Hockey talent takes to the field

2019-07-25 06:01
Sidne Adams (front) and Cate Cook will be in action for Woodridge in the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge provincial finals at Collegiate this weekend.             Photo:FULL STOP COMMUNICATIONS

Sidne Adams (front) and Cate Cook will be in action for Woodridge in the SPAR Eastern Cape Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge provincial finals at Collegiate this weekend. Photo:FULL STOP COMMUNICATIONS

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THE cream of young talent in the Eastern Cape will be on display when the SPAR EC Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge provincial finals take place at Collegiate in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and Sunday.

Following registration at 14:30 on Saturday, the five regional winners will meet in round-robin matches, culminating in the provincial decider at 11:35 on Sunday morning.

The teams who will be competing are Woodridge (PE Coastal), York (South Western Districts), DSG (PE North), Queenstown Girls’ High (East London Inland) and Clarendon (EL Coastal).

Having won the PE Coastal tournament with a tense victory over Collegiate, Woodridge coach Maxime Bird said they were expecting a tough competition but were looking forward to the opportunity.

“As the teams are all regional winners it will be really strong,” she said. “But we know that there is always a good vibe at these finals and it’s a great chance for the players to reconnect with their friends from other regions.

“We understand the competition will be intense, but we are going there to play the game we love. Someone has to win and someone has to lose, so we just want to go out to play and to enjoy.”

Bird added that instead of placing emphasis on individual players, their strategy would be on an overall team effort.

“They each bring something different to the game but they all have a job to do, so it’s all about working as a team.”

The matches in the provincial finals are limited to 30 minutes, which means coaches try to adopt a specific strategy for the abbreviated period.

“Obviously with the short game time it is imperative to attack early and score goals,” said Bird.

“The strategy does depend on how the players are feeling on the day and how the opposition are performing.

“Each match is different and as important as the next, so we take each fixture as it comes and adapt accordingly.”

DSG coach Chris Hibbert paid tri-bute to SPAR and the tournament organisers for making an event of this nature possible.

“It’s a fantastic event to have in the Eastern Cape, which has grown from strength to strength.

“DSG are very excited to be attending the provincial finals for the se-cond time in its four-year history.”

SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager, Alan Stapleton, said they were anticipating another high-quality tournament, which incorporated all their values.

“We are really excited about this provincial event and looking forward to the finals at the weekend,” he said.

“We expect there will be great rivalry among the teams, but with the event being split over two days, there is also a chance to strengthen the bonds of friendship and that is where the true value of sport lies.”

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