Gowan Jones is currently in the South Africans Mens Hockey side at the FIH World League Round 2. He is the next in line to be South Africa’s number one goalkeeper and featured in my list of 5 SA Hockey stars for the future. Amongst his 22 caps, the KZN Coastal Raiders shot stopper has already appeared for South Africa at the FIH World Cup, but missed out on selection for the Commonwealth Games. Being a Durbanite, Gowan would love to play a part in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, should they be hosted in South Africa. We sat with Gowan and had a chat about all things hockey.
Jabu: How are you feeling about the FIH World League?
Gowan: I am pretty excited about the World League. It’s a great tournament to test yourself against teams that are ranked closer to you, it is also pretty epic that we get to play these games in front of our home crowds! [Jabu – South Africa have finished top of their pool and face Azerbaijan tonight at 18:30 in the Quarter Final]
Jabu: Of the 7 players that missed out on the final squad, who do you think was the most unlucky?
Gowan: Sjo of the 7 players left out, I would say Brandon Panther was most unlucky to not get selected for the side! I have no doubt that he will be back even better next time round!
Jabu: You have been around the SA squad for a while now, how frustrating is it when you are selected as back-up keeper and get less game time?
Gowan: It is tough sitting on the bench, but someone has to do it, haha. It makes it easier when I am involved on the bench, handing the guys water as they come off, making their time on the bench as easy as possible! I try to be the best on the bench! If I stay positive it helps Rassie in the goals and keeps the guys going while they are off the field. It also helps me stay focused and involved in the game as you never know when you are going to get called on.
Jabu: What has been the standout memory of your time for South Africa so far?
Gowan: The best memory I have so far, would be singing the National anthem at the RHWC last year in Holland in front of 15000 people against the Dutch!
Gowan: I have a pretty good relationship with Rassie, it is tough as both of us are fighting for the number one spot. We are always pushing each other so that we don’t slack off and challenging one another to raise our games! During a camp and tournament it’s important that your two keepers work together as a team, so that you get the best out of both the first and second choice.
Jabu: As a Durban boytjie, how excited are you that the Commonwealth Games could be coming to your city?
Gowan: The Commonwealth Games being hosted in Durban would be incredible. If I am involved or as a supporter, it will be outstanding to have most of the top athletes in the world on your door step!
Gowan: Richard Curtis (Who just featured for in the Indoor World Cup) is probably the closest to being more involved in the National side. He is a good keeper and has lots of time ahead of him!
Jabu: Will you be looking for a club overseas at any point?
Gowan: Ya I would like to go over for one more season, it will help in my preparation for Rio 2016! Even if I could go over and work with a club side to improve, that would be great.
Gowan: Besides hockey, I compete in Kettle bell lifting competitions! I aslo practice Brazilian jui juitsu!
Jabu: Where can readers find more about you?
YOUR CHANCE TO WIN
We are also getting behind the boys and have teamed up with extraordinary photographer to give you a limited edition Mens Hockey team print, signed by Gowan himself. If you would like to win, just post to our Twitter Account (@ATJabu) telling us which position Gowan plays. Make sure you are also following Kent Locke Photography on Instagram.