The South African Hockey Association has today announced the SA Men’s side that will take part in the FIH Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar from the 6-15 June 2019. The tournament will be the first under the stewardship of Garreth Ewing with the goal of trying to finish in the top 2 to qualify for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
South Africa will be in Pool B alongside USA, Mexico and Japan. With India, Poland, Russia and Uzbekistan competing in Pool A. The top team from each pool progresses to the Semi-Finals directly while the teams in 2nd and 3rd play a crossover Quarter Final.
Ewing has taken the opportunity to call up a few players who missed out on the 2018 FIH World Cup at the same venue. Siya Nolutshungu returns to the line-up alongside Ryan Julius, Alex Stewart and Matt de Sousa. Matt Brown, who is lethal at penalty corner time, will get the opportunity to earn his first cap for his country. With Rhett Halkett and Julian Hykes having announced their retirement from the International game, there is an opportunity for others to cement their spots in the squad. Tim Drummond will continue to lead the team as captain.
“Selection was a tough series of decisions because there were a lot of conversations between the selection panel and me regarding player availability. I am sure that some guys will be thrilled, and some will be disappointed.” Shared Ewing, “I’m happy with the balance of the team and our depth in terms of penalty corner attack. Some players will be in slightly different positional roles which I believe will be mentally stimulating for them. I’m very positive about this group both in terms of its talent and the balance between experience and youthful energy. I believe we will compete well and take a positive step in the team’s process.”
South African Men’s Hockey Squad
*Caps per FIH Tournament Management System at 08 May 2019, Province is most recently represented province.
Fixtures – Hockey Series Final
06 June – South Africa vs. USA
08 June – South Africa vs. Japan
10 June – South Africa vs. Mexico
12 June – Crossovers
14 June – Semi-Finals
15 June – Final
Picture of SA’s Tim Drummond courtesy of Action Pix – Event Photography