The 2019 South African Indoor Hockey IPT took place in Pietermaritzburg last weekend with Southern Gauteng ladies and Western Province men causing major shocks in securing their respective titles. Throughout the four days of action there was a host of players who you may previously not have heard of that impressed me immensely. What I can say is that SA Indoor Hockey is in the best health its been in probably ever. I decided to highlight 5 players who enhanced their reputations at the Indoor IPT.
Kayla de Waal – Western Province
Avid hockey fans will already know the name of Kayla de Waal, the 18-year-old recently represented South Africa at the Youth Olympic Games. She has also been a consistent star for the Cape Seals over the years at Pro Series Indoor. Kayla was the standout performer in an impressive young Western Province side, scoring 7 goals on her rise to be selected best upcoming player of the tournament.
Chad Futcher – Southern Gauteng
The Southern Gauteng captain was immensely impressive at the 2018 Indoor IPT in Cape Town and continued where he left off. His 15 goals in the tournament left him as the top scorer of this years event, following a sensational haul of 18 in 2018. I have had the immense displeasure of playing against Chad on an indoor court and he may have made me look stupid. (That may also have just been my hockey skill). Chad has an eye for goal that is second to none and at just 21 years of age will be an asset for SA Indoor Hockey for many years!
Alex Kavanagh – Southern Gauteng
Alex earned her debut in a 5-match test series with Namibia in Durban in 2018 and the defensive lynch pin has just got better with each tournament. For me she was the standout defender in Pietermaritzburg and a major reason why the Southerns ladies emerged victorious in the tournament. She has responded to being left out of the year-end action in the best possible way by raising her game and giving the selectors a difficult time!
Mustapha Cassiem – Western Province
We named him as the Hockey 24 Seven U20 SA Player of the Year and the only question was how would he fare in a full senior mens side chasing a title. The answer was an emphatic exceptionally. The younger Cassiem brother is a talent so special that the words I could potentially use here would not do him justice. I stand by my assertion that a South African side featuring the two Cassiem brothers will be a special side.
Amy Greaves – KZN Inland
In January Amy became the 4th South African to reach 50 indoor hockey caps in a swashbuckling 7-0 win over Czech Republic. Having played incredibly well on that tour you may ask has she really enhanced her reputation. Yes. Yes she has. The Inland captain was in inspired form as she brought the host side to the verge of the final. She was rightly named player of the tournament after a tournament where she impressed consistently.
Those are my five players who enhanced their reputations at the Indoor IPT, who were yours?
all images courtesy of Archie Scorgie