News for 13 January 2012

All the news for Friday 13 January 2012
Malaysia beaten by China for second time in series

By S. RAMAGURU



No way out: China’s Sun Long ( right) and Lu Fenghui (left) trying to stop Malaysia’s Mohd Madzli during their friendly at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia fell to an embarrassing 1-4 defeat to China in their second match of the five-game series at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

It was one of China’s highest ever wins over Malaysia, who also lost 1-2 in the opening match on Wednesday.

The Malaysians’ lacklustre performance certainly warrants a closer look at their preparations for the Olympic qualifiers in March.

Team manager George Koshy said the Malaysians did not give their best as they would have done in a proper game.

“The tempo of the game by the Chinese was slow. Our players did not play their normal game. True, this is just a test and learning curve for us, but still we could have done better.

“The forwards were not sharp enough to take their chances and our penalty corners too did not work well. We must buck up for the third game and ensure that we win,” added George.

There was just some cosmetic changes in the Malaysian line-up yesterday.

Midfielder Mohamed Shukri Mutalib was back in the team after missing the first match.

It was the Malaysians who took the lead in the seventh minute when Faisal Saari dribbled into the D and fired past goalkeeper Su Rifen.

The Malaysians, however, did not capitalise on the good start and were too casual in their moves.

The Chinese took advantage of this in the last five minutes to take a 2-1 half-time lead.

The first goal in the 30th minute was off a penalty corner taken by Dong Yang.

Three minutes later a blunder in the D saw the Chinese score a soft goal. Ng Yuliu took advantage of goalkeeper S. Kumar’s failure to clear the ball to slot home from close range.

Malaysia again failed to get their game going in the second half. The Chinese deployed fast counter-attacks and hit another two goals for a convincing win.

The third goal came in the 64th minute with Sun Long shooting through Kumar’s legs.

The fourth goal in the 67th minute was even more humiliating for the homesters. The Chinese broke through with three players running past the entire Malaysian defenders. Yuliu finished off the move for a memorable Chinese victory.

The Star of Malaysia



TM, we have a problem



The heading is a  phrase often used by astronauts when contacting NASA base station at Houston. And I tweaked it a bit as I try sending a message to HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, President of MHF/MHC with regards to the national hockey team. As critical as I am with regards to methods employed by the national coaches, at times we have to tell things as we see it.

Malaysia lost their second successive match against China, this time going down 1-4 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

They had lost the first match 1-2 yesterday and China lead the five match series 2-0 with another three to play, the next being this Sunday.

To be honest the players look dis-interested and dis-jointed, hardly looking like a side capable of ending a 12 year wait for the Olympics.

There is something obviously wrong with the team as they lacked the desire to win matches, playing as it it was just a practice match against a local club side. It was not a case of wrong tactics employed by the coaches, but just that the players were lacking in spirit.

China looked more hungry, playing cohesively as a team, working and encouraging one another while the Malaysians looked as if their mind was not in the match at all, playing as if the result does not matter.

Mind you Malaysia, as so strongly advocated by certain quarters of MHF/MHC are 13 ranked in the world while China are three spots behind. So just basing on that fact alone we had no business losing 1-4 to China, our most heaviest defeat against this opponents for as so long as I can remember.

Goalkeeper S. Kumar was a big let down in between the goalposts and that has been the case since the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg. By his own admission his form has dropped over the past two months and he was not shy to admit that he needed help.

"I am lacking in confidence and frankly need coaching in certain aspects. Some sessions with a goalkeeping expert could help me gain my confidence back. And I do hope that my wish can be granted. I do not want to let the team down but I admit that I have not been playing well with my confidence at an all time low," conceded Kumar after letting in four soft goals by his standards over the course of the two matches.

The problem with the Malaysian team is obvious, the players do not do any of their own thinking on the pitch. It was the same case in Johannesburg and it is repeating itself again in the matches against China.

