FRESH from their impressive 2-1 win in the Investec International Series against Spain, captain Marsha Marescia and the South Africa women’s hockey team go into another marathon of eight internationals at Randburg Astro over the next 12 days.
First up are one-off Test matches against Ireland at 7 pm today and Belgium at the same time tomorrow.
The visiting teams meet in a one-off Test on Friday.
The teams then go into the Tri-Nations Tournament from Saturday until the following Thursday, the matches at 2 pm on weekends and 7 pm during the week. And once the dust has settled on the Tri-Nations, SA and Belgium will meet in a two-Test series on February 4 and 5.
SA head coach Giles Bonnet designed these matches months ago as a key aspect of the team’s preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The SA squad’s moment of truth happens next month when they will go in search of gold at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in New Delhi, India.
Nothing less than winning that tournament, which takes place from February 15 to 26, will suffice, as the gold medallists in Delhi are granted automatic entry into London 2012.
It is the last chance that Marescia’s girls in green and gold have of realising their Olympic dream.
No less than 11 Test matches will be played in total at the Randburg Astro, given that Ireland and Belgium have three matches against each other over the 12-day period.
(all at Randburg Astro)
International Test Matches
25/01/2012 7 pm – 8.15 pm IRL vs RSA
26/01/2012 7 pm to 8.15 pm BEL vs RSA
27/01/2012 7 pm to 8.15 pm BEL vs IRL
Investec Tri-Nations Tournament
28/01/2012 2 pm – 3.15 pm IRL vs RSA
29/01/2012 2 pm – 3.15 pm BEL vs RSA
30/01/2012 7 pm – 8.15 pm BEL vs IRL
31/01/2012 7 pm – 8.15 pm IRL vs RSA
01/02/2012 7 pm – 8.15 pm BEL vs RSA
02/02/2012 5 pm – 6.15 pm BEL vs IRL
04/02/2012 2 pm – 3.15 pm BEL vs RSA
05/02/2012 11 am – 12.15 pm BEL vs RSA