The last time SA Indoor Hockey Men’s Jethro Eustice took to the indoor court to represent the Green and Gold was on the 11 February 2018, 637 days ago, when his two goals helped the BlitzStoks beat Kazakhstan to secure 11th place at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. Remarkably, since that time he has played in the Commonwealth Games, the FIH Hockey World Cup, the FIH Hockey Series Final and the African Road to Tokyo 2020 Qualifier. Throughout all those tournaments, his passion for indoor hockey never wavered, so the newly elected captain will be delighted to be back on the court with the SA Indoor Men against Switzerland.

Of course, Eustice is not the only fantastic story in this squad. Keagan Robinson was a paramount part of the SA Indoor Hockey Men’s team that qualified for the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup, but fate dealt him a cruel hand when he tore his ligaments in his knee. Despite a near miraculous recovery Robinson unfortunately missed out on the World Cup. His 868 day wait to sing the national anthem for the SA Indoor Hockey Men again is about to be over. To cap it off he will do so standing side-by-side with his brother Jonty Robinson.

Speaking of brothers, the Cassiem duo will get the opportunity to show the rest of the World what many South Africans already know. They are a superb duo. The two used to terrorise together for the Barracudas in the Pro Series Indoor and were part of the victorious Western Province men’s side earlier this year. Although Dayaan has already tasted considerable appearances for the national indoor men’s side, this will be the first time they represent a senior side together.

The brilliant stories continue with the newly appointed coach David Joshua. Joshua who has coached for the Gauteng Gryphons for over a decade at indoor hockey was given the opportunity to lead a national team for the first time. His passion for the game of indoor hockey is second to none and the Men will no doubt be inspired by a coach who has gone through the South African Indoor Hockey System all the way to the top.

The BlitzStoks, as they are affectionately known, will be eager to get on the court against Switzerland. That they can do so is testament to the hard work of so many others behind the scenes who do it not for their own credit but for a pure passion for the game. Its also a testament to the fantastic support of Tops at SPAR for this series.

The BlitzStoks are Back and we can’t wait!

All games are being streamed by Digitv at http://events.digitv.co.za   

There is much excitement ahead of the indoor hockey test series between Switzerland and hosts South Africa next month taking part in Durban and Cape Town. It will be the first men’s indoor hockey test match played on South African soil in almost 5 years. Of course, the men have played a host of exhibition games at the Pro Series Indoor Nationals over the years, but those have not counted as official test matches.

To add to the excitement the South African Hockey Association have announced the coaching staff for the test series. David Joshua has been announced as the head coach to take on the Swiss, while Ryan Hack has been named as the Assistant Coach, a role he performed at the 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup having previously coached the team at the 2015 Indoor Hockey World Cup.

Joshua is no stranger to the South African Hockey circuit having coached provincially at both indoor and outdoor hockey for a few years. Having previously served in many different capacities across a range of age groups, Joshua headed to Northern Blues to take on the Indoor challenge of coaching the Men’s Senior side. At the past two tournaments he led a highly unfancied Blues side to consecutive top 6 finishes and is well respected and liked by the players and coaches. His hockey resume includes a remarkable cv that includes winning four U18A National titles at the Pro Series Indoor, as well as one silver. He has also featured consistently in the Premier Hockey League and his tactical nous could be a major weapon in the BlitzStoks arsenal for the series.

Ryan Hack has been appointed as the Assistant coach for the series. Hacker’s as he is known, is an indoor addict almost. His pedigree is fantastic having won IPT several times with the SPAR KZN Raiders. His experience in the International Indoor game will be massive in supporting Joshua through the series and their ability to read the game together could offer the exciting BlitzStoks side an opportunity to bring their flair to the series.

The South Africans, powered by Tops at SPAR for the duration of the series, will take each other on in six test matches in November. The first three tests (10-12 November) will take place at Danville Park Girls School in Durban North before heading to Cape Town for three tests (14-16 November) at Sunningdale.

You can follow all the series updates on SAHockey.co.za

The South African Hockey Association has today announced the South African Men’s Indoor Hockey side that will take on Switzerland in a 6 match test series in Durban and Cape Town in November. We are also pleased to share that the team will be backed by Tops at SPAR for the Switzerland Series.

It’s the first taste of international indoor hockey for the South African Men since the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup in February last year where the team finished 11th. Its also the start of the cycle that will see the team compete in the African Qualifier in a quest to qualify for the next edition of the Indoor World Cup.

