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Johannesburg – The South Africa women’s hockey team selected for the Champions Challenge tournament in Dublin, Ireland from September is without six players who boast a combined caps of 1 000 Test matches.
World record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee, Kate Woods, Jen Wilson, Mariette Rix, Kathleen Taylor and Dirkie Chamberlain will not travel to Dublin.
“While Kate and Rixie have retired, Pietie, Jen, Kath and Dirkie are still in the national set-up,” South African coach Giles Bonnet said on Monday.
“The team for Champions Challenge is in keeping with the constantly evolving strategy of bringing more players into international hockey.”
Bonnet said Woods and Rix would be missed, but he was confident that Lisa Deetlefs and Sanani Mangisa, replaced them were ready to make the step-up.
“Kate’s are big shoes to fill and we are looking at Lisa to take over this role in the middle,” he said.
“We have faith in Lisa’s ability and resourcefulness to develop in this position.”
“Sanani takes over as number one goalkeeper from Rixie, who has given her all to the national team.
“Sanani already has experience in this area, having played as the first keeper at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India where the team finished fourth, and we have no doubt that she will relish her new role.”
After the 2012 Olympic Games, Bonnet is now looking at other individuals with the aim to continue broadening his player pool.
The six players for Dublin who were not at the Games are the experienced yet still young Jade Mayne and Kelly Madsen.
Teenagers Izelle Lategan and Tanya Britz, who have a few caps between them and new caps Lillian du Plessis and Quanita Bobbs have also been included.
Bonnet and his coaching staff are looking to build on the fast-paced, high-pressure game they have implemented.
The coach intimated that more players would be brought in for the series of events due to take place from December to February.
Investec SA team for Dublin: Nicolene Terblanche, Lillian du Plessis, Lenise Marais, Kelly Madsen, Sanani Mangisa, Marsha Marescia (captain), Lisa Deetlefs, Bernadette Coston, Lesle-Ann George, Tanya Britz, Izelle Lategan, Illse Davids, Shelley Russell, Tarryn Bright, Lauren Penny, Jade Mayne, Quanita Bobbs, Sulette Damons. – Sapa