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)

 

Having previously announced a 15 man squad for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup next year, today SA Hockey is pleased to announce the final 12 players for the SA Indoor Hockey BlitzStoks, powered by Tops at SPAR, which will head to Germany in February to take on the World.

Matthew Fairweather, who has captained the team since the last Indoor Hockey World Cup, will once again be the man asked to lead the team. This will be Fairweather’s second World Cup after featuring at Leipzig in 2015.

In 2015 the BlitzStoks finished in 11th place at the World Cup, after defeating Canada in the playoffs, but featured a largely inexperienced squad with most players only having a handful of caps from the African Indoor Hockey Cup of Nations. For 2018 the BlitzStoks will have significantly more experience at their disposal with Chris McCathie, Richard Curtis, Justin Domleo, Jarryd Jones and Mo Mea all joining Fairweather at a second World Cup. The experience of having played at the previous World Cup will be a massive benefit for the squad and something that coach Pierre le Roux has put immense confidence in.

Experience will also be provided in the form of Wade Paton, a man who counts the Olympic Games on his hockey resume and further complimented by Jethro Eustice, who featured for South Africa at the Commonwealth Games and the FIH Hockey World Cup. The consistent Robin Jones, a man who has won the African Cup of Nations in both Indoor and Outdoor Hockey alongside another teammate Reza Rosenberg, also add to a team with an incredible bond with one another.

Ryan Julius and Rusten Abrahams were also part of the South African Men’s side that just won the African Hockey Indoor Cup of Nations in Namibia and the two youngest members of the squad offer an exciting offensive prospect for the BlitzStoks to utilise in Germany.

The South African Indoor Hockey BlitzStoks are currently 12th in the World Indoor Hockey rankings, but with a good showing at the World Cup could set a realistic goal to move into the Top 10 of the Indoor rankings

The group of players assembled have the right makeup to achieve South Africa’s best ever finish at an Indoor Hockey World Cup. They have all been part of the SA Indoor Hockey structure over the past three years and have been exposed to many opportunities with each other at the various PSi Nationals. They will also have a further opportunity together when they play in the PSi Showdowns on 9, 10, 12 and 13 December in Cape Town.

The SA Indoor Hockey BlitzStoks – Final World Cup Squad

NAME

PROVINCE

Chris McCathie (GK)

KZN Raiders

Richard Curtis (GK)

KZN Raiders

Matthew Fairweather

KZN Raiders

Justin Domleo

KZN Raiders

Robin Jones

KZN Raiders

Wade Paton

KZN Raiders

Jethro Eustice

KZN Raiders

Mohamed Mea

KZN Raiders

Rusten Abrahams

Southern Gauteng

Reza Rosenberg

Southern Gauteng

Ryan Julius

Western Province

Jarryd Jones

KZN Raiders

 

The SA Indoor BlitzStoks, powered by Tops at SPAR, will be heading to Germany in February 2018 to take on the best in the World at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. The Men earned their spot with an outstanding victorious display at the African Hockey Indoor Cup of Nations in Swakopmund earlier this year. The 14 man squad, announced today, will take part in the All Stars series at the Pro Series Indoor Nationals in December, before a final 12 is selected for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup.

Matthew Fairweather, who captained the team at the World Cup qualifier, returns to the squad after missing the All Stars series in July. Ryan Julius and Reza Rosenberg also missed out on that series while on commitment with the National Outdoor Team at the World League Semi-Final and they are also recalled. Ryan Julius had finished top goal scorer at the 2017 SA Hockey Indoor IPT. Another star from that tournament was Jethro Eustice, who won player of the tournament, who will be key to the BlitzStoks aiming for their highest ever World Cup finish.

The goalkeepers will be the two goalkeepers that went to the previous World Cup with both Richard Curtis and Chris McCathie doing enough over the past three years to secure their place on the plane to the All-Star Series in Cape Town. Some of the other seats on that plane will be taken by players who have been in the system in the last three years including Olympian Wade Paton, reliable (belated birthday boy) Robin Jones, world star Justin Domleo and the exciting young talent Rusten Abrahams.

The IPT that took part in Durban played a key part in the selector’s decision making, in line with selection policy for SA Hockey, which saw Julian Hykes and PG Geldenhuys work their way into the selector’s minds with a brilliant tournament that saw Southern Gauteng win another silver medal. The last two places in the 14 man squad were filled by Jarryd Jones, who has responded to missing out on the World Cup Qualifier with some scintillating form, and Craig Haley, who has shown over and over again that he knows how to find the back of the net.

This meant that there was no place in the side for Keagan Robinson, who has been ruled out by the selectors after he tore his ACL just before IPT.

Coach Pierre le Roux shared his thoughts on the squad:

“The squad is rich with experience and the players selected have performed well over the past three years. We believe this consistency and maturity will be beneficial in the World Cup environment.”

