The other day, inspired by the Investec Hockey Academy, we had a chat to Bernadette Coston. When presented with an opportunity to chat to another one of the ladies, I jumped at the chance to chat to one of my favourite hockey players in Lisa Deetlefs. The uncompromising defender has just recently won the IPT with Southern Gauteng and been named the SA Hockey Players’ Player of the Year. Having already featured for SA at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics we had a chat with Lisa about all things hockey.
Jabu: You have racked up a fair amount of caps and seem to be South Africa’s most reliable constant, please promise you aren’t planning on retiring anytime soon?
Lisa: I’ve been very fortunate to be part of this amazing team
for the past 10 years. Of course there have been many many challenging times be it emotionally and physically but the good times far outweigh the tough ones, so for as long as this youthful body can hold out, I am not looking at retiring anytime soon 🙂
Jabu: That’s fantastic news to hear! Speaking of a 10 year International career, what has been the highlight of it so far?
Lisa: There have been two highlights in my career. The first was getting my first cap in Stellenbosch in 2007 vs Canada and the second was definitely stepping out onto the field for the first game of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Jabu: What would you rather have, a Commonwealth Gold medal or an Olympic Bronze medal?
Lisa: So I’ve been debating this tough one… Hmm, I would say a Commonwealth Games gold medal 🙂
Jabu: Who is the toughest opponent in World Hockey that you have faced?
Lisa: I find the Dutch to be our toughest opponents.
Jabu: What has the experience been like playing in Europe?
Lisa: Playing in Europe has been an experience and a half. I’ve been lucky enough to play 2 seasons in Holland and one in Belgium and absolutely loved it. I did prefer playing in Holland as the World’s best players play in the Dutch league and I found it extremely challenging.
Lisa: I approach playing Africa Cup in the same manner I’d approach any other tournament. The perception of Africa being an “easier” tournament is definitely an incorrect one. There is huge influence from Dutch coaches in some African countries such any Ghana so we never know what to expect from them which is quite difficult. Africa Cup is our Olympic qualifying tournament and is a very important tournament for us to perform in and win.
Jabu: Why number 13 when it is seen so superstitiously by others?
Lisa: When I first made the team I was pulled up quite suddenly and did not have my own kit. At that point in time Kate Woods (Hector) was playing in shirt number 3 and was leaving for her season in Europe. So the shirt was given to me with strapping blocking out her name and a 1 strapped on next to the number 3. Surprisingly I am extremely superstitious but I feel this is LUCKY number 13 🙂
Jabu: You have just completed the IPT successfully, how are the team feeling?
Lisa: We are very happy. Southerns wanted to make up for the disappointing performance of last year and we did our best to do better!
Jabu: How have the squad responded to the change in head coach?
Lisa: The team has adjusted well to Sheldon. Sheldon was assistant to Giles so it’s nice that it’s a bit of a continuation in certain aspects but also Sheldon has his own style of coaching which is also a nice change and one that everyone is enjoying.
Jabu: Okay, so where to from here for the ladies side?
Lisa: The next tournament for us is Africa Cup which has been moved to Randburg here in South Africa. It is our official Olympic Qualifying tournament so all our efforts are concentrated on producing a good performance there and coming away with a win.
Lisa: The team joker was always Marcelle Manson (Keet) but I think Nicoleen (Terblanche) is always close second.
Jabu: Where can our readers find out more about you?
All images are courtesy of Lisa’s Facebook page