South Africa and Kenya met in Ghana for a semi-final battle that would decide one of the two places in the 2022 African Hockey Cup of Nations final. The two sides last met in Stellenbosch in 2019 at the African Hockey Road to Tokyo, where the South Africans won 3-0. The South Africans had added support from South African High Commissioner to Ghana Her Excellency Grace Jeanet Mason, who greeted teams at the Stadium before the match got underway. Her Excellency was joined by SA Hockey President and Vice-President Deon Morgan and Lwandile Simelane respectively.

The Southern Africans started the better side, but Kenya quickly looked to gain a foothold in the game. It was a fairly tentative opening as the two sides were both keen to not make a mistake and give the other team the foothold in the game. Despite both sides best efforts, the opening quarter ended goalless.

South Africa were raising the efforts and they were rewarded with two penalty corners. The second of which would prove pivotal. A good injection was stopped on the challenging surface and Quanita Bobbs showed the form that she showed at the recent IPT for Western Province firing home a low hard drag flick that delighted the South Africans. The game remained 1-0 at half-time with both sides looking to land the next blow.

Unfortunately for the Kenyans it was the South Africans who landed the blow that ripped the sails for the Kenyans. Tarryn Lombard, fresh from her first international hat-trick, made it 2-0 and put South Africa’s first foot into the final.

Despite a tremendous challenge by the Kenyans Including two late penalty corners, they could find no joy and were given a late sucker punch by the South Africans who netted twice through Charne Maddocks and Lombard again to seal the game 4-0.

For the South Africans, there eyes now move to the next semi-final to see who they will compete against on Sunday to decide the African spot at the FIH Hockey World Cup in June this year. Inky Zondi’s team will sleep well tonight knowing they are just one hurdle away from heading back to World Cup again.

AFCON 2022 – Semi-Final Result

South Africa 4-0 Kenya

The South African women’s hockey team had already qualified for the semi-finals having scored 9 unanswered goals in the tournament, but they were looking to step up their cutting edge in front of goal in todays final Pool A match against Uganda. They were also looking to celebrate Tarryn Lombard’s 50th game in style.

They produced a clinical opening quarter of the game with some beautiful symmetry to the timing of their goals. They scored 4 goals, each split by three minutes to lead the opening quarter 4-0. Tarryn Lombard opened the scoring in the 6th minute to start her 50th test on a high and she was joined on the scoresheet by Tegan Fourie, Shirndre-Lee Simmons (With her first international goal) and Lilian du Plessis.

Despite their ongoing domination the South Africans were disappointed that they failed to add to the scoresheet in the second quarter, although Uganda will be proud of the defensive effort, they put in to keep the score at 4-0 at the half time break

They could do nothing to stop the South Africans though as Quanita Bobbs made it 5-0 before Lilian du Plessis scored her 38th career goal at African Continental Tournaments. The apt cherry on the cake though came in the final quarter when Tarryn Lombard added her 2nd, 3rd and 4th goals in an incredibly memorable game for her. Bernadette Coston got her own goal as well to take South Africa into double figures, the first to do so at this tournament.

Inky Zondi, Head Coach of the SA Women:

“We played very well today and nice to score some goals. Uganda plays with tremendous spirit and it’s a really great addition to the tournament to have them here. From here we focus on the semi-final tomorrow!”

The South Africans next take on Kenya in the Semi-Final tomorrow 17;45 South African time, while the second semi-final will see Ghana take on Zimbabwe straight afterwards.

AFCON 2022 – Day 4 Results Women

Pool A
South Africa 10-0 Uganda
Zimbabwe 1-1 Namibia

Pool B
Ghana 4-0 Zambia
Nigeria 1-2 Kenya

South Africa took on their Southern African counterparts Namibia on day 2 of the 2022 African Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghana. With both sides having won their opening games, a victory for the South Africans would secure a semi-final spot thanks to Zimbabwe’s victory over Uganda.

South Africa started the game with good determination and looked more settled on the pitch after struggling in their opening match. Lilian du Plessis put the South Africans ahead as she continues a remarkable goal scoring record at the Continental Championship.

The South Africans were made to toil for their second, which eventually came from a penalty corner which was not cleared. Stephanie Botha reacted first and with a low shot fired her first International Goal into the bottom right corner.

As coach Inky Zondi was preparing his half time talk, he had to probably change a few sentences though when Tarryn Lombard added the third for South Africa, her second of the tournament and put a bit of gloss onto the scoreboard at the break.

