Hockey men withdraw from Afcon qualifier

Hockey men withdraw from Afcon qualifier
Hockey men withdraw from Afcon qualifier

Africa-Press – Namibia. NAMIBIA’s women’s field hockey team has been announced and will compete at the Africa Cup of Nations Southern qualifier in Zimbabwe next month, but the men’s team has withdrawn due to various factors.

The vice president of the Namibia Hockey Federation, Mariette Stoffberg yesterday confirmed the men’s withdrawal, saying that a full programme, financial considerations and the availability of players all contributed to the men’s withdrawal.

“We’ve been inundated with international tournaments – we were at the Afcon championships in Accra, now there’s the Afcon qualifier in Zimbabwe, and then there’s still the Hockey Fives World Cup qualifier in November, before the Indoor World Cup in February next year,” she said.

“We can only attend all of them if we have sponsors, so it’s tough. There are also six senior players unavailable due to exams and we don’t want to drop our outdoor standard and international ranking,” she added.

According to Stoffberg the NHU had made N$200 000 available for the trip, but the players still had to pay close to N$10 000 each.

“With all the tournaments coming up now, we will rather prepare for them in stead of paying about half a million for the Zimbabwe trip, where we would need our strongest team to have a chance of winning the tournament,” she added.

Namibia’s women’s team, however, will go to Harare where they will compete for a place in the final, as the top two teams will qualify for the Fines World Cup.

National women’s coach Melissa Gillies announced a squad of 16 players, which is well balanced with several experienced internationals but also some exciting up and coming youngsters.

“I’m very excited about the squad that I have. I’ve got four players who are under 18 and then I have some under 21s and senior ladies. My two goalkeepers Petro Stoffberg and Berencia Diamond have both been around the block in both indoor and field hockey so there are a lot of caps in both of them. Together with the likes of Gillian Hermanus, Jerri Cormack and Marcia van Zyl, I think there is quite a lot of experience that we can draw from,” she said.

“We’ve also got a lot of up and coming youngsters who have and some have also earned their stripes at the Afcon champs in Accra, so Im excited to see how they will step up,” she added.

“I also have a strong team backing me up in assistant coaches Randy Slabbert and Cedric Makati, while the team manager Johan Weyhe brings a lot of experience,” she said.

The MTC Namibian women’s team is as follows:

Petro Stoffberg, Berencia Diamond, Caitlin Gillies, Gillian Hermanus, Jerrica Bartlett, Jivanka Kruger, Marcia van Zyl, Tara Myburgh, Vanessa Shoeman,

Anthea Coetzee, Charlize Rix, Jaime Gillies, Jahntwa Kruger, Kaela Schimming, Sunelle Ludwig, Tisha Semedo, Azaylee Philander.

The non travelling reserves are Maggy Mengo, Emelia Kashopola and Kaitlyn Leff.

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