SA U21 Hockey Women Flawless at Africa Qualifiers

Wed, 24/10/2012 - 18:34
  • SA u21 womens hockey

The SA U21 women’s team made light work of their counterparts at the recent Junior World Cup Africa Qualifier in Randburg. The group had to win the event in order to qualify for next year’s Women's Junior World Cup in Germany. The SA team lead by Lindsey Wright and captained by Izelle Lategan won their four matches and enhanced their preparation for the upcoming Junior World Cup.

HSSM's Sazi Luke talks to SA U21 Coach Lindsey Wright on her teams preparation going into next year’s Junior World Cup.

HSSM: Congratulations on qualifying for the U21 Junior World Cup, how is the mood in the camp?
Lindsey Wright: Obviously we are extremely excited because these girls have been working for over 2 years to try and get through this and obviously it's just one step in the right direction, towards going to the junior world cup which is going to be in Germany in 2013, so they are excited about it. There are four girls that won't be of qualifying age so they won't be able to go with us next year but I think that the added advantage of trying to get the team through has been a good process for them.

"You’ve got the big guns like Holland, Germany, Argentina, Spain; they are very well structured teams."

HSSM: The team seemed to qualify with ease, do you see that as an advantage or a disadvantage since you will be facing tougher competition in the Junior World cup?
Lindsey Wright: Look, I don’t think that the African qualifications are ever easy you know. The African teams bring in an unorthodox style of hockey to an event like that. A team like south Africa who is used to playing more structured hockey is tested at all times by playing an orthodox style of an African team. They have their own flair and ways of doing things and there were some testing moments so I don’t think they were making it easy, it was never easy. Yes the scores might have suggested that but it was never easy. Everybody wants the big prize, to go to the junior world cup, but it’s a different style of hockey when you get to the junior world cup. You’ve got the big guns like Holland, Germany, Argentina, Spain; they are very well structured teams. Their junior teams are supported well financially so they get exposed to a lot of international competition. I think right now with this South African team we need to get more international hockey and that’s what we will be looking to do over next few months or so, although it will be financially difficult to do so. We have to try find a way to expose them more because the more hockey that these young girls will play, the better, and the more well adapted they will be coming into a junior world cup event, which I don’t think has been necessary in the past. We must try changing that.

HSSM: How are you guys going to be preparing for the junior world cup next year since Germany is under a different climate and altitude? Are there any injury worries so far?
Lindsey Wright: We have one or two injury concerns but we have enough time because it's eight months until we need to go to the junior world cup, so we have had a few injury concerns leading up to the qualifiers. We didn’t pick those players to allow them to rehabilitate. We got one or two injuries coming out of the qualifiers, those will have to be managed. But we're looking at camps in December/January, in fact there is an international competition round about that time because teams would like to travel then. I don’t think there is going to be much of an altitude change going into Germany, it will just be a different type of fresh summer, probably be a bit more humidity. We will probably be looking at camps in Durban, camps in Joburg and Pretoria for altitude which will help what we can in terms of our finances, but we will try having a program that allows us to compete well at this junior world cup.

HSSM Thanks Lindsey Wright

Africa Qualifier Results

No Result Score Opponent
1 won 9  - 0 Namibia
2 won 5  - 1 Kenya
3 won 4  - 0 Ghana
4 won 4  - 0 Ghana


Played F A Avg. Per Game Goal Diff.
4 22 1 5.5 2

Top Scorer

Player Province Goals
Izelle Lategan Free State 6

Notable Players

Player Province
Lilian du Plessis Northern Blues
Jacinta Jubb Northern Blues
Tiffany Jones Amathole

2012 Championship Squad

Anelle van Deventer Southern Gauteng
Demi du Toit Southern Gauteng
Christine Roos Southern Gauteng
Nika Nel Southern Gauteng
Kaila Flemming  Southern Gauteng
Erin Hunter Western Province
Bronwyn Kretzman Western Province
Quanita Bobbs Western Province
Taryn Mallett Western Province
Phumelela Mbande Northern Blues
Lillian du Plessis Northern Blues
Jacinta Jubb  Northern Blues
Nicole Walraven Free State
Izelle Lategan (capt) Free State
Tanya Britz  Free State
Tiffany Jones Amathole (formerly Border)
Lisa Hawker  Amathole (formerly Border)
Nicole Kemp Eastern Province

Non Travelling Reserves

Hlubikazi Sipamla Northern Blues
Cornelle Botha Free State
Nicole La Fleur  Western Province

Photo: Jonathan Cook

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