Hockey Mustafa Qasim gets a big honour: South Africa has been nominated for the selection of the best youth hockey player in the world. What role does he play in GHTC.
Year after year the International Hockey Federation (FIH) selects its best players. In addition to the choice of world hockey players, for two decades there has also been a choice of the best youth hockey player – “Rising Star”. Mustafa Qasim is one of the three nominees for 2021, swinging a hockey stick for Gladbacher HTC for ten days in the second Bundesliga.
There are several big names on the list of winners over the past 20 years: Jamie Diver (Australia), Santi Freixa (Spain), Gonzalo Pilate (Argentina) and Arthur van Doren (Belgium) all have had illustrious careers, as did the German Winners Christopher Zeller, Tobias Hawke and Christopher Ruhr. This is what Kasim can still dream of. In his first two games for GHTC, South Africa made it clear that the 19-year-old is a huge talent. The position of Mustafa Qasim in comparison to his brothers Dayan Qasim and Melrick Maddox is not yet fully determined. Unlike his country’s U21 national team, where he is primarily used as a central defender, Qasim stormed the front line at the Olympic Games for South Africa. This makes him all the more valuable to GHTC trainer Jan Klatt: “Initially we only used him in midfield and attack, although I’m sure he can play defensively from time to time. With the other two guys You can see at first glance that his direction is aggressive across the board.”
Gladbackers have gained considerable quality through newcomers to the sport. Klatt, on the other hand, has to rely on proven forces on the defensive, such as Scottish Defense Chief Wei Adams and Captain Felix Krauss. The fact that the bell rang only three times in the first two games shows that GHTC did a good job in preparation. And also for the fact that the departures of Florian Jansen, Niklas Braun and Tom Spanrath, all of whom have been key pillars in the defensive network in recent years, have been well compensated. Klatt therefore sees his team on the right track: “It’s actually still a little early for preliminary analysis, because I want to look forward to the double weekend against Cologne, but we’ve already seen that we don’t need to hide. From any team.”
The “First XI” has big plans for the games against Cologne. The large 30-man team is an advantage, as Klatt finds: “We have many options”. Christian Voight and ailing Portuguese David Franco are the most likely to return. Klett hopes the least: “I hope David is fit for the weekend. He’s a very important piece of the puzzle in our team.”
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