Coach Wants More than Wins

by | Feb 29, 2008

2Dirkie Chamberlain of South Africa and Svetlana Nikonova of Russia compete for the ball in the second meeting between the teams in the SPAR Cup Tri-Nations Tournament being played at the Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg. SA won 5-1. Picture: Reg Caldecott

Dirkie Chamberlain of South Africa and Svetlana Nikonova of Russia compete for the ball in the second meeting between the teams in the SPAR Cup Tri-Nations Tournament being played at the Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg. SA won 5-1. Picture: Reg Caldecott

SPAR South African hockey coach Jenny King was a frustrated and disappointed woman after her side’s 5-1 win over Russia on Thursday in the SPAR Cup Tri-Nations series taking place at the Randburg Hockey Stadium. Disappointed and frustrated? Yes.

King has placed a huge emphasis on the team’s strategy and the work they’ll be doing ahead of the Beijing Olympics taking place this year and this performance, though goals were scored often, didn’t reflect that.

"I thought this was the poorest we’d been in about 18 months," said King. "The players have taken in huge amount of information in the past few weeks, but this was a step back for us."

King also brought in Ian Jennings, who was the England assistant coach between 2000/03, to help put together defensive and tactical plans as they build towards the Olympics. After Thursday’s game, he too was disappointed.

"There were areas that were sloppy and that’s unacceptable," reckoned Jennings. "They can’t accept that mediocrity because that will hurt them in six months time."

What was surprising was how the South Africans’ performance level dropped after the first goal was scored in the 6th minute. Tarryn Bright did some good work to get the ball forward and set Henna du Buisson up to slot in easily. That cushion saw them drop off the pace almost immediately, and they never quite recovered from there.

Bright, however, was the only one to keep up the pace, as she set Dirkie Chamberlain up for the second goal scored in the 31st minute.

She was rewarded for her work in the 37th minute when she slotted in to take South Africa three up. Russia, though, did well to come back and win a penalty corner on 44 minutes, and Nedezhda Chegurdaeva easily smashed home to pull one back.

South Africa’s Vida Ryan, whose twin sister Vidette did not play on Thursday, then quickly scored again from a Bright pass in the 48th minute. Kate Hector, the SA vice-captain, missed a penalty flick minutes later, but scored her team’s final goal from a Kathleen Taylor pass in the 75th minute.

For King, her team deserved an eight out of 10 for their goal-scoring ability, but on overall performance, they were only a three. "Our emphasis is not on results at the moment," King continued, "and we have to be realistic about our performance. The simple things weren’t there and we have to be realistic – the performance wasn’t good."

South Africa have the day off on Friday as Russia and Canada take each other on, but will be in action on Saturday in the final match of the series. Hopefully, there’ll be less frustration and disappointment then.

Goal Scorers:
Henna du Buisson (South Africa, 6th minute)
Dirkie Chamberlain (South Africa, 31st minute)
Tarryn Bright (South Africa, 37th minute)
Nedezhda Chegurdaeva (Russia, 44th minute)
Vida Ryan (South Africa, 48th minute)
Kate Hector (South Africa, 75th minute)
 
SPAR
Cup Tri-Nations Tournament Fixtures and Results
:
Monday 25: SA 6-0 Russia
Tuesday 26: Canada 1-0 Russia
Wednesday 27: SA 1-0 Canada
Thursday 28: 16h00 SA 5-1 Russia
Friday 29: 16h00 Canada vs Russia
Saturday 1: March 15h00 SA vs Canada
Saturday 1: March 17h00 Medal Ceremony

 

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