Paddock polocrosse players trot into SA U21 squad

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Quintin van Jaarsveld

Paddock Polocrosse Club duo Kenan Classen and Jens Bunge have been selected for the South African Under-21 squad for the upcoming Test series against Ireland.

Classen will make his debut for the national Under-21 side, which include Caley Higgs, Paula MacLarty, Tayla Mansfield, Chelsea McDonald, Brian Cooper, Chad von Benecke and Josh le Roux, while Bunge has been named as a reserve.

The talented South African side will host the Irish Under-21s in a three-Test series in Mooi River on 30 March and 1 April.

Both locals are staples in the junior national set-up.

Classen was a member of the South African Under-19 team who completed a clean sweep over Zambia last year, and previously played for the national Under-14 and Under-16 sides.

“I consider it a great honour and privilege to be selected to represent South Africa against the Irish Under-21 international side,” he told eHowzit.

Classen’s passion and dedication form as crucial a part of his blossoming career as his natural ability.

“I spend most days getting my horses fit and I do physical training daily. I also receive monthly coaching to improve my game from SA coach, Bruce MacLarty,” he explained.

At just 17 years of age, he’s aware he’s in for a whole new ball game at Under-21 level and says he relishes the challenge.

“The pressure is much greater since it is an official full-colours Protea Under-21 Test Series.”

Bunge also featured for the national Under-14 team and was a key member of the South African Under-16 side over the past two years.

At just 16, he stands to benefit from being in the wider national Under-21 squad.

“It is a good team and I’m glad to be reserve for them. If I get to play, that would be a bonus,” Bunge told eHowzit.

“The series should be good. I feel very confident that we have a good chance to win,” he added.

Photos by Rochelle Thornhill Photography

Jens Bunge.

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