The team selected features 22 players that will play at various times against Switzerland and includes just Jarryd Jones, Jethro Eustice, Justin Domleo and Rusten Abrahams from the World Cup Squad. Keagan Robinson, who was ruled out of the World Cup, is the only other player in the squad with International caps.

The team will remarkably include two sets of brothers with outdoor centurion Jonty Robinson joining his brother Keagan, while 2019 Player of the Indoor IPT Dayan Cassiem is joined by 2019 Young player of the Indoor IPT Mustapaha Cassiem.

In goals it will be an interesting battle between Sizwe Mtembu, Cameron Goodwin and Anton van Loggerenberg. The team will also feature some incredibly exciting youngsters including Aiden Tun, Chad Futcher and Marvin Simons from Southern Gauteng.

Convenor of selectors Alistair Fredericks was pleased with the exciting young squad that has been selected:

“We selected the players that impressed at the Indoor IPT in February and we are delighted about the depth of talent we have in our indoor structures. The players are being rewarded for their good form and we look forward to seeing them back on the indoor hockey court again!”

SA Men’s Squad

No

Name

Province

Caps

1

Rusten Abrahams

Southern Gauteng

11

2

Dayaan Cassiem

Western Province

0

3

Mustapha Cassiem

Western Province

0

4

Justin Domleo

KZN Inland

24

5

Kyle Esau

Western Province

0

6

Jethro Eustice

KZN Raiders

16

7

Chad Futcher

Southern Gauteng

0

8

Lungani Gabela

KZN Raiders

0

9

Cameron Goodwin (GK)

KZN Raiders

0

10

Keegan Hezlett

KZN Raiders

0

11

Jarryd Jones

KZN Raiders

20

12

Dalpiarro Langford

Southern Gauteng

0

13

Melrick Maddocks

Southern Gauteng

0

14

Ignatius Malgraff

Eastern Province

0

15

Sizwe Mtembu (GK)

Northern Blues

0

16

Steven Paulo

Northern Blues

0

17

Jonty Robinson

KZN Raiders

0

18

Keagan Robinson

KZN Raiders

5

19

Bradley Sherwood

Northern Blues

0

20

Marvin Simons

Southern Gauteng

0

21

Aiden Tun

Southern Gauteng

0

22

Anton van Loggerenberg (GK)

Western Province

0

 

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Application Submission Deadline – 29 March 2019

The application form MUST accompany all CV’s. Download the application form here

The SPAR South Africa women are gearing up for their January tour to Switzerland and Czech Republic where they will play ten test matches. With the focus on that, the Psi All-Star series has been an excellent opportunity for the ladies to train and play together as they build towards the tour.

On the third night of the series SPAR South Africa team took the game to their much-fancied opponents and twice took the lead deservingly through Kelly Reed and then again through Jessica Lardant. But as good as South Africa were in the first half, the internationals kept fighting back with Janne Muller-Wieland and Kiki van Wijk pulling the strings. At half-time it was 2-2 thanks to Kiana Cormack from a stroke and Marlena Rybacha from a penalty corner.

If there was ever a performance to epitomize what an All-Star is, Rybacha, the Polish captain, produced it in the second half. Her no nonsense all action approach delighted the crowd and her player of the match performance was crowned with her own hat-trick. To settle the result Allison Meeke, a world cup silver medallist, and Muller-Wieland got late goals to add gloss to a fantastic match of indoor hockey.

There were many positives for coach Lennie Botha. His team contested the match brilliantly in the first half and created some great opportunities that the World Class Alexander Heerbaart. The form of some of the youngsters in Jessica Lardant, Jamie Southgate and Tegan Fourie is looking good, while Cindy Hack is arguably playing the best hockey of her life. Her connections with Kelly Reed are sublime and something the internationals have taken note of.

Another player who has been tremendous for South Africa since her debut against Zimbabwe earlier this year is Edith Molikoe. She shared her feelings after the game:

“It’s so amazing to play for the national team. I am still a “PSI Kid” but I am already living my dream. It’s been such an honour to play for the national team. To the kids, don’t give up, no dream is to big!”

After the game Rybacha, the energetic player of the match, shared her thoughts on Psi and the game of indoor hockey:

“Psi is an amazing event. I have played at three World Cups, but this crowd is special in such a different way. The kids want to enjoy the hockey, but they also want to learn from us. I would love to say to the kids, play with fun. You can play hockey for a long time, so never give up, keep trying, keep training and have fun!”

