George Hearld – SOUTHERN CAPE NEWS – The Southern Cape mens hockey team became the only team ever to successfully win the coveted SACD Trophy four times consecutively by taking the championship in this year’s tournament in Paarl.
The SACD trophy has been around since 1975 and Southern Cape won this competition in 1993 for the first time. Apart from the last four years they also took the championship in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Southern Cape has played in 10 consecutive finals and won it on 7 times in the last ten years.
The captain of the Southern Cape team, Marc van Staden, received the title as player of the tournament which is another feather in the cap of Southern Cape hockey.
Apart from playing excellent hockey on the field the team also received the honour, with the Boland team, as the best behaved teams on and off the field. Piet van Eeden received the trophy for most improved umpire.
A total of 12 teams participated in the tournament and Southern Cape played in seven matches. Their results in these matches were: Eastern Province 4-0; Mpumalanga 3-1; KZN Inland 2-2; 3 NOFS 3-1; Boland 4-0; WP 2-0 and Natal 3-0 in the final.
“Our success can be attributed to the dedication and commitment by team management and players and the support received from our sponsors. An immense amount of work goes on behind the scenes to prepare the team for each years tournament.
“The players sacrifice enormous amounts of work and family time to prepare for the tournament and the pressures of being defending champions is a huge burden,” said team manager Donald Olivier.
“Their achievements,” he continued, “have gone mostly unnoticed because of the lack of exposure hockey receives in the province, nevertheless these representatives of Southern Cape hockey are true ambassadors on and off the field for the region at these national tournaments. They have earned the respect of their fellow competitors.”
The following sponsors made the achievement possible by supporting the trip financially: Grants Sports, George Herald, Spectrum Agencies, Sports Centre George, Network Wise, SO Architects, Southern Cape Hockey Association and Denneoord Liquor & Multisave.
The team also thanked Tours for South Africa for their awesome service as well as their very competent and helpful driver, Stephan Bezuidenhout.