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  • Late penalty stroke from Mark Knowles gives Kookaburras victory over impressive France
  • New Zealand’s Black Sticks & Belgium’s Red Lions end the day at top of pools
  • Race for Hockey World League Final and Hockey World Cup 2018 continues

Johannesburg, South Africa: Reigning men’s World Cup and Hockey World League title holders Australia were given a real scare by qualifiers France on Day 4 of the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, currently being played at the University of the Witwatersrand. 

The day’s play began and ended in Pool B, with Germany (FIH Hero World Ranking: 3) taking a 5-0 win over Egypt (WR: 19) before Belgium (WR: 9) defeated Ireland (WR: 5) 6-2 to claim their second win of the competition and move clear at the top of the standings.

Germany were slow starters against an Egypt side that showed significant improvement from their 10-0 loss to Belgium on the opening day of the men’s competition. Egypt kept the Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallists off the score-sheet until the 23rd minute, when Marco Miltkau netted before a Tom Grambusch penalty corner took the score to 2-0 ahead of half time. Dieter Linnekogel, Jonas Gomoll and Timm Herzbruch all contributed as Die Honamas emerged comfortable 5-0 winners. 

“The first half was not very good for us, especially in our structure but in the second half we took our chances so 5-0 is a good result for us”, said Germany goal-scorer Timm Herzbruch before answering a question about his blistering strike that flew into the top left corner. “It was a really good hit, on the volley. I hope in the next game I can also score.”

Belgium’s Red Lions were in imperious form against the Green Machine of Ireland in the day’s final match, with Tom Boon producing a penalty corner masterclass. Ireland took the lead in a closely contested first quarter through Stephen Cole, but second quarter strikes from Simon Gougnard, Cedric Charlier and the first of three penalty corner drag-flicks from Boon gave Belgium a 3-1 lead at half time. A penalty stroke from Loick Luypaert and another two high quality Boon penalty corners took the score to 6-1 before a fine backhand strike from Ireland’s Alan Southern completed the scoring.

“It has been a while since I scored a hat-trick but the corners were working well today”, said Tom Boon after the match. “Ireland are a very good team but when we play like that we have enough in the locker to beat most teams.”

Two Pool A matches took place in between the Pool B fixtures that bookended the day’s play, with World champions Australia (WR: 2) and New Zealand’s Black Sticks (WR: 8) claiming wins against France (WR: 17) and Japan (WR: 16) respectively.

France were outstanding against the illustrious Australians, storming into a 2-0 lead before succumbing to a 3-2 loss. Both of France’s goals came in the first quarter, with Victor Charlet’s blistering penalty corner being doubled by a superb break-away goal finished off by Pieter van Straaten’s fierce slap-shot from the top of the circle. The Kookaburras were rocked, but retained their composure to reduce the arrears through Jake Whetton, who scored from close range in the second quarter.

France’s defence seemed almost uncrackable at times, but eventually Australia levelled when Josh Pollard smashed home a backhand strike from a tight angle with nine minutes to go. Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles scored the winner from the penalty spot two minutes later, although his team had to survive a last gasp penalty corner in order to claim all three points in their opening match of the competition.

“It was a very tough game, there are no easy games”, said Australia Head Coach Colin Batch. “We thought we prepared well for the game against France. We were a bit slow to start, they took advantage of us having too many players forward and they were very good on the defensive.”

New Zealand - who play Australia on Saturday in the Oceania derby match - proved too strong for Japan, winning 3-1 to move top of Pool B. The Black Sticks scored twice in the second quarter against the Samurais, with Jared Panchia and Nic Woods on target. Despite some excellent counter-attacking work from Japan, New Zealand were well worth their lead and added a third thanks to a powerful Stephen Jenness in the third quarter before Hirotaka Zendana scored a consolation goal for Japan. 

"It was a good performance and was nice to get on the board with a penalty corner rebound”, said Jared Panchia post-match. “It is a bit disappointing to concede the late goal, but we played well. We play Australia next and those matches are always a bit special, so we’ll try and make the most of the rest days ahead of that match.”

