Despite the Saints’ relatively young players facing off some of the internationally tried and tested rivals from the national team in the Bank Windhoek National Indoor Hockey League (NHU), the club has started off on a clean slate.
The Saints have become quite a force to reckon with since the club’s inception two years ago, having thrashed NUST 7-0 just this past week at the Show Grounds. “The national league is indoors, it’s a little bit more competitive than outdoor because there are more participants. We hope to continue to build the club and come to a point where we can be really competitive in the premier league but I think we are already proving to be quite competitive.
“About 7% of our numbers are actually under 18, which is quite unfortunate as we lose most of our senior players to university and its hard to really retain the talent,” says the Saints coach Shayne Cormack. The team is bracing up for its fi fth game, having played United, DTS, UNAM and NUST and won three games already while the league’s current top goal scorer, Kayla Schimming hails from its camp. A great combination of skill cultivated out of expert coaching from Cormack with her assistant has brought to the fore of the league exceptionally good players in their prime.
The recent show down against NUST was marked by an aggressive push for goals, player combination and outbursts of energy which saw NUST failing to concede a single goal. Sealing off its defense and outmaneuvering the opponent has become the major part of the Saints game play which has shaken rival nets many times in the previous four games. Speaking to The Villager Sport when visited over the last week at one of its many training sessions, The Saints’ interim captain, Hester Neethiing expressed her optimism in landing top of the league. “I think we have a good chance because despite having young players we have a great team really.
We are very confi dent and we always trust each other. The league is really tough, we are a young team, but we are enjoying it very much,” said the bubbly Neethiing. Commenting on the most recent game she said, “The game against NUST was a very good one, really intense it was, we struggled at fi rst to fi nd each other but later on we played really well. “ Flying top goal scorer, Kayla Schimming considers the league a combination of intense hectic play and fun as she sets her mind, ball and stick towards scoring more goals.
“My team is having a lot of fun and hopefully we can keep up the good work. I am very hopeful; we have to continue playing as a good team. Playing against older people is a great opportunity and I feel that we are learning a lot from them,” said the agile player. Meanwhile the Saints men’s team has so far in all its previous matches infl icted a dusty defeat against WOBS BB, Sparta, NUST and DTS. More than 50 teams, approximately 470 to 500 hockey players, from twelve clubs are estimated to be taking part in the Bank Windhoek National Indoor Hockey League this year.
Bank Windhoek threw in its support of the annual Indoor Hockey League and Field Hockey League with a sponsorship package of N$275 000 for the 2016/2017 sports calendar.