South Africa struck the first blow of the second half when Nomnikelo Veto reacted first to a loose ball and assisted Tegan Fourie, who would not miss. 4-0 to the defending champions. If the Namibians were hoping for the barrage to stop, they would be left hopeless as Lombard popped up with a clinical display that gave the Namibians no chance.

It was Nomnikelo Veto who made it six of the best when she finished after Robyn Johnson’s shot was saved from close quarters. Although South Africa were still able to win several penalty corners in the last few minutes of the game they were unable to convert any further opportunities and ultimately the match finished 6-0 to the South Africans.

As a result of the victory, coupled with Zimbabwe’s win, South Africa are now guaranteed of a place in the semi-finals and their quest to qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup continues. The team will still have to finish the group stage when they take on Uganda on Thursday at 19:00 South African Time.

Phumelela Mbande, captain of the South African team, shared her thoughts on the match.

“We were a lot more intentional and ruthless today. We try to improve game on game and our execution was far better. We will continue to learn as we progress through the tournament and look to deliver on our potential!”

AFCON 2022 – Day 2 Results Women

Pool A
South Africa 13-0 Namibia
Zimbabwe 5-0 Uganda

Pool B
Nigeria 2-1 Zambia
Kenya 0-5 Ghana (Kenya Forfeit the game)

 

The South African Women opened their defence of their African title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Southern African neighbours Zimbabwe. The game which marked both teams opening to the tournament as well as the first game for head coach Inky Zondi, presented as a typical opening game as both teams missed opportunities that they will expect to do better with as the tournament progresses.

The match marked the international debuts for Stephanie Botha, Hanrie Louw, Nomphilo Thenjwayo and Shindre-Lee Simmons. On the other end of the spectrum, it marked the 151st appearance for Bernadette Coston.

The champions started the game the better team and Lilian du Plessis, 2018 African Cup of Nations top goal scorer, opened the scoring with a cool, calm and collected reverse stick finish. There may have been fear that the onslaught was oncoming for the Zimbabweans as Bernadette Coston made it 2-0 with a reactive strike on the back post.

South Africa continued to create numerous circle penetrations but were either denied the goal scoring opportunity by individual errors or a collection of wonderful defence by the Zimbabweans. Jordyn Cripstone and Jenna Mathieson in the Zimbabwean goal were resolute when called on, while the defensive performance of the Zimbabweans would have made Patricia Davies incredibly proud.

Zimbabwe almost pulled a goal back in the final quarter after a rebound from a Phumelela Mbande save was fired narrowly wide. South Africa quickly went back up the other end and won their 10th penalty corner of the game. AS had been the case throughout the game though, the South Africans were unable to convert, rather disappointingly so.

As full time edged closer the South Africans finally put the game to bed. Quanita Bobbs picked up the ball in the middle of the park and surged forward with great purpose before picking the inch perfect pass to Tarryn Lombard. There was no wasting this opportunity for the South Africans as Lombard fired it brutally past Cripstone.

Despite another three penalty corners, the South Africans were unable to add to the score and would have to settle for a 3-0 victory to kick-start their title defence.

Phumelela Mbande shared her thoughts after the game:

"The Zimbabwe ladies came out and gave their best. Its the first game of the tournament, we have to get the cobwebs away and as far as that goes we have achieved what we set out to do. We will build on this game by game and we look forward to the next part of the tournament!"

At the end of Day 1, South Africa and Namibia each have 3 points following their respective victories and the two team meet tomorrow for an opportunity to seal their spot in the semi-finals at this early stage.

African Cup of Nations 2022 – Day 1 Results
Pool A

Namibia 3-0 Uganda
South Africa 3-0 Zimbabwe

Nicole Erasmus, who became a fourth generation Olympian at the Tokyo Olympics, has announced her retirement from International Hockey. Erasmus, who had made herself unavailable for selection before IPT, retires with 52 caps to her name, having reached her 50 at the Tokyo Olympics.

Erasmus was part of the South African U21 side at the Junior World Cup in Germany in 2013 and would make an impact netting four goals as the South Africans finished 8th. Along with a number of her teammates from that tournament, Nicole would go on to represent the senior national side.

She made her debut against Chile in a 4-2 victory at Hartleyvale Stadium. She would go on and score her first and second international goals in the African Hockey Championships in 2015 against Namibia, before adding a third against Zimbabwe. She ends her career with five goals and as an Olympic goal scorer having netted against Great Britain in her 50th test at Tokyo.

