National coach Mark Hopkins on Sunday announced an 18-member South African squad that will duty at the FIH Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar in India in December.
Hopkins will be able to call on the experience of players like captain Tim Drummond, Rhett Halkett, Julian Hykes, Taine Paton, Rassie Pieterse and Austin Smith boasting more than 100 international caps each.
The team includes the uncapped Peabo Lembethe and Nic Spooner, who has been making a name for himself in Germany and will be looking to make a name for himself in the green and gold.
“The entire squad has focused on building our brand and culture off the pitch and our style on the pitch,” Hopkins said.
“I am extremely excited by the squad that is going to represent South Africa at the FIH Hockey World Cup, and humbled by the work behind the scenes to ensure we are as well prepared as possible.”
South Africa will feature at its sixth World Cup and will be looking to improve on the 10th-place finishes at the 2010 and 1994 editions.
They have been given a tough task going up against hosts India, world number-three Belgium and Canada (11th) in
“We have selected a squad that is able to play a style of hockey that we will get the most out of our talents and also compete against some of the best in the world,” Hopkins said.
“It is critical that we continue to focus on developing our offensive and defensive strategies and execute our game plan consistently.”
South Africa’s World Cup group fixtures:
28 November 2018 – India vs. South Africa
2 December 2018 – Canada vs. South Africa
8 December 2018 – Belgium vs. South Africa
South Africa’s World Cup squad:
Tim Drummond (captain, 131 caps), Dayaan Cassiem (17), Taylor Dart (18), Tyson Dlungwana (18), Jethro Eustice (95), Rhett Halkett (148), Tommy Hammond (68), Keenan Horne (34), Julian Hykes (122), Gowan Jones (GK, 42), Peabo Lembethe (0), Mo Mea (14), Bili Ntuli (26), Taine Paton (104), Richard Pautz (16), Rassie Pieterse (GK, 133), Austin Smith (158), Nic Spooner (1)