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The Premier Hockey League (PHL) is an exciting new hockey format, created to transform the sport in South Africa – from an interest, participation & performance perspective.

One of the most experienced players included in the South African National Women’s Hockey team is Lillian Du Plessis, who earlier this year played her 100th match for her country.

When and against who did you make your debut?

I made my debut in 2012 in Ireland against Ireland at the Champions Challenge tournament.

Name three highlights from your career:

I have so many highlights from my five years in the national team but if I had to choose my top 3 they would be: Finishing in the Top 8 at the u21 World Cup in Germany in 2013; Going to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014; Going to World Cup in The Hague.

Did you ever expected to reach 100 games?

It’s been a rollercoaster ride. There have been so many highs and lows along the way, the highs definitely outweighing the lows. If I had been asked after my first cap if I would ever expect to reach 100 games, I probably would have said no but I'm so honoured and overwhelmed to have reached this milestone and I hope to continue on as far as my body will let me.

What are you still looking forward to as a player?

There is so much to look forward to and the hockey calendar for the next two years looks extremely exciting, I hope to be a part of all the events such as World League Round 3 in Johannesburg (my home town) in July and also the World Cup and Commonwealth Games tournaments next year. I just want to keep getting better as a player to a point where I can say I have reached the goals that I have aspired to reach.

Can you describe the pride/emotion you feel when playing for your country?

I love playing for my country. Singing the national anthem and standing next to my teammates is an emotion that is difficult to describe. I feel proud and excited every time I step on the field whether it is in training or a national match. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that I’m living my dream.

After more than 10 years former national player Steve Evans is back with the South African national men’s hockey team as part of the management.

SA Hockey sat down and asked the legend a few questions.

When was your last game for South Africa?

I retired after the Athens Olympics in 2004 having been involved in the squad since 1994. My first match was in 1996 and I played 96 games for SA. 

When was your last involvement with the national setup before the 2017 Summer Series?

I haven't been involved in the National Set-up subsequent to my retirement, so is fantastic to be able to add value and share my experiences of competing internationally, and having spent five years living abroad and playing in various leagues and competitions in Australia, England, Germany and Egypt.  

What is your current role?

I've been appointed as an assistant coach and have been tasked by Fabian Gregory (head coach) to focus on developing our defensive connections and understanding of various defensive structures, and in particular giving real time input during matches. This is of course not in isolation, and I’m working closely with Jason Mulder and Cheslin Gie who are also focused on various specific aspects of the teams play. 

What are your impressions thus far of the team's performances?

We have made significant progress as a unit, understanding what we are trying to achieve offensively and defensively in terms of developing a game style that best suits us as South Africans, rather than trying to play like another (aspirational) country.  

What about South African hockey makes you excited for the future?

With out doubt, the appointment of a commercial entity to help SA Hockey package and sell sponsorships, and the introduction of government support for the launch of the Premier Hockey League has given us as South African hockey players and fans a future vision to 2022 Commonwealth Games that is both exciting and compelling! I look forward to adding value in whichever small way that I can to help our players and aspiring future superstars achieve their dreams of competing internationally, and for SA Hockey to reclaim its ranking within the Top 10 nations in the world. 

According to the University of Rochester, participating in sports teaches life lessons like discipline, responsibility, self-confidence, accountability and teamwork. With this in mind, iWYZE have partnered with the South African Hockey Association (SAHA), as the official sponsor of the Schools Hockey Nationals 2017( under 18’s, 16’s and 13’s) .

“Hockey has not received the support it deserved being one of the fastest growing sports in South Africa. Like Hockey iWYZE is a fast growing insurance business.” says iWYZE Head of Brand & Advertising, Presodhini Naicker. “iWYZE believes that the future of South Africa is dependent on the development of its youth. Through this sponsorship, we are given an opportunity to partake in the great event and to further the development of South African youth who are also our future clients,” says Naicker.

