Who is South Africa’s Most Popular Hockey Player?


As Hockey continues to grow in South Africa, we have been on the verge of a revolution for quite some time now. Despite the lack of funding and organisation within SAHA, the sport is growing big time all over South Africa.

The rise of social media has also given hockey players the opportunity to market themselves and many have done exactly that, to various degrees of success.

I often wonder who the first real superstar of South African hockey will be? We’ve had Pietie Coetzee and Austin Smith who’s done wonders for the sport, but who will step up and take South African hockey into the professional era it so desperately needs?

When we conducted the Great South African Hockey Survey, we thought this would be a great opportunity to ask fans, players and umpires of the game, who they thought as their favourite South African Hockey player.

We had a great response to the survey and will share all the data we gathered, in blog posts like this one, building up to the 2018 FIH Hockey World Cup that kicks off in 29 days.

So… who is South Africa’s Most Popular Hockey Player?

Because there are so many Hockey players, we could not create a list for users to choose from, this means we had to rely on user-input information to create a word cloud with the most popular words/names that were entered.

South Africa's Most Popular Hockey Player

As can be expected, Austin Smith proved very popular among the almost 600 votes, and he remains the most popular South African Hockey Player.

Shelly Jones comes in as the most popular female player, 3rd most popular overall and Tim Drummond came in at nr 2.

We thought this is probably a quite accurate representation and were also glad to see some younger names like that of Dayaan Cassiem.

If you want more informative results from our Great South African Hockey Survey, make sure you follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook – we will be providing some quality content in the build-up to the World Cup, including player interviews and giveaways.


  1. Surprised not to see any mentions of players like Rhett Halkett and Lloyd Norris-Jones, and only a small recognition for Justin Reid-Ross. Shows that even though we have top players playing overseas, that they aren’t getting any coverage back home.

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