On Africa Day there was a celebration of African hockey as SuperGroup South Africa and Namibia took each other on in the second test at Randburg Astro. After winning the opening game 1-0, the hosts were looking to entertain the crowd and seal the series.

Namibia employed the same game plan that had worked effectively in the opening game by defending with all 11 players behind the ball, while for large periods of time South Africa shifted the ball looking for gaps in the defence. They were also looking to build on the combinations and try a few new things ahead of the FIH Open Series Finals in Spain in June.

South Africa took a 1-0 lead through a superb tomahawk strike by Lilian du Plessis in the first chukka but had to wait nearly 50 minutes for the second when Tarryn Glasby diverted the ball through Petro Stoffberg’s legs. That touch by Glasby was imperative to beat the Namibian keeper.

SuperGroup South Africa, playing in their reverse white Grays South Africa kits, were hardly troubled throughout the game, keeping Namibia down to one early chance with neither Mmatshepo Modipane or Phumelela Mbande in goal having to make any saves.

Tonight, the teams will play for the third game and the South Africans will look to be a little more lethal in front of the goals, as they left far too many opportunities out on the turf. There will be many positives for van Ginkel already with Celia Evans return from injury that saw her miss the FIH world Cup, a massive highlight alongside the form of Kristen Paton and Lilian du Plessis.

The third and final test between the women’s side is at Randburg Astro at 19:30 and will be live streamed by Shoott South Africa through their Facebook Page.

Image - Robert Swanepoel / Run Ride Dive - Not for reuse

It was a largely tentative opening affair as African neighbours South Africa, proudly sponsored by SuperGroup, and Namibia took each other on in the first of three test matches at Randburg Astro. There was a large element of excitement in the air as it was the first international hockey played by the South African Women at home since 2017. To give the excitement of the hockey public context, Kristen Paton has played for South Africa at the African Cup, Commonwealth Games and World Cup, but this was her first test match at home.

Along with KP’s first home game it also marked the test debuts for Hannah Pearce, Nomnikelo “Nicky” Veto, Robyn Johnson and the youngster in the team Bianca Wood. Alongisde that Robin van Ginkel and Inky Zondi headed up the team for the first time and Erin Hunter captained for the first time.

Their opposition would be a determined Namibian side featuring several the African Indoor Champions, also preparing for their own trip to Spain. Their coach Erwin Handura, also coach of the indoor side, was determined to limit their opposition chances and set up with a very defensive game plan.

South Africa, wearing their splendid new Grays Hockey kit, looked to impress the crowd at Randburg as well as the number of people watching at home on the Shoott South Africa platform, started the better and controlled the game with a low amount of effort up front. With Namibia sitting very deep South Africa, were able to hold sustained periods of possession and were able to break up the play professionally whenever Namibia countered.

South Africa got the only goal of the game when captain Erin Hunter pounced on a goal mouth scramble after an initial shot at target was saved by the superb Petro Stoffberg in goal for the Namibians. Had it not been for some fine saves from Stoffberg the South Africans would probably have won the game more convincingly, but credit must go to Namibia for the resolute defensive display.

The teams take each other on twice on Saturday as the short series comes to an end.

Image courtesy of SA Womens Hockey Instagram Page

The Mens and Womens Test series between South Africa and Namibia at Randburg Astro played tonight will be streamed live from the venue. SA Hockey have partnered with SHOOTT, a fully automated to live stream the games. The game will be available on the Shoott South Africa Facebook page. Click Here 

With both teams playing at home for the first time in 2019 and with eye on the FIH Open Series Final there will be great anticipation on the peformance and how the teams combinations and processes work under the new structures.

We thank Southern Gauteng for organising this and are excited to have SHOOTT on board with us for the series! 

The first test match is tonight at 19:00

 

 

All hockey loving eyes will divert to Randburg Astro turf tonight and this weekend as Supergroup South Africa’s Women’s Hockey team take on Namibia in a three match test series. The series marks a lot of significant firsts for South Africa. It will be the first test match as head coach for Robin van Ginkel, the first test match for Erin Hunter and Phumelela Mbande as captain and vice-captain respectively and it also offers Bianca Woods, Hannah Pearce, Robyn Johnson and Nikki Veto their first caps for the national team.