Wednesday will feature the third day of action in the women’s competition, with eight teams continuing their drive to secure a place in the tournament quarter-finals. India and Chile currently occupy the bottom two positions in Pool B and take to the field at 1200 (South Africa Standard Time / UTC +2), each knowing that a win would boost their chances of reaching the last eight.  At 1400, Pool A opponents Ireland and Poland will contest for their first wins of the competition before Japan and England go head-to-head at 1600. Home favourites South Africa play Argentina at 1800, with the host nation looking to build on their opening day draw with India by claiming victory against one of the world’s best hockey teams.

We will be providing full coverage of the event via www.fih.ch including reports, news stories, event imagery and much more. There will also be comprehensive coverage of the event via our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #HWL2017 hashtag. For information about the broadcasters covering this event, click here

Event website: click here.
Match schedule: click here.
Hashtag: #HWL2017

Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Johannesburg, South Africa

Results - Men
Pool B: Germany 5, Egypt 0.
Pool A: Australia 3, France 2.
Pool A: New Zealand 3, Japan 1.
Pool B: Belgium 6, Ireland 2.


ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Event Media Contact:
Richard Stainthorpe
FIH Media Operations Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+44 7733 322 910

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE
10 teams will take part in each Semi-Final. They are comprised of the hosts plus five teams who qualify based on their FIH Hero World Ranking and four teams qualified through Hockey World League Round 2 events. In total, 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams will be taking part in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

MEN’S SEMI-FINALS
Men’s Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final, London 2017 (England, 15-25 June 2017):
Event website

Men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 9-23 July 2017)
Pool A: Australia, New Zealand; Spain; Japan; France.
Pool B: Germany; Belgium South Africa; Ireland; Egypt.
Tickets here

WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS
Women’s FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final, Brussels 2017 (Belgium, 21 June – 2 July 2017)
Event website

Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 8-23 July 2017)
Pool A: England; Germany; Japan; Ireland; Poland.
Pool B: Argentina; USA; South Africa; India; Chile.
Tickets here

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE FINALS
Qualification information here
Women’s Hockey World League Final, Auckland 2017 (New Zealand 17-25 November)
Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final, Bhubaneswar 2017 (India 1-10 December)

HOCKEY WORLD CUPS 2018
Qualification information
Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 (England, 21 July - 5 August)
Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 (India, 28 November- 16 December 2018)

About the International Hockey Federation (FIH)
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is the world governing body for the sport of hockey, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1924, FIH today has 137 member National Associations. For more information on the Hockey Revolution, visit: fih.ch/inside-fih/our-strategy

 

 

 

  • Germany edge past Poland while Japan and Ireland draw in Pool A
  • USA overcome Chile in Pool B, moving clear of South Africa & India who draw
  • Race for Hockey World League Final and Hockey World Cup 2018 resumes

Johannesburg, South Africa: Germany and USA both claimed victories on the opening day of the Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, making a solid start to their respective pool campaigns in the race to secure World Cup qualification.

The day’s action began in Pool A, where Ireland’s Green Army (FIH Hero World Ranking: 15) produced a high quality display against Japan’s Cherry Blossoms (WR: 11), drawing 1-1 with their higher ranked opponents. The two sides were evenly matched throughout, although it was the Europeans who struck the first blow when Roisin Upton’s penalty corner drag flick rattled the Japanese backboard just before the end of the third quarter. A penalty corner from Shihori Oikawa levelled the scores with nine minutes remaining, ensuring that the points were shared.

“It was an end to end game of hockey and either team could have gone away with all three points,” said Ireland captain Kate Mullan immediately after the game. “From that perspective it would have been nice to take all three points but when you step back and take a look at the rankings it was a good point to get.”

As with the opening game of the competition, Rio 2016 bronze medallists Germany (WR: 7) also waited until the third quarter in their Pool A match against Poland (WR: 18) before breaking the deadlock, with Elisa Gräve forcing home from close range seconds after Camile Nobis hit the frame of the Poland goal. It proved to be the only goal of a game that, in terms of goal-scoring chances, was dominated by Die Danas. However, scoring only one goal proved to be a point of frustration for Germany’s Franzisca Hauke.

“Poland defended really well, it was hard for us”, said Hauke post-match. “‘I’m happy we won, but it wasn’t our best match. We had a lot of chances so we should have scored more goals, but they also had chances so it was a lucky win, I think. We have a lot to improve, but hopefully on Monday we will produce a better performance against Ireland.”

