The South African Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams that will take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, were today announced by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.
The South African Women, powered by Private Property, have stuck with consistency and stuck with largely a combination of the players that faired so well at the FIH World League Semi-Finals and the African Hockey Cup of Nations.
Stalwarts of those tournaments, goalkeepers Nicole la Fleur and Phumelela Mbande will continue their battle for the number one spot in a team led again by Nicolene Terblanche. 2016 SA Hockey Player of the year Celia Evans, Quanita Bobbs, Shelley Jones, Ilse Davids and Dirkie Chamberlain all feature in an extremely experienced line-up attempting to win South Africa’s first ever medal at a major hockey tournament.
Nicole Walraven, Lisa Deetlefs and Jade Mayne are all included in the team after sitting out the African Hockey Cup of Nations win, while the SA u21 and Premier Hockey League Junior Player of the tournament Ongi Mali, makes her debut for the senior women’s team.
Head coach of the South African Women’s team, Sheldon Rostron shares:
“We are confident in the team that we have selected, with a well-balanced squad having both speed and the power to achieve at the Commonwealth Games. Our hope is that we achieve a top-four position to compete for a medal in the final playoffs. We have rewarded both senior players as well as the new squad members who have been performing well in 2017. The addition of youngster Ongi Mali, who has been the promising player in her age group, along with Kristen Paton, who did really well in the African Qualifier, points to this.
We believe that all positions are based on merit and with the design of the team in mind of the opposition we will be facing. We have been working hard on growth areas following some successes at the World League. The ladies are currently at camp focusing on growing their technical base as well as working on key conditioning components and team building, ensuring that the unit functions to full capacity.
We have invested a lot of resources ensuring that each athlete is well managed and ready for this eventful year. The Commonwealth Games is an important part of growing our success and the performance at this event is key to our performance objectives and goals we have set for 2018.”
The South African Hockey Men, on a high from the incredible victory over Egypt in Egypt to win the African Hockey Cup of Nations, will once again look to Tim Drummond to lead the team as the skipper.
Three men that are headed to Berlin for the Indoor Hockey World Cup have been selected namely 2017 AFCON hero Jethro Eustice, Ryan Julius and Reza Rosenberg. There is also space for Ryan Crowe, a formidable player of the 2016 Junior Hockey World Cup. He is joined by Tevin Kok, Siyavuya Nolutshungu and Nqobile Ntuli from that team that secured South Africa’s highest ever finish at any World Cup.
Keenan Horne, who has impressed whenever he has put on the green and gold, Clinton Panther and Gowan Jones all earn themselves recalls and another opportunity to pull the Protea on to represent our country
Convenor of selectors Allistar Fredericks share his thoughts on the squad:
“We have opted for a very exciting young team that has enough experience to be very competitive at the Games. We also looked at individual performances at the FIH World League, Africa Cup and PHL to put this team together.
With the new cycle starting, there are a few regular guys, who over the years have been fantastic representatives for SA, but have been left out to give a few new boys a chance to experience and perform at this huge event. The door has however not been closed on them, with the 2018 World Cup in India still to come in the latter part of this year, so the door is open to all who have not made this team and performances at various organized events will be monitored closely. We wish our Commonwealth Games team all the best and know they will deliver performances and represent us with pride.”
South African Commonwealth Games Hockey Squad
The Commonwealth Games hockey tournament takes place at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre from the 5-14 April 2018 https://www.gc2018.com/sport/hockey