SA men quietly confident on eve of Czech clash

2012-04-28 00:00

WHILE there is a quiet confidence in the camp, the South Africa men’s hockey team know they can improve on the performance that saw them beat Brazil 11-1 in the Olympic Qualifier Tournament at Gifu Green Stadium on Thursday.

Captain Austin Smith’s men tackle Czech Republic today and the team is sure to come out firing from the first whistle.

SA started a little slowly against Brazil and once the players began finding each other they looked a slick outfit.

Rhett Halkett at outside half distributed well, is a solid defender who can play in the centre, and has the ability to hit the ball at pace over 70 metres.

Ian Haley is respected as a quality finisher with great body position in the strike zone, scores plenty at the far post and is invaluable in the drop centre forward role. He is the ideal man to target, get the ball to, hold the ball up and make plays off.

And in the midfield is Jonty Robinson who turns on the ball well, is strong on the ball, distributes well, has good vision and can play anywhere across the middle of the park.

These are but three of what head coach Gregg Clark describes as South Africa’s golden generation and gold is all they are interested in winning here in Japan.

The Czechs were outplayed 6-0 by co-favourites Japan on Thursday, so they will be looking for a much bigger performance today.

But Smith’s men are determined to join Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan and Argentina in Group A at London 2012.


Goalkeepers: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Michael Smith (Witwatersrand). Defenders: Andrew Cronje (Western Province), Justin Reid-Ross (Northern Blues), Lance Louw (SG), Lloyd Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders), Rhett Halkett (NB). Midfielders: Jonty Robinson (NB), Clinton Panther (SG), Austin Smith (capt, WP), Tim Drummond (KCR), Wade Paton (KCR), Taine Paton (KCR). Strikers: Ian Haley (WP), Marvin Harper (KCR), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP), Julian Hykes (Amathole-Border), Thornton

McDade (SG).

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.