Seven PMB playersnamed for SA teams

2010-01-19 00:00

HOCKEY schools in the KwaZulu-Natal capital deserve a hearty pat on the back after no fewer than se­ven players plus a coach were named for the SA Under-17 girls’ and boys’ teams to take part in the inaugural Youth Olympics Africa qualifiers, which are to be held in East London next month.

The SA U17 girls’ youth team members from Pietermaritzburg are defenders Hlubikazi Sipamla and Sinethemba Zungu (both GHS), plus goalkeepers Phumelela Mbande (Carter) and Zimisele Shange (GHS).

Clearly, little is going to get past the KZN Inland Schools’ defence at the U18 interprovincial tournament this year!

Players from KZN Coastal in the SA U17 girls’ side are defenders Kirsty Gibbings and Toni van Niekerk, who are at St Mary’s and Kloof respectively, and prolific striker Jacinta Jubb of Durban Girls’ College.

The SA U17 boys’ youth team includes three Maritzburg College players in the attack-minded Nicholas Berichon and Grant Glutz, plus goalkeeper Nhlakanipho Ngubane.

Michaelhouse hockey master Alan Redfern is assistant coach.

The SA U17 girls’ team management was not available.

And the KZN connection doesn’t end there, as the SA U17 boys’ squad head coach is Brendon Carolan of Glenwood. He is joined by two KZN Coastal players, David Bayne of DHS and Glenwood’s Sumanth Sunkari.

Even if they qualify, the SA U17 boys’ and girls’ teams are not guaranteed to go to the inaugural Youth Olympics, which takes place later this year, as two other team sports — believed to be soccer and possibly basketball — may be given preference by the SA Sports Congress and Olympic Committee, should they cross the Africa hurdle in the first place.

Countries taking part in the Youth Olympics Africa Qualifiers in East London from February 21 to 28 are South Africa, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Namibia in the boys’ hockey tournament, while South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Namibia and Botswana will compete in the girls’ event.

SA U17 YOUTH HOCKEY TEAMS

Girls: Phumelele Mbande (KZN Inland and Carter), Zimisele Shange, Sinethemba Zungu (both KZN Inland and GHS), Bronwyn Kretzman (Border), Kirsty Gibbings (KZN Coastal and St Mary’s), Keisha Arnolds (EP), Toni van Niekerk (KZN Coastal and Kloof), Hlubikazi Sipamla (KZN Inland and GHS), Jenna-Leigh du Preez (Southern Gauteng), Sarah Ive (Border), Charne van Biljon (Northern Gauteng), Stephanie Baxter (SG), Jacinta Jubb (KZN Coastals and Durban Girls’ College), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Tiffany Jones (Border), Marlene Wessels (Mpumalanga).

Boys: Hendri Kroukamp (Southern Free State), Robin Blampied (WP), Michael Watson (WP), Nicholas Berichon (Maritzburg College and KZN Inland), Michael Mulder (WP), Sumanth Sunkari (Glenwood and KZN Coastal), Ross Gonsalves (SG), Grant Glutz (Maritzburg College and KZN Inland), Ignatius Malgraff (Border), Curtis Samboer (EP), Chad Cairncross (EP), Dane Samboer (EP), Louis Mbuyu (WP), Nhlakanipho Ngubane (Maritzburg College and KZN Inland), David Bayne (DHS and KZN Coastal), Brad Hensberg (Border).

Boys’ team management: Brendon Carolan (Glenwood, head coach), Alan Redfern (Michaelhouse, assistant coach), Mark Jenneker (mana­ger), Krineshan Moodley (video analyst).

• Four non-travelling reserves have been selected and will be invited to attend a High Performance Camp, prior to the qualifier.

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