By Tyron Barnard
On Tuesday 15 December 2015 84 teams began their campaigns to claim supremacy at the PSI Nationals in the under-16 and under-18 tournaments, the premier indoor hockey tournament in South Africa.
The three day hockey extravaganza will have added interest as the hockey loving fraternity of South Africa will get to witness the Spar Four Nations Women’s test series featuring our local ladies, Namibia, Australia and United States. With a few PSI alumni turning out for the Namibians and the South Africans, the excitement will be immense as the current crop of PSI player’s dream of their opportunity to represent the national side.
In the under-16 section the challenge will be to overcome the Boland Foxes who were victorious in both the boys and girls tournaments last year. In the girl’s series the Foxes beat their beat the Hawks in last year’s final, while it was Gryphons in the boys group. The Boland team will be looking to underline their domination of the indoor game.
The Gryphons will also be looking to make a massive statement this year after finishing with medals in all four A Sections last year, but only managed to win one gold. They will have been buoyed by watching one of their own alumni’s play for the International All Stars on Sunday Night, Brandon James. The under 18 boy’s side is led by Olympian Lance Louw which offers an interesting tussle in itself.
African Cup hero Matthew Guise-Brown will lead the Pretoria Pitbulls in the U16 section, while SA Indoor players Robin Jones and Taine Paton will coach the U16 Boys Stallions and the U18 Boys Spiders.
The Cape Seals managed to overcome the Foxes in the U18 girl’s tournament in 2014 and will be hoping to add another gold to the most successful franchises record. They will have a tough task ahead of them as the Foxes look an incredible unit.
It will also be interesting to see if the growth of Mamba’s hockey, thanks largely to the Hockey Farm, has reached the higher age groups in the same manner it has with the junior groups, where the Mambas were undoubtedly the Franchise of the B Section.
It is shaping up to be sensational, incredible and frankly just brilliant.
Head over the PSI Youtube channel and watch the highlights of each day, done superbly by Enhanced Sports, or you can stay up to date with PSI on Facebook and Instagram
Photos – LB & ANZ Photography