SuperSportSchools Hockey

Dale looking to overturn season misfortunes on Reunion weekend

By Avuyile Sawula , in hockey Hockey | News News , at 12 May 2023

“For the boys, this is one game they want to win.” Those were the words echoed by Dale College’s assistant coach Andrew Senekal ahead of the side’s reunion clash against Queen’s College this coming Saturday.

Dale, from King Williams Town, will host the Komani side in what will be their 162nd reunion, a milestone added to the school’s rich history.

However, the side has had a rather unpleasant start to their season on the turf. After losing nine players from last year’s team, the King Willy boys find themselves winless. 

Speaking to SuperSport Schools ahead of the reunion clash, Senekal, reflected on the season so far and added how they were planning to use the momentous occasion to spark confidence in the boys. 

“It’s been a tough season,” he said in a light tone.

“We participated in the Founders Festival, where we struggled and came up against some of the top schools in the country.” 

“It’s been challenging also because we haven’t had our astroturf; we’ve been training on the mini-astro because we’ve been resurfacing our main astro, which is now complete, so hopefully, we’ll get into the swing of things now and get the players in the gear they need to take their game forward.”

Losing consecutive matches tends to tamper with a team’s morale and confidence. 

This has been the case for Dale, as Senekal reveals how they, as the management, are trying to get the boys into the correct head space.  

“There are various challenges that we’ve had, and coming from the festival where we didn’t get any wins, it’s tough.”

“A lot of the mental aspect is low at the moment; we are trying to get the boys in the correct mental head space and get them to work together again.”

Despite losing to the likes of Kearsney College, Northwood, and Cambridge High so far this season, Dale will approach Queens knowing that reunion fever can spark on their side and that the unexpected could happen. Senekal echoed these sentiments, stating the importance of the match and how eager the boys are for it. 

“The reunion matters; many people and even old boys come from all over the country to come and enjoy the festivities,” he said. 

“For the boys, this is the game they want to win; you can ignore everything else because this is one game that they chase and want to win; it’s a win-at-all-costs game.” 

“For the matrics, it’s probably their last game against Queens, so they just want to push and do as well as they can.”

Kick-off between the two sides is at 16:15 on Friday.

Other matches to watch out for in the Eastern Cape include the clash between Makhanda’s Kingswood College and Pearson High from Gqeberha.

St. Andrews College will also make their way to Bloemfontein to face Grey College, while Hudson Park will battle it out with Merrifield College, and Westering will play Victoria Park. 

The teams: 

Dale College: Inga Mafanga, Gavin Walton, Sbongisile Nzima, Kamva Tolwana, Hlumelo Ntlola, Joe Mendoza, Siyabonga Madlwabinga, Akanani Msutu, Lihumelo Ncukana, Caleb Ellis, Amangile Songelwa, Endinako Mnguni, Hlomla Kostauli, Naledi Mosebi

Queens College: Luke du Preez, Brett Hoffman, David Sarpong, Khanya Lusiki, Asi Tybosch, Connor Oelofse, Keaneo Maytham, Ziya Bidi, Damian Miles, Lucan Hykes, Aiden van Jaarsveld, Lumuba Gqongqo, Rowan Miles, Calvin Blooms.

Other matches: 

12 May 2023

16:00 – Hudson Park vs Merrifield College; 16:15 – Dale College vs Queen’s College; 18:30 – Pearson vs Kingswood College; 18:30 – Woodridge College vs York High; 18:40 – Grey High School vs St Andrew’s College.


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