Her career spans several major competitions with FIH World League Semi-Final, Commonwealth Games, FIH World Cup and the Olympic Games all on a glittering hockey CV.

Remarkably at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics became the fourth Olympian from her family. All four represented different sports making it more remarkable!

  • Lynne Tasker 1980 Moscow Olympics - swimming
  • Anthony Tasker 1964 Tokyo Olympics - rowing
  • Frank Rushton 1936 Berlin Olympics – hurdles

“It’s been a wonderful honour to represent my country on the global stage. To stand with my teammates and sing the national anthem is a privilege that I will forever be grateful for. As I begin the next phase of my life and develop my career, it is the right time for me to move aside. The talent coming through leaves South African Hockey in a good space, and I am excited to watch from the stands supporting my country. Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported my journey!” shared Erasmus.

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni

“On behalf of the South African Hockey Association I would like to thank Nicole for her fantastic dedication and commitment to the sport. Nicole always carried herself with dignity and can look back on a wonderful career with a great amount of pride! We wish her all the best for future endeavours!”

The African Hockey Cup of Nations takes place in Accra in Ghana from the 17-23 January 2022. The team that finishes top of the tournament will qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup in Spain and Netherlands in July this year.

For the South African side it’s the beginning of a new era as a new coach and a number of retirements gives the team a new look and feel. Centre to their quest to win a seventh successive continental title will be the form of IPT Player of the Tournament Kristen Paton along with the experienced Quanita Bobbs and Bernadette Coston in the middle of the park.

The squad was selected at the recently completed IPT at Hartleyvale in Western Province. The selectors took the opportunity to select a couple of players that will have their opportunity to win their first caps for the country. Nompilo Thenjwayo, Shindre-Lee Simmons and Stephanie Botha all earned the right to pull on the green and gold for the first time, a proud moment for each members family.

The series will see Inky Zondi take charge of the team for the first time, along with assistant coach Lenise Marais.

South African vice captain and flagbearer at the Olympic Games, Phumelela Mbande, shared her thoughts on the squad:

“We are incredibly excited for the announcement and getting the opportunity to go and play in Ghana. We love playing games in Other African countries. This is the start of our process to the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup later in the year, so we want to get off to the perfect start!”

SA Womens Hockey Squad for the African Cup of Nations

Player

Province

Caps

Quanita Bobbs

Western Province

137

Stephanie Botha

Western Province

0

Erin Christie

Southern Gauteng

63

Bernadette Coston

Southern Gauteng

150

Lilian Du Plessis

SPAR KZN Raiders

140

Tegan Fourie

Northern Blues

8

Tarryn Glasby

Western Province

47

Robyn Johnson

Southern Gauteng

23

Lerato Mahole

SA Under 21

5

Ongeziwe Mali

Western Province

15

Marizen Marais

Northern Blues

31

Phumelela Mbande

SPAR KZN Raiders

52

Mmatshepo Modipane

Southern Gauteng

19

Kristen Paton

Southern Gauteng

38

Hannah Pearce

Southern Gauteng

16

Shindre-Lee Simmons

Free State

0

Nompilo Thenjwayo

Southern Gauteng

0

Nomnikelo Veto

Southern Gauteng

21

 

The South African Hockey Association has today announced that Nkuliso "Inky" Zondi has been appointed as the Interim Head coach of the SA Womens Hockey team. The appointment sees Zondi take charge of the team for the upcoming African Cup of Nations in Ghana, in a bid to qualify for the FIH Hockey World Cup.

Zondi has been involved with the South African National programme for a number of years already having served as an assistant to Mark Hopkins with SA Hockey Men at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the FIH Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar later that year. He had previously completed the same role at the 2016 Junior World Cup, before late being appointed as assistant coach in the womens set up with Robin van Ginkel and was part of the management team at Tokyo 2021.

Inky is the current Head Coach of the womens program at Tuks University, where the team has won 4 USSA tournaments in a row.

Speaking of the opportunity Zondi was incredibly proud:

“We have a lot to do, to achieve and to focus on. Whats important for me is to make the most of the situation we are in and the opportunity we have. I have had an incredible privilege of being involved in the national teams for the past couple of years. I am honoured to have this opportunity and I look forward to helping the team make the country proud!”

Zondi will be assisted by Lenise Marais, the current SA U21 Womens Head Coach, who will focus on her task once the Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom is hosted.