Psi Exhibition Series – Game 3

South Africa 2 (Kelly Reed & Jessica Lardant)
International All-Stars 6 (Marlena Rybacha [3], Kiana Cormack, Allison Meeke & Janne Muller-Wieland)

Photo - Facebook - Russel Field (Sunlife Vitamins)

It’s been an incredibly tough week in Berlin for the BlitzStoks, having hoped to have closed the gap on the top end of the indoor hockey spectrum, but ultimately have identified differences that are there. Throughout the tournament, the South African men failed to capitalise on their moment of dominance and were then ruthlessly punished by the more efficient opposition. It gives the next era of BlitzStoks something to work on going forward.

Of course, after the disappointment of the group stage, the lads still had to get up for one more time and take on Kazakhstan for the 11th place in the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018. The game itself is worth an additional 50 World ranking points, so there was more than just pride up for grabs.

It was another good first half by the South Africans but this time they did not concede the late goals that have plagued them throughout the tournament and led through two goals from Matthew Fairweather, their skipper, playing in his 30th indoor hockey test match.

In the second half the BlitzStoks raised their game and showed the German crowd how devastating they could be in attack as Jarryd Jones, Ryan Julius and a Jethro Eustice brace took the South Africans to a convincing 6-0 lead that was only scuppered by a late consolation goal for Daulet Urmanov.

So after 6 matches, the BlitzStoks finish 11th, which has equalled their performances in 2007 and 2015, the ranking points will mean that South Africa will probably move into the top 10 in Indoor World Hockey as well. There is also a good sense of pride in the future as Richard Curtis, Jarryd Jones, Mo Mea, Ryan Julius and Rusten Abrahams are all 25 or younger and the experience will prove crucial in the future of South African Indoor Hockey.

Jethro Eustice shared: “FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018, has been an amazing experience. The BlitzStoks tried their best, but the margins are even tighter than anything I would’ve expected. I feel like I left a lot out there. And I wanted to give my best throughout. Just can’t believe how amazing this tournament is and hopefully make this process better for the next group to come through”

Special thanks to the BlitzStoks sponsors Tops at SPAR, Sunlife Vitamins, Gem Schoolwear, Tayla Sportswear and Pro Series Indoor.

South Africa Results at the Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018

South Africa 0-5 Russia
South Africa 3-6 Austria
South Africa 1-3 Switzerland
South Africa 3-6 Iran
South Africa 2-8 Belgium

11th place Playoff
South Africa 6-1 Kazakhstan


WORLDSPORTPICS COPYRIGHT FRANK UIJLENBROEK

All eyes would have moved from the group stages to the positional playoff game in Berlin, but the BlitzStoks still had a match to play that could alter the tournament for other teams. With that in mind, the South African men headed to the venue to take on the Belgians. It should be remembered that Belgium was on the back of finishing as runner-up at the European Championship.

Once again the BlitzStoks appeared to employ a defensive setup, but in truth, it was just the class of the Belgians putting SA under immense pressure with each wave of attack. Within ten minutes Belgian had scored three goals through Maxime Plennevaux, Gaetan Dykmans, and Tanguy Zimmer. South Africa was offered a glimmer of hope when skipper Matt Fairweather scored and competed gamely for the next 10 minutes. However, on the stroke of half-time, the Belgians re-established their three-goal lead with Dykmans second. 4-1 at half-time and plenty to work on if they were to get back into the game and compete.

The second half followed a similar route before Tom Boon scored a penalty corner goal for the first time in the match by the Belgians. Skipper Matt Fairweather got his second of the game and third of the tournament and it again preceded a good period of opportunity that was not capitalised on. That period of dominance was put to a halt when Plennevaux popped up with his second. As the game wore down, South Africa wore down to and there was time for two more goals for the European Championship silver medallists, with both Tom de Groote and Dykmans getting on the score sheet.

The game had ended 8-2 and with it South Africa’s group stage of fixtures had come to an end without really showing their ability or class consistently enough. They will have one last chance to do so when they take on Kazakhstan for 11 and 12 on Saturday morning. The match is worth an additional 50 world ranking points for the winner and could prove massive in South Africa moving into the top 10 of the World Rankings.

