While South African indoor hockey continues to develop, there is no doubt that in the ladies game Namibia is matching those strides. With this in mind it is with great excitement that we look towards the upcoming 5 match test series to be hosted in Swakopmund, Namibia. Both teams will be eagerly looking forward to the series to gauge the progress they have made over the past 2 months and obviously to underline the ambition to qualify for the 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup.
Following their dominance at the SA Indoor IPT, the KZN Raiders are well represented in the National squad with tournament top goalscorer Cindy Hack being joined by Jess O’Connor, Kelly Madsen and Shelley Higgo in the SA 12. Nicole de Vries, who took a mask to the face and a couple of stitches to boot, was on obvious inclusion after winning player of the tournament in Cape Town. The other names include Hanli Hattingh, Heather McEwan, Natasha Rootenberg, Nicole le Fleur (All Western Province) and the exciting Stephanie Baxter (North West).
Jessica O’Connor shared her thoughts on the upcoming series: “Our last series with Namibia was an incredibly tough series. After a great IPT, we are really looking forward to another competitive series and testing ourselves extensively.” Coach Lennie Botha also shared: “Its a good chance to reward the players that have done well at the IPT and also for the new players to stake their claim for regular inclusion in the squad. I am very happy with the make up of the squad”
The team will once again be led by Lennie Botha, with Bridget Kee managing and the brilliant Bright Mashaba on video.
Coach Erwin Handura kept a bigger squad together before naming his final 12 for the series. Many of the girls have been involved in the previous four nations tournament as well as the Test series in Durban where Namibia secured their second ever victory over the South Africans, along with a draw.
Petro Stoffberg in goal, featured in the Southern Gauteng team to march to the final four at the South African IPT recently, while goal scorers in that victory in Durban Dunell van Taak (It was a ripper) and the legendary Maggie Mengo return to try and wreck more havoc on the South African defence.
It’s once again a good mix of experience and youth as Namibia look to build a bigger squad from which to choose from.
The five match series will be played out from the 24-27 November in Swakopmund at the newly completed dome.
|South African Ladies|
Jerrica Bartlett (Cormack)
Dunell van Taak
Nicole de Vries
Isabella da Rocha
Nicole le Fleur