In Pool B, Pan-American rivals USA (WR: 6) and Chile (WR: 20) played out an absorbing contest in which the Americans emerged narrow winners with a 1-0 score-line. Jill Witmer celebrated her 100th senior international appearance with the only goal of the game, although Chile gave a superb showing of themselves and look more than capable of challenging all of their opponents in this pool. “Chile have hugely improved, they were a real threat today”, said USA’s Michelle Vittese after the contest. “I’m pleased to get through it and start the competition with a victory.”

Host nation South Africa (WR: 13) and India (WR: 12) were in action in the final match of the day, with a large contingent of home fans enjoying an entertaining contest despite the scores finishing locked together at 0-0. South Africa arguably had the better of the chances and even had a goal ruled out by the video umpire, but India’s Eves were excellent in defence and deserved their share of the spoils. Although she could not celebrate a win, the experience of the contest left an impression Shelley Jones (formerly Russell). “It was absolutely fantastic to play in front of the home crowd tonight. There was huge roar every time we went forward, which was amazing. It is a good point for us but we want to get as many as we can in the pool phase.”

The action continues on Sunday (9th July) with the start of the men’s competition. In Pool A, New Zealand’s Black Sticks get their competition up and running when they take on Round 2 qualifiers France at 1200 South African Standard Time (UTC +2) before Spain and Japan take to the field at 1400. The Pool B matches begin at 1600 when Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallists Belgium take on Egypt before host nation South Africa play Ireland’s Green Machine at 1800.

We will be providing full coverage of the event via www.fih.ch including reports, news stories, event imagery and much more. There will also be comprehensive coverage of the event via our social media channels, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the #HWL2017 hashtag. For information about the broadcasters covering this event, click here.

Event website: click here.
Match schedule: click here.
Hashtag: #HWL2017

Hockey World League Semi-Finals - Johannesburg, South Africa

Results - Women
Pool A:Japan 1, Ireland 1.
Pool A: Germany 1, Poland 0.
Pool B: USA 1, Chile 0
Pool B: South Africa 0, India 0

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

Event Media Contact:
Richard Stainthorpe
FIH Media Operations Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
+44 7733 322 910

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE
10 teams will take part in each Semi-Final. They are comprised of the hosts plus five teams who qualify based on their FIH Hero World Ranking and four teams qualified through Hockey World League Round 2 events. In total, 20 men’s and 20 women’s teams will be taking part in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.

MEN’S SEMI-FINALS
 Men’s Hero Hockey World League Semi-Final, London 2017 (England, 15-25 June 2017):
Event website

Men’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 9-23 July 2017)
Pool A: Australia, New Zealand; Spain; Japan; France.
Pool B: Germany; Belgium South Africa; Ireland; Egypt.
Tickets here

WOMEN’S SEMI-FINALS
Women’s FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final, Brussels 2017 (Belgium, 21 June – 2 July 2017)
Event website

Women’s Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johannesburg 2017 (South Africa, 8-23 July 2017)
Pool A: England; Germany; Japan; Ireland; Poland.
Pool B: Argentina; USA; South Africa; India; Chile.
Tickets here

HOCKEY WORLD LEAGUE FINALS
Qualification information here
Women’s Hockey World League Final, Auckland 2017 (New Zealand 17-25 November)
Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final, Bhubaneswar 2017 (India 1-10 December)

HOCKEY WORLD CUPS 2018
Qualification information
Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 (England, 21 July - 5 August)
Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 (India, 28 November- 16 December 2018)

About the International Hockey Federation (FIH)
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is the world governing body for the sport of hockey, recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Founded in 1924, FIH today has 137 member National Associations. For more information on the Hockey Revolution, visit: fih.ch/inside-fih/our-strategy

The South African national men’s team lost its first match of the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals on Sunday evening when Ireland beat the host 2-0.

Ireland has lost only one match in 2017 thus far and even though it was a close game all around, the visitors looked very sharp and in control most of the time.

The halftime score was 1-0 to Ireland after a goal by Matthew Nelson in the ninth minute. South Africa ended the second chukka with a flurry of opportunities. In the minutes leading up to halftime the home team got three penalty corners and came very close to scoring, but the Irish goalkeeper David Harte showed why he is known as one of the best keepers in the world.

