A festival promising exciting hockey

2014-09-09 00:00

ENTRIES have opened for the 12th annual Cape Town U18 Schools/Clubs Hockey Festival for boys’ and girls’ first teams taking place from July 21 to 26 next year — and judging from glowing endorsements this year, it promises high rewards.

Former England and UK international Matt Daly, manager of London’s Kingston Grammar School boys’ side this year, was impressed with the event’s standard.

“The quality of play; athleticism of the boys and girls; youth of some of the players, it’s a great event in every respect,” he said, a member of the Great Britain team that ended fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The highly-regarded Paul Roos Gim boys’ first team coach Neville Rothman gave high praise to the tournament. “The organisation is world class,” Rothman, also the head coach of the SA U18 team, said.

The 2014 tournament saw 44 teams participating comprising 22 boys’ teams and 22 girls’ teams in 144 full-length matches over six days.

“The international schools tournament offers South African boys and girls the opportunity to experience different styles of hockey; the festival is a great refresher after the July holidays and something we always look forward to,” Rothman said.

Former England and Great Britain goalkeeper Nick Brothers, who played a key role in this year, was impressed with the outstanding individual players in the South African schools.

Alexandra High School, Pietermaritzburg, product Reggie Keates coached a dominant Millfield school from England to the girls’ title with South Africa’s 14th-ranked Stellenberg the runners-up and SA’s fifth-ranked Eastern Cape school Pearson winning bronze.

In the boys’ event, Rondebosch shaded SA College School (SACS) to the gold for back-to-back titles. Paul Roos, ranked third on www.saschoolsports.co.za behind Maritzburg College and Westville, beat Wynberg in the bronze medal clash, to add to their silver medals in the previous two years.

Several top international and local entries have already confirmed for 2015. These include a host of school teams, especially from England, while age-group club sides from top world hockey countries Australia and The Netherlands have also expressed strong interest.

For more information, go to www.capetownhockeyfestival.com or contact Jeffrey Parker at jeffrey@teamsports.co.za or 021 525 2542 and 079 899 5585.

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