Proteas’ poor Games show­ing a mat­ter of con­cern in lo­cal hockey cir­cles

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - AL­LAN ISAACS

THE lo­cal Hockey sea­son will com­mence to­day with some mouth­wa­ter­ing clashes in the lo­cal leagues.

The play­ers were in­volved in the pre-sea­son PSI pro se­ries in midMarch and they have been in­volved in pre-sea­son train­ing since the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary.

Our na­tional play­ers will not be here for week one as they have just com­peted in the Com­mon­wealth Games in Aus­tralia and only re­turn next week.

The South African squads did not per­form as ex­pected and the na­tional teams have to be­come a pri­or­ity for the gov­ern­ing body. South Africa are mov­ing back­wards in the sport and this has to be­come a fo­cal point if we hope to be com­pet­i­tive on the world stage.

Back in lo­cal ac­tion, the Pinelands men’s team made a swift re­turn to the top flight by win­ning the men’s Grand Chal­lenge Re­serve last year.

The stal­warts of Pinelands re­mained there last year and their con­tri­bu­tion to­wards gain­ing pro­mo­tion is un­doubted. Jack Thon­nis­sen and the Pinelands faith­ful will have a tough opener against the cham­pi­ons, Stel­len­bosch, at Coet­zen­burg tonight at 6pm. Maties are a pow­er­house in lo­cal hockey and con­tinue to add to their al­ready il­lus­tri­ous squad an­nu­ally.

Langa will host Fish Hoek at 3pm and this has the po­ten­tial to be a fiery en­counter. Luthando Jonas and Thu­lani Mnani have re­turned to Langa af­ter play­ing for Cen­tral last sea­son.

The Hoek­ers are al­ways a tough unit, though.

In the women’s di­vi­sion Cen­tral have made a swift re­turn to the grand chal­lenge as well. They will not be in ac­tion to­mor­row as all their matches have been post­poned in hon­our of the late Win­nie Madikazela-Man­dela.

The WPCC-Vic­to­ri­ans game (at WPCC, 3pm) will be the clash of the week­end.

Con­berg will host Som­er­set at Bergvliet at 4.30pm.

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