Special thanks to the BlitzStoks sponsors Tops at SPAR, Sunlife Vitamins, Gem Schoolwear, Tayla Sportswear and Pro Series Indoor.

South Africa Results at the Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018

South Africa 0-5 Russia
South Africa 3-6 Austria
South Africa 1-3 Switzerland
South Africa 3-6 Iran
South Africa 2-8 Belgium

Fixture for 10 February 2018

11th place playoff - Kazakhstan vs. South Africa @ 10:30 (German Time)

Such is the nature of the Indoor Hockey World Cup that South Africa’s BlitzStoks did not have time to wallow in the opening day defeats as the matches come quick and fast. Today the lads took on Switzerland and Iran knowing that they needed to pack up one victory at least to keep their hopes of top 8 alive.

In the early game the BlitzStoks took on the Swiss, a team they lost narrowly to in a warm-up game, and immediately looked like they knew the pressure they were under to force a result. Playing on the back foot and soaking up pressure the BlitzStoks produced only one circle entry in the entire first half and went into the break facing a 3-0 deficit through a Yves Morard hat-trick, but were thankful to Richard Curtis that the score was not more. Pierre le Roux and his coaching team would have been disappointed with the first half performance, but whatever they said at halftime kicked their side into action.

The game looked a complete mirror of the first half as the BlitzStoks laid siege after siege of attack and denied the Swiss any opportunities to re-establish control in the game. The BlitzStoks managed to pull a goal back through Reza Rosenberg, but the lack of finishing proved costly as South Africa were consigned to their third successive defeat of the tournament.

It was now all or nothing as the BlitzStoks took on the undefeated Iranians knowing that anything other than victory would deny them an opportunity to compete for the top 8 positions in world indoor hockey. With that in mind, the Lads finally played the brand of hockey that has made them so popular with the kids around the country. They played like a team with nothing to lose and found a halftime lead of 2-1 through Wade Paton and Jarryd Jones.

The scoreline remained that way until for another occasion in the tournament South Africa conceded twice in 1 minutes. Reza Norouzzadeh leveled from the PC before Behnam Sadi gave Iran the lead to punish the sloppy play. However, the BlitzStoks fought back and Reza Rosenberg pulled them square with his second goal of the day. But once again the lead did not last long and South Africa needlessly gave away a penalty stroke which Norouzzadeh dispatched. Try as they might the BlitzStoks could not pull level and conceded two more goals to give the scoreline a lopsided feel.

To add insult to injury, Switzerland were defeated by Belgium sending South Africa to the disappointment of the 11th and 12th place playoff with a group game remaining. The BlitzStoks will play against Belgium in tomorrow’s game before playing either Kazhakstan or Trinidad & Tobago in the 11th place match on Saturday morning.

Special thanks to the BlitzStoks sponsors Tops at SPAR, Sunlife Vitamins, Gem Schoolwear, Tayla Sportswear and Pro Series Indoor.

 

Photo - Helge Schutz 

Far away from the fanfare that has surrounded the last three years of PSi Hockey Nationals, the men are now 10 000km away in Berlin facing an altogether different challenge at the 2018 FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. The opening day was always going to be the opportunity for the BlitzStoks to test if they have closed the gap over the elite of the world Indoor Hockey circuit.

In Leipzig in 2015, South Africa met Russia on day 2 and was soundly beaten by 10 goals to 2. The South African men were looking to show that defensively they were far more resolute this time around as they met the Eastern Europeans in their opening game of the tournament.

The BlitzStoks started the game with a degree of apprehension that saw them welcome a tough half-court press and territorial dominance for the Russians, however as the dust started to settle the BlitzStoks grew in composure. Rusten Abrahams, Ryan Julius, and Jethro Eustice fashioned goal scoring opportunities for South Africa who also won the opening penalty corner of the game. The BlitzStoks arguably had their best patch between the 10th and 14th minutes of the match. Their inability to create and finish goal chances would be costly as Russia turned the screw and broke the deadlock through Pavel Golubev.

On the stroke of half-time South Africa gave away a penalty corner and Chris McCathie had to pick the ball out the net for the second time after a precision Mikhail Proskuriakov flick found the corner. The second half followed a similar tentative start as the first, with South Africa doing sitting off and inviting pressure on to their defense. The major difference in the two teams was the cutting edge in front of goal. South African opportunities were denied relatively easily and Russia scored two more through Proskuriakov and a penalty stroke by Iaroslov Loginov. Proskuriakov would net his hat-trick in the last minute after the BlitzStoks had pulled off Curtis to play with 6 outfield players. 5-0 the game finished, but there was little time to ponder on the result as the BlitzStoks would return to the field a couple of hours later to take on European Champions Austria.

