PSi Update – A chat with Bruce Jacobs
The name of Bruce Jacobs is a popular one within PSi circles, it’s a popularity that traces its origins to the stellar career Bruce had with the National outdoor side. Bruce featured in two Commonwealth Games, two FIH Hockey World Cup’s and two Olympic Games, including the Beijing games as captain. After 150 caps, Bruce retired from International hockey but quickly brought his passion for the game to the indoor courts as he took on the role of Brand Manager as well as running the Boland Foxes franchise. Ahead of this year’s junior nationals, we spoke to Bruce about all things PSi.
PSi: How do you think your hockey career could have benefited from PSi being around when you grew up?
Bruce: I firmly believe that indoor hockey has a positive impact on the development of a player’s technical skills and sharpness. I would have loved to have this opportunity growing up as it not only improves your hockey skills, but also allows you to play in a very fast, fun and exciting format of the game.
PSi: What impresses you most about PSi?
Bruce: PSi is a family. The coaches, parents and players all share the same passion and enjoyment for the game and Nationals has become a highlight every year for all of us involved with PSi. There is no hockey tournament like PSi Nationals that offers competitive hockey but also so much more in terms of entertainment and fun!
PSi: How did your journey with PSi begin?
Bruce: I first got involved coaching at a one day tournament while still playing international hockey. I thought the concept was great as the kids had so much fun. Simon Martin then offered me a great opportunity to run the Boland Franchise/Region the year after I retired from International hockey (2009). The timing was perfect and I am very thankful to Simon for giving me the opportunity.
PSi: As a franchise owner in PSi is there a brand of hockey you prefer your Foxes sides to play?
Bruce: I am happy with the style of play we are currently playing. We have always been competitive at Nationals and all my coaches have the same philosophy which is important. We certainly encourage the players to be competitive but not a “Win at all cost” attitude.
PSi: How has PSi grown in the Boland region since you started the Foxes?
Bruce: The Region has grown amazingly. We have grown to the stage that we are now having three Boland teams at Nationals (Foxes, Scorpions & Wildcats). I am constantly receiving mails and calls from parents that wishes to join PSi Boland and this is very exciting and pleasing. The parents have been very supportive and I absolutely love being a part of the Boland Region.
PSi: What is your franchise goals for this year?
Bruce: I would love to repeat what we achieved at the 2013 Nationals where we won both the A and B section Franchise of the year! But the truth is that even though I am extremely competitive, I want the kids, parents and coaches to have a memorable experience and to be good ambassadors for the Boland Region.
PSi: How much fun is it for you when the Foxes beat the Seals and you get one over Simon?
Bruce: There has always been a great rivalry between the Seals and Foxes with some epic battles and I do enjoy getting one over Simon and always look forward to the banter between the two of us. It is all in good spirit though!
PSi: How much of an honour was it to captain the South African Men’s Hockey side?
Bruce: It is a huge honour and privilege to represent your Country, but to captain the South African men’s hockey side was truly a special achievement and honour for me.
PSi: You earned 150 caps for South Africa, was their one particular game that stood out for you?
Bruce: There has been some great and memorable games. Playing the first match against Argentina and beaten them at the Athens Olympics was special, but the one match that stands out has to be the match against Belgium in the Olympic Qualifiers in Madrid in 2003. We were 19 seconds away from not going to Athens Olympics and we managed to equalise in the match to take the match to penalties. We won the match on penalties and Qualified for the Athens Olympic Games. I will never forget that moment ….when you realise that your childhood dream of playing at an Olympic Games has just come true!!
PSi: Which was better Athens or Beijing?
Bruce: I would say Athens as this was my first Olympics and we also played our best hockey, but Beijing was also special as I captained the team at this Games.
PSi: Do you think Indoor Hockey would be suitable for Olympic Games inclusion?
Bruce: Indoor hockey is fast and action packed with lots of goals and I think it could be suitable for Olympic Games as the crowds would definitely be entertained.
PSi: What is the one thing SA Hockey could do better to become more competitive globally?
Bruce: There are always going to be challenges for hockey in our country especially with regards sponsorships and funding, but as South Africans, we are resilient and passionate and all players want is to know that we have the ongoing support from our Federation and that the players will be supported 100%. If opportunities arise for our National sides to play more International hockey, then we need to work together to make it possible.
Follow the Foxes and all the other teams at this year’s PSi Junior Nationals taking place in Cape Town from the 30 June – 3 July 2016. You can follow all the action on the PSi social media accounts below as well as on www.psihockey.co.za
Twitter – @PSiHockey
Facebook – Pro Series Indoor
Instagram – Pro Series Indoor
YouTube – PSi Hockey (Pro Series Indoor)
Article written by Tyron Barnard – @TyronBarnard