The Namibian Hockey Union (NHU) is roaring to get the Africa Under-21 Junior Hockey Word Cup qualifiers underway. The 11-day continental showpiece is slated for March 18 in Windhoek.
“We can’t wait for the tournament to get started. Everything is in place and look forward to get started and welcome all the visiting teams,” said Marc Nel, president of the NHU.
The event sees the hosts’ junior men and ladies teams up against South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria and Tanzania while Egypt will only send a men’s team to the tourney.
The winner and runner-up in the men’s contest will qualify automatically for the World
Cup in India in November later this year, while the two best placed women’s teams travel to Chile in December to compete against the Under-21 elite hockey playing nations.
Nel confirmed that all games will be played on the astro turfs of both the Windhoek High School (WHS) and Windhoek Gymnasium with both venues adequately prepared.
South Africa and defending champions Egypt are fancied as firm favourites. In the women’s division, hosts Namibia look likely to claim one of the qualifying berths though the reigning champions South Africa remain hot favourites to take the gold medal in the category.
“We are certainly at the same level and can compete for the top spot,” Nel said.