The test series offers van Ginkel and his coaching staff a valuable opportunity to try out a few combinations ahead of the FIH Open Series Final in Valencia, it also offers the team an opportunity to give the South African hockey public a rare glimpse of national hockey on home soil.

Their opponents will be far from a pushover having qualified for the Valencia showpiece themselves in a tough tournament in Zimbabwe recently. They also have a host of players who shone in South African Club hockey including Petro Stoffberg and Gillian Hermanus, while Maggie Mengo will be influential alongside Jerrica Bartlett (Cormack). With both sides using the series as preparation for Spain, you can bet that it will be anything other than a boring friendly.

“This series could not come at a better time, its our first home test since World League in 2017. We love playing in front of our South African fans. We have some exciting new caps coming in and offers a few players and opportunity to get back into the fold. Its an important series towards our preparation for Spain. Its also been great for team cohesion off the field and there is a great bond in the team. We can wait to play this series and make South Africa proud!” shared Phumelela Mbande.

Supergroup South Africa will leave for Spain on the 13 June and will take on Wales, Italy and Thailand in Pool B. The goal for the tournament will be to finish in the top 2 to keep Olympic Qualification opportunities alive.

South Africa vs. Namibia Test Series Fixtures

24 May 2019 – 19:00
25 May 2019 – 11:15
25 May 2019 – 19:00

Supergroup South Africa Squad

Tegan Fourie, Celia Evans, Izelle Verster, Marizen Marais, Kristen Paton, Robyn Johnson, Kara Botes, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Nikki Veto, Erin Hunter (c), Hannah Pearce, Lilian du Plessis, Phumelela Mbande (GK)(VC), Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Glasby, Bianca Wood and Mmatshepo Modipane.

Gill Doig (Team Manager), Robin van Ginkel (Head Coach), Inky Zondi (Assistant Coach), Cindy Nel (Physio), Taren Naidoo (Trainer) and Wayne Hendricks (Video Analyst).

All games take place at Randburg Astro and entry is R10.

The South African Women’s Hockey Team, proudly sponsored by Supergroup, will be taking part in the FIH Hockey Series Final in Valencia from the 19-27 June. The tournament, featuring 8 sides including hosts Spain, has two spots up for grabs in the Olympic Qualifying matches to be played later this year.

The South Africans have been sorted into pool B alongside Wales, Thailand and Italy. The top team in each pool progresses directly to the Semi-Finals while the 2nd and 3rd placed teams play a cross pool qualifier first.

The South African challenge will be led by new captain Erin Hunter, who is appointed for the first time to lead the country. The vice-captain has been appointed as Phumelela Mbande, her first outing for the country since her player of the match performance against Argentina at the Hockey World Cup.

Hunter and Mbande were both part of that World Cup squad and are joined from that squad by Kristen Paton, Kara Botes, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis, Quanita Bobbs and Tarryn Glasby. There is also a recall for Celia Evans, the 2016 SA Hockey Player of the Year, after missing the showpiece event with a knee injury.

Bianca Woods, Hannah Pearce and Sandi Tabata will all be given the opportunity to earn their first caps for the country after impressing for the South African Under 21 side recently, while Indoor national player Robyn Johnson also will get an opportunity to wear the green and gold for the first time with the outdoor side.

It will also be the first test tournament for Robin van Ginkel in the role of Head Coach for South Africa and he is excited about the opportunity:

“I am really excited to take my first team to Spain and look to do well in the FIH Hockey Series Final. The team selected has a good core of experienced players that will help blend the new names into the team and into International hockey. I am really looking forward to the start of our four-year process and the success we can bring to South African Hockey!”

