Hockey: Building up for World Cup

2012-09-10 00:00

THE South Africa women’s hockey team start their next 22-month cycle and build-up to the 2014 Hockey World Cup in the Hague with the Champions Challenge event in Dublin from September 25 to October 7.

“In line with this 22-month performance strategy is the continuing policy of exposing players to international-level events,” said Investec South Africa head coach Giles Bonnet on Saturday.

In this light, there will be six new players included at the Champions Challenge who were not at the London 2012 Olympic Games last month.

Two of these players have not been capped for South Africa before. Four exciting Junior World Cup players join the team — Izelle Lategan, Tanya Britz and new caps Lillian du Plessis and Quanita Bobbs.

All have been selected to gain valuable experience at Champs Challenge prior to their JWC Africa Qualifier Tournament that takes place from October 13 to 20 in Randburg.

Jade Mayne and Kelly Madsen, both of whom performed strongly at the SA Women’s Interprovincial Tournament at Randburg two weeks ago and who narrowly missed out on London 2012, will be back to build on their IPT form at Champs Challenge in Dublin.

“The key learnings from London will be a major focus at this event in Dublin,” said the Amsterdam-based Bonnet. “The coaching staff wish to continue to build on the high-pressure game that they initiated in London and at the same time improve the speed and direct counter- possibilities this style of play brings.

“After the Challenge, a new squad of players will be identified who will be invited for the different events scheduled in the intense hockey period from December 2012 to February 2013,” he added.

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