Smith is SA's best…again!


The South African hockey captain Austin Smith has been named the SA Player of the Year for the third time. Smith was also honoured with this award in 2008 and 2010.

“To have won this award in such a big year (2012) means a great deal to me. Captaining the team to the Olympics Qualifiers and at the London Olympics itself is a great honour as well as a lot of pressure so to receive this accolade at the end of it is extra reward. It means a great deal to be named the best player of your country. Having won the award twice before people expect you to be less excited but if I look back and remember how hard I had to work to just make the team back in 2004 it reminds me how far I've really come. It's a great reward for all the hard work I put in last year and leading up to it.”

Smith only recently recovered from dengue fever and didn’t play in August’s IPT for Western Province. He has been training though and started playing this past weekend for his Dutch club Den Bosch in the Hoofdklasse. “I'm finally back to training, albeit not 100% but it's great to be back after a long two months of rest and recovery. I'm currently undergoing tests with the cardiologist to make sure my heart is functioning correctly. Once that's cleared which it seems I will be I can continue fully.”

After receiving the captain’s armband during last season at Den Bosch Smith will once again captain his club and he has his eyes firmly set on bettering the club’s six place last season. “It is important to make a good start to the season. I've been given the duty of captaining the team once again and if I look at the way we have prepared for this season I'm hoping to improve on our tied 6th last year.”

Smith and the national team have some internationally duty coming up as well. “Internationally we have the World Cup Qualifiers in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of September. In order to qualify for next years World Cup that is being hosted by Holland we need to win the African Cup which I'm confident we can achieve.”

Outsider Communications