PRETORIA, June 5 — The South African Women’s Hockey squad leaves this weekend for next week’s World League semifinal tournament to be held in Valencia, Spain. The top three teams will earn direct qualification for the next year’s Rio Olympic Games.
The South African team has been in camp for two weeks preparing for the Valencia tournament. This is one of two Women’s League semifinal tournaments taking place this month.The other is in Antwerp, Belgium.
SA Hockey coach, Sheldon Rostron, says, “The biggest thing we want to focus on is our build up play. It’s got to do with how we get the ball forward, and want to do with a lot of speed moving out of our opposition around it gives a lot of opportunity and space to bring the ball to areas. We are happy to attack.”
Sanani Mangisa says, “We have a couple of youngsters and they have been playing and they have come through the varsity cup.”
South Africa are in Pool B which also features Germany and the United States.
Both teams are ranked in the world’s top 10.
Bernie Coston says, “We always compete against them, even last year, at the World Cup. We are very excited to face them again.”
The top four teams in each of the Valencia and Antwerp events will advance to the World League final to be held in Argentina later this year.
In the event of South Africa failing to make the top three, they will get another chance to qualify for the Rio Olympics through the continental championships.