Exclusive Interview: SA Hockey Star, Quanita Bobbs
With the 2018 Women’s World Cup well underway in London, we had a quick chat with Quanita Bobbs to see how the team prepared for the World Cup, how the spirit is after the opener against Germany and what her goals, and the team’s goals are for the showpiece tournament.
Quanita Bobbs is no stranger to big tournaments and also plies her trade for Central Hockey Club and Western Province when she’s not out representing South Africa.
Q: The much anticipated 2018 Women’s World Cup has finally arrived: Can you explain what went through your mind as you sung the national anthem before the opener against Germany?
Singing the national anthem brings great joy to me. It’s a full circle moment where numerous emotions hit you at that moment. I think about the team, all the training sessions I put in back home, I think about my family back home. I feel really proud and blessed to stand there next to my teammates.
Q: A 3-1 loss is obviously not the result that South Africa wanted, but it’s probably fair considering the opposition and the way the game went. What was the South African team’s main focus going into the match against the Germans?
Our focus was to defend relentlessly and eliminate their strength in the midfield. Offensively, avoid 1 v 1’s and try to attack spaces in their defensive structure.
Q: Phumelela Mbande did a sterling job in goals against Germany, but had a very busy game which is not ideal for any team. What have you guys been working on to lessen the workload of the goalkeeper and the back four for the upcoming game against Spain?
We have been working on our movement in outlet and build up, as well as getting our press correct before the all important game against Spain.
Q: South African goal-scoring legend, Pietie Coetzee, recently told us that she would love to see the team score more goals. Is this something that the camp is actively working on, or what would you consider the most important aspect for improvement right now?
Yes, pre-World Cup camp we worked hard on our 6 yard finishing and circle play. We’re definitely looking to be more threatning in the circle and hopefully put away a few against Spain on Thursday.
Q: Focussing more on the positives, what area of the game would you say is the most important asset for South Africa right now? Like, short corners, defence, attack etc…
We have a pretty good short corner conversation rate at the moment. So I would say it’s a combination of decision making inside our attacking half to get these upgrades as well as making sure we are strong defensively, going forward.
Q: We saw Nicolene Terblanche took a nasty hit during the match against Germany. Any update on that? Will she be able to continue playing during the tournament?
Nicolene is being monitored daily and has been making sure she fully recovers for our important game against Spain.
Q: A lot of planning and training goes into preparing for a tournament like this. Are there any aspects of the team’s preparation that you really enjoyed, that worked well? And what areas of preparation would you improve on?
I really enjoyed the variation of training drills we did leading up to the tournament. It was lots of game situation drills and mini games, which are always competitive but enjoyable.
Q: Going into this World Cup, what are the goals of the team? What are you guys looking to achieve during the tournament?
We are looking to grow in every game, to compete with every team and ultimately to progress through to playoffs.
Q: With a good mix of experience and youth, this team has the makings of a good one – what are your goals within the team and for the team, for the next 5 to 10 years?
We have very talented youngsters in the team which is very exciting. Our goal is to establish a brand of hockey that is exciting to watch and will bring us success. In the next 5 to 10 years we are hoping to continue to go to major events such as the Olympic Games, World Cup and Commonwealth Games, and to crack top 10 in the world rankings.
Q: With Hockey growing at a rapid pace in South Africa, it’s important that we keep youngsters actively involved with a passion to eventually make it into the national team. What advise would you give to players who dream of playing for South Africa?
Always practise new skills and be open to learning. Hockey is always changing so you as a player should push boundaries when it comes to technical skills and physical condition.
- To stay up to date with Quanita Bobbs and her Hockey World Cup Journey, follow her on Twitter and Instagram.