The African Cup is about to get underway in Kenya after an initial delay in the country due to the horrendous terror attacks that happened in the country. This morning the SA Hockey Lads and the ladies departed from OR Tambo in a bid to compete for a place at the 2014 Hockey World Cup in Holland.
The Investec South Africa women’s hockey team sees one change from the side originally announced, said head coach for the tournament, Fabian Gregory, with Northern Blues goalkeeper Phume Mbande replacing Southern Gauteng’s Sanani Mangisa, who suffered a torn Achilles tendon and has undergone surgery. Head coach Charlie Pereira’s SA men’s side sees two changes. Defenders Matt Guise-Brown (Northern Blues) and Andrew Cronje (Western Province) are replaced due to exam and work commitments respectively. Francois Pretorius of Northern Blues comes in for Guise-Brown and debutant Greg Last of KZN Coastal Raiders has been called up to replace double Olympian Cronje.
The men’s and women’s national teams that win the Africa Cup next week will qualify as the continent’s representatives at the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Hockey World Cup. The four-yearly showpiece is due to be held jointly in The Hague, Netherlands from May 31 to June 15 next year. The SA teams are the reigning African champions, having won the last of the biannual events in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in September 2011.
The Africa Cup men’s and women’s tournaments will be played on a one-round league format with the top two teams playing in the respective finals next Saturday.
One major change is that Egypt’s men’s side, always SA’s biggest opponents for Africa supremacy, will now be playing in Nairobi. Egypt had withdrawn their team from the initial tournament that was due to start on September 26 due to political unrest in their country.
There will be four men’s teams at Nairobi’s City Park Stadium. They are South Africa, Egypt, Ghana and hosts Kenya. The four women’s teams are South Africa, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
SA Men: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Jacque le Roux (Western Province), Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Greg Last (KZN Coastal Raiders), Jethro Eustice (SG), Dylan Swanepoel (WP), Mohamed Mea (KCR), Austin Smith (capt, WP), Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KCR), Taine Paton (KCR), Julian Hykes (SG), Geoff Abbott (KCR), Pierre de Voux (WP), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP). Head coach: Charlie Pereira.
Investec SA Women: Hanli Hattingh (WP), Phume Mbande (NB), Lenise Marais (co-capt, KCR), Marcelle Keet (co-capt, Border), Lisa Deetlefs (SG), Illse Davids (WP), Celia Evans (North West), Shelley Russell (WP), Kaila Flemming (SG), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Sulette Damons (NW), Christine Roos (SG), Jade Mayne (WP), Bernie Coston (SG), Tanya Britz (Free State), Lilian du Plessis (NB), Izelle Lategan (FS), Kelly Madsen (KCR). Head coach: Fabian Gregory.
SA FIXTURES (SA times)
Women Mon, Nov 18: SA vs Kenya (11am) Tues, Nov 19: SA vs Ghana (11am) Thurs, Nov 21: SA vs Tanzania (9am) Fri, Nov 22: Bronze medal match (12 pm) Sat, Nov 23: Gold medal final (12pm)
Men Mon, Nov 18: SA vs Ghana (3pm) Tues, Nov 19: SA vs Egypt (1pm) Thurs, Nov 21: SA vs Kenya (3pm) Fri, Nov 22: Bronze medal match (2.30pm) Sat, Nov 23: Gold medal final (2.30pm)