This week Hosting Hockey, Adele chats to Tegan Fourie. Tegan currently plays for Kearsney Hockey Club and has played for the KZN Raiders since 2015. She is currently in the South African Women’s Olympic Squad and the South African Women’s Indoor World Cup Qualifier Squad where she has 8 caps and 29 caps respectively. After competing in the 2016 Junior World Cup, she would love to play at an Olympic Games.
Adele: Who are you currently playing for in KZN (outdoor Hockey)?
Tegan: Kearsney Hockey Club and KZN Raiders
Adele: How has the Covid 19 Virus effected the league and provincial plans?
Tegan: Unfortunately, the league has been cancelled this year but we have had no feedback on provincial plans.
Adele: How has the Covid 19 Virus effected World Hockey?
Tegan: All the international tournaments for the remainder of the year have either been postponed to next year or cancelled. The Olympics has been postponed to July/August next year. It could also have an effect on qualifying events for major tournaments.
Adele: You are part of the South African Women’s Outdoor and Indoor Squads. How are you linking up with the SA Outdoor Women’s Squad currently?
Tegan: We have weekly zoom meetings to discuss the way forward and team tactics. We have also been doing team core and pilates sessions every week.
Adele: How do you manage competing at such a high level with SA Outdoor and SA Indoor?
Tegan: I have always loved competing. From a young age, I competed in athletics and swimming as well as playing hockey, so I learnt how to balance my training as well as learning how to compete. It is also really important to know that you will have bad days whether it be a training session or a match, but it is how you react to that bad day to make sure that you get something out of the session and to remember why you are playing. Indoor gives you the small skills and intensity that you can use in outdoor, although going to outdoor gives you the freedom to be more creative. For me, I love being on the astro and the indoor court, it gives me the opportunity to compete all year round.
Adele: What has been your career highlight so far?
Tegan: It is really hard to choose 1!
At a junior level in outdoor, playing at the Junior World Cup in Chile as it was my first big international tournament. I came back really motivated to train harder, be fitter and improve my skill set. It was a different level of intensity, skills and speed.
In indoor, I would definitely say playing against the All Stars Team at the PSI Nationals in 2018. It was incredible to play against some of the world’s best indoor players as well as playing in front of a full South African crowd.
At a senior level in outdoor, playing against Ireland and Germany at this year’s Summer Series was a great experience. Watching the top international teams on TV is very different to actually playing against them on the astro.
Adele: Your sister, Cerian who is in Grade 11, is also part of the SA Indoor Squad. How do you feel about having two family members in the squad?
Tegan: I am so excited to have her in the squad with me. We only recently started playing in the same team (2019) because of the age gap but I have loved playing with her. We are so fortunate that we can train together because we know each other’s strengths and we push each other when we play in the same team as well as when we play against each other.
Adele: What/Who got you in to hockey?
Tegan: Definitely my family. I have a brother who is 2 years older than me, I tagged along to any sport he did as the eager younger sister. After watching him for a few weeks, I convinced my parents that I definitely needed to play hockey and I haven’t looked back since.
Adele: What is the best piece of advice that you can give to young players?
Tegan: “Anything is possible”. I grew up believing this and I still believe it. If you continue to work hard and believe that you can achieve your goals, then you are heading in the right direction. It is also really important to keep learning. Learn and grow as much as you can, there are so many different technical and tactical skills you can learn and improve whether you analyze your own game, learn from the best international teams, just never stop learning. Expect that the journey will be hard, enjoy the journey, it is so worth it.
Adele: What have you seen are the main differences of styles of play in outdoor with our South African Team and the top international teams in the world?
Tegan: We are in a really exciting stage at the moment, having had the opportunity to play international tests in the buildup to what was going to be the 2020 Olympics, the squad got to play against countries such as Germany, Ireland and China (Germany and Ireland are in our pool for the Olympics). It is always good to be able to benchmark yourself against the rest of the world. What was notable for me is their basics, understanding of what is required of each player and the intensity they play with is very sound. They are also able to rotate into different positions within the game and still understand their role. Personally, I aspire to play at that level and to be able to compete with them, which is very exciting as there is always room to improve.
Adele: How do you think we are going to improve our world ranking and get closer to the higher ranked outdoor international teams?
Tegan: Every international test match now counts towards world ranking points, so it is important to play as many test matches as possible and to get a result from these matches. We have been very fortunate to have played so many in the past year, we need to keep building on the progress we have made so that we can continue to grow as a team.
Adele: What is your best playing position in the outdoor team?
Tegan: I have played as a midfielder and a striker for the outdoor team. I really enjoy being in the attack, but I definitely prefer being in the midfield. I love being able to set up goal scoring opportunities as well as being involved in the defense.
Adele: Who is one of the finest players that you have played against a) Indoor Hockey b) Outdoor Hockey
Tegan: Janne Muller-Wieland, I have played against her in both indoor and outdoor.
Adele: Share an unknown fact about yourself.
Tegan: I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at the age of 6 (2004). I am very fortunate to have a family that have supported me every step of the way. My parents brought me up to believe that I could achieve anything I put my mind to.
Adele: You attended the Madsen Hockey Academy right through your school career. What did you enjoy most about the Madsen Hockey Academy and what it offered? Name some of the coaches that coached you.
Tegan: Madsen Hockey Academy definitely aided in my development as a younger player. I loved that I got to play with players from other schools and that I was always pushed to learn new skills. I can remember that if I struggled on a skill the one week I would work on it at home (needless to say my sticks didn’t last very long because I played on a concrete slab at home) so that I was able to do the skill the following week. I was fortunate enough to be coached by Kevan Demartinis, Sihle Ntuli, Kelly Reed, JJ Reed and Luke Deutschmann. Each coach had something special to add to me. At different phases of your training, you need different inputs from different coaches to make you a whole player.