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Photo - Marcel Sigg / Run Ride Dive
Image -  Marcel Sigg / Run Ride Dive

Mark Hopkins has been named as the head coach of the South African Men’s Hockey for the period up to and including the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup in India. The new coach succeeds Fabian Gregory, who stepped down after the FIH World League Semi-Finals in South Africa, and interim head coach Sheldon Rostron who completed the unheralded double gold at the African Hockey Cup of Nations.

“The process to select the next national coach was a robust process that has identified the best candidate for the job,” shared David Viney head of the High Performance at SA Hockey, “we are confident that Mark has the right approach that will take the programme in the right direction and we look forward to seeing the progress under his guidance”

Born and educated in Solihull, England, Mark played schools hockey for his county, Warwickshire and then The Midlands. He first came to South Africa in 1997 and settled in Cape Town coaching at SACS and playing for the Constantia club, before returning to England in 1999. For the next six years, he coached at the University of Wales in Cardiff and also became involved with Welsh hockey coaching right through from under 16 to senior level with both the men and ladies teams.

He answered the call from the Bloemendaal club in Holland in 2007. This club is among the biggest club sides anywhere in the world, and he was Youth Director as well as the being involved in the coaching setup. In 2010 he turned to the world of business and went to Vietnam to join a World Talent Group before coming to Johannesburg last year. In 2009 Mark married a Durban lady, Lindsay, so that was an easy decision to want to return as Lindsay had been out of South Africa for some 13 years

Hopkins then started lighting up his name on the South African Hockey radar when he took up the mantle of Southern Gauteng men collecting a silver and a gold medal in 2015 and 2016 IPT’s respectively. He also featured as a coach of the Garden Route Gazelles at the Premier Hockey League and led Riverside Hockey Club to the 2017 Riverside Elite Club Challenge title.

When not involved in hockey, Hopkins spends as much time as possible with his 8-year-old son, the youngest ever finisher of the Midmar Mile. He also loves spending time in the bush and hiking.

“I am honoured to be given the opportunity to take on the role of national head coach and I look forward to working with an outstandingly talented group of players. I believe in creating the right environment for the players to be as successful as they can be,” Hopkins shared “I am excited by the young talent we have in our system. I truly believe the hockey community in South Africa can be immensely proud that we have a pool with this level of talent in.”

Hopkins first assignment will be the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April, while an eye will be firmly on the FIH Hockey World Cup later in the year as major ranking points will be up for grabs. Hopkins will be keen to get South Africa back up the rankings table.

Tim Drummond, the captain of the South African Hockey Men, shared his thoughts:

“The announcement of the new coach Mark Hopkins is very exciting for this talented squad of players. We have a hugely important year with the World Cup at the end of November. The Commonwealth Games in April will be an excellent opportunity for some members of the South African Men’s squad to experience a multi-sport event and prepare for the World Cup in India.

Mark will bring some fresh ideas and a positive mentality to all things on and off the pitch, which I know the players will enjoy having worked with him before. He is driven and ambitious and I know he will get the best out of each member in the greater squad.

The squad is gaining great momentum after winning Africa Cup last October and this appointment will definitely motivate the squad to strive to not only be better players but more importantly, role models for the young players in South Africa.”

South African Hockey looks forward to Mark taking charge and wish him all the best for the year ahead.

The South African Men’s and Women’s Hockey teams that will take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, were today announced by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

The South African Women, powered by Private Property, have stuck with consistency and stuck with largely a combination of the players that faired so well at the FIH World League Semi-Finals and the African Hockey Cup of Nations.

Stalwarts of those tournaments, goalkeepers Nicole la Fleur and Phumelela Mbande will continue their battle for the number one spot in a team led again by Nicolene Terblanche. 2016 SA Hockey Player of the year Celia Evans, Quanita Bobbs, Shelley Jones, Ilse Davids and Dirkie Chamberlain all feature in an extremely experienced line-up attempting to win South Africa’s first ever medal at a major hockey tournament.

Nicole Walraven, Lisa Deetlefs and Jade Mayne are all included in the team after sitting out the African Hockey Cup of Nations win, while the SA u21 and  Premier Hockey League Junior Player of the tournament Ongi Mali, makes her debut for the senior women's team.