Marissa Langeni, CEO of SAHA added, “We are thrilled to welcome iWYZE to the SA Hockey family. We believe this partnership will be integral in developing youth hockey and will assist in driving our #Hockey Revolution vision forward.”

The various tournaments will run from the 6th July until 15 July across five venues across South Africa. “We are looking forward to being part of this event as it aligns perfectly with the brand’s core values,” concluded Naicker.

 Event Dates as follows:

  • KZN Coastal (Kearsney & St Mary`s) Boys U 18 from 07 to 12 July 2017
  • North West (PUK Astro) Girls U 18 from 10 – 15 July 2017
  • Western Province ( WPCC & Bishops) Boys U 16 from 09 – 14 July 2017
  • Free State ( Grey & Eunice) Girls U 16 from 10 – 15 July 2017
  • North West (PUK Astro) Girls & Boys A section U 13 from 03 – 06 July 2017
  • Boland (Rhenish/Bloemhof) Girls & Boys B section U 13 from 03 – 06 July 2017

FIH announce finalised Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2017 schedule for Johannesburg

  • All fixtures now confirmed following allocation of Round 2 teams
  • Wits Hockey Club set to welcome world’s best
  • Men’s and Women’s World Cup qualifiers take place in July

 

Johannesburg, South Africa: The International Hockey Federation (FIH) announced the finalised schedules for the Men’s and Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2017 taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

20 of the world’s best men’s and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers between 8-23 July at Wits Hockey Club.

In the men’s event, Pool A contains reigning Hockey Champions Trophy, Hockey World League and Hockey World Cup champions Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Japan and France. Pool B sees Rio 2016 silver medallists Belgium take on Rio bronze medallists Germany, reigning African champions South Africa, Ireland and Egypt.

In the women’s competition, England – who will contain many of the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallists who represented Great Britain, will play Rio bronze medallists Germany, Japan, Ireland and Poland in Pool A. Reigning Hockey Champions Trophy and Hockey World League champions Argentina will be up against reigning Pan American champions USA, African champions South Africa, India and Chile in Pool B.

With 16 days of non-stop world class hockey, there’s a number of hugely exciting matches for fans to take in.

Friday 14 July provides a number of highly charged encounters in the women’s competition, with Pan American rivals USA and Argentina going head to head at 16:00 (local time) before European rivals Germany play England at 18:00.

The following day, the men’s competition also serves up some fascinating rivalries. European opponents France and Spain get the day started off at noon before the Oceania showdown between New Zealand and Australia takes place at 14:00. The all-African game between rivals Egypt and South Africa will then give local fans a thrilling start to the evening (16:00) before Rio 2016 medallists Belgium and Germany provide an exciting finale to the day at 18:00.

There’s many more exciting matches throughout the event, with the men’s schedule published on the official event website here and the women’s here.

Ticket information will be announced on FIH.ch on 4 June 2017.

The Hockey World League, composed of four rounds and played over two years, shines a spotlight on the sport around the world. Even the smallest hockey-playing nations have the opportunity to write their own chapter in hockey’s history books. Johannesburg provides the perfect stage for their dreams to become reality in what is a crucial event in hockey’s international calendar.

The top teams from Johannesburg will qualify for two of hockey’s showpiece events – the 2017 Hockey World League Finals and the 2018 Hockey World Cups. Teams will also be awarded FIH Hero World Ranking points, which could prove crucial in relation to qualification for future events.

With so much on the line, fans will no doubt witness some action-packed matches full of excitement and drama this July. To keep up to date with all the latest news relating to the Hockey World League Semi-Finals over the coming months, visit FIH.ch and follow FIH via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

#HWL2017

The African Qualifier for the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018 takes place in Swakopmund in Namibia from the 23-25 June 2017 and the SPAR South African Ladies will be looking to triumph over our neighbours to qualify four our fourth FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup.

