The new Super League: a step forward for South African hockey

The new Super League: a step forward for South African hockey

Davide Tuniz24 Jul 2015Davide Tuniz»

Eurohockey talks with South African coach Marc Giot about the newly created national league


South African hockey hopes to start down the road of a new develope with the creation of the new South African Super League (SASL). Eurohockey contacted the national team and Johannesburg Wildcats player Marc Giot, one of the creators of this new tournament. As usual Eurohockey will cover SASL with a dedicated page with all infos about rosters and gamesheets

Eurohockey:  The new South African Superleague debuted in the middle of July, can you introduce this new project?

Marc Giot: The SASL or SA Super League is a national league that will take place between the 3 current (most stable) running senior clubs in South Africa: Cape Town Kings, Pretoria Capitals and Gauteng Wildcats. This league will be 15 games in total with each team traveling to Cape Town and Gauteng  as part of the series. The league hosts the core of the SA National Squad/Team.

Eurohockey: which is the difference with the old Interclubs Championship?

Marc Giot: The goal of the SASL is to offer the players a higher quality and higher tempo series of games in order to better prepare for World Champs and raise the level of hockey in South Africa.

Eurohockey: The regional leagues (Gauteng and Cape Town) will continue to exist?

Marc Giot: Yes, the normal senior leagues in the various cities will remain the same and will continue to take place, our goal is to keep increasing the amount of teams taking part in the Super League.

Eurohockey: It's a champioship recognized by the SA Federation? It means the winner is considered South African champion?

Marc Giot: Yes, the winning team of the series will be the South African Champions, this league has replaced the Interprovincial Tournament which normall took place over 3-4 days, where a round-robin would decide the winning team, this way we play many more games over a longer period of time and increase the level of hockey in the country.

Eurohockey: How is difficult to play icehockey in the country?

Marc Giot: The sport is relatively easy to play as there is a lot of support with regards to start-up kit, etc the only issue is that it can be costly as apposed to soccer and rugby and there are very few rinks in the country which makes it tough when traveling.

Eurohockey: the national team was relegated in Division III this year, despite having played the championship at home. It seems SA cannot be consolidated as II division team, jumping up and down from III Division. What is missing in your opinion?

Marc Giot: Over the past couple years we have been working with Bob Mancini from USA Hockey and although we did not stay in Div2B this year we have shown great development and growth as the SA National Team. Statistics wise and game wise we outplayed and out-shot many teams that we played against, so it is clear for us that our next step is working on scoring more goals, as silly as that may sound, we have come along way and there were many positives that came from this recent world championships.

Eurohockey: How do you see the future of hockey in your country?

Marc Giot: I fear that hockey will always be a Cindarella sport, but that does not mean that it cant be a great sport even through it would stay relatively small. All the hockey clubs and provinces are working really hard to recruit new players and keep growing the numbers, I hope that in the future we can have triple the number of hockey players and hopefully a couple more ice rinks. For the SA National team, I can see us being solid Div IIA contenders, it will take some time and some hard work but we do have the athletes and extremely experienced coaches.

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