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Coetzee upbeat ahead of SA’s semi-final

Pietie Coetzee, one of the all-time greats of the game, is seeing exciting developments in the Investec South African women’s hockey team’s strike force and cannot wait to wave the magic wand that is her most potent weapon.

South Africa goes to battle with the Australian Hockeyroos in the much-anticipated second semi-final of the Investec Challenge that starts at 5pm at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday, reports Jon Cook.

Despite not scoring in her last two matches after a magical run of 11 goals in five matches, SA’s world record goalscorer is happy with the way her celebrated hockey stick is working and is even more excited at the potential that is being ignited in the young forwards around her.

ÔÇ£Yes, I am happy with my form in the last two games and as far as scoring goals is concerned it’s just a case of every match presenting different opportunities, so scoring or not scoring depends on the situation in that moment,ÔÇØ said the 34-year-old Coetzee.

ÔÇ£But what is really exciting is how the SA strikers are gelling as a force up front. Our aim is to play attacking hockey and the cohesion is paying off in the number of entries [into the strike zone] so it’s just a matter of time before we will start scoring many more goals once our technical skills match up to the plentiful chances we as a unit are creating.

Triple Olympian Coetzee reserved praise for her partners in the strike team and the likes of Dirkie Chamberlain, Bernie Coston and Sulette Damons are on the verge of adding an ever-increasing number of goals to their personal accounts.

Referring to SA’s epic 1-1 draw with the Aussies in the Investec Challenge round-robin tie on Tuesday, Coetzee said it was very, very special.

ÔÇ£It was the most dramatic match I have ever played in and I am confident that Saturday’s semi-final will be another cracker ÔÇô and we will draw huge energy from our home crowd if the turnout and support at Tuesday’s game is anything to go by.ÔÇØ

In the early semi-final, England tackle The Netherlands at 2.30pm for a berth in Sunday’s 2pm title match.


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