give them stick, SA!

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Dave Carr, South African Hockey Association president, believes the experience the women's team is gaining overseas will augur well for them in their pursuit of medals at the Beijing Olympics in August.

The South Africans, coached by Jennifer King, are in Europe where they are playing a series of matches to prepare for the Olympic Games.

They featured in the four nations tournament in Ireland last weekend where they finished fourth after beating the hosts 3-1.

Great Britain walloped South Africa 3-0.

The South Africans beat Ireland 2-1 in a Test match on Tuesday before they departed to Amsterdam, Holland, yesterday for another four nations tournament that will be played this week.

They will play against Holland, Germany and India.

"It is good for us to compete against strong teams overseas to prepare ourselves thoroughly for the Olympics," said Carr yesterday.

"The players are motivated going to Holland and I hope they will give a good account of themselves out there.

"From there they will camp in Durban together with their male counterparts before they depart to Beijing."

South African men's and women's squads both finished tenth at the 2004 Athens Olympics but Carr believes they can improve on their positions in Beijing.

The women's squad has experienced players like captain Marsha Marescia and Kate Hector who were in the Athens Olympics team.

Vuyisanani Mangisa, Taryn Hosking and Leslie-Ann George also have the potential to impress in Beijing.

The hockey Beijing Olympics squads:

Men - Geoffrey Abbott, Clyde Abrahams, Marvin Bam, Paul Blake, Andrew Cronje, Darren Gallagher, Thomas Hammond, Marvin Harper, Christopher Hibbert, Bruce Jacobs, Thornton McDade, Charles Rose-Innes, Austin Smith, Emile Smith, Ian Symons and Lungile Tsolekile.

Women - Tarryn Bright, Cindy Brown, Fiona Butler, Lisa Deetlefs, George, Hector, Hosking, Mangisa, Lenise Marais, Marescia, Mariette Rix, Shelly Russell, Vida Ryan, Vidette Ryan, Kathleen Taylor and Jennifer Wilson.