[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Namibia has unveiled its senior national hockey team for the FIH Indoor Hockey Women’s World Cup currently taking place in Pretoria in South Africa from 5 to 11 February 2023). The team comprises a mix of experienced and promising young players current University of Johannesburg (UJ) David Britz, JP Britz (new recruit), and Jahntwa Kruger as well as alumni Jivanka Kruger, Ernest Jacobs and Brynn Cleak.
The players add much needed experience and leadership to the Namibian squad. They have done well in domestic competitions.
“Both JP and David Britz are representing Namibia at the Indoor World Cup. It is the highest level of Indoor Hockey a player can play; they performed well in their two tough games. I believe that they will be in a position to win some games with some of the remaining opposition.
“From a UJ perspective it’s great to have players who have these kind of experiences at the highest level – those are things that they can filter into our programme at UJ so that we can be able to use that in our 2023 campaign,” says Moabi Malebye
The Namibian women’s team are three-time winners of the Indoor Africa Cup continental championship, having won their most recent title in 2021. The men’s team finished in second place at the 2021 Indoor Africa Cup competition which took place in Durban, South Africa.
Thus far, the Namibian team failed to register a single point from their first two games. They suffered two consecutive losses against Netherlands and Austria with 7-1 and 2-0 final scores, respectively.
The women’s team also lost 5-3 loss against the Kazakhstans. They are sitting on 5th position on the log standings with 1 point after a 2-2 draw against Canada in their second game.
Tsoanelo Pholo, the UJ senior women’s hockey head coach, echoed coach Malebye’s sentiments. “It is great that we have past and current UJ players taking part in the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup – the first one held on African soil. The experience gained at this World event can only bode well for the UJ hockey team.”
She added, “The UJ Alumni and current players have been a part of the Namibian national hockey system for a long time and I believe they will continue to be a vital part of their respective teams. The UJ Hockey programme has been well put together, so, it helps these players in such competitions. February is a special month for our student-athletes as it marks the start of our season. We wish them all the best in the World Cup.”