While the coaches and the support team work on fitness, tactics and style of play, it is the players that ought to have the desire to win matches. And am sorry to say this, but MHF/MHC is at fault for they have been continously rewarding mediocre performances, the last being giving the players RM2,000 for a fifth place finish at the Champions Challenge.

It is time to regroup, to look at the target objectively as we try to end our barren run in trying to make it to the Olympics. It has been 12 years since we last played at Olympics, and we cannot just afford another 4 years in oblivion.

We sat out of the World Cup for 16 years from 1982 to 1998 and we do not want a 16 year wait to be carried into the Olympics as well

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Thrashed for taking it too easy

China put national side to the sword

By Jugjet Singh


The Malaysian players looked more like they were preparing for the Razak Cup than the Olympic Qualifier when they went down tamely 4-1 to China yesterday, their second straight defeat in two days at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.  

The national players, who are preparing for the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin in March, are involved in a five-match series against  China  and lost the opening match 2-1 on Wednesday. 

Yesterday, it was a similar script as they suffered a hammering after a listless display.

Faizal Saari gave Malaysia the lead from  a field attempt in the seventh minute, but before the half-time hooter, China came back into the picture with a goal from Dong Yang in the 30th before Ng Yu Liu made it 2-1 three minutes later.

The second half was no better as the Malaysians wasted more penalty corners and sitters which allowed China to grow in confidence.

And the visitors sealed their win in the 64th minute when a pass from outside the semi-circle was allowed into goal by keeper S. Kumar, who failed to realise that Sun Long was behind him to tuck in the third goal.

Malaysia were truly beaten by then, and China mounted another attack in the 67th minute with Yu Liu getting his brace and China's fourth.

China, who will be playing in the Japan Olympic Qualifier, took the first two matches seriously, while the hosts looked as if they were  fooling around.

"There seemed to be no urgency in their game, and this led to our  biggest defeat against China in recent times.

"The tempo of the players was also well below what they are capable of.

"This must be arrested in the next three matches lined-up," said team manager George Koshy.

Today is a rest day before the third match tomorrow which the hosts must win,  or no team in the world is going to respect the Malaysians in international tournaments.

For the the Dublin Olympic Qualifier on March 10-18, Malaysia are grouped with Chile, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and  Ireland, with only the winners advancing to the London Olympics.

New Straits Times



Late entry from Negri increases MJHL teams to 26

KUALA LUMPUR: The number of teams in the Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL) has increased to 26 after a late entry by a Negri Sembilan team.

The Project NSHA-MSSNS side will play in Division Two’s Group B.

This is the highest ever participation in the MJHL since its inception in 1995. Nine teams will compete in Division One while Division Two will have 17 teams.

Earlier, there were 10 teams in Division One but MSP-MSS Pahang requested to play in the lower division as they are a new outfit.

The technical committee relented and the Pahang side have been placed in Group B. There are nine teams in Group A and eight in Group B in Division Two.

Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary Maninderjit Singh said the MJHL will start as scheduled on Jan 19.

“We are happy to see more teams taking part in the MJHL. Although the Negri team submitted their entry late, the technical committee decided to make an exception,” said Maninderjit.

“We offered newcomers Sapura to play in Division One since they initially asked to play in the top flight.

“But they have also decided to stay put, leaving 17 teams in Division Two. We are happy with the current list and I am sure the Division One competition can go on with nine teams in the fray.”

The Star of Malaysia



Investec SA women’s hockey team begin marathon series


SA women's hockey captain Marsha Marescia will be leading her team against Spain at Randburg Sunday. Photo: MATIAS CORRERA

International women’s hockey returns to Randburg at 2 pm Sunday when South Africa take on Spain in a five-Test rubber that forms the first segment of the Investec International Series that also includes Ireland and Belgium.

European power Spain will also face captain Marsha Marescia’s Investec SA women’s hockey team at 7 pm on Tuesday and Thursday next week before tackling the Spaniards in the fourth and fifth Tests at 2 pm next Saturday and Sunday.

Immediately after that series there follows a triangular with the Investec SA women’s hocke4y side up against Ireland and Belgium.

