SASCOC CEO, Mr Tubby Reddy has sent his well wishes to the South African women’s hockey team ahead of their crucial Olympic Qualifier tournament in India.
The South African Hockey Association (SAHA) on Friday announced the Investec Women’s team that will travel to New Delhi. And the SASCOC leader has given his full support to this experienced side.
ÔÇ£As SASCOC we are firmly behind this group of players chosen to represent their country in this all-important 2012 Olympic Games qualifier on foreign soil,ÔÇØ Reddy said.
ÔÇ£We are also grateful that upon our request, both the FIH and the IOC were gracious enough to grant us a slot in one of the three qualifiers into the Games in London. You would recall there was no slot for Africa in these qualification tournaments.
“We appreciate the immense effort that they have put in on this lengthy qualification road and have every faith in their ability to go the whole way and do the necessary to join Team South Africa in London later this year. SASCOC wishes coach Bonnet, captain Marescia and all team and management members the very best on this mission.” Reddy concluded.
The 18 chosen players have a combined experience of over 2112 international caps, while captain Marscha Marescia along with Pietie Coetzee, Kate Woods, and goal-keeper Vuyisanani Mangisa are among the 11 Olympians selected by Coach Giles Bonnet.
Speaking at the Randburg press conference, Bonnet expressed the difficulties of leaving certain players out. ÔÇ£We are all about results now; this made the decision to select only these players difficult.┬áBut I am happy with what we have selected. I am confident this outfit will give us the desired results.
While many questioned the inclusion of fairly new Lauren Penny, Bonnet said: ÔÇ£During the past 18 months we gave players exposure, and Lauren has impressed us immensely. We chose the team on form, rather than experienceÔÇØ,
Responding when questioned about omitting players with over 50 caps to their name the national coach mentioned that the open selection policy will be in place. The team that is┬á going to India is not necessarily the team that will go to London, should they qualify and there is certainly life after London.
The squad for New Delhi: Marsha Marescia, Mariette Rix, Kate Woods, Shelley Russell, Lisa Deetlefts, Lesle-Ann George, Lenise Marais, Bernadette Coston, Jade Mayne, Sulette Damons, Vuyisanani Mangisa, Lauren Penny, Dirkie Chamberlain, Pietie Coetzee, Nicolene Terblanche, Kathleen Taylor, Kum Hubach and Tarryn Bright