South African Hockey have today announced Lenise Marais has been appointed to continue on with the work she has done with the SA Under 21 Women’s team, including leading them to the first ever African based Hockey World Cup. Her appointment is until the conclusion of the 2023 FIH Junior World Cup.
Lenise Marais has held the role since 2019. Marais, a double Olympian from 2008 & 2012, is the current head coach of the Maties Hockey Ladies 1st team and led the South African U21 Team to a 7th place finish at the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom. Marais also oversaw two PHL franchises as well as the SA U18 side from 2017-2019. Her experience at major events like the Commonwealth Games and the FIH World Cup will be a massive asset to the young South African ladies in their quest to build on the fine home tournament.
“It’s always an honour to be asked to guide a national team for your country. I have been privileged to work with some amazing young talent in the role already and can’t wait to see how we continue to develop over the next 18 months on the Road to Santiago. South Africa continues to produce outstanding quality in this age group, and we are excited to stamp our mark on the world hockey map.”
The SA U21 Women completed the home tournament in 7th place in Potchefstroom, finishing off with an exciting victory against the USA. The Women’s tournament will take place in Santiago in Chile where it was also hosted in 2005 and 2016.
FIH Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup – South African Finishing positions
1997 – Seongnam, South Korea – 6th / 12
2001 – Buenos Aires, Argentina – 6th / 15
2005 – Santiago, Chile – 8th / 16
2009 – Boston, United States – 11th / 16
2013 – Mönchengladbach, Germany – 8th / 16
2016 – Santiago, Chile – 14th / 16
2022 – Potchefstroom, South Africa – 7th / 15
South Africa and Korea have previously met four times at the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup, spanning all the way back to their first meeting in 1997. They had however not locked horns since 2005 with Korea triumphing 2-0 on that occasion. They renewed rivalries in Potchefstroom with a place in the top 6 on offer for the winner.
South Africa started with early pressure and were rewarded for the early endeavours as they earned an early penalty corner. That penalty corner almost produced a goal as the variation was deflected by Chante Ferreira but just narrowly wide. A poor tackle from Jean-Leigh du Toit led to Korea getting their first penalty corner of the game shortly after. The two-time winners though wasted the opportunity with poor execution.
The early exchanges were truncated by frustration for both sides as turnovers were affected on a regular basis. With both teams having struggled to score goals in the tournament so far, a high goal scoring game was never expected, but both coaches would have been disappointed with not making the most of the ball when they had it in good areas.
It took 14 minutes but the first save of the game had to be made by Eunji Kim when she denied a shot from Mikkela le Roux, the rebound causing a penalty corner to the South Africans. A smart variation saw the ball come wide to Hanrie Louw, but she flashed it wide when she would have been expecting the keeper to make a save. It remained scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
Early miscommunication between the South African defence allowed a chance for Korea, but the chance was missed. In a game of few chances, Korea created the next but Mishka Ellis pulled off the save. She was unable to stop the next opportunity though as the Koreans struck through Nurim Choi. The instinctive finish bobbled its way over the line despite the best efforts of the South Africans.
The hosts looked to pull level before the break but were unable to find the gap despite a few circle entries and a penalty corner and as the half came to its completion it was the Koreans smiling with a 1-0 lead.
South Africa had an early opportunity in the second half with Thati Zulu getting through and having the chance. She unfortunately snatched at it and the Koreans breathed a massive sigh of relief. The South Africans were ramping up the pressure again and saw that pressure turned into opportunity as a penalty corner was awarded. But as had been the story throughout the tournament the execution was lacking and the chance went begging.
Another penalty corner was awarded for a poor Korean tackle with the hosts desperate to convert. They tried something different but again the defence of the Koreans was hardly tested, as the rain started to fall again at North West University. As the quarter end hooter sounded the Koreans won a penalty corner but despite having their entire team up for it, they were unable to convert. 1-0 with 15 minutes remaining.
Although the Africans were desperate to get a leveller in the game they were lacking in creativity and ideas. Finding frustration more often than opportunity. Another penalty corner went wasted and the clock started to feel like it was against the hosts as time dwindled down as the match entered its final five minutes. Korea would have to do it with a player less as Seona Kim was given a yellow card.
Despite a tremendous effort from the South Africans, they could not breach the Korean defence and were frustrated to lose 1-0. They will now face USA in the 7-8th place playoff on Tuesday morning.
Hosts South Africa knew they would be up against it as they took on free-scoring tournament favourites Netherlands in the second quarter-final of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom today. South Africa had secured their spot in the top 8 by virtue of finishing second in the pool stages to England, while Netherlands had swatted away the challenge of USA, Canada and Zimbabwe in belligerent fashion.