South African Women’s Hockey Squad

No

Player

Province

Caps

1

Erin Hunter (captain)

Southern Gauteng

41

2

Phumi Mbande (Vice-captain) (GK)

Northern Blues

35

3

Stephanie Baxter

North West

23

4

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

114

5

Kara Botes

Southern Gauteng

41

6

Dirkie Chamberlain

North West

225

7

Lisa Deetlefs

Southern Gauteng

250

8

Lilian du Plessis

Southern Gauteng

119

9

Celia Evans

Northern Blues

145

10

Tarryn Glasby

Western Province

30

11

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

0

12

Marizen Marais

Northern Blues

14

13

Mmathshepo Modipane (GK)

Southern Gauteng

5

14

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

15

15

Hannah Pearce

SA U21

0

16

Sandi Tabata

SA U21

0

17

Izelle Verster

Northern Blues

7

18

Bianca Wood

SA U21

0

 

Fixtures – Hockey Series Final

19 June – South Africa vs. Wales
20 June – South Africa vs. Italy
22 June – South Africa vs. Thailand
24 June – Crossovers
26 June – Semi-Finals
27 June – Final

Celia Evans is back in the squad after recovering from a knee injury suffered at the 2018 IPT. Photo - Marcel Sigg / Run Ride Dive

The South African Hockey Association have today announced the South African Women’s Hockey Squad. This squad will be the first under coach Robin van Ginkel and will be used to select the final tournament squads for the FIH Open Series Final in Valencia in June.

With Tokyo 2020 having just passed the 500 days away threshold, the excitement for the various qualification tournaments is palpable. South Africa will head to Valencia with the objective of finishing in the top 2. The African champions will take on Italy, Wales and Thailand in Pool B of the Valencia tournament, with hosts Spain partnered in Pool A with Belarus, Canada and Namibia.

The 26-player team announced features an exciting blend of new players with Robyn Johnson, Sandi Tabata, Ashleigh Datnow, Nikki Veto, Stephanie Botha, Casey-Jean Botha, Bianca Wood, Hannah Pearse and Tegan Fourie all looking to earn their first caps for the country.

Alongside the new faces is also a blend of great experience with Lisa Deetlefs, Erin Hunter, Nicole Walraven, Quanita Bobbs, Phumi Mbande and Tarryn Glasby among the players that van Ginkel will look to blend the newcomers to International hockey into the team.

“I am really excited to take my first team to Spain and look to do well in the FIH Hockey Series Final. The team selected has a good core of experienced players that will help blend the new names into the team and into International hockey. I am really looking forward to the start of our four-year process and the success we can bring to South African Hockey!”

South African Women’s Hockey Squad

No

Player

Province

Caps

1

Stephanie Baxter

North West

23

2

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

114

3

Kara Botes

Southern Gauteng

41

4

Casey Jean Botha

SA U21

0

5

Stephanie Botha

SA U21

0

6

Dirkie Chamberlain

North West

225

7

Ashleigh Datnow

Southern Gauteng

0

8

Lisa Deetlefs

Southern Gauteng

250

9

Lilian du Plessis

Southern Gauteng

119

10

Celia Evans

Northern Blues

145

11

Tegan Fourie

SA U21

0

12

Tarryn Glasby

Western Province

30

13

Erin Hunter

Southern Gauteng

41

14

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

0

15

Nicole la Fleur (GK)

Western Province

19

16

Ongi Mali

SA U21

10

17

Marizen Marais

Northern Blues

14

18

Phumi Mbande (GK)

Northern Blues

35

19

Mmathshepo Modipane (GK)

Southern Gauteng

5

20

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

15

21

Hannah Pearce

SA U21

0

22

Sandi Tabata

SA U21

0

23

Izelle Verster

Northern Blues

7

24

Nikki Veto

SA U21

0

25

Nicole Walraven

Free State

45

26

Bianca Wood

SA U21

0

 

After 198 games for South Africa including three FIH Hockey World Cups, three Commonwealth Games and of course the 2012 Olympic Games, Sulette Damons has decided to call time on her SA Hockey career. In the most recent outing for the Women, Sulette was once again the co-captain as South Africa took on the World Cup, a role she took for the first time against Scotland in 2014.

The sight of Sulette storming down the wing was almost one of the most iconic sights in hockey. Her ability to spring the counter attack consistently meant that if she was on the pitch we were a danger even while defending. Her popularity with the supporters was also incredibly impressive and the time she took for each supporter told more about her as a person than just a player!

