SA hockey women ready for Germany

2009-02-02 00:00

THE South African women’s hockey team are all set to play their first Test series since the Beijing Olympics five months ago, when they face Germany in three internationals at Stellenbosch University tomorrow, Friday and Saturday.

In terms of preparation going into the series, Spar South Africa captain Marsha Marescia said yesterday she felt the home side are more or less on par with the visitors.

“Germany have eight new caps in their 22-player squad, while the rest were in Beijing,” Marescia said.

Post-Beijing, SA have also seen a number of changes for this series, with Fiona Butler and Taryn Hosking both retired and Lesley-Ann George unavailable. And of the squad to meet Germany, injury concerns surround Tarryn Bright, Vida Ryan and new cap Dirkie Chamberlain, while one of the unlucky players to miss Beijing selection, Henna du Buisson, is currently playing in France.

The Germans, ranked third in the world, finished fourth in Beijing, losing the bronze medal playoff to Argentina. South Africa, ranked number 12 — ended second-last among the dozen countries that qualified for the Olympic Games after beating New Zealand in the 11th/12th playoff match.

SA head coach Jenny King said the side were “pretty close” to where they were before Beijing in terms of readiness for the Germany series. “The training sessions have been high-intensity and while all the new caps have done well, Loreen Irvine is looking particularly exciting.”

King has a few tactical conundrums, however, the most pressing being in midfield with the unavailability of George, who has 35 Tests behind her.

“Lesley is an out-and-out midfielder, but I am going to try Loreen there. She plays in central defence at national level, but we will see how it goes.”

King was impressed with the newcomers to the SA squad — Julia Cass, Pippa Rabey, Cindy Botha, Hanli Hattingh and Irvine. “I was surprised to see that the gap between the new caps and our medium-stream players [those 30-50 caps] is not that big. Their skills and physicality is right up there.”

The coach said SA would also miss the services of experienced striker Du Buisson, who has 34 caps and 17 international goals to her credit. “Henna’s scoring ability will be missed. We will play Kathy Taylor, who is a midfielder, as the striker and she will have support from Shelley Russell.”

Spar SA Squad: Mariette Rix, Sanani Mangisa, Kate Hector, Roxanne Turner, Julia Cass, Cindy Brown, Marsha Marescia (capt), Pippa Rabey, Shelley Russell, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Kelly Madsen, Kim Hubach, Vida Ryan, Vidette Ryan, Lenise Marais, Kathleen Taylor, Farah Fredericks, Cindy Botha, Hanli Hattingh, Loreen Irvine, Tarryn Bright.

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.