Central man in SA hockey set-up

Home is where the heart is… Newly-appointed SA Hockey technical director, Kurt Cerfontyne.

SA Hockey has just announced that Kurt Cerfontyne, a boytjie from Bridgetown, born and bred in nearby Garlandale, has been appointed as the technical director of the national senior women’s side.

A long-standing member of the Vygieskraal-based Central Hockey Club, Cerfontyne is a well-travelled journey man on the SA hockey scene and has always remained loyal to his roots at the club in Johnson Road. The club has produced key national players over the years and had no less than four players in last year’s Olympic squad.

Athlone News caught up with the newly-appointed technical director on his return from the national under-21 championships in Gqebergha where the provinces men’s and women’s side picked up a bronze medal after losing their respective semi-finals on penalties against Gauteng sides.

Monday’s Worker’s Day holiday offered Cerfontyne a little bit of relief before resuming his duties.

Based on a post on the SA Hockey website, Cerfontyne, 50, will have his work cut out leading up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

As per his contract, Cerfontyne is responsible for a number of aspects, including advising the head coach on technical and tactical aspects and supporting the head coach in managing and delivering the SA Women’s Hockey programme. A lot of hard work lies ahead after the national men’s and women’s teams failed to reach the quarter-finals at last year’s Tokyo Games.

But, says Cerfontyne, he’s up for the challenge and according to SA Hockey chief executive officer, Marissa Langeni, he has the pedigree to help get South Africa on top.

“Kurt has shown tremendous commitment for a sustained period to the South African hockey environment,” she said. “He has always been above reproach and committed to further the game in our country.”

Whether coaching at high level or helping out at the club, it will be business as usual for Cerfontyne.

“I started my playing career at Blackburn Men’s Hockey Club in 1980, represented the club at junior and senior levels until unification in hockey came about in 1993 and Central Hockey Club was established,” he said.

Cerfontyne represented WP as a junior and senior player as well as WP Senior Schools and was awarded national colours at all levels.

He captained Central men’s first team to WPHU league title in 1999 and served as the University of Stellenbosch men’s first team coach for six seasons. He has been involved with the national coaching set-up since 2001 when he took charge of the boys’ under-16 squad.

However, home is where the heart is and it is at Central where he lays his hat. He serves as the club’s senior division coaching consultant and has been employed as Western Province Hockey Union’s High Performance coaching co-ordinator since 2014.

“I attended two Olympic Games as assistant coach of the national men’s team, two junior men’s world cups as an assistant coach and then as head coach, two Commonwealth Games, two senior world cups and too many AFCON’s at under-21 and senior level to remember,” he said.