… As country eyes 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup qualification
By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA is pinning its hopes squarely on the goal-scoring prowess of national hockey sensation, Dure Boshoff, ahead of its hosting of the African qualifiers for the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup, which is slated for Berlin, Germany.
National women’s hockey coach, Erwin Handura, said he is banking on the 15-year-old Windhoek High School pupil to net as many goals as possible, when they play South Africa and Zimbabwe from 25 to 28 June in Swakopmund.
Handura said the Grade 10 learner has a daunting task ahead of her, because the country’s leading striker, Dunelle van Taak, has withdrawn from the team, because of her study commitments in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
“Boshoff is my number one striker and am confident that she will deliver against both South Africa and Zimbabwe, as these are must-win qualifiers for the girls,” said the head coach.
“We have a very good chance to qualify for Berlin, because the last time we played South Africa in the Four Nations Indoor Hockey Tournament, which also featured the United States of America and Australia, we ended second overall,” said Handura.
Namibia beat both South Africa and the United States at the tournament.
They have also won their last two matches played against South Africa.
“I have a very good team and our chance of qualifying for Berlin is very realistic,” said the coach. “I have a very good team that is mature and well-experienced, and who can stand up to the South African. We are not counting much on our home advantage. If you are well-prepared, all my players need to have is confidence, and to rely on their ability as a team,” the coach emphasised.
He said that the players need to believe in themselves as a team, because the majority of them have already played against South Africa, and surely know how to beat them.
Namibia will play their opening match against South Africa, before taking on Zimbabwe on Friday, while on Saturday their first encounter will be against Zimbabwe, before clashing with South Africa again.
The final on Sunday will determine the qualifier for the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup.
Handura said that the national women’s team will play upcoming friendly matches against the national under-18 boys, who are strong and fast.
He said that the friendly matches will be great preparation, ahead of the Swakopmund battle.
Handura added that Namibia missed out on the 2015 Indoor Hockey World Cup, also played in Germany, after losing 2-1 to South Africa. He described the national trials, held in May, as a huge success, and he has since announced the team that will represent the country at the indoor world cup qualifiers.
The team will boast six players, who ply their trade at their respective universities in South Africa.
They are Petro Stoffberg (Wits University), Jericca Bartlett (Varsity College), Jocelle Deysel ( University of Potchefstroom), Phia Louis (University of Johannesburg), Gillian Hermanus University of Cape Town) and Zalia Duvenhage (University of Stellenbosch).
The team will be captained by veteran Magreth Mengo, while locally-based players Sunelle Ludwig, Ina Louis, Berencia Diamond and Boshoff are currently hard atwork, under the mentorship of Handura.
Sonet Crous and Fenesta Pienaar are the two non-travelling reserves, while the team manager is Tersia Venter and Luke Pennefather is the assistant coach.
A final training camp will take place either in Windhoek or South Africa, after which the team is expected to travel to Swakopmund for acclimatisation and final polishing.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015