Other Sport

Valuable time for SA hockey

2014-07-08 09:45
Austin Smith (MARIO VAN DE WALL)
Austin Smith (MARIO VAN DE WALL)
Cape Town - In preparation for the Commonwealth Games the South African men’s hockey team will play in the Investec London Cup from July 9-13. South Africa will play against Ireland, England and Scotland. The finals are on Sunday, July 13.

The team recently finished 11th at the Hockey World Cup in Holland. The Commonwealth Games is from July 23 to August 3 in Glasgow, Scotland. At the previous Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India the South Africans finished fifth. This year Austin Smith and his team want a medal.

England (5th) is the highest ranked team at the Investec London Cup. South Africa is ranked 12th on the world rankings followed by Ireland (15th) and Scotland (25th).

“The Investec Cup is a great chance for us to get some much needed game time together before the Commonwealth Games. We haven't had any training camps or any other practice matches so this will be all the preparation we have so we need to make it count,” said Smith who plays his club hockey with Den Bosch in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

“I expect the matches at the Investec London Cup to be very tight. Scotland, although only ranked 25th have been preparing for a long time as they are the Commonwealth Games hosts and will be keen to put in an above ranking performance. Ireland are also an up and coming team and with past SA international and our former assistant coach Craig Fulton they will be fully prepared for our games against each other. England remain a top team having finished fourth at the recent World Cup. We will need to be at our best to get a result against them.”

Even though good results are always a focus, Smith would love to see things come together for the team on the field in the lead up to the very important Commonwealth Games. “The focus will of course be more on preparation for the coming Games though and less so on the results. We have some changes in the team that played together in The Netherlands; which invariably means we will take a game or two to get things running smoothly again.”

Schedule for Investec London Cup:

Wednesday, July 9 at 17:15: Ireland v South Africa
Thursday, July 10 at 19:30: England v South Africa
Saturday, July 12 at 09:45: South Africa v Scotland
Sunday, July 13: Playoff (09:45) and Final (14:45)

The squad for the Games:

Andrew Cronje, Jean-Pierre De Voux, Timothy Drummond, Jethro Eustice, Rhett Halkett, Julian Hykes, Lloyd Norris-Jones, Robin Jones, Ignatius Malgraff, Clinton Panther, Taine Paton, Wade Paton, Erasmus Pieterse, Jonathan Robinson, Austin Smith, Lungile Tsolekile


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