Marsha Marescia chosen for All Stars

2007-11-29 00:00

Marescia only arrived back in SA yesterday, having just completed a two-week training camp in Holland with her Spar SA team-mates.

The midfielder who matriculated at Northlands Girls High School in Durban and now plays out of Johannesburg for the Southern Gauteng provincial team, said she draws much of her inspiration from her mother — a fine player in the apartheid era who captained the Sacos team, and Gill Montague, the first player of colour to represent the country post-isolation.

Only 24 and yet having already played 148 Test matches for SA, Marescia said the national team learnt a lot from the Dutch coaches who have been guiding them over the past fortnight.

“They can teach so much as far as the different styles of play are concerned, it’s a huge learning curve, while as an individual you realise just how much work there is to do to improve you own play.”

As far as her own hockey is concerned, Marescia says she can still improve her attacking play, her running — and the ability to convert goalscoring opportunities.

She says the 12th-ranked Spar SA team is on track for the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, although there remains a distinct gap between the top four sides in the world and those in fifth-to-12th places.

Marescia believes that increasing the depth in the South African national teams needs attention.

“For example, the Netherlands have got lots of depth and a host of very good players, and the gap in ability between their age-group sides, from the U21 squad to the senior team, is quite narrow whereas in South Africa we still have to work hard in closing that divide.”

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