It didn’t take as long as the South Africans would have hoped as the Dutch opened the scoring with a Dutch goal through Jip Dicke. Receiving the ball with her back to goal, she felt Mishka Ellis closing the gap, took the ball on the reverse side and finished superbly.
After good effort from the South Africans, it was just 7 seconds remaining on the quarter when they fell to a 2-0 deficit. Noor Omrani created a pocket of space fired in a shot which was saved by Ellis but the save went to Dicke who instinctively got her stick to the ball which looped over Ellis’s head and into the goal to the delight of the Dutch.
In the second quarter South Africa should have pulled a goal back when both Onthathile Zulu and Bianca Wood both had one-on-one chances but ultimately the chances were snatched at. South Africa were also awarded for their efforts with a penalty corner, but three shots at goal that arose were all lacking the quality to test the Dutch. South Africa were also kept honest as Ellis had to save a penalty corner just before the half-time break and it remained 2-0 at the Interval.
South Africa had another penalty corner early on in the third quarter, but it was fired just wide of the post of Hanrie Louw. Jip Dicke then almost completed her hat-trick when she capitalised on a South African error. South Africa broke again through Zulu and at the resultant penalty corner the South Africans thought they had levelled. The ball fell to Chante Ferreira who tried to bobble the ball home, but Sophia ter Kuile produced a fantastic save.
As the South Africans added threat to the game, they were sucker punched by two quick Dutch goals. Omrani scored from the next play as she effected a turnover and showed her quality with a fine strike. Luna Fokke, who had been fairly silent in the game so far, rocked up with a penalty corner, which Ellis will be disappointed she didn’t keep out after getting her pad to the ball.
South Africa had another penalty corner in the final quarter, but it deflected over the crossbar off a defenders stick, and Netherlands would write the final chapter of this tale with Luna Fokke scoring a second for herself and a fifth for the side.
Netherlands marches on to the semi-final where they will meet India while the South Africans will now play Korea in the 5-8 playoff bracket.
The South African U21 Women’s team secured their spot in the Quarter-Finals and the top 8 with a hard fought, tight and terrific battling 1-0 win over Ireland. The South Africans scored the only goal of the game to arrive in the top 8 for the 5th time in history, having achieved 6th twice (1997 & 2001) and 8th twice (2005 & 2013). They will be hoping that home ground advantage will play a massive role as they play the Dutch in this phase as they did in 2013 but hoping for a different result than the 9-1 defeat.
The South Africans have built their play on a resolute defence with Mishka Ellis finding good form in goal and Jean-Leigh du Toit putting in a number of no-nonsense tackles. One area that South Africa will be looking to be better in the knockout stages is in the attacking circle with the team clutching at few chances earlier on in the tournament.
For the Dutch the goals have flowed in from every angle in almost every minute with Jip Dicke and Luna Fokke having scored more goals individually than most teams at the tournament. They have scored 38 unanswered goals so far in the tournament as they easily swept aside United States of America, Canada and Zimbabwe. The Dutch have made each of the previous three finals, winning two of them and are desperate to win back the title they lost in 2016 to Argentina.
The winner of the match-up will take on either India or Korea in the Semi-Finals while the loser while play one of the two in the 5-8 bracket, with South Africa still able to secure a highest ever finish in the tournament, looking to better a previous high of the 6th.
Coach Lenise Marais knows the challenge ahead playing the free scoring Dutch side.
"We have loved the privilege of hosting the tournament so far! Its been special to be the first African hosts of any FIH World Cup and we are pleased that we are in the Quarter Finals. Netherlands are a wonderful team so we are looking forward to the game and we hope to deliver a good performance! Thank you to everyone who has supported our journey so far!"
The game is on 11:15 and is broadcast by SABC on the Openview Platform. You can also see the game on Supersport VR 1 / 206 or the Watch Hockey App.
South Africa and Ireland faced off at the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom today with a place in the top 8 of the tournaments up for grabs. Both sides had lost their opening games to England and without Ukraine’s participation at the event, it meant this was a knockout match for both sides. The two sides have plenty of history in different formats and in different age groups, but it was the first ever meeting between the two at Junior Women’s Level.
South Africa, playing in all green, came out charging from the start, but the Irish were equally up for the game. There was a lack of early clear-cut chances as both teams sought to gain the ascendency in the game. Both sides had an early circle entry, but both saw that opportunity snuffed out easily. And a tough tactical battle ended at the end of the first quarter without a shot on target.
Ireland had the best chance to create something early in the second quarter when they were awarded the games opening penalty corner. The opportunity went missing and the South Africans continued to look for an opportunity on the counterattack. To Ireland’s credit they were intercepting any opportunity almost as it arose. However, in a game riddled with nerves and lacking quality, it was South Africa who had the next big opportunity to lead as they were awarded their own first PC. They came closer than the Irish though as the shot from Hanrie Louw was deflected onto the post and the score remained goalless.