I asked Sulette to share how she felt on her retirement:

“I am honoured and privileged to have represented my country for the past 9 years, it was such an amazing feeling wearing the green and gold and singing the national anthem. It is a chapter in my life I will cherish forever. I have made so many friends through this wonderful sport and I call them my second family. Hockey has given me so many opportunities which I am so grateful for today. Thank you to SAHA for the support and for the many opportunities. Thank you to my family and friends for the support, I always appreciated it. I may no longer be wearing the green and gold, but I will always be part of the hockey family and community and backing my girls all the way! I wish SAHA and the team much success going forward. Keep the dream alive ladies, SISONKE!”

When I asked her current and former team mates for comments regarding her career, the response was so big that I had to cut it down to three response.

Firstly Marsha Cox, who captained Sulette for the early part of her career, shared this:

“Her speed and nose for the goal was a definite asset for the team. She had the most fun attitude and a gregarious laugh brought great joy to us off the field and her dance moves were second to none! I wish her all the best for her future endeavours which I have no doubt she will succeed at!”

Second up was Shelley Jones, her national team mate through her entire career:

“Sulla was a legend of the game. Our opponents feared her, and you knew when she touched the ball something magic could happen. She was a great team mate on and off the field! I really enjoyed her personality, she was so fun-loving and really stuck to her values fantastically!”

Lastly national goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande, who Sulla has co-captained since she established herself as SA’s number one:

“I won’t be the only one to tell you how much we will miss Sulla. Not just on the field, but off it as well. Sulla had something about her that without saying much, you just wanted to be better. She was a fantastic leader by example. Her dancing in the changeroom was legendary itself. With Sulla hockey was serious but had to be fun. I’m sad that I won’t get the opportunity of playing with her anymore, but really glad that I got the opportunity to have played with her before!”

From all the South African Hockey Association we wish you the best of luck for your future endeavours Sulla, we know you are going to enjoy whatever you do!

The second training camp for the SA Womens Hockey team gets underway today in Johannesburg. In a year where the focus will be on the FIH Hockey Series Finals and the African Qualifier, its imperative to hit the ground running for Robin van Ginkel. 

With a number of players unavailable for the first camp, this camp offers the opportunity for a bunch of players to stake their claim for places in the squads. It will be a first opportunity for the likes of Nicole la Fleur, Phumi Mbande and Quanita Bobbs to take part in a camp under the new leadership, while an exciting group of players also get their first opportunities. 


Photo - Marcel Sigg - Phumi Mbande and Quanita Bobbs back in the squad 

Amore de Wet, who has featured for the SA Indoor side on more than 20 occassions, is joined by the exciting Bianca Woods, Charne Maddocks and Stephanie Botha. Other new players at the camp include Donna Small, Kirsty Adams, Mia Barnard, Sandi Tabata and Sare Laubser. 

The came takes place at St. Stithians College and finishes next Friday the 15 February. 

South African Women’s Training Camp Squad (8-15th February 2019)

Phumi Mbande Erin Hunter Mia Barnard Sandi Tabata
Amore De Wet Izelle Verster Mishca Ellis Sare Laubser
Ashleigh Datnow Kara Botes Mmathshepo Modipane Shindre-Lee Simmons
Bianca Woods Kirsten Paton Nicole La Fleur Stephanie Baxter
Casey Jean Botha Kirsty Adams Nicole Walraven Stephanie Botha
Celia Evans Lezaan janse van Vuuren Nicolene Terblanche Sylvia van Jaarsveldt
Charne Maddocks Lezan Jakobs Nikki Veto Tarryn Glasby
Courtney du Preez Lillian Du plessis Quanita Bobbs Teagan Fourie
Donna Small Lisa Deetlefs Robyn Jonson Toni Marks

The South African outdoor hockey women are currently in camp in Johannesburg preparing for a tough year of outdoor hockey. Two big tournaments for South Africa in the current year are the FIH Open Series Final in Spain in June and the African Cup in Potchefstroom in August.

