Hockey: Selection brings relief

2008-06-13 00:00

After the hullabaloo over the SA men’s hockey team’s selection, it is noticeable how many of them and their women counterparts spent high school in KZN.

Including the three unfortunate ones who just missed out and are non-travelling reserves, fully a quarter of those going to Beijing’s Olympic Games are in that category.

Darryn Gallagher, Tommy Hammond, Geoff Abbott and Marvin Harper completed their secondary education at Maritzburg College. Sanani Mangisa was at Epworth while Kate Hector (Durban Girls’ College), Lenise Marais (New Forest) and Marsha Marescia (Northland Girls’) were the distance of the Comrades Marathon down the road.

Non-travelling reserves Ben Mbana, Gareth Carr and Shanyl Balwanth were at Hilton, Maritzburg College and Glenwood, while SA Hockey Association (Saha) president Dave Carr went to Estcourt.

After the teams were announced at lunchtime on Thursday, the relief of three of the players (the Spar SA women are in Dublin) was palpable.

Saha president Carr, too, sounded like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders although he was dealing admirably with the disappointment that his son had just missed out (again) on representing his country at a world event.

The younger Carr has now been a non-travelling reserve for the 2006 World Cup and Commonwealth Games, and now the Beijing Olympics.

“Now everyone knows where they are,” Dave Carr said. “Only 16 can go and I believe the selectors have done their homework over the last two years.

“It is now up to those in the side to focus on the job at hand while those non-travelling reserves are reminded to keep fit as they may also be called up in the manner that the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie, were for the Rugby World Cup last year.” Indeed, both came into the Springbok team during the event itself.

Gallagher (age 31, 80 Tests), Hammond (23, 30 Tests) and Abbott (23, 27 Tests) variously described the hours up to the team’s announcement as “stomach-churning, couldn’t keep still”, “waiting was the hardest part”, “nerve-wracking, kept pressing my computer’s ‘send and receive’” before they got the message from coach Gregg Clark.

All three were with the SA team in Beijing last month. Their descriptions of the city ran from “awesome, very neat, flower beds everywhere” to “smog not so bad, people everywhere” and “Beijing never sleeps, it’s non-stop 24 hours”.

It’s now 57 days to the tournament and preparations have moved into top gear.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.