Listen to Inky’s interview with Hockey the Podcast here

South African Women’s Hockey Head Coach has stepped down from the role of head coach with immediate effect, citing personal reasons.

Robin van Ginkel was appointed to the role of head coach in 2019 following the completion of the FIH Hockey World Cup. Van Ginkel had previously served in various roles for South African Hockey including as Assistant coach to both the men and women at the 2017 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Van Ginkel had his debut in a three match series against Namibia at Randburg Astro, before taking his side to the FIH Hockey Series Final in Valencia.

The team would qualify for the Tokyo Olympics when they triumphed at the Africa Road to Tokyo event in Stellenbosch, but have to wait an additional 12 months to go after the covid pandemic caused a delay to the multisport event.

Van Ginkel ends his reign as head coach with 23 matches including the Tokyo Olympics.

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni shared her thanks for the work of Robin van Ginkel:

“The South African Hockey Association would like to thank Robin for his commitment and tireless efforts as Head Coach of the National Womens Hockey Team. His dedication to national duty has been exemplary and we would like to wish him all the best for the future and all his endeavors!”  

An announcement on the next head coach will be made in due course.

Celia Seerane, who has represented South Africa on 168 occasions in Outdoor Hockey, has today announced her retirement from the national outdoor game. Seerane who was part of the squad that took part in the Tokyo Olympic Games remains available for the indoor side, where she played 49 test matches. 

Celia, who's brother played for Bafana Bafana, made her debut for the country in 2010 just before the country hosted the FIFA World Cup. As a player who regular leads the team one bounce warm ups, this symbolic alignment couldnt be more appropriate. 

The Maritzburg High School alumni would feature for the country in all major tournaments, including the Tokyo Olympics, the 2014 Hockey World Cup and of course the Commonwealth Games. She was denied the opportunity of playing in the 2018 World Cup when she suffered a knee injury while starring at the IPT. 

Celia issued the following statement on her retirement:

"It has been an honour to represent my country. I have had amazing opportunities and I am so grateful for every single one of them. Thank you to all the coaches and SA Hockey for the tremendous support over the past decade! I look forward to supporting the team as they face the challenges in the future!"

SA Hockey CEO Marissa Langeni paid tribute to Celia

"Celia is a wonderful ambassador for our sport and importantly our country. Thank you for your dedication and the superb example you set for younsters in South Africa. We know you will always be near a hockey field, so we look forward to seeing you continue to develop future International stars!"

South Africa’s current most capped player and triple Olympian Lisa-Marie Deetlefs has today announced her retirement from International Hockey. The superb defender, who earned 271 caps for South Africa, finishes her career as the fifth highest capped player in South African Women’s hockey history.

Lisa made her debut for South Africa in 2007 against Canada at Stellenbosch and would represent the country at all major tournaments. The triple Olympian was part of the squad in 2008 at Beijing, 2012 in London and 2021 in Tokyo. She also played in three FIH World Cups and three Commonwealth Games.

Lisa was a proud ambassador for the game in South Africa and she consistently was the wall that many teams couldn’t beat whether during club hockey, PHL where she was a star for the Madikwe Rangers or for Southern Gauteng in the IPT. Her ability to read the game and her danger at penalty corner time left a fantastic memory for fans all around the country.

In announcing her retirement, Lisa shared the following statement:

“I’ve been dreading this moment for the longest time … The moment when you realise that as much as you’d like to continue, you simply just can’t. I’ve lived and breathed this beautiful sport on the international stage since 2007 and it’s now time for me to start a different chapter…

I have been privileged and honoured to have worn the SA jersey on so many occasions and at so many events. Like every sports person says, there have been many highs and many lows - but even so - I wouldn’t have changed one single thing! I can’t begin to describe how much I grew, not only as a player but more so as a person and I will be forever grateful for that!

Thank you and I will miss you!”

SA Hockey CEO paid tribute to Lisa on the news of her retirement

“Lisa is not just a wonderful hockey player; she is a wonderful person. She has been a proud ambassador for our sport and our country throughout her career. Thank you for always putting our country first and inspiring so many youngsters to play the game. Lisa will leave a massive gap that will be tough to fill! Thank you for your efforts Lisa!”

Lisa grew up with Lindsey Wright (Carlisle) as her hero, with a goal of surpassing her total of 209 career caps. There is no doubt that Lisa has now inspired many young women to follow their hearts and dreams and strive to emulate her great career!

Lisa chatted to Hockey the Podcast about her retirement, you can listen to it here https://iono.fm/e/1090083