New Look Hockey Team

by | May 2, 2007

There is a blend of youth and experience in the SPAR National Women’s hockey team to take part in a four-nations tournament  in Dublin next month. 

Marsha Marescia picks her way out of trouble during the inaugural Franchise Tournament at the Randburg Astro, on 28 April, 2007. Picture:Graham Robertson Photographic. 

The tournament involves South Africa, Ireland, Scotland and Germany.  After the tournament, South Africa and Ireland will play a two-Test series in Dublin.

A number of South Africa’s top players retired after the World Cup in Spain last year, but coach Jenny King can still rely on stalwarts such as captain Marsha Marescia, vice captain Jen Wilson, Kate Hector, Sharne Bailey (nee Wehmeyer) and Tarryn Bright.

All the player who have been named took part in the Festival of Hockey, involving South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Great Britain, in Stellenbosch earlier this year.

Convenor of selectors Adele Madsen is excited about the talent in South Africa.  “We had a franchise tournament in Johannesburg last week, where five teams of 15 players each took part.

“We found some very talented players, and some of the more established players are being pushed by some of the players who have until recently been on the fringe.

“We are also very pleased to see that our development plans are working, and many more players of colour are making their way to the top,” said Madsen.

The tournament in Ireland will form an important part of South Africa’s preparations for the Olympic qualifiers in July. “Scotland and Ireland are jointly ranked 13 – one place behind us – and so we want to do very well against them,” continued Madsen.

“Germany, who are the Olympic champions, are ranked fourth, and we held our own against them in Stellenbosch earlier this year, so we are hoping to do well again in Dublin.

“It’s all about making a strong statement. We don’t want to just squeak into the Olympic Games – we want to qualify well, and go there as a competitive unit,” said Madsen.

The team will gather at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria Monday June 4 for a short training camp before leaving for Ireland on Saturday June 9.

SPAR National Hockey Team:
Sharne Bailey (nee Wehmeyer – Southern Gauteng)
Tarryn Bright (Western Province)
Cindy Brown (Western Province)
Fiona Butler (Southern Gauteng)
Lisa Deetlifs (Southern Gauteng)
Henna du Buisson (Western Province)
Lesley-Ann George (North West Province)
Kate Hector (Western Province)
Taryn Hosking (Western Province)
Sanani Mangisa (Northern Gauteng)
Lenise Marais (Western Province)
Marsha Marescia –Captain (Southern Gauteng)
Mariette Rix (Western Province)
Shelley Russel (Western Province)
Vidette Ryan (Western Province)
Vida Ryan (Western Province)
Kathleen Taylor (Western Province)
Jen Wilson (KwaZulu-Natal)

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