National hockey coaches announced

The Namibian men’s team at the Indoor Hockey World Cup in Pretoria. File photo

Trevor Cormack and his wife Shayne Cormack have been appointed as Namibia’s national men and women’s indoor hockey coaches for the next three years.

The Namibia Hockey Union made the announcement on Monday, adding that Johan Weyhe has been appointed as Namibia’s outdoor hockey men’s coach, while Sedtric Makati has been appointed as Namibia’s Hockey Fives women’s coach. The position of Namibia’s outdoor women’s coach was, however, not announced and is still vacant.

Trevor Cormack was widely expected to retain the post of indoor men’s coach after he led Namibia on a succesful campaign at the 2023 Indoor Hockey World Cup in Pretoria in February.

They lost three group matches, but won their first-ever match at the Indoor World Cup after beating Kazakhstan 6-2. They also drew 4-4 against New Zealand to reach the quarterfinals, where they lost 3-2 to the United States to finish eighth out of 12 competing nations.

The appointment of Shayne Cormack came as a surprise as she has not coached a national senior team before, while her last national coaching job was five years ago when she took the Namibian u18 girls team to the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

There they caused a big upset by beating Australia 4-3 in the group stages, but the Aussies took revenge with a 5-1 win in the knockout stages, while Namibia eventually finished 8th out of 12 nations.

Melissa Gillies seemed to be the favourite for the post after she established her club DTS as the dominant team in the Namibian Women’s Premier League in recent years. 

They replaced Saints as the dominant force in women’s hockey after winning the indoor title for the past three years in a row, while they won the outdoor league title for the first time in 14 years last year. 

Besides that she coached the national women’s outdoor team last year and helped them qualify for the 2024 All Africa Games which will be held in Ghana in March next year. 

They beat Malawi 11-0 and drew 2-2 against Zimbabwe during the group stages, before losing 1-0 to Zimbabwe in the final, but by then they had already qualified for the All Africa Games. 

In January last year she also coached the national women’s team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghana, where they finished sixth out of seven nations. 

In the group stages they beat Uganda 3-0 and drew 1-1 to Zimbabwe and 2-2 to Zambia, but lost 6-0 to South Africa, before losing 1-0 to Nigeria in the fifth-place playoff. 

Johan Weyhe takes over from Trevor Cormack as the national outdoor men’s coach, after Cormack had held the post till 2021. 

Weyhe served as Cormack’s understudy in a test series against South Africa in May 2021 that Namibia lost 5-0, while his only previous experience as head coach came in January last year when he coached the Namibian men’s outdoor team at the African Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana. 

There they finished last out of seven nations after losing 13-0 to South Africa, 4-1 to Kenya and 3-2 to Uganda. 

Makati has had success at junior level, taking Windhoek Afrikaanse Privaat Skool to the top of the Namibian schools league, while they also recently finished sixth at the Cape Town International Hockey Festival against some of South Africa’s top hockey schools. 

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