The South Africa U21 men’s and women’s hockey teams have been named to compete in the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier tournaments in Windhoek, Namibia from March 18 to 28.
Both SA U21 men’s team head coach Garreth Ewing and SA U21 women’s head coach Patrick Tshutshani said the door was still open for players who didn’t make the 18-player cut, as the Junior World Cup re-selection awaits later next year, should the SA teams qualify through the Africa continent event.
“Congratulations to the players who have made the team, the whole squad competed hard for a place and it was a difficult decision to narrow it down to the final 18,” said Ewing.
“There are players that I believe are unlucky not to make the team and I expect them to come back strongly to challenge for a place in the Junior World Cup side.”
The SA men’s and women’s teams need to qualify for the JWC "finals" at the Windhoek event.
“I'm satisfied with the process we followed and I believe we have selected the strongest possible team at this stage,” said Ewing. “Thank you to the selection convenor and my fellow selectors for their input.”
"Earning qualification for the Junior World Cup is our next challenge, and the team will be working very hard to prepare over the next three months.
“This is a talented team and I am confident they will do the country proud,” Ewing added.
Tshutshani said he would like to thank the 36 players who attended the national U21 selection camp for this JWC Africa Qualifier tournament.
“The selection process was tough but exciting as numerous players put their hands up and challenged for a spot in the final team of 18 players,” said Tshutshani. “However the door is still open to those players who have not made the African Qualifier as there are opportunities to still make the [JWC] final team.
"I am pleased with the team chosen to represent South Africa in March in Namibia. We are still in the early phases of our preparation. The next couple of months are key to our quest in securing a spot in Namibia for the Junior World Cup.
“I would also like to thank the selection committee, the management team and Menlo Park for accommodating us during the camp,” Tshutshani added.
SA U21 TEAMS
Men: Robert McKinley, Jacques Bleekers, Ryan Julius, Matt de Sousa, Charlie Bowren, Alex Stewart, Ryan Crowe, Nqobile Ntuli (Western Province); Siya Nolutshungu, Jayson Reed (KZN Coastal); Kyle Lion-Cachet, Walter Pfaff (Southern Gauteng); Courtney Hallé, Tyson Dlungwana, Ndoduzo Lembethe, Tevin Kok, Amkelwa Letuka (KZN Inland); Khumo Mokale (Northern Blues).
Women: Alegra Dijkstra, Priscilla Esterhuyze, Tarryn Glasby (Western Province); Amy Etherington, Marguerite van Wyk, Marlise van Tonder, Natalie Esteves, Sulize de Klerk (Northern Blues); Antonette Louw, Shidre-Lee Simmonds (Free State); Carmen Smith, Cheneal Raubenheimer, Kristen Paton, Marizen Marais (Southern Gauteng); Nicky Veto, Sandy Tabata, Zimasa Dunywa (Eastern Province); Tegan Fourie (KZN Coastal).