Give them stick, SA

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Midfielder Marvin Harper has been included in the South African men's hockey national team that will take part in the Africa Olympic Qualifier tournament in Nairobi, Kenya, next month.

National team coach Gregg Clark said yesterday that Harper, who is from Durban, impressed the selectors during the provincial tournament held at Randburg in April.

"He is a new cap and he played well during the provincial tournament. He is a good midfielder and very quick.

"We hope he will add value to the team," said Clarke.

He said they have tried a number of youngsters in Test matches in January and March, but no one impressed the selectors.

"We're retaining the same squad as that of last season, but we're also looking at youngsters to come through from the development [ranks]," he said.

The other countries that will be participating against South Africa in the tournament are Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia and hosts Kenya.

The South African squad will be assembling at the High Performance Centre at the University of Pretoria for a national training camp on June 8. They will later leave for Belgium for training matches on June 13 to 23.

The South African hockey team is: Geoff Abbott, Tommy Hammond, Darryn Gallagher (KwaZulu-Natal Midlands), Garreth Carr, Clyde Abrahams, Chris Hibbert (Eastern Province), Andrew Cronje, Marvin Bam, Paul Blake, Bruce Jacobs, Eric Rose-Innes, Austin Smith (Western Province), Marvin Harper (KZN), Thornton McDade, Rassie Pieterse, (Southern Gauteng), Lloyd Norris-Jones, Emile Smith, Lungile Tsolekile (Northerns).