The Hockey 24 Seven Indoor Hockey Awards were launched last year for multiple reasons. The first was my involvement in the indoor game through Psi and the SPAR SA ladies, the second was the lack of recognition for indoor hockey in any other awards and the last was that indoor hockey was always my first love playing as a youngster. The 2017 Awards garnered a fair amount of interest and through multiple discussions we continue to grow them, much like the brand of Hockey 24 Seven, part of the Sports 24 Seven fold.
This year I enlisted the help of different people to give input on different awards with National Coaches, players, provincial coaches and players and other people involved in the game of indoor hockey giving me their views. Ultimately, I got a CA to tally the votes (me) and came up with an agreeable list of award winners. So, what were the tournaments considered?
The awards are for the period 1 January 2018 – 31 December 2018 and as such they include the Croatian Cup, the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, the PSI All Stars, Indoor IPT 2018, Psi Zimbabwe launch and the test series between SPAR South Africa and Namibia in Durban. The final caveat is that these awards are not dished out in my capacity as media creator for SA Hockey, but rather in my capacity as super indoor hockey fan and proud South African.
Without further ado, here are the Hockey 24 Seven Indoor Hockey Awards for 2018.
Other Southern African Male Player of the Year – Siyabonga Martins – Namibia
Due to the amount of hockey I watch I decided to introduce an award for someone from outside our country. That man is Siyabonga Martins. Having known Siya for a while its been clear that he is a pivotal cog in the thinking of Trevor Cormack and his leadership and form in Zimbabwe for the Psi launch made him a stand out for me. He followed this up with a really good performance at the Indoor IPT and continues to look at place with when rubbing shoulders with the other All-Stars.
Other Southern African Female Player of the Year – Kiana Cormack – Namibia
It was always going to be Kiana “Penalty” Cormack after her heroics at the World Cup. The then 16-year-old was the tournament’s top goal scorer, but more importantly her presence on the field was a lift to those alongside her. Its not surprise to me that in the moments where Namibia let slip their hold on the top 8, it was while Kiki was on the bench. The youngster has played a lot of hockey in 2018 where she had a good Indoor IPT and held her own playing in the World All-Stars. She also was a massive role player in the Hawks performance at Psi Nationals.
Umpire of the Year – Francois du Toit
2017 winner – Lyndall Robertson
This was an interesting award that had no clear favourite in a year where few umpires put their hands up to be counted. Ayden Shrives became the first man (as far as I am aware) to play in and umpire at the Indoor World Cup, but it was his co-official in the IPT final that impressed me the most. Francois game management and player management were superb throughout the year and it was an absolute pleasure speaking to him about the rules of the game.
SA U20 Female Player of the Year – Edith Molikoe – KZN Inland
Another new award in 2018 due to the number of youngsters putting their hands up to be noticed. Edith did not just put her hand up, she got a ladder climbed it, put a box on top, climbed that, then put up her hand to be noticed in 2018. And we did. The 18-year-old played her debut series in Zimbabwe earning her first caps and looking superb in trying conditions. She was also superb against the All-Stars and a vital cog in an impressive Indoor IPT for KZN Inland. This is a lady with a superb future for SA Indoor and we can’t wait to watch her continue her growth.
SA U20 Male Player of the Year – Mustapha Cassiem – Western Province
I think honestly there are few players in South African indoor hockey that have caused as many collective sighs of appreciation than Mustapha Cassiem. The 15-year-old (at the time) took on the Indoor IPT with the Psi Invitational side and stood out more than I would at a Justin Bieber concert. He also caught the attention of the national selectors and its only a matter of time before we see him in a darker green than the Barracudas one. I am excited to see him in action for Western Province at this weeks IPT.
Psi Franchise of the Year – Namibian Hawks / Eagles
2017 winner – Cape Seals
They won the Franchise of the year after a superb year of titles and glory. Almost every single side won a medal in the A Section and that is testament to the hours and hours that Trevor and Shayne Cormack put into. It’s a credit to their coaches, their kids and their parents involved. Namibian Hockey should really consider placing their entire focus here and backing the Cormack’s, it will lead to great things for the country.
