Name: Jack Thonissen
Player or Coach: Provincial Player
Date of Birth: 09/02/1984
I was the worst hockey player ever not making the starting line up for the Pinelands High School (PHS) u16C hockey team when in Grade 9 back in 1999. When I saw guys in my grade like Austin Smith (WPu16A at the time and now SA mens hockey captain) and Malcolm Arguile (WP u16 at the time and SAu21 and Southern Gauteng men later) playing hockey I thought they weren't anything special and I was just as good. I challenged them and they invited me down to play 2 hours of indoor hockey that Sunday. I realised I had zero skill and I couldn't walk for the next week. I started playing indoor hockey with them each Sunday and just stopped and passed.. playing hot potato with the hockey ball. I'll never forget the first time I actually took someone on.... I'm not sure if it was because I had finally developed some skill or if I had taken the player completely by surprise. Either way... I cruised past in style and it was official - I had improved! I went to PHS u16 A trials the following year and the coach Mike McConnachie noticed I had improved. He suggested I work on my ""astro skills"" and with that he selected me for the PHS u16A team which went unbeaten in the regular season and won the WP Knockout competition beating Wynberg Boys HS in the final. The following year in 2001 I made the PHS 1st team and we beat Bishops in the u18 WP Knockout. In 2002 the PHS 1st team went on the beat Wynberg Boys HS in the WP u18 Knockout final coming from behind 3-1! This was my matric year and I was one of four players sent to WPu18 trials (an honour in itself). I made my first provincial team, WP u18 Pens - it was a major achievement! I joined Pinelands Hockey Club in 2000 (when u16) and post school was determined on making the Grand Challenge 1st team. In 2003 I got my chance and took it with both hands and have been playing in the side ever since having won the league for the first time in the clubs history in 2006! If you are a youngster and you are reading this - GO PLAY CLUB HOCKEY!! You can learn a lot from playing with men who can't necessarily run as hard or as fast as you, but who are bigger and more skilled and wise on the field. The highlight of my career has been representing the WP Pens team (Men's B side) at nuemour men's interprovincial tournaments. However in 2014 I was a late call up to the team and made history by being part of the first ever provinces ""B"" team to WIN the A section of the 2014 Men's interprovincial tournament. This is the highest honour in domestic club hockey and we beat our own WP Men's A team in the semi's and Southern Gauteng A in the finals!
I'm a qualified Chartered Accountant (CA (SA)) - but I am lucky to work in hockey FULL TIME for both Princess Hockey SA (best brand) and SportWays SA (best coaching available)!
Stick: C10 and ID 2 indoor and outdoor SG9
Teun de Nooijer #14 was the star player that helped launch the PRINCESS hockey brand in 2008 at the Olympics and made history when he was the first player to win FIH Player of the Year a record three times! He played in FIVE Olympic Games for The Netherlands between 1996 and 2012 and won TWO gold medals and TWO silver medals. He ended his impressive hockey career in 2014 at the age of 38 with an enormous amount of 453 international matches (and 219 goals) - a Dutch record. My other role model is Austin Smith - SA and Africa's best player!
Highlights - making my first provincial team at u18 level after being in the u16C school team - winning the WP Grand Challenge club league in 2006 for the first time in Pinelands Hockey Club history being unbeaten all season - Winning a silver medal in the Senior Indoor Interprovincial tournament with WP men's team in 2011 - Winning the senior men's A section interprovincial tournament with the WP Men's B side in 2014 - making history as the only ever B side to beat everyone!
"Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the sky.And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die. For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack!” - Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book)"
I hide on social media so I don't get sponsorship requests from everyone - follow PRINCESS :-)!