In doing so, they managed to win the league for an unprecedented 17th time in a row.
However, there is no respite for the players. This week they are competing in the Inter-Provincial Men’s Tournament in Pietermaritzburg. Six of the Tuks players are representing the South African under-21 side while no less than 12 Tuks players are in the Northerns A-squad.
Next month’s national under-21 tournament at Tuks bears further testimony that Tuks couch Guy Elliot is doing something right as every player who will don the Northerns jersey is from Tuks. Elliot will be coaching the team.
Elliot is of the opinion that the experience the Tuks players will gain from playing provincial hockey is going to stand his team to good stead during next year’s USSA Tournament. Not winning it is something that still rankles him.
“If you had asked me the question last year and said will you take a Varsity Cup win and third place at the USSA tournament, scoring the most goals, as well winning the Winter League I would probably have said yes. But I am deeply disappointed. I have lost a lot of sleep on not winning the USSA Tournament. I honestly in my heart believe we were the best team but unfortunately in the sport being on top of your game is not always enough. It is about small margins,” said Elliot after his team’s recent success in the Winter League.
However, Elliot consider his team’s Varsity Tournament success as exciting and it has not gone unnoticed. Most of the players selected for the South African under-18 side will be playing for Tuks next year. They want to be part of the Tuks hockey success.
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