Head coach of the South African Women's team, Sheldon Rostron shares:

"We are confident in the team that we have selected, with a well-balanced squad having both speed and the power to achieve at the Commonwealth Games. Our hope is that we achieve a top-four position to compete for a medal in the final playoffs. We have rewarded both senior players as well as the new squad members who have been performing well in 2017. The addition of youngster Ongi Mali, who has been the promising player in her age group, along with Kristen Paton, who did really well in the African Qualifier, points to this. 

We believe that all positions are based on merit and with the design of the team in mind of the opposition we will be facing. We have been working hard on growth areas following some successes at the World League. The ladies are currently at camp focusing on growing their technical base as well as working on key conditioning components and team building, ensuring that the unit functions to full capacity. 

We have invested a lot of resources ensuring that each athlete is well managed and ready for this eventful year. The Commonwealth Games is an important part of growing our success and the performance at this event is key to our performance objectives and goals we have set for 2018."

The South African Hockey Men, on a high from the incredible victory over Egypt in Egypt to win the African Hockey Cup of Nations, will once again look to Tim Drummond to lead the team as the skipper.

Three men that are headed to Berlin for the Indoor Hockey World Cup have been selected namely 2017 AFCON hero Jethro Eustice, Ryan Julius and Reza Rosenberg. There is also space for Ryan Crowe, a formidable player of the 2016 Junior Hockey World Cup. He is joined by Tevin Kok, Siyavuya  Nolutshungu and Nqobile Ntuli from that team that secured South Africa’s highest ever finish at any World Cup.

Keenan Horne, who has impressed whenever he has put on the green and gold, Clinton Panther and Gowan Jones all earn themselves recalls and another opportunity to pull the Protea on to represent our country

Convenor of selectors Allistar Fredericks share his thoughts on the squad:

“We have opted for a very exciting young team that has enough experience to be very competitive at the Games. We also looked at individual performances at the FIH World League, Africa Cup and PHL to put this team together.

With the new cycle starting, there are a few regular guys, who over the years have been fantastic representatives for SA, but have been left out to give a few new boys a chance to experience and perform at this huge event. The door has however not been closed on them, with the 2018 World Cup in India still to come in the latter part of this year, so the door is open to all who have not made this team and performances at various organized events will be monitored closely. We wish our Commonwealth Games team all the best and know they will deliver performances and represent us with pride.”

South African Commonwealth Games Hockey Squad

South Africa Hockey Women

 

South Africa Hockey Men

Phumelela Mbande - Goalkeeper
Nicole le Fleur - Goalkeeper
Erin Hunter
Nicole Walraven 
Lisa Deetlefs
Celia Evans
Nicolene Terblanche - Co-captain
Shelley Jones
Quanita Bobbs
Kristen Paton
Ilse Davids
Stephanie Baxter
Ongiziwe Mali
Dirkie Chamberlain 
Candice Manuel
Sulette Damons - Co-captain
Jade Mayne
Bernadette Coston

 

Gowan Jones - Goalkeeper
Siyavuya Nolutshungu – Goalkeeper
Daniel Bell
Jethro Eustice
Gareth Heyns
Tyson Dlungwana
Austin Smith
Daniel Sibbald
Timothy Drummond - Captain
Reza Rosenberg
Ryan Julius
Owen Mvimbi
Clinton Panther
Nqobile Ntuli
Dayaan Cassiem
Keenan Horne
Tevin Kok
Ryan Crowe

 

 

The Commonwealth Games hockey tournament takes place at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre from the 5-14 April 2018  https://www.gc2018.com/sport/hockey

The South African Hockey Men head to Egypt with a clear objective on their minds, qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup. In order to do this, they will need to win the tournament at the home of their arch-rivals Egypt.

The squad was previously announced but due to personal and club commitments, there has been an update to the squad. London 2012 Olympian Lance Louw is recalled to the National squad after a long absence and will be looking to build on the phenomenal showing that helped steer the Maropeng Caveman to the title at the inaugural PHL last year.