Coach Lennie Botha has today announced his team that will take on our Southern African Neighbours in the continental showpiece and knows that Namibia are no longer a walk over after some incredibly tough series in recent past, including a 3-2 victory in Swakopmund in November.

“We have seen from our previous series that Namibia have developed their hockey incredibly well and have been closing the gap and Zimbabwe are starting to show significant development too. We are excited for what promises to be a terrific tournament with some world class indoor hockey at an exceptional venue.”

In the November series previously mentioned, Heather McEwan made her debut and quickly made herself indispensable with a series of impeccable performances. She has been rewarded for that form with a place in the team for the African Qualifier. She is joined by her two Western Province goalkeepers Hanli Hattingh and Nicole le Fleur who are having an intense battle between themselves for the number 1 spot.

Captain Fantastic Cindy Hack will again be called on to lead the team as well as the goal scoring and with the ever dependable Jess O’Connor and the energetic Shelley Higgo (All KZN Raiders) there is a backbone that would intimidate most opposition. The three are joined by their KZN Raiders teammate Jenna Shuker who is in line to earn her first cap.

There are two new names from KZN Raiders in the team, but they are not new players. Kara Botes (Stella) and Kelly Reed (Madsen) are both in the squad after their recent marriages and will feature new names on their jerseys, but undoubtedly the same ability!

Amy Greaves, Eloise Waters (Both KZN Inland) and Celia Evans (Northerns) return to the squad after missing the November series, to really bolster it and give a clear indication of the respect Botha has for his Southern African opponents.

The full SPAR South Africa Indoor Hockey Women’s Squad

Name

Province

Amy Greaves

KZN Inland

Eloise Walters

KZN Inland

Jenna Shuker

KZN Raiders

Jessica O’Connor

KZN Raiders

Kara Botes

KZN Raiders

Kelly Reed

KZN Raiders

Cindy Hack (c)

KZN Raiders

Shelley Higgo

KZN Raiders

Celia Evans

Northerns Blues

Hanli Hattingh (GK)

Western Province

Heather McEwan

Western Province

Nicole la Fleur (GK)

Western Province

 

Match Schedule

Friday, 23 June 2017

 

08h45 – South Africa vs Zimbabwe -Women

13h45 – South Africa vs Namibia – Women

18h45 – Namibia vs Zimbabwe – Women

 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

 

08h45 – South Africa vs Zimbabwe – Women

13h45 – Namibia vs South Africa – Women

18h45 – Namibia vs Zimbabwe – Women

 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

 

09h00 – Women's Final

Tyron Barnard

South African Indoor Hockey Men’s side named for African World Cup Qualifier

The FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup will take place in February 2018 in Berlin in Germany. 12 Teams from around the globe will compete for the ultimate prize in Indoor Hockey, one of those teams will be from Africa. The identity of that team will be decided at the upcoming African Indoor Hockey World Cup Qualifier in Swakopmund in Namibia.

The South African Men will be up against the ever improving Namibians and Zimbabweans in a quest to qualify for their fourth Indoor Hockey World Cup. Bearing in mind the do or die nature of the tournament coach Pierre le Roux has named a team featuring some of the most exciting talent in South African indoor hockey.

“We have selected a very similar team to that which participated in the All Star series in December, which fared really well against a World Class All Stars side. This teams job is to qualify and after that we will begin building to the World Cup, our focus is firstly on the tournament in Namibia and we have the squad to get us there!”

In the goalkeeping department Richard Curtis maintains his place and is joined fellow 2015 World Cup goalkeeper Chris McCathie who has been unavailable for recent squads. The KZN Raiders supreme dominance at the 2016 IPT is also evident as 8 players make the squad. Captain Matt Fairweather is joined by arguably South Africa’s two best players from 2016 Justin Domleo and Jethro Eustice. Regular stalwarts in the SA squad Robin Jones and Mo Mea are also joined by Western Provinces Wade Paton and the newly married Keagan Robertson.

