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New look SA side gear up for bumper programme

IGNATIUS MALGRAFF

The national men’s side to contest the three hockey Tests in Cape Town this week has been named.
Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games striker Ally Fredericks and his national selection panel have named a new-look side for the matches that will be played between Tuesday and next Monday, writes Jon Cook.
The three matches form part of the annual Cape Town Summer Series; this year there are a bumper 20 matches that include 16 Test matches.
The SA men’s and SA women’s teams are taking part and the other countries are national men’s teams of the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland plus the flagship women’s teams from Belgium and Chile.
The full series runs from Tuesday to 2 February with three of the 20 matches – involving The Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland men – not at Hartleyvale but at Stellenbosch.
The SA men’s team’s three Hartleyvale Test matches are against Netherlands on Tuesday at 5pm; Ireland at 4pm on Sunday and Ireland again on Monday, 26 January.
National men’s head coach Fabian Gregory will be combining the three matches with a week-long training camp. The SA squad meet in Cape Town on Monday.
Gregory said the composition of the squad is made up of those players who impressed in the exciting 2-1 series loss to Austria in Durban just over a week ago, plus the recall of some of the more seasoned players.
Several experienced SA players, including national captain Austin Smith. are again unavailable for this series as they are representing their franchise teams in the Hockey India League during this period, while others are unavailable due to factors such as overseas club commitments.
‘This is the second phase of our preparation for the World League Round 2 event at Hartleyvale in early March and I expect Netherlands and Ireland to provide a considerably higher level of competition to that which we experienced in Durban,’ said Gregory.
 Gates open an hour before the first match. Ticket prices are R30 per person.

SA TEAM
Goalkeepers: Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders); Jacques le Roux (Western Province); Jason Briggs, Sizwe Mthembu (both Southern Gauteng).
Defenders: Gareth Heyns, Lance Louw (both Southerns); Robin Jones (both Raiders); Daniel Bell, Rhett Halkett, Dylan Swanepoel (all WP).
Midfielders: Ross Hetem, Dan Sibbald (both Raiders); Marc Fourie (WP), Jethro Eustice, Clint Panther, Miguel da Graca (all Southerns).
Strikers: Pierre de Voux, Keenan Horne, Shannon Boucher (all WP); Brandon Panther (Southerns); Natius Malgraff, Dalan Phillips (both EP); Damian Kimfley (KZN Inland).


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