Prior to each of the SA/Spain games the South African Junior Invitational squad, which features players who are competing for a place in South Africa’s 2012 Junior World Africa Qualifier side, will be taking on a South Africa A team, which will feature senior national squad players not taking part in the Test match.

Tickets are available at the gate and will cost R20 for the day.

Match Schedule against Spain

RSA v ESP, Sunday, 15/01/2012, 14:00
RSA v ESP, Tuesday, 17/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v ESP, Thursday, 19/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v ESP, Saturday, 21/01/2012, 14:00
RSA v ESP, Sunday, 22/01/2012, 14:00

Match Schedule for the Triangular Series.

RSA, IRL, Wednesday, 25/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v BEL, Thursday, 26/01/2012, 19:00
BEL v IRL, Friday, 27/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v IRL, Saturday, 28/01/2012, 14:00
RSA v BEL, Sunday, 29/01/2012, 14:00
BEL v IRL, Monday, 30/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v IRL, Tuesday, 31/01/2012, 19:00
RSA v BEL, Wednesday, 01/02/2012, 19:00
BEL v IRL, Thursday, 02/02/2012, 19:00
RSA v IRL, Friday, 03/02/2012, 19:00
RSA v BEL, Sunday, 04/02/2012, 14:00
RSA v IRL, Sunday, 05/02/2012, 14:00,
RSA v BEL, Monday, 06/02/2012, 19:00

SA Hockey Association media release



Irish Squad Announced For South Africa

Tour "an opportunity to build on progress" says coach Muller



Ireland and Azerbaijan played through the rain. (Photo: Rodrigo Jaramillo)

National Coach Gene Muller has today announced a squad of twenty who will travel to South Africa for warm weather training and a tri-nations tournament.

Ireland, sponsored by Electric Ireland, will travel out on the 22nd January and be based for twelve days at Randburg Hockey Stadium in Johannesburg.

Commenting on the selection Muller said “This tour gives us an opportunity to build on the progress we made on our tour to Argentina in December. Both South Africa and Belgium are in the final stages of preparing for an Olympic qualification tournament, and therefore these games will be very competitive.  We will use these matches for match preparation and for player trials before settling on our Olympic qualifying team.  This event sees the return of both Louisa Healy and Megan Frazer to the national team.”

Ireland Squad for South Africa

1. Aine Connery (Hermes, 41 caps)
2. Emma Clarke (St Albans 117 caps)
3. Lizzie Colvin (Loreto, 67 caps)
4. Miriam Crowley (Hermes, 26 caps)
5. Nicci Daly (Loreto, 26 caps)
6. Nicola Evans (Railway Union, 18 caps)
7. Megan Frazer (University  of Maryland , USA, 25 caps)
8. Emma Gray (Hermes, 40 caps)
9. Michelle Harvey (Pegasus, 72 caps)
10. Louisa Healy (Loreto, 53 caps)
11. Lisa Jacob (Hermes 93 Caps)
12. Sinead McCarthy (Hermes, 37 caps)
13. Shirley McCay (Old Alex. 127 caps)
14. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes, 50 caps)
15. Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins, 100 caps)
16. Emma Smyth (Railway Union, 51 caps)
17. Alex Speers (Capt) (Railway Union, 111 caps)
18. Nicola Symmons (Loreto, 161 caps)
19. Pamela Smithwick (Old Alex, 7 caps)
20. Chloe Watkins (UCD, 26 caps)

Date, Match, Time, Venue
Jan 22 – 3 Feb Warm Weather Training Camp
25/01/12, Ireland v SA, 19.00, J’Burg
27/01/12, Ireland v Belgium, 19.00, J’Burg

Tri – Nations
28/01/12, Ireland v SA, 14.00, J’Burg
29/01/12, South Africa v Belgium, ,  J’Burg
30/01/12, Ireland v Belgium, 19.00, J’Burg
31/01/12, Ireland v SA, 19.00, J’Burg
01/02/12, South Africa v Belgium, , J’Burg
02/02/12, Ireland v Belgium, 17.00, J’Burg

Times of matches are subject to change. All times are local times

Irish Hockey Association media release



Van Ass names Netherlands squad for winter camps

Veteran stars De Nooijer and Taekema left out of 22 player group



Teun de Nooijer (Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

Netherlands men’s coach Paul van Ass has named his 22 man squad that will take part in two elite training camps this winter. The first of the camps takes place in Alicante, Spain from 16th to 25th January before the group heads to the Australian city of Perth for the second phase.