South Africa had only ever played Austria once before and that was 11 years ago when Austria handed South Africa their heaviest defeat at the 2007 World Cup in Vienna. That was an Austrian team that finished the tournament 6th, not the juggernaut that has come off the back of winning the European Championship just two weeks ago.

The BlitzStoks again employed a counter-attacking performance soaking up large periods of pressure and attempting to use their pace to break. The tactic is extremely effective if you can limit the opposition chances, but when you are playing Austria they don’t need too many chances to punish you. The early Austrian goal by Benjamin Stanzl did not deflate the South Africans, but they raised their game and after great work by Rusten Abrahams, Jethro Eustice leveled with a fine finish. Benjamin Stanzl put Austria back ahead before a contentious penalty stroke was awarded after the half-time hooter, but it was superbly denied by Richard Curtis.

Austria raised the game in the second half with two quick-fire goals including a bullet from Michael Korper. When it looked like South Africa would throw in the towel and fall to a heavy defeat, they continued to fight and Matt Fairweather and Mo Mea each added goals from the penalty corner as consolations for the South African men. The final score ending as Austria 6-3 South Africa.

Although there were positives from day one, there was a lot to think about for Pierre le Roux and his coaching staff. Tomorrow is a massive day as South Africa must get at least one win in the matches against Iran and Switzerland to maintain hopes of a top 4 group finish and a top 8 overall finish.

Special thanks to the BlitzStoks sponsors Tops at SPAR, Sunlife Vitamins, Gem Schoolwear, Tayla Sportswear and Pro Series Indoor. 

The South African Indoor Hockey Men, the BlitzStoks, are in Berlin and gearing up to take part in the fifth Indoor Hockey World Cup, South Africa’s fourth. In the BlitzStoks three previous World Cup appearances the team finished 10th, 11th, and 11th. Those teams, however, were not afforded the opportunities together that the current team has had and as such, there is a massive level of optimism surrounding the team.

The BlitzStoks are currently ranked 12th in the World rankings and are the 9th ranked team at the World Cup, but a good showing could see the SA Indoor Hockey Men move as high as 6th in the World Rankings, with a likely top 10 place after the World Cup probable.

Heading to the World Cup there are six players who featured at the 2015 Indoor Hockey World Cup as well as 2012 Olympian Wade Paton. It’s a squad with some superb experience and an average age of just below 27. The team may not have as many caps as some of their opponents, but they have also played 17 exhibition matches against the All-Stars over the last three years. It’s fair to say that Pierre le Roux has had more time with this team over three years than his predecessors, which really adds to the excitement.

The format of the Indoor Hockey World Cup means that the BlitzStoks will be keen to make the top four in their group and secure a spot in the Quarter Finals, which will secure a top 8 ranking. From there it will be knock out hockey and one win will secure a top 4 finish as well as a second spot at the 2021 Indoor Hockey World Cup for Africa. Of course, if you finish 5th or 6th it’s just a cross-pool playoff for position and your adventure is cut short.

The International Hockey Federation has announced that every single match from the main hall at the Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018 will be live-streamed, free to air, on FIH's YouTube channel.

BlitzStoks Squad for the FIH 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup (Caps in Brackets)

Matthew Fairweather – captain (24)
Chris McCathie – Goalkeeper (20)
Richard Curtis – Goalkeeper (15)
Justin Domleo (18)
Wade Paton (5)
Jarryd Jones (14)
Mo Mea (16)
Robin Jones (10)
Jethro Eustice (10)
Reza Rosenberg (5)
Ryan Julius (10)
Rusten Abrahams (5)

Staff

Pierre le Roux – Coach
Ryan Hack – Assistant Coach
Lou-Lloyd Morgan – Physio
Robert Goslett – Video Analyst
Bruce Jacobs – Team Manager

BlitzStoks Fixtures for the FIH 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup (Times are in Germany)

7 February – Russia (13:40)
7 February – Austria (21:50)
8 February – Switzerland (13:55)
8 February – Iran (19:45)
9 February – Belgium (09:45)