse Davids (Western Province), Celia Evans (North West), Shelley Russell (WP), Kaila Flemming (SG), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Sulette Damons (North West), Christine Roos (NB), Jade Mayne (WP), Bernie Coston (SG), Tanya Britz (Free State), Lilian du Plessis (NB), Izelle Lategan (FS), Kelly Madsen (KZN Raiders)