By Jonathan Cook
The South African men’s indoor hockey team has been named to face a star-studded PSi International All Stars line-up in the four-match Denbeys Indoor Series in Durban and Pietermaritzburg next month.
While five of South Africa’s national team to take on the All Stars wore the green and gold at the 2015 Indoor Hockey World Cup (IHWC) in Leipzig, Germany in February, seven of the 12 players will make their debuts. The International All Stars team has five Indoor Hockey World Cup winners in their midst.
Pierre le Roux, coach of the SA team, said there was a reason behind the selection of so many newcomers for the December 10 to 13 series.
“For the Blitzstokke, this is the start of our 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup campaign and process. The team was picked to have a look at some new players and increase the size of the squad.
“Some of the players that attended the 2015 Indoor Hockey World Cup were deliberately overlooked for this event, as we know their capabilities. This will allow us at the next selection event to choose between a larger pool of players while also creating much-needed competition in the squad.”
Eight of the 12-man SA team were in the KZN Raiders side that won the SA Interprovincial Hockey Tournament in Pietermaritzburg last weekend, while KZN Inland and Western Province have two players apiece.
The four players in the All Stars team who struck 2015 IHWC gold with the Netherlands were Lauren Goedgebuure (voted best goalkeeper), Sjoerd de Wert, Teun Rohof and captain Robert Tigges, while Benjamin Weiss was in the victorious German side that won the 2011 IHWC.
Apart from the exciting contests on offer for the general public the international clashes will also provide a great learning experience for the boys and girls participating in the PSi Nationals in KZN next month.
(Test matches in brackets)
KZN Raiders: Chris McCathie (13 Tests), Matt Fairweather (14), Justin Domleo (14), Robin Jones (0), Mohamed Mea (11), Jethro Eustice (0), Taine Paton (0), Keagan Robinson (0)
KZN Inland: Keenan du Toit (0), Matt Coombes (0)
Western Province: Matthew Becker (0), Craig Haley (11)
Pierre le Roux (coach), Ryan Hack (assistant coach), Reggie Smith (manager)
INTERNATIONAL ALL STARS
Lauren Goedgebuure, Sjoerd de Wert, Teun Rohof, Robert Tigges (Netherlands, 2015 IHWC winners); Benjamin Weiss (Germany, 2011 IHWC winner), Andreu Enrich (Spain); Tendai Maredza (Zimbabwe); Siyabonga Martins (Namibia)
DENBEYS INDOOR SERIES FIXTURES
(SA vs International All Stars)
Thurs, 10 Dec (7pm, UKZN Westville)
Fri, 11 Dec (7pm UKZN Westville
Sat, 12 Dec (7pm, St Anne’s DSG)
Sun, 13 Dec (7pm, UKZN Westville)