IT MAY have been a baptism of fire, but the experience can only benefit UCT students John McInroy and Ian Symons who made their debuts for the South African senior hockey side in the Nedbank International Challenge against highly-rated Spain a few weeks back.
Another UCT face at Hartleyvale for the series was team coach Paul Revington, who acts in the same capacity for the University's men's A side. Alas, things did not go too well for the young SA team – it fielded six new caps losing four of the challenge's five matches, although earning itself a deserved draw in the third game.
â€œIt was quite an experience for us, just to see the Spaniards in action and see what they're capable of,â€ says Symons. â€œI absolutely loved it.
â€œFor John and myself, we couldn't have asked for anything better – home debuts in front of roaring UCT crowds. It was really awesome.â€
Symons and McInroy could look forward to more applause as, alongside UCT teammates Paul Blake and David Viney, they have both been included in the squad for the national training camp and trials in June.
Should they do well, the students may be selected to represent South Africa in the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg in July. This event features teams ranked seven to 12 in the world.