BY TYRON BARNARD
The Mpumalanga Mambas rocked the B Section of PSI Hockey in 2015, when they won three competitions and finished second in a further two. Rightfully they were awarded the B section franchise of the year. It was a dominant display from a team that was only established in 2014 and surely points the way to other franchises on how to build a team. Tracey Flowers, the Franchise owner and seasoned provincial hockey player and coach, shared what she believed was the secret to the Mamba’s Success:
“The major improvements in our teams is due to two critical factors. The first is that our coaches had a greater level of exposure and have garnered more experience in indoor hockey, while the second is the completion of the Mambas Snake Pit, the indoor centre at the Hockey Farm.”
The Hockey Farm is where we should spend a bit of time. The Hockey Farm has equipped Mpumalanga hockey with a World Class facility. It has made the game of hockey more accessible to all. The facilities have helped to develop the abilities of the players but also importantly the abilities of the coaches and umpires. The Hockey Farm also were able to invite the SA Indoor Hockey side to their opening, which gave the extra motivation to the youngsters of the Mambas set up.
One of the challenges that the Mambas face is that indoor hockey is not a first tier sport for many schools in the area and as a result there is resistance at times as the schools believe the role of development is their responsibility. But with the incredible passion shown by Tracey and fellow coaches Marlize Jackson, Brighty Mashaba, Bonita Vere, Tyler Calitz, Luzanda Conradie and Yance Fourie have made sure that no challenge is insurmountable.
In 2016 it will be a case for consolidation and building as the Mambas begin their first quest in the A section. There will be an added focus to develop B team players to build the depth of the Mambas hockey this year as well. It’s going to be a challenge, but as the Mambas have shown already, that is something they pride themselves on!
Here is where you can catch up on all things Mamba’s Hockey:
Facebook: The Hockey Farm or MpumalangaMambas
And remember to stay up to date on all things PSI by following on:
Twitter – @PSIHockey
Facebook – Pro Series Indoor
Instagram – Pro Series Indoor
YouTube – PSI Hockey (Pro Series Indoor)