The South African women's hockey team celebrate with their medals after winning the African Cup of Nations final on Sunday. Photo: @Quanita_Bobs on twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Highlighting the financial strain the South African Hockey Association is taking, the federation is looking for a new national women’s team head coach who will offer his or her services for free. 

Saha on Tuesday advertised the head coach position left vacant after Sheldon Rostron decided not to reapply for a position he had held since 2015. 

The federation appoints coaches on a four-year World Cup cycle with the South African team finishing in 14th place at this year’s edition in London.

Saha chief executive Marissa Langeni said the head coach job has been a volunteer position for some time.

“The last time we employed a full-time coach was in 2009 before we started a restructuring process,” she said. “We moved the coaches from a full-time paid position to a project basis. If the budget for that particular event allowed for it, we would then pay them an allowance.

“It has become so tricky now that we rather refer to it as a voluntary position so the people know up front what the scenario is.”

Langeni said only a few hockey nations could afford to employ full-time coaches.

She highlighted that the majority of the sponsorship funding would be used for the operational requirements of the teams.

“If they need to get to a camp or if they need to get to an event, the bulk of the sponsorship funding is used for things like flights, accommodation, meals, etc,” Langeni said. “Often we are left without anything in the kitty to pay for anyone once those expenses have been paid.”

Rostron will now turn his focus to his new role in the sports department of the North-West University.

He has been involved with the national team in different roles since 2010, from goalkeeper coach to stand-in assistant coach and team manager under former mentor Giles Bonnet. 

Rostron made history last year by coaching both the men’s and women’s sides to African titles at the same tournament.

The new coach will have to prepare the national women’s team for the Hockey Series Finals where they will be looking to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

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The advertised position requires applicants with a coaching qualification endorsed by a national hockey federation or the international governing body and senior national or international coaching experience.

The deadline for application submissions is October 4, 2018.


The Star

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