One of the all-time greats of the game is seeing exciting developments in the Investec South African women’s hockey team’s strike force and cannot wait to waive the magic wand that is her most potent weapon when her country goes out to do battle with the Australian Hockeyroos in the much-anticipated second semi-final of the Investec Challenge that starts at 5pm at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town Saturday.
Despite not scoring in her last two matches after a magical run of 11 goals in five matches, SA’s world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee is happy with the way her celebrated hockey stick is working and is even more excited at the potential that is being ignited in the young forwards around her.
“Yes, I am happy with my form in the last two games, and as far as scoring goals is concerned, it’s just a case of every match presenting different opportunities, so scoring or not scoring depends on the situation in that moment,” said the 34-year-old Coetzee.
“But what is really exciting is how the SA strikers are gelling as a force up front. Our aim is to play attacking hockey, and the cohesion is paying off in the number of entries [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][into the strike zone], so it’s just a matter of time before we will start scoring many more goals once our technical skills match up to the plentiful chances we as a unit are creating.”
Triple Olympian Coetzee reserved praise for her partners in the strike team and the likes of Dirkie Chamberlain, Bernie Coston and Sulette Damons are on the verge of adding an ever-increasing number of goals to their personal accounts.
Referring to SA’s epic 1-1 draw with the Aussies in the Investec Challenge round-robin tie on Tuesday, Coetzee said it was very, very special.
“It was the most dramatic match I have ever played in, and I am confident that Saturday’s semi-final will be another cracker – and we will draw huge energy from our home crowd if the turnout and support at Tuesday’s game is anything to go by.”
In the early semi-final, England tackle The Netherlands at 2.30 pm for a berth in Sunday’s 2 pm title match.
Investec Challenge Fixtures and Results: Mon, 4 Feb 6pm: The Netherlands 2-2 Australia Mon, 4 Feb 8pm: South Africa 4-1 England Tues, 5 Feb 6pm: The Netherlands 4-1 England Tues, 5 Feb 8pm: South Africa 1-1 Australia Wed, 6 February: Rest Day Thurs, 7 Feb 6pm: England vs Australia Thurs, 7 Feb 8pm: South Africa vs the Netherlands Fri, 8 February: Rest Day Sat, 9 Feb 2:30pm: Semi-Final 1 Sat, 9 Feb 5pm: Semi-Final 2 Sun, 10 Feb 11:30am: Bronze Medal Match Sun, 10 Feb 2pm: Gold Medal Match Investec SA Squad: Sanani Mangisa Lisa Deetlefs Pietie Coetzee Marsha Marescia (co-captain) Bernie Coston Shelley Russell Jade Mayne Quanita Bobbs Tarryn Bright Marcelle Keet Lilian du Plessis Phume Mbande Dirkie Chamberlain Nicolene Terblanche Lenise Marais (co-captain) Kelly Madsen Sulette Damons Celia Evans