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Durban North’s Jess honoured by 100th cap

Northglen News chats to Jessica O'Connor about her recent 100th cap for the South African indoor hockey team.

THIS year Durban North resident Jessica O’Connor carved out a slice of history by becoming only the second African and South African indoor hockey player to be capped 100 times.

She achieved the milestone in a series against Poland and has joined fellow resident, Cindy Hack, who last year achieved her 100th international cap for the Protea team.

The final game of the series ended with a 3-1 win for the South Africans meaning that the series was shared which meant the national team, ranked 16th in the world held their own against the Polish who are ranked sixth in the world.

Centurions, Cindy Hack, Jess O’Connor and Lennie Botha (coach).

Northglen News, recently caught up with the talented player to find out what the achievement meant.

“It was an absolute honour to reach 100 caps for my team that. But I can honestly say, that each and every single game leading up to my 100th cap has been just as special and meant just as much to me. No matter how many games I play, every time I put on that green and gold kit it is a privilege,” she said.

The shared series against Poland put the team in good standing ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Our team has come so far and we improve with each and every game we play. We recently played Czech Republic, Poland and Switzerland who are ranked 5th, 6th and 7th respectively and we competed comfortably even though we are ranked 16th. The Indoor World Cup is in January 2021, and we have African Qualifiers to be played still. One of my goals is to be selected for the African Qualifiers team, and hopefully win that tournament which will allow us to attend the World Cup. If everything goes according to plan, then, yes, my next goal would be to make the World Cup Side,” she said.

The SA Indoor Hockey team celebrates the successes of Cindy Hack and Jessica O’Connor.

When asked who inspires her, O’Connor, simply said her teammates.

“It’s definitely my teammates, each one of us puts our hearts and bodies on the line every time we step onto that court and I wouldn’t have come this far without them,” she said.


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