South Africa were growing in confidence and the Irish sensed it having to douse another threat from the South African attack shortly after. But it was Ireland who would get the next opportunity as they surged up the other end and won another penalty corner. But Louw popped up with a touch on the post to deflect it wide and keep parity. After defending another penalty corner South Africa broke the deadlock.
A penalty corner was awarded for a poor stick tackle and a powerful slap from Jean-Leigh du Toit was deflected off an Irish stick to give the hosts the lead. The fact that it came on the cusp of half-time was particularly satisfying for the South Africans.
A tentative third quarter saw the teams continue to tussle for domination with Ireland knowing a draw would be sufficient for them to take a place in the top 8 of the tournaments by virtue of goal difference. After a lull in the game South Africa were awarded three penalty corners in succession, but on the third occasion Ireland were able to get the ball out and immediately looked to create a goalscoring opportunity up the field from which they won a penalty corner themselves. The shot brought out a wonderful save from Mishka Ellis and brought the quarter to an end.
15 Minutes stood between the hosts and a spot in the top 8 of the first African hosted FIH Hockey World Cup. But they were reminded early on of the Irish danger as the young Europeans missed an opportunity to pass going for the shot in what could have been a huge opportunity for the Green Army. Despite mounting pressure, the hosts ventured up the other end winning a penalty corner and a card for the Irish. It was another triple corner for the South Africans as the Irish managed to repel the opportunity and the chance was gone.
With 6 minutes remaining it was still anybody’s spot for grabs in the top 8. Ireland was the next to attempt to land a killer blow as they had a penalty corner which fired just inches wide. 5 minutes remained.
Ireland created a circle penetration and turned over the ball in the middle of the park but created danger by colliding in the middle of the park and the South Africans were given the opportunity to get of danger. 3 minutes remained.
Ireland created a one-on-one opportunity, but Mishka Ellis pulled off a superb one-on-one save to deny the Irish, while a knock to the head for Hamill meant the tension had to wait a while longer as the Irish player received treatment. When play resumed it was in the Irish half and SA were awarded with a penalty corner with 90 seconds on the clock. It was well charged down and just 1 minute remained in the action.
South Africa were able to hold on and secured their place in the top 8!
The first ever FIH World Cup on African soil began in Potchefstroom today when hosts South Africa took on England at North West University. After months of planning, uncertainty and frustration, there was clear joy when the sides sprinted on in front of a vociferous crowd.
England created the first opportunity of the match, but Mishka Ellis was untroubled in her defensive efforts. South Africa then saw dual indoor and outdoor national star Kayla de Waal create a big opportunity, but she struggled to connect with the strike. Despite the South African’s starting to get the upper hand it was the English who won the games first penalty corner. From the penalty corner Lorna Mackenzie got herself on the scoresheet, the first goal of the tournament. It was the only goal of the first quarter as both teams would be frustrated by the scrappiness of the play in the first quarter.
The hosts were trying to play on the break as they looked to intercept play, but it was not bearing too much fruit and it was England who had Mishka Ellis to thank for the score remaining just 1 down when she pulled off a great save. South Africa were failing to connect in the big moments and were getting frustrated by the inability to hold sustained possession in the game.
At the half time break both coaches spoke about the nervousness playing a role in the game and the lack of opportunity taking, with both hoping for a better second half.
South Africa won their first penalty corner of the game in the second quarter when Kayla de Waal did wonderfully to create the opportunity. It was another case of missed opportunity as the chance was not properly trapped and the South Africans saw a golden opportunity go missing.
England earned their second of the game themselves later in the quarter but despite a great run from Zulu in charging down the first shot, the South Africans did not clear up the rebound and the resultant shot was stopped on the line by the body of Jean Leigh Du Toit. Captain Millie Giglio stood up and fired home superbly from the spot to make it 2-0 at the end of the third quarter.
England should have been 3-0 up early in the 4th quarter but a golden opportunity was turned down by Axford when she passed on the opportunity to pass, and the South Africans scrambled clear. To the credit of both teams, they continued to fight and look for another goal in the game. England would be the one that found it though as a wonderful drag flick finish from a penalty corner saw Mackenzie get her second.
Despite big last minute efforts South Africa were left without a consolation goal as they settled for an opening game defeat.
For the first time ever a FIH Hockey World Cup will take place on African Soil. The 9th edition of the FIH Junior World Cup is being competed in Potchefstroom between 15 nations from across the world. For the South African team its an opportunity to take advantage of playing on home turf and Lenise Marais and her team will be looking to emulate or better the 6th place finish the team achieved in 2001 in Argentina.
South Africa are in Pool B with just two other nations following the late withdrawal from the tournament of Ukraine. This leaves the South Africans with just two pool games starting firstly with their match up against England opening the tournament on Friday (1 April) before taking on Ireland on Monday (4 April).
