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Planning pays dividends

That the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team have won the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in New Delhi after beating India 3-1 in the final on Saturday is as much a triumph of the management staff as it is of the players.

Head coach Giles Bonnet and his battery of trainers as well as team manager Les Galloway have put in hours and days of work behind the scenes over the last 20 months into getting captain Marsha Marescia’s team as well prepared as possible for this moment.

Video analysis, primarily from Adrian Carolan, has provided the tools with which India in this case were outwitted.

From as far back as the Champions Challenge in Dublin last June, video foot age has been compiled of the Indian side and their style of play.

Individual players have been exhaustively analysed by the coaching staff as well as the team tactics implemented by the opposition.

The SA team’s style of play as well as individual players in the national team have been studied and worked on, with one-on-one and team sessions by the dozen taking place.

Assistant coach Fabian Gregory, Hollander Phil Estourgie, video analyst Carolan, Carla Lodewijks, team manager Les Galloway and goalkeeper coach Sheldon Rostron have been Bonnet’s primary support staff on this trip but many more from both overseas and in South Africa over the last 20 months have provided the ideal springboard from which the team and players have been able to grow both individually and collectively.

And the reward is a ticket to the London 2012 Olympic Games in five months’ time.


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