The selection contains a number of players returning to for the fold following injuries, including Oranje Zwart defender Marcel Balkestein and attacker Floris Evers of Amsterdam H.&.B.C. However, the group will be missing long time servants Teun de Nooijer (445 caps) and Taeke Taekema (240 caps) as Van Ass aims to test other options ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"Of course I realize that Teun and Taeke have a lot of experience and have done a lot for Dutch hockey,” said Van Ass of his decision to leave out the veteran stars.  “However, we need to create space for other players in the team to grow. At the Olympics I want to have the best team and that is not automatically the best 18 players."

As well as De Nooijer and Taekema, Seve van Ass, goalkeeper Sam van der Ven and Melchior Looijen have also been left out of the group that will travel to Spain and Australia. Seve van Ass and Van der Ven will rejoin the program in March, although Melchior Looijen is no longer part of the Olympic training group.

Netherlands Squad – Winter training camps, Spain & Australia
Sander Baart, M.H.C. Oranje-Zwart
Billy Bakker, Amsterdamsche H. & B.C.
Marcel Balkestein, M.H.C. Oranje-Zwart
Pirmin Blaak (GK), H.C. Rotterdam
Quirijn Caspers, S.V. Kampong
Laurence Docherty, S.V. Kampong
Floris Evers, Amsterdamsche H. & B.C.
Jeroen Hertzberger, H.C. Rotterdam
Rogier Hofman, H.C. Bloemendaal
Robert van der Horst, H.C. Rotterdam
Tim Jenniskens, H.C. Bloemendaal
Wouter Jolie, H.C. Bloemendaal
Robbert Kemperman, Rot-Weiss Köln
Eby Kessing, H.C. Bloemendaal
Floris van der Linden, H.G.C.
Jaap Stockmann (GK), H.C. Bloemendaal
Valentin Verga, Amsterdamsche H. & B.C
Klaas Vermeulen, Amsterdamsche H. & B.C.
Bob de Voogd, M.H.C. Oranje-Zwart
Mink van der Weerden, M.H.C. Oranje-Zwart
Roderick Weusthof, H.C. Rotterdam
Sander de Wijn, S.V. Kampong

KNHB Media Release



Indian teams getting ready for qualifiers

Principal Correspondent


It is interesting to note how the Indian men's and women's hockey teams have been preparing for the Olympic qualifiers to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, here from Feb. 18 to 26.

Both the teams have entered a phase where they have to make decisions as to how they will approach the qualifiers. Next week, the two sides are playing Test series against Azerbaijan (women) and South Africa (men) to get some practice and select the final squads.

The men's side sounded confident of its ability and preparation, while the women's outfit had to sort out a few fitness issues as it is on the threshold of the four-match series against the Central Asian team.

David John, the men's team trainer, is the man behind enhancing the players' fitness as well as their speed on the turf. “Their hockey fitness is better now,” says John as he explains how players shouldering responsibilities in different zones need to perform different exercises. “This has reduced the injuries. There is no muscle injury now. Whatever little was there, it was due to impact.”

Besides, John also controls the rotation of the players, which he says he does very quickly to save their energy level during a match, and the kind of food they should eat. “The goal-keepers need less carbohydrates on match days as this makes their mental capacity better.”

John said most of the players had improved around 30 to 40 per cent in terms of fitness. “Others were at a higher level, so they had to fine tune things.”

He said the fitness programme would stay till the Olympic qualifier. If some junior players proved their worth and made the team, then they would also go through a specific programme, he added.

