SA women take on Germany

2009-01-29 00:00

THE Spar South African women’s hockey team are to play their first Test series since returning from an unsuccessful campaign at the Beijing Olympics.

SA, who are coached by Stellenbosch’s Jenny King, will meet Germany in three Tests at Stellenbosch University on February 4, 6 and 7.

Captain Marsha Marescia’s South Africans did not play Germany in Beijing, but finished with disappointing results after losing all five of their pool matches. The Germans, who were defending Olympic champions in China, had a better time and lost to the hosts in the semi-finals. The Europeans were then beaten by Argentina in the bronze medal playoff to finish fourth.

Germany are ranked third in the world with SA now just outside the top 10.

Five newcomers — Julia Cass, Pippa Rabey, Cindy Botha, Hanli Hattingh and Loreen Irvine — have been added to the SA team.

The Spar SA squad have been preparing for the series in Stellenbosch and Marescia is enthusiastic about what the new players bring to the team. “Our training sessions have been high intensity and you can see the new players are desperate to play for South Africa,” she said yesterday.

Marescia is also excited about the appointment of former national captain Lindsey Wright (formerly Carlisle) as assistant coach to King. “Lindsey brings a wealth of experience,” said Marescia of the most capped (209 Tests) women’s player in SA history. “It is also nice because Jenny and Lindsey have worked together before at the 2005 Junior World Cup [in Chile].”

Marescia, who is fast catching Carlisle with 178 internationals under her cap, will be relying on the experience of Kate Hector (131 Tests) and Tarryn Bright, who will earn her 100th cap against Germany.

Spar SA Squad: Mariette Rix, Sanani Mangisa, Kate Hector, Roxanne Turner, Julia Cass, Cindy Brown, Marsha Marescia (captain), Pippa Rabey, Shelley Russell, Dirkie Chamberlain, Lisa Deetlefs, Kelly Madsen, Kim Hubach, Vida Ryan, Vidette Ryan, Lenise Marais, Kathleen Taylor, Farah Fredericks, Cindy Botha, Hanli Hattingh, Loreen Irvine, Tarryn Bright.

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