Enhanced Sports SA U23 Female Player of the Year – Cheree Greyvenstein – SPAR KZN Raiders
2017 winner – Tegan Fourie
If there is one player who’s took the opportunities that were awarded to her this year, it was Cheree. Having started the year in Croatia as the countries number 2 keeper she went on to establish herself as the number one and arguably outperform Alexander Heerbaart, one of the best keepers in the world, during the Psi All Stars series. There was a save that Cheree made in one game where she somehow produced enough strength behind her back saving the ball and the line and then distributing a counter attack. Special mention in this category goes to Jess Lardant who received several votes and took the step up to International hockey superbly when given the opportunity.
Enhanced Sports SA U23 Male Player of the Year – Dayaan Cassiem – Western Province
2017 winner – Ryan Julius
The second brother featured on the list and 100% correctly. Dayaan was playing hockey in Germany, chasing his way around the world for the outdoor team, but made sure he was back for the Indoor IPT and the All-Stars series. A product of the Psi Barracudas, Cassiem has the type of skill that is made for indoor hockey. In the All-Star series he consistently entertained the crowds with his range of running, passing, tricks and enjoying his hockey. The biggest problem with Dayaan is that there is only one of him.
Coach of the Year – Lennie Botha – SPAR South Africa
2017 winner – Brinsley Powell
Lennie Botha will one day be remembered as a legend of SA Indoor Hockey, right now though he should be appreciated. This award is not about the extra things he does to make the women’s indoor programme the best run programme in SA Hockey at present, but I felt it deserved mention. Botha’s recorded his 50th win as coach of the SPAR South Africa indoor side when they completed a 3-0 victory over the Namibian All-Stars. In fact, his record from official test matches in 2018 read as follows, played 15, won 13, drew 2, lost 0. In that time, he featured squads that predominantly were younger than 23 and gave 6 girls new caps in the year. The meticulous coach deserves all the credit for the response to disappointment and although not factored into these awards he has now resided over 79 test matches for the SA Women’s Indoor, winning 55. Lennie, congratulations!
Hockey 24 Seven SA Hockey Player of the year – Cindy Hack – SPAR KZN Raiders
2017 winner – Cindy Hack
The most unanimous award of the year. I asked for 8 people to vote on this and every single one of them picked South Africa’s most capped Indoor Player. I was fortunate enough to watch arguably the finest display of Indoor Hockey in Croatia, where Cindy was chosen as the player of the tournament. She followed this with a real leader’s role in Zimbabwe and against Namibia before once again shining against the International All-Stars. Her captaincy is also something that should be appreciated and is probably as impactful as John Smit was for the Springboks. Cindy also becomes the first person to win one of our awards twice.
Hockey 24 Seven SA Male Hockey Player of the Year – Jarryd Jones – KZN Raiders
2017 winner – Jethro Eustice
It was not a great year for SA Men’s Indoor Hockey. A disappointing performance at the World Cup and no further action after that meant pickings were slim. But that did not stop Jarryd Jones who produced the best individual display at an Indoor IPT. I know that’s a grand statement, but it was so good that Jarryd was selected as player of the tournament after day 2 and then stretched the lead every day. Big players also do it at the biggest moments and in the final a hat-trick gave the weakened Raiders their most satisfying title. Last years winner Jethro Eustice deserves an honourable mention for his performance at the world cup and the All-Stars, but 2018 was the year of the Jones!
Congratulations to our award winners. We know that there are so many people that deserve credit, but we can pick a few. Indoor Hockey has a promising future in South Africa and the players I have been fortunate enough to watch over the past 12 months continually reinforce that statement.
At the end of the day. We love the boards!
Thank you to our friends Enhanced Sports for the video clips and photos provided. These guys are a massive credit to hockey in the country and are second to none in the video analysis game.