Combinations and familiarity go a long way in team sports, so the inclusion of four girls from Durban Girls’ College (DGC) in the South African under-17 hockey squad to contest the second edition of the Mirnawan Cup in Malaysia, from 18 to 26 November, should help the team to gel quickly.
The tournament is named after former Malaysian star Dato Mirnawan, who played in three Olympic Games for his country, and who now serves as the national men’s hockey team’s manager.
Two of those DGC players – Emily Macquet and Tara Pakendorf (who played together at Chelsea Preparatory School) – were also named in the SA under-18 A squad following the Inter-provincial Tournament (IPT) in Bloemfontein during the mid-year holidays.
Mmamorena Manthata of Cornwall Hill College and Georgia Pollock, from St Mary’s DSG, were included in the under-18A line-up, too. Pollock is the daughter of Proteas’ legend, Shaun Pollock.
She’s joined in the u17 squad by her schoolmate Cassandra Forbes, while the two additional DGC players are Caprice Bengston and Ruby Kraus.
While KZN Coastal has six representatives in the national squad, there’s another one from the province in the form of KZN Inland’s Thabelani Metu. The remainder of the 18-player squad is evenly spread among six other provincial teams.
Jehan Abrahams and Leah Petersen fly the Western Province flag, while their next-door neighbours, Boland, have Logan Marthinus and Tanya Pieterse in the squad.
Southern Gauteng has a trio of players in the line-up, including sharp-shooter Amber Fairon, Ifeoma Ndubueze and Hannah Quinton.
Their neighbours, Northerns, supply Luane Janssen and Mmamorena Manthata, while goalkeeper Matheo Manzi is from Mpumalanga, and Akhile Mdlalane from Border.
The South African under-17 boys’ team will also be competing in the Mirnawan Cup.
The girls’ squad will be managed by Sheridan Duncombe. Waterkloof’s Omari Pienaar Geyer is the head coach, and her assistant coach is Ilse Davids, who earned 183 caps for the national women’s team before retiring from the international game in 2018. Lisa Bone is the team’s physio.
SA u17 Girls’ Team
Jehan Abrahams (Wynberg Girls’ High, Western Province), Caprice Bengston (Durban Girls’ College, KZN Coastal), Amber Fairon (Dainfern College, Southern Gauteng), Cassandra Forbes (St Mary’s DSG, KZN Coastal), Luane Janssen (Hoërskool Waterkloof, Northerns), Ruby Kraus (Durban Girls’ College, KZN Coastal), Mmamorena Manthata (Cornwall Hill College, Northerns), Motheo Manzi (Hoërskool Middelburg, Mpumalanga), Emily Macquet (Durban Girls’ College, KZN Coastal), Logan Marthinus (Bloemhof, Boland), Akhile Mdlalane (Cambridge High, Border), Thabelani Metu (Lilyfontein High), Ifeoma Ndubueze (Northcliff High, Southern Gauteng), Tara Pakendorf (Durban Girls’ College, KZN Coastal), Leah Petersen (Stellenberg, Western Province), Tanya Pieterse (Paarl Gimnasium, Boland), Georgia Pollock (St Mary’s DSG, KZN Coastal), Hannah Quinton (Monument, Southern Gauteng)