In June last year the Namibian women were taking part in the African Hockey Indoor Cup of Nations in their home country. In their final group match with the South African women they were outclassed 7-0 and realistically speaking, looked well short of the quality needed to beat their arch rivals.
On the 25 June though that changed, having trailed 2-1 and 3-2 the Namibians showed heart that had not been evident the night before. With just 20 seconds remaining the prolific Marcia Venter levelled and sent the match to showdowns. The Namibian ladies would win the showdowns 2-1 to secure their spot in the World Cup. This victory was arguably one of the biggest moments in the history of Namibian Hockey and spurred a fantastic show of support from the Government and SeaFlower to aid the ladies to get to the World Cup.
Of course this is not the first time Namibia have gone to the World Cup having qualified in 2011 through the administration error from South Africa, but this will feel so much better and satisfying. The Namibians will be looking to improve on the performance in 2011 where they finished 10th out of the 12 teams, but already are looking far better 7 years later.
In Kiana Cormack they have one of the most exciting indoor hockey youngsters in recent years, backing up these claims with a hat-trick against Netherlands in a 7-3 loss last week. They can also call on their experienced leader Maggie Mengo and Marcia Venter who both featured in the 2011 World Cup. Their experience will be imperative for the young Namibian side looking to ruffle some feathers in Berlin, while the skill of Petro Stoffberg in goals is something that could decide tight matches.
Tayla Sportswear are proud supporters of African Indoor Hockey and wish the Namibian ladies all the best in their World Cup adventure.
Namibian Squad for Indoor World Cup (Caps in Brackets)
Maggie Mengo – captain (42)
Marcia Venter (37)
Petro Stoffberg – Goalkeeper (24)
Gillian Hermanus (14)
Ina Louis (17)
Jocelle Deysel (13)
Dure Boshoff (10)
Sunelle Ludwig (10)
Jeani Holz (5)
Berenecia Diamond – Goalkeeper (2)
Kiana Cormack (0)
Zani van Lill (0)
Namibian World Cup Fixtures
7 February – Czech Republic (11:35)
7 February – Germany (18:20)
8 February – Australia (11:35)
8 February – Ukraine (18:35)
9 February – Russia (14:10)
Written for Tayla Sportswear by Tyron Barnard