Hosting hockey’s finest
THE Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival’s hockey arm, the Nomads Festival, promises highlevel schoolboy hockey from among the finest teams in the country.
Today and tomorrow promise some mouth-watering tussles among the 12 teams on the Papes and AB Jackson turfs.
The school first teams will play a remarkable 30 matches over twoand-half days, the event coming to a close on Monday morning.
Maritzburg College take on leading UK school Millfield at 8.40 am today and this renews an intense rivalry after matches that have been hotly contested, both in Pietermaritzburg, on College’s Pape’s Astro, and on the England school’s turf.
This is just one of 12 matches today and another 12 tomorrow should have hockey lovers glued to their seats.
“It’s going to be a big weekend for us,” said College first team head coach Guy Elliott yesterday.
“Everyone’s fit, and the guys know there are no easy matches.
“One to look forward to is Wynberg versus College on Papes at 9.50 am on Monday, but as I said, there are no free lunches in this event.”
“Wynberg beat us at Nomads in East London last year, on the Selborne College pitch, so it’s a bit of a revenge affair, while the Selborne match we won 3-2 after the final hooter last year, so that match at 9.50 am tomorrow should be another one to look forward to,” said Elliott.
Maritzburg College first team captain Jorgen Wikstrom, who played for South Africa U16 last year and has played 38 matches for College, said it was a great honour to captain College in the school’s 150th year.
“We have a fairly young team, five Grade 12s, six Grade 11s and three Grade 10s, so my job is to mix it in leading by example and by being vo- cal,” said Wikstrom.
“In Mr Elliott we have a coach who I have much respect for, he is eager to have a good season and is doing a good job, so it should be a successful three days. It’s the 150th, our time to shine, and I am urging the team to play to our full potential.”
College’s Tyson Dlangwana, who debuted for the first team in Grade nine and is now in Grade 10, made SA U16 last year and the centre back said the team’s style of good basics, high ball speed and patience in building attacks would serve them well. “We are all hungry, there is a good vibe and the players want it.”
Other matches among many to look out for today are Grey versus Michaelhouse, Pretoria Boys’ High against Wynberg, Selborne versus King Edward VII School of Houghton, Johannesburg, and Jeppe against Hilton. See page 2 for full fixture list.
Maritzburg College first team hockey captain Jorgen Vikstrom (left) and promising young player Tyson Dlungwana in high spirits ahead of the Nomads Festival, which starts today.