We are huge lovers of all things hockey and with that we are also excited to see youngsters breaking in to the national squad and staying there too. One of those players is Dan Sibbald. Dan made his debut at the Investec Cup in 2014 for South Africa, but has since gone a long way to impressing this hockey fan. So much so, that I included him in my column on the South African naming 5 SA Hockey players to watch in the future. We had a chat to Dan about all things hockey before he jetted off to Australia to coach and play for a couple of months.
Jabu: Growing up your passion was tennis more than hockey, what made you switch to hockey?
Dan: I have to say the team aspect and the social side of hockey had a big influence on me. I always enjoyed my hockey and then when I started playing club at riverside that cemented my change into hockey.
Jabu: And you got your first cap pretty soon after high school, was that a shock?
Dan: I got a call up to the men’s squad pretty much straight out of school and was going to a few of the camps, but yes getting a call up to the team to travel to Argentina came to a huge surprise and I was super stoked.
Jabu: Were the older, more experienced players very welcoming to you?
Dan: They were, and still are! All of the guys are super welcoming and supportive, and are now really good friends with most of them.
Dan: I was actually on a flight home that day when I got a late call up to play, so playing Germany for the first time was awesome and scoring a goal in front of a home crowd made it that much better.
Jabu: How are you and the team feeling after the disappointment of the World League?
Dan: It’s never easy, and the team was definitely disappointed. It still sucks to think about it, but we can only go forward from here
Jabu: You also featured in our 5 players for the future, who else do you think will be a star for SA Hockey in the future?
Dan: I know Dan Bell was one of them, and you are definitely not wrong he is playing really good hockey. From the last U/21 IPT Matt De Souza is such a talent and is one to watch.
Dan: Old Guilford Mundaring Hockey Club
Jabu: And how is this developing your game?
Dan: The experience itself will help me develop my game. Learning from the international players in the team and the attacking nature of the game here will be good for me.
Jabu: Going back to the Summer Series, you scored a fine reverse stick goal against Austria, do you remember each and everyone of your goals? If so, which one stands out in your memory as the best?
Dan: Well I have only scored 4 goals, so I definitely remember them all. The one against Austria in Durban, my home town, with my friends and family there was awesome.
Jabu: Who are your hockey heroes around the world?
Dan: I can’t say I have any hockey heroes but there are a number of players in the SA side that I have grown up admiring.
Dan: Sharks!!! Roger Federer and recently the Freemantle Dockers from the AFL.
Jabu: Where can our readers find out more about you?
All images are used with the express permission of Kent Locke