SA indoor hockey women’s team target 2025 World Cup in Croatia

Jamie Southgate, captain of the Spar SA women’s indoor hockey team. | ZAC ZINN

Jamie Southgate, captain of the Spar SA women’s indoor hockey team. | ZAC ZINN

Published May 27, 2024



Two African countries will qualify for next year’s FIH Indoor World Cup in Croatia once the Indoor Africa Cup runs its course in Swakopmund, Namibia, this weekend.

The hosts Namibia, along with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, will be vying for the two qualifying slots reserved for Africa.

Captain of the Spar SA indoor women’s hockey team, Jamie Southgate, said the squad will be relying on the experience gained in recent tournaments.

The 26-year-old defender from Cape Town, Southgate is the team’s most experienced player with 92 caps. Five other members of the squad have 50 or more international matches under their belts.

“Yes, experience does count a lot in big moments and having experienced players in the team allows for younger players to feed off them,” said Southgate.

“This helps players learn how to manage key moments of the game and it will also help us to work out how to manage ourselves in a long tournament environment.”

The SA team produced one of their stellar performances by finishing fourth at the 2023 Indoor World Cup, in Pretoria, and since then they have continued to underline their growing prowess.

“Maintaining positive results and constant team growth outside of the World Cup tournaments proves the true strength of a team,” said Southgate.

“We competed in several tournaments after the World Cup when the squad included many debutantes and those all produced fruitful results.”

The team were crowned champions at the Tuanku Zara International Cup, in Malaysia last November. They defeated Switzerland in a dramatic penalty shootout in the final.

A few weeks later, they were runners-up to Namibia in the inaugural Kathea Energy Nkosi Cup in Cape Town in December.

Southgate feels there has been a turnaround in belief in the camp since last year’s World Cup.

“Not realising the true capabilities of the team going into the World Cup, and subsequently achieving a fourth-place finish, led to a shift in mindset and attitude towards South African women’s indoor hockey,” she said.

“Believing we can be the best and striving for constant improvement are the areas of focus for us heading into this Africa Cup.

“Having a tendency to doubt our abilities and feeling inferior to other stronger countries remain challenges we wish to overcome.”

One of their big hurdles is overcoming the host nation, but Southgate knows they also need to stay level-headed in their pursuit of glory.