03 May 2019 | Story Ruan Bruwer | Photo Zimbio
Simoné Gouws
Simoné Gouws (right) in action for the Protea hockey team last year. The defender will be a key player for the Kovsie team in the Varsity hockey competition.

The coach of the first women’s hockey team of the University of the Free State is confident that they can do well in the upcoming Varsity hockey tournament.

The competition works on a gender-rotation system every year. This will be the fourth term of Varsity hockey for women. The Kovsie women has a good record. In 2013 they ended fourth, in 2015 they were second, and in 2017 fifth.

The Kovsies will be facing the University of Johannesburg (UJ) on Friday 3 May 2019. On Saturday, the Maties is lying in wait and the North-West University on Sunday.

“I am confident that we will be doing well. If each player plays her role very well, we should reach the semi-final stage. We have put in the hard work, with good progress. We have played three matches so far in 2019 and haven’t been on the losing side yet,” said Luke Makeleni, head coach.

In friendlies last month, the Kovsies drew to NWU (0-0), defeated UJ by 3-1, and had a good win (6-0) against the Johannesburg club, Shumbas.

“We have quite an experienced squad, with seven survivors from the previous Varsity hockey competition (in 2017), so they know what is expected,” Makeleni said. He is in his third year of coaching the women.

The Kovsies have several players with national experience. Simoné Gouws made her debut for the Proteas last year. Casey-Jean Botha, Shindré-Lee Simmons, Antonet Louw, and Lizanne Jacobs have all represented the South African U21 team. Botha is also in the Protea squad. 

■ The Kovsie team: Wiané Grobler, Chane Hartel, Mikayla Claassen, Anke Badenhorst, Casey-Jean Botha, Shindré-Lee Simmons, Esté van Schalkwyk, Nadia van Staden, Antonet Louw, Michelle Ngoetjane, Heraldine Olin, Lizanne Jacobs, Refilwe Ralikontsane, Mielanka van Schalkwyk, Nela Mbedu, Simoné Gouws, Frances Louw, Kia-Leigh Erasmus.

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