Injured Inland hockey captain misses SA selection

2012-09-18 00:00

BUT for injury, Epworth and KZN Inland U18 hockey captain Heather McEwan might well have found herself competing in the green and gold against the continent’s best in the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier Tournament at Randburg Hockey Stadium next month.

South Africa U21 team manager Charmaine Koekemoer, the director of sport at Voortrekker, said McEwan was not considered for selection due to injury, but was still firmly in the reckoning to represent her country at the 2013 Junior World Cup finals.

Favourites SA will be at the world event should they win the October 13 to 20 Africa Qualifier. In that happens, the SA team for the JWC finals will be announced after the national U21 interprovincial tournament next year

Two recent KZN Inland schoolgirls who are in the SA team for the Africa qualifier are Western Province’s Taryn Mallett (ex-St Anne’s) and Northern Blues’ Phumelela Mbande (ex-Carter), while former KZN Coastal schoolgirl Jacinta Jubb, now also at Northern Blues, was at Durban Girls’ College.

A reserve for the event in Randburg is Hlubikazi Sipamla of Northern Blues, who was at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School. Sipamla is still in the mix for next year’s JWC finals.

Maritzburg College has no fewer than five recent old boys in the SA U21 team for the simultaneous JWC Africa Qualifier Tournament at Randburg, those being Brad Logan (Western Province), Andrew Manson (KZN Coastal), and Rene de la Peyre, Grant Glutz and Matthew Guise-Brown (all Northern Blues) with another former member of the red, black and whites’ first team, Marc Fourie, a reserve.

Former College boys in head coach Darryn Gallagher and physio Grant Oliver are key components of the team management.

London 2012 Olympian Clint Panther of Southern Gauteng is the Michaelhouse product in the SA U21 team, while others in the line-up with a KZN school connection are Western Province’s Grant Robertson and KZN Coastal’s Richard Curtis, both of whom learnt their hockey at Durban High School, while KZN Coastal dynamo Mohamed Mea (ex-Westville) adds to the KwaZulu-Natal connection in the national team.

And to top it all, the captain of the national U21 team is Maritzburg Varsity’s Robin Jones, who is joined by campus team-mate Damian Kimfley.

KZN Inland remains a fertile nursery for the country’s national hockey teams.

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