Another star from that Cavemen team is Louw’s Southern Gauteng teammate Tommy Hammond. The experienced midfielder is well known in hockey circles for his incredible ability to read the game and his work rate. Taine Paton is also recalled to the squad after missing out on the FIH World League Semi-Finals. There is little debate about the explosive talents of Paton who also represented South Africa, alongside his brother Wade, at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ignatius Malgraff, who was the top scorer at the 2016 PHL, a vital part of the attacking unit at the FIH World League is recalled and Keenan Horne, who was named by the South African newspaper in 2015 as one of the SA Hockey stars of the future, is the final call-up to the squad.

The players who are no longer available from the previously selected squad are Clinton Panther, Gareth Heyns, Tevin Kok, Rhett Halkett and Ryan Crowe, while Austin Smith was also unavailable for selection.

The SA Hockey Men will be coached by Sheldon Rostron, who will follow Argentina’s Carlos Retegui’s example and lead both Men’s and Women’s side, has his work cut out as Ismalia is notoriously a tough place to visit, but it offers great opportunity to underline South Africa as the African hockey powerhouse.

The lads will begin their campaign against Zambia, before taking on Nigeria, Ghana hosts Egypt and Kenya. The final will take place on 29 October 2017.

SA MENS SQUAD FOR AFRICAN HOCKEY CUP OF NATIONS

Name

Province

Erasmus Pieterse

Southern Gauteng

Dan Bell

Western Province

Dan Sibbald

KZN Raiders

Ignatius Malgraff

Eastern Province

Jethro Eustice

KZN Raiders

Jonty Robinson

KZN Raiders

Julian Hykes

Southern Gauteng

Keenan Horne

Western Province

Lance Louw

Southern Gauteng

Melrick Maddocks

Southern Gauteng

Nqobile Ntuli

KZN Raiders

Reza Rosenberg

Southern Gauteng

Ryan Julius

Western Province

Siya Nolutshungu

KZN Raiders

Taine Paton

KZN Raiders

Tim Drummond (captain)

KZN Raiders

Tommy Hammond

Southern Gauteng

Tyson Dlungwana

Southern Gauteng

 FIXTURES for AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS

The South African Men’s Hockey side will be heading to Egypt to attempt to win the African Cup of Nations for the 8th consecutive time and defend the title that they won in a heated encounter in Johannesburg in 2015. The tournament will decide who Africa’s representative will be at the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup in India.

About a month ago the 32 man squad was announced by SA Hockey and today it gives us great pleasure in announcing the final 18 man squad for the African Cup of Nations. In goals veteran, Rassie Pieterse is joined by outstanding young talent Siya Nolutshungu.

Amongst the defenders, Tyson Dlungwana and Gareth Heyns join in having missed out on the FIH Hockey World League and are joined by the supreme trio of Jethro Eustice, Dan Bell and Rhett Halkett.

The middle of the park sees Clinton Panther, winner of the last two IPT’s with Southerns and Raiders respectively, recalled after injury saw him left out previously, while the always reliable Jonty Robinson and Reza Rosenberg are joined by two of the most exciting talents in Ryan Julius and Dan Sibbald. Of course our skipper Tim Drummond will lead the team again in the middle of the park and will be desperate to strike revenge against the Egyptians.

Up front, there are some exciting prospects with Ryan Crowe and Melrick Maddocks in the squad and joined by Nqobile Ntuli, Tevin Kok and a man with more than 100 caps in Julian Hykes.

Coach Sheldon Rostron, who will lead both Mens and Womens side, has his work cut out as Ismalia is notoriously a tough place to visit, but it offers great opportunity to underline South Africa as the African hockey powerhouse. The SA Men will face the hosts Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia from the 22-29th October 2017.  

SA MENS SQUAD FOR AFRICAN HOCKEY CUP OF NATIONS

Name

Province

Erasmus Pieterse

Southern Gauteng

Siya Nolutshungu

KZN Raiders

Jethro Eustice

KZN Raiders

Dan Bell

Western Province

Rhett Halkett

Western Province

Tyson Dlungwana

Southern Gauteng

Gareth Heyns

Southern Gauteng

Tim Drummond

KZN Raiders

Clinton Panther

KZN Raiders

Jonty Robinson

KZN Raiders

Reza Rosenberg

Southern Gauteng

Ryan Julius

Western Province

Dan Sibbald

Western Province

Nqobile Ntuli

KZN Raiders

Ryan Crowe

Southern Gauteng

Julian Hykes

Southern Gauteng

Tevin Kok

Northern Blues

Melrick Maddocks

Southern Gauteng

 

Sheldon Rostron

The current SA Women’s Hockey National Coach, Sheldon Rostron, has been appointed as the Interim Head Coach for the SA Men’s side. Rostron will be in charge of the SA Hockey Men for their World Cup qualifying bid at the African Hockey Cup of Nations in Egypt in October this year. The appointment will see a first for SA Hockey as the Men and Women will have a Joint Team Management Structure for the tournament.

