Inland face star-studded Southerns

2009-08-25 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland team at the Spar Women’s Hockey Interprovincial Tournament face a tough debut on day one of the Spar Trophy A Section at the Tshwane University of Technology hockey stadium in Pretoria today.

KZN Inland tackle a Southern Gauteng team that is packed with international experience.

Player for player, the unheralded KZN Inland combination under coach Kegan Walters are on a hiding to nothing against Southerns, who have Spar South Africa captain Marsha Marescia at the helm alongside her national team-mates Lisa Deetlefs, Roxanne Turner and Julia Cass.

Coach Ryan Millela can also call on the former top striker in world hockey, Pietie Coetzee, as well as recent national players Fiona Butler, Sharne Bailey and Tsoanelo Pholo.

Spar SA national coach Jenny King told The Witness in Pretoria yesterday that this could well be Southerns’ year.

King said Coetzee, who retired at a relatively young age, is enjoying being back in the provincial set-up. Coetzee has maintained her close links with the game as the University of Johannesburg coach, and made a number of appearances as an impact player at the University Sport SA tournament in Bloemfontein.

“Pietie is still capable of scoring amazing goals and will probably be most effective in short bursts, while I think we might see her in more of a midfield role than as an out-and-out striker,” said King.

The Inland squad is young and includes promising St Anne’s and KZN Inland U18 striker Rachel Froneman, yet there are a host of players with Spar IPT experience, including Michelle Henwood, Kara Stella, Taryn Miskey, Sade Simons, Annie Smith and Sian Eustice, so a tournament of this stature is not something with which they are unfamiliar.

However, without an Intercity League between the leading clubs in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the modest nature of KZN Inland Premier League hockey matches does not easily lend itself to PMB Collegians and PMB Varsity players facing tried and tested international players with confidence a week or two later.

RESULTS

B Section President’s Cup: Mpumalanga 3 Free State 0; Border 2 Northern Cape 1; Boland 1 SA Country Districts 1; Northerns B 1 Southern Cape 0.

FIXTURES:

A Section Spar Trophy: WP vs Wits (12.20 pm); North West vs WP Peninsula (2 pm); Southern Gauteng vs KZN Inland (3.40 pm); KZN Coastal Raiders vs Northern Gauteng (5.20 pm).

B Section President’s Cup: EP vs SACD (9 am); S Cape vs Boland (Tukkies 9 am); Namibia vs Free State (10.40 am); N Cape vs Mpumalanga (Tuks 10.40 am).

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