SA women aim to build on their great win against Aussies | SASCOC - SASCOC

SA women aim to build on their great win against Aussies

Fresh from their emphatic 4-0 win over world number six and 2012 Champions Challenge winners Australia on Tuesday, the Investec South African women’s hockey team have another hurdle to negotiate when they take on London 2012 Olympic Games gold medallists and top-ranked Holland in Cape Town on Thursday.

This is the second of the three unofficial Test matches SA are playing this week ahead of the prestigious Investec Challenge, which kicks off on Monday at Hartleyvale. The 8pm clash is preceded by the England/Australia match at 6pm.

The South Africans, with forward Jade Mayne, Lisa Deetlefs and Lenise Marais just three who stood out in a superb team effort against Australia’s Hockeyroos, played one of the best matches seen from them over the past two years and while it is expecting a lot to reel off another scintillating performance, the mark of the best teams is their ability to churn out high-quality hockey on almost every occasion.

The SA selectors have brought three players back, in Celia Evans (North West), Christine Roos (Southern Gauteng) and Tanya Britz (Free State), to make the squad 21-strong for this week’s unofficial Test matches that end on Saturday when SA face England at 8pm. The SA selectors will then whittle it down to the 18 players that will take part in the Investec Challenge.

Apart from the 1980 Moscow Games, which was boycotted for political reasons, Holland have played in every Olympics since women’s hockey was granted Olympic status and have garnered three gold, one silver and three bronze medals from the sport’s showpiece event.

Holland are coached by Max Caldas (the former Argentina player) while in team captain Maartje Paumen they boast an absolute superstar of the modern game, and it is her drag-flicking prowess at penalty corners that stands out. To see her and another drag-flick king in South Africa’s world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee in the same match is a prospect to savour. Paumen is surrounded by world-class players who deliver high-octane hockey at its best.

The Dutch have been training at the University of Stellenbosch and this weekend their 25-player contingent will be cut to the 18 who will represent the Oranje at the Investec Challenge.

ÔÇ¿ÔÇ¿Investec SA women’s team: Quanita Bobbs, Tarryn Bright, Jade Mayne, Shelley Russell (all Western Province); Dirkie Chamberlain, Phume Mbande, Nicolene Terblanche (all Northern Blues); Pietie Coetzee, Marcia Marescia (capt), Bernie Coston, Lisa Deetlefs, Lilian du Plessis, Sanani Mangisa, Christine Roos (all Southern Gauteng); Sulette Damons, Celia Evans (North West); Marcelle Keet (Amathole/Border); Izelle Lategan, Tanya Britz (Free State); Kelly Madsen, Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders).