Vastly experienced Giles Bonnet was named as the new South African women’s hockey coach on Monday.
Bonnet replaces former coach, Jenny King, and brings a vast pedigree of experience to the post.
Interestingly, his first task in the new job will provide an immediate sense of deja vu.
That’s because in the build up to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, he worked with the Chinese women’s team, who went on to win silver.
Now he returns to China with an 18-strong squad of players for a training camp in Beijing where they are set to play an amazing 12 Test matches against the Chinese.
The tour period is between 28 May to 18 June.
More on Bonnet though. He’s an FIH Grade One coach and has an incredible 25 years experience in international hockey.
He represented South Africa for 10 years and also coached for 15 years.
He’s also coached the Belgian men’s side (2001-2007) and also coached the Amsterdam women’s side (2001-2006) in the tough Netherlands domestic league.
Because of the present financial constraints at SA Hockey, Bonnet will be employed on a project-based system and he’ll also use a number of “trainers” during the various tours and camps in order to improve the general standard of the game around the country.
SA Hockey will no doubt be hoping that Bonnet’s the man to boost South Africa’s global ranking.
The squad to tour China will be captained by Marsha Marescia and there are two vice-captains in Lisa Deetleefs and Lesle-Ann George.
The full squad is:
Cindy Botha (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Tarryn Bright (Western Province), Julia Cass (Southern Gauteng), Dirkie Chamberlain (Northern Gauteng), Lisa Deetleefs (Southern Gauteng (vice-captain), Celia Evans (North West), Farah Fredericks (Western Province), Lesle-Ann George (Free State) (vice-captain), Hanli Hattingh (Western Province), Kim Hubach Northern Gauteng), Marcele Keets (Amathole), Kelly Madsen (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Vuyisanani Mangisa (Northern Gauteng), Marsha Marescia (Southern Gauteng) (captain), Tsoanelo Pholo (Southern Gauteng), Philippa Rabey (Western Province), Katheleen Tayler (Western Province), Roxanne Turner (Southern Gauteng)
Team management: Giles Bonnet (head coach), Fabian Gregory (trainer), Wayne Denn (trainer), Kokkie Sieling (manager)
By Mark Etheridge