Following the completion of the women’s interprovincial hockey tournament in East London a 30-strong team has been named to prepare for the World Cup in Argentina in August. And one name was a big surprise!
One of the world’s greatest women’s hockey players to date, Pietie Coetzee, announced her return to the international game at the weekend and was part of the victorious Southern Gauteng team, who beat KZN Coastal in the final.
SA Hockey World’s Jonathan Cook writes that the 31-year-old Coetzee retired from international hockey five years ago, at the tender age of 27, the striker having re-written the record books with 190 goals in 193 Test matches. That ratio of goals per game is unmatched in women’s hockey history.
Having made her SA debut as a 16-year-old Grade 11 Oranje, Bloemfontein schoolgirl, Coetzee took world hockey by storm, and new national head coach Giles Bonnet believes Coetzee has it in her to help propel South Africa, the world’s 12th-ranked side, into the world top six by 2012.
“Forget about world top six if you don’t have a world-class drag-flicker [from penalty corners] and in Pietie, South Africa has that and more, as her ability to score field goals is also world-class.”
The 30-strong squad will be participating in two week-long training camps from Monday 26 July, in Durban and Cape Town respectively, after which the 18-player World Cup team for Argentina next month will be finalised.
SA squad: Cindy Botha, Taryn Bright, Dirkie Chamberlain, Pietie Coetzee, Ilse Davids, Lisa Deetlefs, Liesel Dorothy, Celia Evans, Farah Fredericks, Lesle-Ann George, Hanlie Hattingh, Kim Hubach, Marcelle Keet, Kelly Madsen, Sanani Mangisa, Tsoanelo Pholo, Pippa Rabey, Kathleen Taylor, Roxanne Turner, Jennifer Wilson, Shelley Russell, Nicolene Terblanche, Jade Mayne, Marsha Marescia, Nicole de Vries, Vida Ryan, Mariette Rix, Lenise Marais, Sulette Damons, Michelle Cremer.
SA squad members not available for the camps: Louise Coertzen, Vidette Ryan, Cindy Brown, Jules Cass.