The SA Hockey High-Performance Committee had set a range of criteria in place for the Interim position including International Head Coach experience, knowledge and experience of the SA coaching landscape, the ability to facilitate contact sessions in the build-up and previous experience as a Head Coach in qualifying for major Tournaments.  The Committee believed that Rostron would be the right man and the SAHA Board and Executive Committee have approved and accepted the recommendation.

Sheldon Rostron has been the Head Coach of the Women’s National team since Giles Bonnet resigned in 2014, after serving as an assistant before that, and has amassed over 90 caps as the Ladies Head coach. His international repertoire is as impressive and includes winning the African Cup of Nations in 2015,  the World League semi-final in Valencia, Spain in 2015 and of course the recently completed World League semi-final in Johannesburg where the SA Women qualified for the FIH Hockey World Cup.

“This is a great opportunity for me to work with both teams and I am extremely excited to get started,” shared Rostron, “the task will be incredibly challenging but I have a great team around me and that will help immensely.”

Rostron, who is well qualified through the Coach Education structure, will lead both the SA Hockey Men and Women at the African Hockey Cup of Nations, something previously done incredibly well by Carlos Retegui when he led the Argentina Men and Women to Bronze medals at the 2014 Hockey World Cup.

The appointment of Rostron as the Interim Head Coach is only for the duration of the African Hockey Cup of Nations. The current process to find the new Head Coach is ongoing and it is anticipated that the new Coach will assume responsibilities in the period after the conclusion of the African Hockey Cup of Nations.

The African Hockey Cup of Nations takes place in Ismailia Egypt from 19-29 October 2017 and the winner of each tournament will qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup in 2018.

Tyron Barnard

The South African Hockey Association is calling for applications for the position of the men’s national hockey coach. 

Each applicant must complete the application form and submit a short CV. 

Your Application and CV must be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Application Form

An interim coach will be appointed for 2017 Africa Cup for Nations in October.

 Closing date for applications:  Friday 18 August 2017

Fabian Gregory

Head coach of the South Africa men’s hockey team, Fabian Gregory, has resigned, the SA Hockey Association has announced. Gregory has been appointed as the Head Coach of the Valley Hockey Club in Hong Kong and will start work there in September this year.

Fabian was selected as the Men’s Coach in 2014 after the resignation of Charlie Pereira and has led South Africa to the FIH Hockey World Cup in 2014, where we finished 11th, as well as the Commonwealth Games in 2014, finishing fifth.

The hallmark of Gregory’s reign will be his commitment to bringing youth players through as could be seen once again at the FIH World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg as youngsters like Cassiem, Ntuli and Kok formed part of the squad.

Gregory’s involvement in South African hockey stems back almost 20 years when he was first elected as a national U16 coach and subsequently spent time in various roles including a long stint as the assistant coach to the National Ladies side.

“My journey with SA Hockey has been an incredible one and one that I won't forget. The new opportunity is one that is too good to turn away and I look forward to coaching in a full-time structure at Valley Hockey Club.” Shared Gregory. “I have so many people I need to thank, from the back room staff at SA Hockey to the players who I have been privileged to work with and learn from. To the likes of former president Dave Carr who taught me so much as a coach! Good luck to the lads for the African Cup!”

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni thanked Gregory for his services. "'We would like to thank Fabian for his services to the game in South Africa and in particular for his work as the SA Men's Coach for the last three years. We wish him well in his new venture with Valley Hockey Club in Hong Kong," 

The South African Men’s Hockey side’s next challenge will be attempting to qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup at the 2017 African Hockey Cup of Nations, which will be held in Egypt in October. SA Hockey have confirmed that they will be appointing an interim coach for this series and an announcement will be made when this has been finalised.

Tyron Barnard

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