Reza Rosenberg produced the individual finest display by a South African in the Greenfields International All Stars series in December when he was not overawed by Olympic gold medallists Moritz Fuerste and Timo Wess and is rightfully rewarded with a place in the squad and is joined by his Southern Gauteng team mate Rusten Abrahams, who also debuted in the exhibition series against the All Stars. Abrahams finished matric in 2015 and should be a great role model to many youngsters in SA.

The last name in the list is the effervescent and exceptionally exciting Ryan Julius who would probably have been a lot closer to the first name on the list than the last. Ryan was unavailable after selection in December due to competing in the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup.

The Full squad for the African Indoor Hockey World Cup Qualifier

Name

Province

C McCathie (GK)

KZN Raiders

R Curtis (GK)

KZN Raiders

M Fairweather (C)

KZN Raiders

J Domleo

KZN Raiders

R Jones

KZN Raiders

M Mea

KZN Raiders

W Paton

Western Province

J Eustice

KZN Raiders

K Robinson

KZN Raiders

R Abrahams

Southern Gauteng

R Rosenberg

Southern Gauteng

R Julius

Western Province

 

Match Schedule

Friday, 23 June 2017

 10h00 – South Africa vs Zimbabwe – Men
15h00 – Namibia vs South Africa – Men

20h00 – Namibia vs Zimbabwe – Men

Saturday, 24 June 2017

 10h00 – South Africa vs Zimbabwe – Men
15h00 – South Africa vs Namibia – Men

20h00 – Namibia vs Zimbabwe – Men

Sunday, 25 June 2017

10h30 – Men's Final

Germany won the last match of the 2017 Summer Series by beating South Africa 5-2.

This was the second of two Summer Series events played by South Africa and included teams from England, Holland and Belgium as well.

The first chukka flew past with both teams playing some good hockey. Even though no goals were scored the action was entertaining. South Africa was probably the better team in this quarter keeping the Germans at bay.

The halftime score was 1-0 for the visitors after Lukas Windfeder scored with some three minutes of play left. This goal came after almost 10 minutes of constant pressure on the South African defence.

In any sports game how you start and end a period of play is crucial. South Africa did really well in the first two quarters to not conceded goals in these crucial periods of play. It is something they have been working on and it seems that progress is been made in this area of play.

The third quarter had more than enough action on both sides of the field. Germany took a 3-0 lead with goals from Jonas Gomoll and Constantin Staib. Germany’s counter-attack is deadly. The precision and speed with which they pass and go from defence to attack is something special.

The home team finally got on the scoreboard after Jonty Robinson converted a penalty stroke. South Africa got the stroke after well-worked penalty corner from which Rhett Halkett almost scored.

In the final quarter Germany got two more goals when Niklas Wellen and Nils Grunewald scored. It was the 18-year-old South African Dayaan Cassiem who had the final say of the series though when he scored the second goal of the match for his team.

Next on the calendar for both the South African teams is the FIH Hockey World League in July as well as the Africa Cup of Nations in August. Both events take place in Johannesburg. These tournaments are preceded by the IPT and PHL. 

In a match that can be best described as war of attrition between South Africa and England, the latter won 1-0.

It was the second match between these two teams in the second Summer Series held in Cape Town. All matches are played at the Hartleyvale stadium. Germany is also involved in the series.

After 30 minutes of play there was still no goal, but unlike in previous encounters during the Summer Series it was South Africa creating the chances and looking like the more dangerous team on the pitch. 

England broke the deadlock in the third quarter when Edward Horler scored. England started the second half like a team that found a next gear.

The local team created chances and looked more dangerous throughout the match and while they will be happy with the fact that they only conceded one goal in this match, the disappointment was obvious. This is a very young South African team that is showing some great promise. It was a good match on the attack and on defence.

Ryan Crowe made a welcome comeback to the team after recovering from an injury that kept him on the sideline until now. 

South Africa’s next and last game is on Thursday at 18:00. 

