Following a great display of competency in South African hockey, the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Sport hockey coaches, Robin van Ginkel, Patrick Tshutshani and Garreth Ewing received national honours. The three UJ sporting heroes will steer South Africa’s Men’s Under 21 (Ewing), Women’s Under 18 (van Ginkel), and Women’s Under 16 teams (Tsutshani)
South African Hockey Association appointed the three coaches to the leadership positions for the 2015/16 season.
In 2014, Ewing acted as an assistant coach for South Africa’s senior men’s hockey team. He has great emphasis and focus on the game’s technical and tactical aspects. According to Ewing, his appointment will help him to showcase student talent and success on an international level. “It’s an honour to represent South Africa at any level and also a huge challenge. This is my first head coach appointment at national level and I’m really looking forward to working with what looks like a very talented group of young men,” said Ewing.
Ewing added: “I will also have a lot more say in the selection process at U21 and U18 level for the next two years as we identify the best possible combination of players to take us through qualifying and hopefully to the Junior World Cup.”
Van Ginkel is currently the Sports Sciences Manager at UJ Sport, UJ Ladies 1st team & Southern Gauteng Senior Men’s provincial coach Van Ginkel is at the Indian Hockey League in India at the present moment, representing the Delhi Waveriders as Sport Scientist.
On the other hand, Tshutshani’s experience as an assistant coach to the SA women’s Under 21 team in the 2013 Junior World Cup earned him respect in the game. Tshutshani highlighted that the Under 16 team required a person with more responsibility as he will be working with raw talent. “The job also requires a coach with the ability to identify and nurture youngsters for the development of SA hockey,”
|He also headed up the U18 ladies’ programme for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. Tshutshani said he was honoured to be appointed as a head coach for the national team.
Speaking on the appointments of the three coaches, UJ Hockey Manager, Ms Elize Le Roux, said that open communication and early planning will help the UJ coaches on finding the best solutions for both the UJ hockey players, coaches and the sport itself, for the sport to develop.
UJ Sports 2015 ambitions have taken another positive spin to its hockey players. Gareth Heyns, UJ’s first team captain, achieved his four national caps during the recent test series against Austria in Durban. Taylor Dart and Brandon Panther also played in the series, while Jason Briggs, first team men goalkeeper, was part of the national squad at the camp although he did not play.
The 19-year-old Keegan Kieck, men’s first team player and a second year student at UJ, was selected to represent South Africa at the Indoor World Cup in Leipzig, Germany from 4 to 8 February 2015. Keegan is the youngest player to represent South Africa at this level.
Moreover, the second camp (in Cape Town) for the national men’s team was recently announced and the following players from UJ have been invited to attend the test series against Belgium:
- Gareth Heyns
- Brandon Panther
- Clinton Panther
- Jason Briggs
- Lance Louw (UJ club player & UJ Ladies 2nd team coach)
The UJ female athletes have also shown character. The first national ladies camp will be held in Cape Town from Monday, 19 January 31 January 2015, and the following ladies from UJ are part of the squad:
- Kaila Flemming
- Bernadette Coston
- Lillian du Plessis
- Carmen Smith (if selected for the test matches, she will earn her first cap for SA. Carmen is a 19 year old player).