SA women’s hockey team for World League semi-finals


Words: Jonathan Cook

The South Africa women’s hockey team has been named for the World League Semi-Final tournament that is to take place in Valencia, Spain from June 10 to 21.

SA midfielder Shelley Russell takes on the Belgium defenders at Hartleyvale in Cape Town earlier this year.

Photo credit: ACTION PIX

The team will be captained by Nicolene Terblanche of Northern Blues with Jade Mayne of Western Province her deputy.

Marsha Cox, who has led the national team at the World Cup, Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and other major events, is currently not available for selection.

SA convenor of selectors Mickey Gordon said that Cox, “has played an integral role in the team and we look forward to her participation in the SA Women’s Interprovincial Tournament [that takes place from August 23 to 29 in Potchefstroom].”

Gordon, who heads the national selection panel that includes Jo Morley-Jepson and Gordon Pentecost, said another hugely experienced SA player who has also captained the team in Test matches, striker Sulette Damons, was not available due to injury.

“Sulette is a class striker and we look forward to her return to match fitness,” said Gordon.

SA head coach Sheldon Rostron said the players who have been selected for the team “are more than capable and have the qualities to fulfil the tasks and objectives at hand".

The 10 teams in Valencia will be competing in one of the two women’s World League Semi-Final tournaments taking place in June. The other is in Antwerp, Belgium.

The top four teams in each of the Valencia and Antwerp events qualify for the World League Final tournament at the end of the year in Argentina. Also on offer in Valencia are three places at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The top three teams in Valencia qualify for Rio. Should teams not qualify in Valencia for Rio, the other avenue is through their continental championships.

Pool A in Valencia features world number three Argentina, world eight Great Britain, world 15 Spain, world seven China and world 20 Canada. Pool B includes world five USA, world six Germany, world 11 South Africa, world 14 Ireland and world 29 Uruguay.

Goalkeepers: Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng), Anelle van Deventer (North West)
Defenders: Lisa Deetlefs (Southern Gauteng), Celia Evans (North West), Erin Hunter (Western Province), Nicole Walraven (Free State)
Midfielders: Shelley Russell (Southern Gauteng), Line Malan (Free State), Illse Davids, Quanita Bobbs (both Western Province), Nicolene Terblanche (captain, Northern Blues)
Forwards: Jade Mayne (vice-captain), Candice Manuel (both Western Province), Lilian du Plessis, Bernie Coston (both Southern Gauteng), Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Blues), Kelly Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders), Tanya Britz (Free State