The rest of the series’ schedule: Wednesday, 8 March @ 18:00 England v Germany; Thursday, 9 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v Germany.  

 

Germany beat South Africa 7-2 in their first match of the second Summer Series in Cape Town. All matches in the series are played at Hartleyvale.

 

It was a tough day at the office for the South Africans who showed some great promise, but in the end Germany was just too good.

 

Germany’s Mats Grambusch scored the first goal of the match to give the visitors a 1-0 lead after the first quarter. The score-line was unchanged at halftime. The second 15 minutes of the match was a great quarter of hockey played by the home team. Chances were created and only a brilliant save from German goalkeeper Mark Appel denied South Africa and Jethro Eustice a goal.

 

Five goals were scored in the third chukka. Germany took charge in the first few minutes after the halftime break with goals from Tom Grambusch and Mats Grambusch, who got his second. Then South Africa finally got on the scoreboard with a brilliant team goal scored by Bili Ntuli. Some great work was done by various players including Tyson Dlungwana who played with more and more confidence as the game progressed. He worked hard at the back with experienced players Rhett Halkett and Eutice, who probably were SA’s best players on the field.

 

After Timur Oruz scored his team’s fourth goal local boy Daayan Cassiem showed what a deadly combination speed, skill and confidence can be. Cassiem scored a brilliant individual goal after a great tackle to get possession. He had only the goalkeeper to beat and he did it with ease.

 

In the final quarter Niklas Wellen, captain Christopher Rühr and Moritz Polk scored for Germany.

 

Two things that stood out from this match were how the local team struggled to handle the counter-attack of the Germans and how some players waited for the ball rather than be pro-active about it. 

 

South Africa’s next game is tomorrow against England. Action starts at 18:00. 

 

The rest of the series’ schedule: Monday, 6 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v England; Wednesday, 8 March @ 18:00 England v Germany; Thursday, 9 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v Germany. 

 

England won the first match of the second Summer Series 5-2 against South Africa. The halftime score was 2-1 for England. All matches in the Summer Series are played at the Hartleyvale Stadium. Germany is the third team involved in the series.

Even though England did manage to score five goals – two in the last three minutes - the South African defence was pretty solid. But it was obvious that the home team lacked some firepower at the sharp end of the field. While England was dangerous every time they got close to the goal circle, South Africa did not make the same impact on a constant basis throughout the match like the visitors did.

The only real chances of scoring in the first chukka were created by England. The visitors had a penalty corner and with 20 seconds left only the goalkeeper to beat and in both cases Rassie Pieterse, keeper and captain, guarded with goal-box with great success.

No surprise then that the disappointment was immense when England scored two goals in less than a minute two minutes into the second quarter. Sam Ward, playing his in 50th game for his country, scored first and then Christopher Griffiths hit the back of the goal-box.

In the 20th minute South Africa got one goal back when Jonty Robinson scored a penalty. The penalty stroke was rewarded after a well-constructed penalty corner that had England’s defence scrabbling and forced the error.

After 40 minutes of play England scored again. This time it was Michael Hoare.

In the final chukka South Africa scored a great goal. Robinson gave a long pass from the halfway line and striker Bili Ntuli were in the perfect position to put out his stick for the deflection to hit the back of the goal-box.  Replacement goalkeeper Gowan Jones was made to work very hard in the final quarter. David Goodfield got one past him with just more than two minutes left in the match and then Liam Ansell scored the last goal.

Rusten Abrahams was the only South African to make his debut while some 10 players from England got the opportunity to play for their country for the first time. 

South Africa’s next game is against Germany on Sunday. Action starts at 16:00.

The rest of the series’ schedule: Saturday, 4 March @ 16:00 – England v Germany; Sunday, 5 March @ 16:00 – South Africa v Germany; Monday, 6 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v England; Wednesday, 8 March @ 18:00 England v Germany; Thursday, 9 March @ 18:00 – South Africa v Germany.