The squad gathered yesterday with some players still returning from Europe with the SPAR SA Indoor Hockey side after their successful tour. The broader national squad were invited to attend two camps, the current one taking place as well as another camp taking place in February. Of the broader squad identified, 30 players confirmed their availability for the January camp. From the 2018 World Cup squad a host of players return to the camp including Lisa Deetlefs, Candice Manuel, Erin Hunter, Kara Botes and Dirkie Chamberlain amongst others.

Celia Evans, the SA Hockey player of the year in 2016, has been called up after recovering from her cruciate ligament injury, much to the delight of South African hockey fans. Tegan Fourie and Lilian du Plessis will also join the squad when they return from the successful SPAR South Africa European Indoor Hockey tour.

There are also a host of players who have impressed at PHL and IPT over the past few seasons including Nicky Veto, Mmamoagi Kungoane and Monique Bartsch to name a few. The group of players will be looking to play their way into the team for South Africa this year.

It’s also the first chance for Robin van Ginkel to work with the ladies as the national coach since his appointment late last year. Having coached many of the ladies together within either the SA U21 side, at IPT or at various PHL sides he will know them individually well. This will be a great opportunity to identify their cohesion together.

South African Women’s Training Camp Squad (16-25th January 2019)

Mishka Ellis

Ashleigh Datnow

Jade Mayne

Lisa Deetlefs

Stephanie Baxter

Natalie Esteves

Erin Hunter

Robyn Jonson

Nicky Veto

Kara Botes

Monique Bartch

Mmamoagi Kungoane

Nicole Walraven

Courtney du Preez

Marlise van Tonder

Kirsten Paton

Hannah Pearse

Mmathshepo Modipane

Nicolene Terblanche

Izelle Verster

Lilian Du Plessis

Candice Manuel

Sylvia van Jaarsveldt

Toni Marks

Tarryn Glasby

Marizen Marais

Tegan Fourie

Dirkie Chamberlain

Casey-jean Botha

Celia Evans

The South African Hockey Association today has pleasure in announcing Robin van Ginkel as the new South African Women’s Hockey head coach. Van Ginkel will be tasked with leading South Africa through to the 2022 Hockey World Cup.

Van Ginkel has a glowing hockey CV that includes time as the Assistant Coach to the Austrian National Mens team, where they finished 7th in the EuroHockey Championship, their highest finish in history as well as winning the Hockey Series Open in Croatia earlier this year. Further to this, Robin was alongside Sheldon Rostron for both the South African Men and Women in the rare feat of the double gold at the African Cup of Nations 2017. He was also part of the coaching staff of the Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League for four seasons including the title winning season of 2014.

Van Ginkel has served through the structures in South African Hockey, coaching the SA U18 against Australia U18 in 2016. He has also overseen the SA U21 side in recent years including in the guise of the Namaqualand Daisies in the Premier Hockey League where he improved them from last place to a semi-final in 2017. Van Ginkel also has three IPT finals to his name including the fantastic Southern Gauteng triumph in 2015.

Away from the provincial and national roles, Robin is also currently the Director of Hockey at St. Stithians College in Johannesburg.  Van Ginkel is also an international sport scientist with an honours degree in Sport Science.

David Viney, Head of High Performance at SA Hockey

“As we did with the Men’s position earlier this year, we embarked on a robust and thorough process evaluating our candidates against the requirements of the role and through a deep interview process. Through this process Robin van Ginkel emerged as the standout candidate with a superb hockey resume, which has also featured a significant amount of time within the South African Hockey structures. Robin presented with a clear vision of the road ahead for the SA Womens Hockey team and we believed his vision aligned with those of SA Hockey perfectly. We were also pleased with Robins commitment to transformation and his plans to achieve the goals of SA Hockey. We wish Robin the best of luck for the journey ahead!”

Robin van Ginkel, head coach of the South African Women

“I am incredibly honoured that I have been given the opportunity to coach my national team. I am excited about building a team that can challenge and make South Africa proud. I am determined to develop the players in the country and it is my goal to leave SA Hockey in a better position that I am given it. Thank you for trusting me, I will do my best to make you proud”

Van Ginkel will begin his reign with a summer series in January with an eye on the Open Series Final in Madrid, an Olympic Qualifying event, in June next year as the major hurdle on the short-term horizon. The South African Hockey Association wish him a successful time as head coach.