South Africa have a good history in this tournament against their opponents England with a 3-3 draw in 2016 following a 1-0 win in 2001. They will be looking to make it three undefeated in a row against the Europeans when the tournament gets underway at last following its previous postponement.
South Africa will be looking towards a number of experienced players in the group to lead with the knowledge that they have already gained. Kayla de Waal, Tamlyn Kock and Edith Molikoe have already represented the country against Ireland this year, having played in the senior national Indoor side’s series victory in Dublin. Thati Zulu, Hanrie Louw, Bianca Woods and Molikoe are all capped for the senior outdoor team and will relish the opportunity of showing what they have gained at this level.
Mathapelo Christa Ramasimong, one of the co-captains of the team, shared her expectations of the team at the World Cup:
“It really is to perform and give our best. South Africa is not really well-known for hockey specifically but we would love to defy whatever odds are there and we would love to make history as a team. And just give our best for South Africa!”
Lenise Marais, head coach of the Junior South African Women, was excited in sharing with FIH:
“We are really looking forward to the event, we are hoping to put out some fantastic performances and inspire our country. It’s a massive responsibility being the home team and we look to thrive in the moment!”
The matches are being broadcast by SABC and are available on SABC Sport as well as the Watch.Hockey app.
The following opportunities are available for the South African Womens Hockey Team
Please note the full job spec for the Head Coach is below, with the additional support roles detailed further down.
South African Hockey and Belgotex Sport are pleased to announce that Belgotex Sport will be backing the SA U21 Women for the Junior World Cup. The tournament, which is a historic first Hockey World Cup to be hosted on African soil, will take place in Potchefstroom from the 1- 12 April 2022.
Belgotex Sport have already proven a wonderful supporter of South African Hockey having given support to the Men and Women in preparation of the Tokyo Olympics. Further to this Belgotex Sport have a long-standing relationship with SA Hockey as the Preferred hockey turf supplier to SA Hockey.
Marissa Langeni, CEO of SA Hockey:
“We are delighted to take another step in our incredible journey with Belgotex Sport. With the historical Junior World Cup taking place in Potchefstroom at North West University, we are excited to see our team in action, supported by Belgotex Sport.
Belgotex Sport are a company that is entwined in the fabric of South African hockey, they are a proudly South African company, and we are thrilled they have chosen our U21 Women’s team to back!
Tommy Hammond, Belgotex Sport Business Unit Manager:
“We are extremely excited about this opportunity to support and sponsor the South African Women's U21 Hockey Team that will be participating in the 2022 Women's FIH Hockey Junior World Cup at the University of Potchefstroom. It will be the first time that a hockey tournament of this calibre will be hosted on African soil.
We have been running a “For the Win” campaign which core message is around the appreciation of the hard work and dedication that athletes put in to reaching their potential. This ties in with our responsibility as a brand to provide sporting surfaces and facilities that support this view. We have seen the requests for assistance from the players through various platforms, and believed it was right for us to play our part in supporting these players who have dedicated so much time and effort to prepare for this event.
We are a proudly South African company, with a passion for our people, and supporting this team is something we are extremely proud of especially with this world class tournament being held here in South Africa.
We wish the South African team and management staff all the best for the tournament, and we know that your dedication and sacrifice will be rewarded. We believe in you.
It will be a historic occasion as 16 nations descend on South Africa for the first ever African Hockey World Cup. The Junior World Cup, hosted at Potchefstroom University, is the 9th occurrence of the FIH Womens Junior World Cup and will take place from the 1-12 August 2022.
South Africa, the hosts, have been pooled with Europeans in England, Ireland and Ukraine. The top 2 from each group progressing to the Quarter Final stage. The South Africans will open the campaign against England, before taking on Ukraine and Ireland.
The tournament had been due to be hosted in December 2021 but the rampant arrival of the Omnicrom variant wrecked havoc on world sport as events globally were cancelled. Fortunately the executive board were able to identify a gap in the calendar and the tournament was able to be rescheduled in the calendar to now.
With a number of withdrawals due to COVID, availability of players and the global crisis an opportunity has been presented to a lot of nations who may not have previously contested at the tournament including Austria who have replaced Russia in the tournament.
Tamlyn Kock, Edith Molikoe and Kayla de Waal are all included in the team having represented SPAR South Africa in the Indoor Hockey Test Series in Ireland this year, while Molikoe is joined by her Tokyo Olympic team mate Onthatile Zulu, who has recovered from the injury she suffered at the IPT last year. A number of players have already made their senior debuts including Bianca Wood and Hanrie Louw, while the core of the team also represented the South African U18 Side at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018.
Due to an update in the regulations of the tournament, all teams have named 20 players from which the matchday 18 will be selected.