Hockey: South Africa's invasion

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The Independent Online
South Africans are expected to play a significant role in the 10th season of the men's national league which gets under way tomorrow, following an influx of players which may cause alarm bells to ring at hockey's Milton Keynes headquarters, with possible pleas to limit the number of non-European players each club is permitted.

Chelmsford, readmitted to the National League this season and celebrating their centenary, lead the way. In addition to the return of Mike Cullen, so influential in their success last season, to Chelmer Park, a trio of compatriots arrive from his home city of Durban: Justin King, an international defender, David Staniforth, the Under-21 goalkeeper, and Mike Carr, a cultured midfield player.

At nearby Chigwell, Old Loughtonians include South Africa's Olympic goalkeeper, Brian Myburgh, in place of Scotland's Alisdair Seaton, who has left the club. Over at Southgate, three more South Africans, Gregor Maier and Craig O'Hagan from the senior squad and Craig Caroran from the Under-21s have signed on.

Even Oxford University can call on David Eadie, a South African Under- 21 from Western Province, and Martin Firer, from Wits University.