All Things Jabu spent a bit of time at the African Qualifiers in 2012 in which our SA Under 21 girls emerged victorious. The tournament saw the girls qualify for the Under 21 World Cup. So the girls got together for a training camp in Cape Town to shadow the National Women’s side. Well they were doing this we got a chance to chat to stand-in skipper, Taryn Mallett.
All Things Jabu (ATJ): Hi Taryn thanks for the chance to chat! How has the training camp gone?
Taryn Mallett (TM): Hi Jabu! The training camp went very well thank you. We worked hard and the squad left the week very encouraged and inspired to train hard to ensure we are properly prepared for our junior World Cup.
ATJ: Fantastic stuff. On the camp you got to spend some time with the National squad, which one of the current national ladies do you see as a role model?
TM: Taryn Bright. She play’s an exciting style of hockey and the same kind of game that I aspire to. She has a big effect in the team. Her humility is a trait that I admire, especially when you consider how successful she has been.
ATJ: Alongside your role model, there are a few of your team mates in the current national squad, do you see yourself breaking through into the main squad anytime soon?
TM: It is a dream of mine to play for the national woman’s team but I need to work on a few aspects of my game before I think I will be able to compete for a position on the team.
ATJ: Who else from the Under 21 squad do you think will break into the national side soon?
TM: There is a lot of talent in this team and all of these girls should form the nucleus of the national team in the future. If I had to single out someone, I would say that Erin hunter has a good chance of getting there soon. She is an exciting and fiery player that never backs down and an outstanding defender with lots of speed which is a huge asset in the game today.
ATJ: Normal Under 21 Captain Izelle Lategan has been busy with the Women’s squad and in her absence you have been appointed skipper. How does it feel to be the captain of the side?
TM: It has been an honor to captain the side and a privilege that I thoroughly enjoyed. I thrive under pressure and enjoy responsibility so I feel comfortable in this role when asked to perform in Izelle’s absence.
ATJ: We know all the training is for the World Cup this year, what are the team’s goals for the World Cup?
TM: One of our main goals as a team is to be fitter than our opponents because you do not need money or sponsorship to get fit and if we can get this right I believe our tournament will be a lot more successful. We also want to play consistently on a high level throughout the tournament. Each player must make a difference when they are on the field in order for the team to function at its best.
ATJ: What is it like being coached by Lindsay Wright, someone who has played 209 times for South Africa?
TM: Lindsey Wright has been my hockey role model since I was 12 years old and a player that I have looked up to and admired for her work ethic and drive. It is an honor to be coached by her. She is one of the best coaches I have ever been coached by and her knowledge of the game and passion for it is evident in her coaching style and what she gets out of the players.
ATJ: We at All Things Jabu are also huge fans of Lindsey and all she has done for SA Hockey! Who has played a big influence on your rise to the national hockey side?
TM: Jenny King, my Maties hockey coach, has had a big influence on my rise to the national side as well as my Maties team mates.
ATJ: Do you have any ambitions to play hockey professionally?
TM: I would love to play hockey professionally, although studying to be a charted accountant has posed some challenges professional hockey is definetly a goal I aspire to in the near future.
ATJ: That is awesome to here and we hope you get to achieve your goals. Thanks so much for your time. Good luck with the rest of the training.