Newly appointed South African men’s hockey coach Garreth Ewing announced his first squad ahead of the all-important FIH Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar from the June 6 to 15.
It will be a baptism of fire for Ewing with the team looking to finish in the top two in the tournament to qualify for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
Proteas men will face the United States, Mexico and Japan in Pool B of the competition.
The top team from each pool automatically progress to the semi-finals while the second and third-placed teams play in a crossover quarterfinal.
“Selection was a tough series of decisions because there were a lot of conversations between the selection panel and me regarding player availability.
“I am sure that some guys will be thrilled, and some will be disappointed. I’m happy with the balance of the team and our depth in terms of penalty corner attack.”Garreth Ewing
Ewing has recalled Siya Nolutshungu, Ryan Julius, Alex Stewart and Matt de Sousa into the squad while Matt Brown could make his debut for the Proteas.
“Some players will be in slightly different positional roles which I believe will be mentally stimulating for them.
“I’m very positive about this group both in terms of its talent and the balance between experience and youthful energy. I believe we will compete well and take a positive step in the team’s process.”Garreth Ewing
South African men’s hockey squad:
Tim Drummond (captain), Matthew Brown, Dayaan Cassiem, Taylor Dart, Tyson Dlungwana, Jethro Eustice, Keenan Horne, Ryan Julius, Nduduzo Lembethe, Mohammed Mea, Siyavuya Nolutshungu, Nqobile Ntuli, Richard Pautz, Rassie Pieterse, Austin Smith, Matthew de Sousa, Nicholas Spooner, Alex Stewart.
Fixtures – Hockey Series Final
06 June – South Africa vs US
08 June – South Africa vs Japan
10 June – South Africa vs. Mexico
12 June – Crossovers
14 June – Semi-Finals
15 June – Final