Rupinderpal Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki, who had been advised a few weeks rest due to various injuries, participated in the practice session on Thursday.

Tushar Khandekar said the team had been performing well and working on the areas that had denied India the Champions Challenge title in Johannesburg. “We are practising how to concede lesser number of short corners,” he said.

The Hindu



India are a hockey fit side now: Exercise physiologist John

NEW DELHI: India's exercise physiologist David John is confident of the country's qualification in this year's London Olympics and feels the erstwhile champions are a much more "hockey fit" side now than they were six months back.

Soon after taking charge of the team four and a half months back, the first grey area that came to chief coach Michael Nobbs' notice was the players' poor physical fitness.

In order to fix the problem, Nobbs roped in Australian John, who made an instant impact with his structured regime.

"My programme is a lot more hockey specific. The types of running I have introduced are similar to game situations. The defenders run side by side, midfielders up and down and the forwards do slight running," John told reporters after a training session at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium on Thursday.

"They (Indian players) weren't particularly hockey fit when I took over, but they have improved significantly now. They now play much more intense and fast-paced hockey."

The Australian said his training schedules are match specific and are prepared in a way to minimise injury risks.

"We do a lot more stretching and running. So, now the players have very few soft tissue injuries," John said.

"We follow a specific routine ahead of a game. We do weight training and gym sessions in the morning if a game is in the evening because we don't want the muscles to be rested too much," he elaborated.

"Before every game we do positive visualisation, stretching and activation (spring running)."

He, however, said physical strength is one area which the Indians need to work harder keeping in mind the London Games.

"The physical strength level of our players need to improve. It is much lower than the Australians and Kiwis. But this is something which can't be corrected in 3 months, it needs at least a year. If we qualify (for the Olympics), we will have few more months to work on our fitness and by the time of Olympics, I feel we will be close to that level."

Diet is key to a player's fitness and John said he always keeps a strict vigil on what players eat.

"Goalkeepers should always take less carbohydrate. We also give less carbohydrate to other players on match day as it makes them more alert and agile. The players also take coffee two hours before training session," he said.

Senior forward Tushar Khandekar too seemed optimistic about India making it to London but felt going into next month's qualifiers as hosts, the eight-time champions should guard against complacency.

India, who missed the cut for the 2008 Beijing Games, has been awarded the top seeding in the qualifiers where they will fight it out with Canada, France, Poland, Italy and the United States here from February 18-26.

"The training is going on well and I'm sure we will qualify for Olympics," Khandekar said.

Asked on what basis he is backing India to qualify for the London Games, he said, "My confidence comes from the way we are performing right now and the way we have played in Champions Challenge and in the Asian Champions Trophy. But we can't take any team lightly. There is no weak or strong team because in modern day hockey all teams are equal."

He said India would look to play attacking hockey in the qualifiers, which has paid dividends in recent tournaments.

"We have worked on our mistakes and I'm confident that we wont repeat same mistakes again (in the Olympic qualifiers).

"We are working extensively on short corner conversion. Our focus is also on scoring goals and not conceding too many short corners. Our main aim is to play attacking hockey and we are concentrating on it," Khandekar insisted.

Star defender Sardara Singh agreed with his teammate and said they would take one match at a time in the qualifiers.

"As Tushar said, we can't take any team lightly," he said.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's hockey team was held to a 3-3 draw by Azerbaijan in a warm-up match ahead of the four-Test series, starting here on Sunday.

The second warm-up match between the two sides will be played on Friday.

The Times of India



John pleased with fitness report

Fitness has been an age-old problem in Indian hockey and the men's team’s exercise physiologist David John has gone cracking to fix just that. The Australian, soon after his appointment, realised the Indians were anything but ‘hockey-fit’ but feels the team has shown rapid progress in the last few months.