The SA Indoor Hockey BlitzStoks – World Cup Squad

NAME

PROVINCE

CHRIS  McCathie (GK)

KZN Raiders

Richard Curtis (GK)

KZN Raiders

Matthew Fairweather

KZN Raiders

Justin Domleo

KZN Raiders

Robin Jones

KZN Raiders

Wade Paton

KZN Raiders

Jethro Eustice

KZN Raiders

Rusten Abrahams

Southern Gauteng

Reza Rosenberg

Southern Gauteng

Ryan Julius

Western Province

PG Geldenhuys

Southern Gauteng

Jarryd Jones

KZN Raiders

Craig Hayley

Western Province

Julian Hykes

Southern Gauteng

 The BlitzStoks will be in action on the 9, 10, 12 and 13 December in Cape Town for the PSi All Stars


JONATHAN COOK

The South African men’s indoor hockey team has been named to face a strong PSi International All Stars line-up in the four-match Denbeys Indoor Series in Durban and Pietermaritzburg next month.

Read more ...

Men: (See their Facebook page)
Day 1
Poland 8 RSA 3
RSA 0 Netherlands 5

Day 2
RSA 2 Russia 10
Canada 5 RSA 5

Day 3
Switzerland 4 RSA 1

Men's Pool A (completed)

1. Germany (15 points)

2. Austria (10 points)

3. Sweden (5 points)

4. Iran (4 points)

5. Czech Republic (4 points)

6. Australia (2 points)

Men's Pool B (completed)

1. Russia (13 points)

2. Netherlands (10 points)

3. Poland (9 points)

4. Switzerland (7 points)

5. Canada (1 point)

6. South Africa (1 point)

9 - 12 place Crossover Match
Czech Republic 4 RSA 2 (RSA will meet Canada in the 11th/12th place playoff)

Women:
(See their Facebook page)

Day 1
Netherlands 14 RSA 0
RSA 3 Czech Republic 5

Day 2
RSA 0 Belarus 11
Poland 5 RSA 1

Day 3
Kazakhstan 5 RSA 5

Women's Pool A (completed)

1. Germany (12 points)

2. Australia (12 points)

3. Austria (6 points)

4. Ukraine (4 points)

5. Canada (1 point)

6. Belgium (0 points)

Women's Pool B (completed)

1. Netherlands (12 points)

2. Czech Republic (9 points)

3. Poland (7 points)

4. Belarus (7 points)

5. South Africa (1 point)

6. Kazahkstan (1 point)

9 - 12 place Crossover Match
RSA 2 Belgium 2 (RSA win 3 - 1 on Shoot Out. RSA will meet Canada in the 9th/10th place playoff)

Men: (See their Facebook page)
Day 1
Poland 8 RSA 3
RSA 0 Netherlands 5

Day 2
RSA 2 Russia 10
Canada 5 RSA 5

Pool A:
(After four games each)
1. Germany (12 points)
2. Austria (9 points)
3. Iran (4 points)
4. Czech Republic (3 points)
5. Australia (2 points)
6. Sweden (2 points)

Pool B:
(After four games each)
1. Russia (10 points)
2. Netherlands (10 points)
3. Poland (6 points)
4. Switzerland (4 points)
5. Canada (1 point)
6. South Africa (1 point)

 

Women: (See their Facebook page)

Day 1
Netherlands 14 RSA 0
RSA 3 Czech Republic 5

Day 2
RSA 0 Belarus 11
Poland 5 RSA 1

Pool A:
(After four games each)
1. Germany (12 points)
2. Australia (12 points)
3. Austria (6 points)
4. Ukraine (4 points)
5. Canada (1 points)
6. Belgium (0 points)

Pool B:
(After four games each)
1. Netherlands (12 points)
2. Czech Republic (9 points)
3. Poland (7 points)
4. Belarus (7 point)
5. South Africa (0 points)
6. Kazahkstan (0 points)

 

Men: (See their Facebook page)
Poland 8 RSA 3
RSA 0 Netherlands 5

Pool A:
(After two games each)
1. Germany (6 points)
2. Austria (6 points)
3. Czech Republic (2 points)
4. Australia (1 point)
5. Sweden (1 point)
6. Iran (1 point)

Pool B:
(After two games each)
1. Netherlands (6 points)
2. Russia (6 points)
3. Poland (4 points)
4. Switzerland (1 point)
5. Canada (0 points)
6. South Africa (0 points)

Women: (See their Facebook page)
Netherlands 14 RSA 0
RSA 3 Czech Republic 5

GROUP A:
(After two games each)
1. Germany (6 points)
2. Australia (6 points)
3. Ukraine (3 points)
4. Austria (3 points)
5. Belgium (0 points)
6. Canada (0 points)

GROUP B:
(After two games each)
1. Netherlands (6 points)
2. Czech Republic (6 points)
3. Belarus (4 points)
4. Poland (1 point)
5. South Africa (0 points)
6. Kazahkstan (0 points)

Don't you just love hockey? Only they can run 2 full World Cup competitions involving 24 teams over a period of 5 days!