Amathole schools u18 head coach Siyabonga Lusiba says the squad of 16 players selected to represent the Border region in this year’s IPT hockey festival will look to go the extra mile and win the tournament set to be held in the Free State.
The squad boasts nine Selborne College players, with Komani’s Queen’s College represented by three, while Merrifield College and Cambridge High boast two players each.
The team will travel to Bloemfontein from the 24th of June to the 30th, where they will face the toughest provincial teams in the country in hopes of improving from previous campaigns.
Speaking to SuperSport Schools after the team’s conclusion, Lusiba explained how smooth of a process it was to decide on the team.
“It wasn’t hard because some of the players picked themselves,” he said.
“We know how they play, and we’ve watched most of the games, and that made the process quite easy.”
“We normally have our hockey pre-season festival in East London, which is where we can watch all the schools and see them there; the only hard part was probably looking for two spots in the team.”
Despite going into the tournament dubbed as underdogs, Lusiba and his management team are hopeful that they have the right team this year that could upset a few sides and see them finish in the top four.
“As the management, we are looking to go there and win the tournament,” he added.
“However, it would be great if we finish in the top four. We didn’t do badly last year in terms of results, but we have a better team in terms of players this year, so we’re looking to win or at least finish within close range.”
Lusiba will be assisted by Michael Baiden, while Sipe Matafeni will be entrusted with managerial duties of the side.
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).