The Namibia Hockey Union (NHU) yesterday announced the players for the two national hockey teams that will represent Namibia at next year’s Indoor Hockey World Cup in Belgium. Both men’s and women’s teams comprise 12 players, including five non-travelling reserves. The women’s team booked their ticket to Belgium after beating neighbours, South Africa 2-0 in the final match of the Women’s Indoor Africa Cup in Durban, earlier this year.
The men failed to qualify, but were later invited, along with three other nations, to the world cup after New Zealand and Australia withdrew from the competition due to various international travel restrictions put in place by their governments.
Erwin Handura, head coach of the women’s team, said they have the opportunity to do well, and asked for no disruptions during their preparations.
“It is important for the hockey union to take us very seriously through your executives …we do not want any distractions,” he said during the teams’ announcement.
“We don’t want any external distraction. There are so many infights; we have people always coming on board and coming up with different ideas. I am saying it now – just leave us in peace so we can prepare our team very well and do well at this competition,” pleaded Handura.
He said the team has been coming along since 2019, they have sourced sponsorships for the team, and thus do not want any external disturbances, because that can hamper their performance.
The coach noted that the women’s team will depart for Europe early to play friendly matches in Holland over two weeks, and coupled with the time scheduled for the world cup, they will be away for over a month.
“Players have to take leave from their full-time jobs; some will be going on unpaid leave and are thus making many sacrifices, but we have looked at how to compensate them.”On his part, NHU president Reagon Graig said Namibia is fortunate to be represented by both teams at the prestigious tournament. “I am proud of the players selected to represent Namibia at the world cup,” he said. The Indoor World Cup is scheduled for 2-6 February 2022 in Liège, Belgium, and the women’s team departs for Europe on 7 January.
Men’s team: David Strauss, Richter van Rooyen, Pieter Jacobs, Dakota Hansen, David Britz, Nicolaas Neethling, Cody van der Merwe, Liam Hermanus, Owen Hatton, Fagan Hansen, Brynn Cleak and John-Paul Britz.
Non-travelling reserves: Roben Kambinda, Percy Barthram, Nico Jacobs, Dylan Finch, Damien Schutz.
Women’s team: Petro Stoffberg, Barencia Diamond, Magreth Mengo, Sunelle Ludwig, Gillian Hermanus, Azaylee Phillander, Caitlin Gillies, Jivanka Kruger, Kaela Schimming, Armin van Staden, Danja Meyer and Jaimie Gillies.
Non-travelling reserves: Tara Myburg, Anthea Coetzee, Jaimie Henckert, Jahntwa Kruger and Britta Haenzel.