The highly anticipated second running of the Premier Hockey League by South African Hockey is fast approaching, with the first push back of #PHL17 taking place on Saturday 25 November.
Following the same principles as last years teams; 10 of the 12 playing squads will comprise the very best players in South Africa with the 2016 squads augmented by additional Marquee Players and a revised draft process. In line with SA Hockey’s high performance pipeline strategy the two remaining franchise teams will be dedicated for the SA men’s and women’s u21 national squads. The 10 other #PHL17 teams (five men’s and five women’s) will be finalised via a unique player draft that will take place on the 20th October in Johannesburg.
Prior to the launch of #PHL16 last year, Marissa Langeni, the CEO of SAHA,
stated that “If the u21 team experiment proves a success then we may make these age group national teams a permanent fixture in future PHLs”. With the success of their inclusion in the tournament and specifically the u21 Men’s success at the FIH Junior World Cup post #PHL16, it’s no wonder that it has been agreed to make this a permanent part in u21 preparations for future international campaigns. The men’s u21 team will once again play as the Golden Gate Gladiators and the women’s u21 team will remain the Namaqualand Daisies. Attached are the recently announced National u21 Hockey Squads for Men and Women.
In further exciting news, Old Mutual iWYZE, the sponsors of the iWYZE Hockey Nationals for junior teams have agreed to sponsor both the Gladiators and the Daisies in #PHL17. Says Presodhini Naicker, Old Mutual iWYZE Head of Marketing & Brand, “Our sponsorship of the Gladiators and the Daisies further extends iWYZE commitment to the high performance process currently taking place in the junior ranks of South African Hockey. We are now involved in the game from u13 Boys and Girls Hockey Nationals through to the u21 National squads, a key area of the #SAHockeyRevolution strategy being followed by SA Hockey Association.”
Tyson Dlungwana, a member of the 2016 Gladiators and national u21 squad member said “Its wonderful to be back in the Gladiators squad for #PHL17. Last year was an incredible opportunity for us as young players and I have no doubt that the new generation of u21 players joining us this year will gain enormously from the experience.” Included in the Men’s u21 squad is Western Cape schoolboy Dayaan Cassiem who proved during the recent FIH Hockey World League in Johannesburg that he is a global superstar in the making.
Amongst an enlarged ladies squad of 42 players are a number of schoolgirls including 17 year old Dani Rhodes, daughter of Proteas cricketer and former hockey player Jonty Rhodes and Ongi Mali whose progress as the youngest of the 2016 national u21 squad augurs well for her future in South African and world hockey.
This year again promises to give South African hockey fans fast and furious hockey action from the best male and female players in the country! #PHL17 will be broadcast live on SuperSport so please look out for the final match and broadcast schedules which will be published in the coming weeks.