Scotland women’s hockey team head coach Gordon Shepherd has come out in praise of the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s attacking midfielder Shelley Russell following the four-match Test series that ended in Edinburgh this week.
ÔÇ£I felt Russell was in great form and her pace was used well, and I think her skill set has got better since I last saw her. My players also commented on this,ÔÇØ said the Scotland mentor in reflecting on his team’s 2-1 loss in the series.
SA lost the first Test 3-2 before winning the second and third Test matches 4-1 and 5-2 respectively. The fourth Test was 10-goal thriller with the spoils shared evenly, writes Jon Cook.
Shepherd also feels SA should make more use of Russell’s fellow midfielder, fellow double Olympian and Western Province team-mate, Tarryn Bright. ÔÇ£Bright was good at times but I think they could use her more.ÔÇØ
Another one of the aspects that the canny Scot was impressed with were the SA forwards. ÔÇ£I thought the forwards did very well throughout the series.ÔÇØ Shepherd said the SA forwards’ basic skills were good, as was South Africa’s success in playing long balls through to the strikers.
World No11 South Africa open their campaign at the Investec World League semi-finals tournament when they tackle world No4┬á England on Saturday.