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Six of the best for Beijing

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Six of the best for Beijing

by Brian Gaffney
18 Jun 2008
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

WESTERN PROVINCE's hockey members dominate the Proteas squad chosen for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The 16-player Proteas squad will be captained by Bruce Jacobs, a long serving member of the Central Club in the WP Hockey Association.

Jacobs is one of six WP players in the squad selected for the Olympics, which will be held from 8 to 24 August. His WP contemporaries in the national squad are Marvin Bam, Austin Smith and Paul Blake (all Pinelands), Andrew Cronje (WPCC) and Eric Rose-Innes (Stellenbosch University).

Jacobs and Rose-Innes represented the Proteas at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. And now Bam, Smith, Blake and Cronje will fulfil their hockey dreams when they make their debuts in Beijing.

Another former member of the Central Club, Lungile Tsolekile from Pretoria University (North Gauteng) will also make his Olympic debut. Ian Haley of UCT is one of the non-travelling reserves. He will be among others considered for selection if one of the SA squad players sustains an injury.

Gregg Clark is the head coach and Kurt Cerfontyne (Central) is his assistant coach.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) put an end to a player quota row when it endorsed the selection of the Proteas side on 12 June.

The Proteas men's squad includes six players of colour in spite of the parliamentary sports committee calling for a 50-50 quota selection to allow eight players of colour to travel to the Beijing Olympics.

Sascoc went ahead and accepted the SA Hockey Association's (Saha) stance that merit selections should apply for the Olympics.

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