Shane O’Donoghue scored the second goal for Ireland from a penalty corner. This was probably the big difference on the day: Ireland scored a goal from its three corners, while the South Africans could not convert any of their five penalty corners.

Captain Tim Drummond afterwards said that the team will keep on working to improve all aspects of the game. “It was a tough day, but we did create chances and we can take positives from the match. We pride ourselves on our penalty corners, we do have a really strong battery and we will work on it as always. Our defence is also crucial. It is important to build confidence and keep on improving.”

Drummond added: “We would like to thank the fans for coming out. It really does make a difference and we hope to see them again.”

South Africa conceded some 50 turnovers and Ireland 45. Circle penetrations were also very similar with 25 to 27. South Africa had 51% of the possession.

Ireland, coached by former South Africa national player and last year’s FIH coach of the year Craig Fulton, is ninth on the world rankings and South Africa 15th.

South Africa’s next match is on Thursday against Germany at 18:00. The men are in the same group as Ireland, Germany, Egypt and Belgium.

Saturday the South African women’s team drew 0-0 with India. South Africa is in the same group as Argentina, USA, India and Chile. The SA women’s next game is on Wednesday against Argentina at 18:00.

All matches in the Hockey World League Semi-Final are played at the Wits Hockey Astro in Johannesburg. Twenty of the world’s best men and women’s national teams will take part in these Hockey World Cup 2018 qualifiers from 8 - 23 July.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online at http://hockeyworldleague.nutickets.co.za/HWL

All matches are broadcasted live on SuperSport. 

Be sure to follow the teams on Twitter at @SA_Hockey_Men and @sawomenshockey

It’s a revolution, and you’re invited!

FIH and SA Hockey are hosting the Hockey World League Semi-Finals 2017 at WITS

HOCKEY CLUB - 8th to 23rd July 2017

  • Early bird tickets available to hockey schools and clubs
  • 20 of the world’s best hockey teams on show

Johannesburg, South Africa: SA Hockey is in the position to offer you, the hockey playing schools, an early bird offer to bring your kids, staff and parents to watch the very best that world hockey has to offer.

Our national men’s and women’s players will have the opportunity to test themselves against the very best in the world of hockey, on home soil. With FIH Hero World Ranking points on offer, it becomes a pivotal event on the hockey calendar for teams wanting to qualify for the 2018 Hockey World Cups and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 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. With 16 days of non-stop world-class hockey, there’s a number of hugely exciting matches for fans to take in.

In the women’s tournament:

Pool A: England, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Poland.

Pool B: Argentina, USA, South Africa, India, Chile.

In the men’s tournament:

Pool A: Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Japan, France.

Pool B: Germany, Belgium, South Africa, Ireland, Egypt.

We need the support of the schools and the hockey community to make this event BIG, BOLD, PACKED & LOUD. Apart from top quality hockey being played, the event promises a wide range of entertainment for all ages. Artisanal food, beer gardens for the parents, retail therapy for those that need it, live music, meet the players AND entertainment for the kids, we want to host an event that is fan-focused, youthcentric, fresh and an all round fantastic experience.

We will soon be announcing a South African first in the provision of food and beverage services at a sporting event for all 16 days of The Hockey World League Semi-Finals. Say goodbye to the standard chips and boerewors rolls and hello to artisan food stalls and home style dishes. The hardest decision you will face is “Coffee to the right?” or “Hockey to the left?”

Being held at The Wits Education Campus in Parktown, this venue offers spectators free secure parking.

As part of the hockey family, we are offering exclusive school group bookings to schools who wish to make group bookings for their students and broader community. This exclusive offer will allow schools to make group bookings and retain 10% of the total booking fee.

Space is limited! For any queries or to confirm your booking please contact Jamie Chisholm (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by the 15th of June 2017.

General Tickets

Adults Students/Scholars

Weekend R75 R50

Week day R50 R30

Finals and Semi Finals

(20th/21st/23rd July)

R100 R50

Tournament Tickets

(Only 500 available)

R425 (This covers all matches)

*Prices include VAT

Ticket information for the public will be announced on FIH.ch on the 4th June 2017 and will go on sale on the 5th June 2017.

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 and SA Hockey via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

It’s a revolution, and you’re invited!

#HWL2017

#SAHockeyRevolution

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

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