South Africa: South African Hockey Unveils Mustapha Cassiem and Tegan Fourie as Indoor Hockey Players of the Year

South African Hockey proudly announced Mustapha Cassiem and Tegan Fourie as the SA Indoor Hockey Players of the Year during the inaugural SA Indoor Hockey Awards ceremony held at the Wynberg Military Base in Western Cape.

Mustapha Cassiem showcased exceptional prowess throughout 2023, featuring in 11 of South Africa’s 17 tests and netting an incredible 25 goals. His standout performances at the FIH Indoor World Cup earned him recognition as the best Junior Player globally. Additionally, Cassiem’s remarkable contributions led to his crowning as the Nkosi Cup Player of the Tournament.

Reflecting on his achievement, Cassiem stated “It a real honour and privilege. It comes down to the work you put in, the hours that nobody sees. 2023 was a special year for me and my family. I am grateful for the award and thank you for my team mates who always believe in me and support me.”

Tegan Fourie, SPAR South Africa’s top goal scorer at the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, played a pivotal role in securing a record high fourth place for the team with 5 goals, including a crucial finish in the World Cup Quarter Final against Belgium. Fourie’s outstanding performance extended to the Tuanku Zara Cup in Malaysia, where she earned the Player of the Tournament title. Throughout the year, Fourie’s contributions aided SPAR South Africa in clinching silver, amassing a total of 13 goals in 19 appearances.

Fourie expressed her gratitude, saying, “it means the absolute world to me, it’s amazing. Our SPAR South Africa had an incredible year with the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup, the Tuanku Zara Cup in Malaysia, and the Nkosi Cup in Cape Town. I am grateful to have been a part of the team and am excited for where we are going as a team and what we can achieve.”

The SA Indoor Hockey Rising Star award acknowledges outstanding players under 23 years old with less than 10 caps. Malikah Hamza, representing SPAR South Africa, secured the award with her impactful debut performance in Malaysia. Idrees Abdulla, part of the SA Indoor Hockey Men powered by Tops at SPAR, impressed with his breakthrough during the Nkosi Cup.

Erik Etsebeth and Claire Cowan emerged as the 2023 SA Indoor Hockey Umpires of the Year, earning praise for their consistent excellence in officiating.

Tribute was also paid to two stalwarts of South African Indoor Hockey who called time on their involvement in 2023. Lennie Botha retired as head coach of the SPAR South Africa team having overseen 132 test matches while Jess O’Connor, the captain of the Indoor World Cup semi-finalists also called time on her international career having played every single test match between her debut and her retirement over a decade later.

Shaune Baaitjies, Interim CEO of SA Hockey, extended congratulations to all the award winners, highlighting their role in enhancing the SA Hockey brand both locally and internationally.

“The awards represent the celebration of our players and umpires who continually keep the SA Hockey brand alive locally and on the international stage. We have an incredible indoor hockey programme thanks to the support of our title sponsors SPAR and Tops at SPAR and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their significant support.”

SA Indoor Hockey Awards 2023 – Winners
SA Indoor Hockey Players of the Year: Mustapha Cassiem
SA Indoor Hockey Players of the Year: Tegan Fourie
SA Indoor Hockey Rising Star: Idrees Abdulla
SA Indoor Hockey Rising Star: Malikah Hamza
SA Indoor Hockey Umpires of the Year: Erik Etsebeth
SA Indoor Hockey Umpires of the Year: Claire Cowan

by South Africa

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