The SA Indoor BlitzStoks, powered by Tops at SPAR, will be heading to Germany in February 2018 to take on the best in the World at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. The Men earned their spot with an outstanding victorious display at the African Hockey Indoor Cup of Nations in Swakopmund earlier this year. The 14 man squad, announced today, will take part in the All Stars series at the Pro Series Indoor Nationals in December, before a final 12 is selected for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup.
Matthew Fairweather, who captained the team at the World Cup qualifier, returns to the squad after missing the All Stars series in July. Ryan Julius and Reza Rosenberg also missed out on that series while on commitment with the National Outdoor Team at the World League Semi-Final and they are also recalled. Ryan Julius had finished top goal scorer at the 2017 SA Hockey Indoor IPT. Another star from that tournament was Jethro Eustice, who won player of the tournament, who will be key to the BlitzStoks aiming for their highest ever World Cup finish.
The goalkeepers will be the two goalkeepers that went to the previous World Cup with both Richard Curtis and Chris McCathie doing enough over the past three years to secure their place on the plane to the All Star Series in Cape Town. Some of the other seats on that plane will be taken by players who have been in the system in the last three years including Olympian Wade Paton, reliable (belated birthday boy) Robin Jones, world star Justin Domleo and the exciting young talent Rusten Abrahams.
The IPT that took part in Durban played a key part in the selector’s decision making, in line with selection policy for SA Hockey, which saw Julian Hykes and PG Geldenhuys work their way into the selector’s minds with a brilliant tournament that saw Southern Gauteng win another silver medal. The last two places in the 14 man squad were filled by Jarryd Jones, who has responded to missing out on the World Cup Qualifier with some scintillating form, and Craig Haley, who has shown over and over again that he knows how to find the back of the net.
This meant that there was no place in the side for Keagan Robinson, who has been ruled out by the selectors after he tore his ACL just before IPT.
Coach Pierre le Roux shared his thoughts on the squad:
“The squad is rich with experience and the players selected have performed well over the past three years. We believe this consistency and maturity will be beneficial in the World Cup environment.”
The Tops at SPAR BlitzStoks – World Cup Squad
|CHRIS McCathie (GK)||KZN Raiders|
|Richard Curtis (GK)||KZN Raiders|
|Matthew Fairweather||KZN Raiders|
|Justin Domleo||KZN Raiders|
|Robin Jones||KZN Raiders|
|Wade Paton||KZN Raiders|
|Jethro Eustice||KZN Raiders|
|Rusten Abrahams||Southern Gauteng|
|Reza Rosenberg||Southern Gauteng|
|Ryan Julius||Western Province|
|PG Geldenhuys||Southern Gauteng|
|Jarryd Jones||KZN Raiders|
|Craig Hayley||Western Province|
|Julian Hykes||Southern Gauteng|
The BlitzStoks will be in action on the 9, 10, 12 and 13 December in Cape Town for the PSi All-Stars series. The Indoor Hockey World Cup takes place in Berlin from the 7-11 February 2018.