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Southern Gauteng looking to fire away on opening day of IPT

By Avuyile Sawula , in Hockey | News , at 2023-06-23 Tags:

The annual IPT U18 hockey tournament will kick off this coming Sunday in Bloemfontein in what is set to be a thrilling tournament after a competitive season across the country.

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12 teams in Section A will battle it out for four days in search of top honours with the final scheduled for the 30th of June at the main Astro turf at the University of Free State.

Day one consists of six fixtures with the likes of Western Province, Eastern Province, both KZN sides and Free State in action.

However, the team that will showcase itself the most on the opening day is the Southern Gauteng side coached by Anthony Woodhouse.

The side will play two fixtures, one against Amathole from the Eastern Cape before taking on Western Province B in the last game of the day.

The side from Gauteng finished in fifth place last year with Western Province the eventual tournament winners after defeating KZN Coastal in the final.

The big challenge for Woodhouse and his side on day one will arguably be their first game against Amathole. The two sides boast players in top schools, high in confidence having produced remarkable performances for their respective schools.

The Gauteng team features a total of 16 players selected from Jeppe Boys High (6), St Stithians (4), St Johns (2), St David’s Marist Inanda (1), Beaulieu College (2) and King Edward (1).

In an exclusive interview with SuperSport Schools ahead of the tournament, Woodhouse said he was pleased with his squad, and believes the boys are ready to take on the finest talent the country has to offer.

“I’m very excited to get into the tournament and test ourselves against the best the country has to offer,” he said.

“I believe we have had a comprehensive preparation, and the team is gelling well on and off the pitch. I’m eager to see what the boys can do on the big stage.”

Woodhouse is among many provincial coaches who have had a tough task in putting together a team that can perform at the highest level. He admitted that with many players on their radar performing so well, it was quite a challenge selecting his final 16.

Our selection process is quite time-consuming as we are the province with the largest pool of players.”

“We also have to accommodate trials around both term 3 and term 4 school holidays and also the Aitken Trophy which is a big event on the Johannesburg boys’ hockey calendar.”

“It makes the process quite tough logistically but credit to the selectors, convenors and chairperson of Southern Gauteng Boys hockey in making this all happen,” he added.

The side will not have it easy from the get-go when they take on Amathole in their opening game. A team boasted by Selborne College players will be out to stake a claim against Gauteng’s best. Each chukker will be highly contested and both defences need to be at their best if victory is anything to come by.

You might be interested: A successful hockey program shaped by more than just 11 players on the field.

However, Woodhouse and his troops will be counting on the experienced players that played in the tournament last year to guide the new boys.

“We have four players returning from last year’s team (Jaydon Brooker, Taine Tanner-Ellis, Liam Billett and TJ Chalmers, the former 2 having made the SA u17 HP squad last year).

“We also have some talented u17s in team in Devin Wax, Joshua Renders, Avela Sibisi, Matthew Eichweber and Boipelo Koloti.”

“Furthermore, we are luckily to have had a number of boys who played in the u18B team at IPT last year (Matthew Robinson, Kea Seome, Neo Chimyani, Dihan Alberts-Flynn, Tshedza Rashalanavho and Miguel de Jesus). Lastly, Nicholas Karlsson has also broken into the team after a stellar season for Saints.”

The side open their campaign against Amathole A at the University of Free State Astro, kick-off is at 10:25.

The teams:

Southern Gauteng u18A: Matt Eichweber (St Stithians), Tshedza Rasalanavho (Beaulieu College), Josh Renders (Jeppe Boys), Neo Chimanyi (Jeppe Boys), Diahn Alberts-Flynn (Jeppe Boys), Matthew Robinson (St Stithians), Jaydon Brooker (Jeppe Boys), Liam Billet (St Johns), Miguel De Jesus (Jeppe Boys), TJ Chalmers (St Johns), Taine Tanner-Ellis (St Stithians), Devin Wax (Beaulieu College), Keabetswe Seome (KES), Avela Sibisi (St Davids), Nic Karlsson (St Stithians), Biopelo Koloti (Jeppe Boys).

Amathole u18A: Tre’ Gilbert (Selborne College), Lunga Malusi (Selborne College), Waeden Plaatjes (Selborne College), Cade Kock (Selborne College), Masibulela Siswana (Selborne College), Daniel Sirgel (Selborne College), Charlie Cawell (Selborne College), Ben van der Merwe (Selborne College), James Carr (Selborne College), Lucan Hykes (Queens College), Calvin Bloom (Queens College), Luke Du Preez (Queens College), Trent Pillay (Merrifield College), Mpha Mboniswa (Merrifield College), Damian Alldred (Cambridge High School), Siphesihle Nodada (Cambridge High School).

Day 1 fixtures:

09:00 – Western Province B vs Southern Free State A
10:25 – Southern Gauteng A vs Amathole A
11:50 – Northern Gauteng A vs Western Province A
13:15 – Eastern Province A vs Boland A
14:40 – KZN Inland B vs KZN Coastal A
16:05 – KZN Coastal B vs KZN Inland A
17:30 – Southern Gauteng A vs Western Province B

Avuyile Sawula
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.