SA hockey trio have PMB links

2012-11-09 00:00

THE South Africa men’s hockey team — to take part in the Champions Challenge tournament from November 24 until December 2, in Quilmes, just outside Buenos Aires in Argentina — were named yesterday. Three of the four new caps have Pietermaritzburg links.

Four players in the SA U21 team, who won the Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier last month — who are Merchiston and Maritzburg College product Matthew Guise-Brown, Cordwalles and Maritzburg College old boy Grant Glutz, PMB Varsity’s Robin Jones and Ignatius Malgraf — are the new caps.

“Matthew is a tough defender, who has worked hard on his conditioning, his agility and mobility,” said his former Maritzburg College coach and current SA convenor of selectors Mike Bechet, a teacher at the school.

Bechet said Guise-Brown had an outstanding interprovincial tournament (IPT). His ability in the left-hand corner of the field, to get out of the press by throwing big aerial balls, is what an international defender needs.

“As a schoolboy, Matthew was extremely focused and trained very hard. His drag-flick ability at penalty corners netted him 55 goals in 50 first team matches.”

Bechet said Glutz, a striker, scored 97 goals from field play and set-pieces in 67 matches for College firsts. “He has an incredible work ethic, was outstanding at IPT, and is an excellent finisher, who is not scared to pull the trigger from anywhere. As a striker, his defensive qualities are excellent,” said Bechet.

Jones, the SA U21 captain, had a very good IPT, said Bechet. “He manages his defenders well and shows calmness under pressure.”

Four capped players with local links are Tim Drummond (ex-Hilton College), Taine Paton (ex-Maritzburg College), Clinton Panther (ex-Michaelhouse) and Lloyd Madsen (ex-Kearsney College).

SA head coach Gregg Clark said those who did duty at the Olympics in London three months ago, and were not selected for Argentina, were still in the picture. For various reasons some were not available. “We also want to look at new players as we enter a new Olympic cycle.”

Clark said the tournament format would help ease SA into the event.

The SA men face Japan on November 24, Argentina on November 25 and Ireland on November 27, before the quarterfinals on November 29, which are followed by the semifinals and crosspool playoffs on December 1. The medal and classification matches are on December 2.

The team leave on November 18.

SA TEAM

Austin Smith (captain), Lloyd Norris-Jones, Jacques le Roux (all Western Province); Michael Smith, Ricky West, Clinton Panther, Owen Mvimbi, Miguel da Graca (all Southern Gauteng); Rhett Halkett, Matthew Guise-Brown, Jonty Robinson, Nicholas Gonsalves, Grant Glutz (all Northern Blues); Lloyd Madsen, Tim Drummond, Taine Paton (all KZN Coastal Raiders); Robin Jones (KZN Inland); and Ignatius Malgraff (North West).

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