"When I first saw the players I realised they had speed, but were just going round and round. They were not at all hockey-fit. It has improved a lot now,” John said after the team's training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

“The type of running we do is similar to game situations. The defenders run side by side, for forwards focus is on agility and midfielders run up and back. We also do a lot of stretches and core exercises, so overall it has helped us in cutting down the injuries, especially the one to do with the soft tissue.”

John said the improvement in the players is for all to see and their performance during the title win in the Asian Champions Trophy is a proof of that. “They are a lot more fitter. Hockey is an intense game and the players have to be fast paced. The players fitness levels have improved,” he said and added that they were the fittest team around during the Champions Challenge tournament in Johannesburg.

Physical strength is John's immediate concern.

"We are trying to improve the physical strength. As compared to the strength of the teams like New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Holland, we have quite a bit of work to do. But this is something which you can't do in three months,” he said. “If we qualify for the Olympics, we will have few more months to work on it.” The Australian is also carefully monitoring the diet of the players.

"The carbohydrates intake has been cut, specially for the goalkeepers. It helps them to be more agile and quick on their reflexes. The players are also given coffee two hours before training session," he said.

Deccan Herald



We'll qualify for the Olympics: Tushar

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: They are upbeat and in a mood to defy their critics. The Indian hockey players are confident that they will make it to the London Olympics by winning the qualifiers at home next month, unfazed by their performance in the past when they showed a tendency to choke under pressure.

Their confidence, according to the players, stems from the fact that they are "100 per cent" fit, both physically and mentally. "I am sure we will qualify for the Olympics," said striker Tushar Khandekar after an intense practice session under coach Michael Nobbs.

When asked why he was so sure given India's tendency to squander golden opportunities at key moments in big tournaments, Khandekar referred to the tournaments India have played recently - the Champions Challenge where they finished second and the Asian Champions Trophy which they won. "We are working on not conceding short corners in matches. We are also focussed on playing attacking hockey to score more goals."

In the Olympic qualifiers, world No. 10 India will be fighting with lower-ranked teams Canada (14), France (18), Poland (19), the United States (24) and Italy (28). "There is no strong or weak team in modern hockey. We have to beat everybody to qualify," he said.

Fellow player Sardar Singh said the improved performance of the players in recent times had to do with their "improved fitness". "The fitness of players has surely improved under physio David John."

John himself said that some of the players have improved as much as 40 per cent since July, the time he joined the probables. "We have different training plans for different players. They have improved and I would call them hockey-fit. They need to work on their strength. It's still not at the level of the Australians or the Kiwis. We are working on it though it can't be done in a short time like three months," he said.

The Times of India



Focus on eliminating mistakes, says Khandkar

The Delhi-phase of India hockey men's camp is in full swing and experienced forward Tushar Khandkar said the team was working on the mistakes which slipped into their game during the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg last month.

India lost to Belgium in final after conceding goals in the dying minutes despite having a 3-1 lead in the second half.

Khandkar said they have learned their lessons and are confident of qualifying for the Olympics from the first qualifiers from February 18-26 here.

“The mistakes we did during the final in Johannesburg, we are working on them. We had a meeting after the final where we discussed what all we could have done to avoid them. Hopefully they will not be repeated and the results will be in our favour in the future matches,” Khandkar said after the team's training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday.

“We are working on how we should not be conceding a short corner and if we did, how we can ensure it does not convert into a goal. We are also working on scoring. We are enjoying ourselves practicing in the Delhi weather.”

India will be the highest ranked team (10) in the qualifiers, which will also see the participation of Canada, France, Poland, Italy and the United States. Khandkar, however, said no team can be considered weak and they will be looking forward to giving their best in every single match.

“The way we performed in China (Asian Champions Trophy) and Johannesburg, it has given the team the confidence that we can qualify for the Olympics. However, no team can be considered weak. In international hockey, all teams are at the same level and we will have to take it match by match, giving our 100 percent,” he said.

The women's team went through the paces at the main turf of the stadium where they played Azerbaijan in a warm-up match and drew 3-3.

Deccan Herald



State's second hockey stadium ready to host games in four months

Tushar Tere


VADODARA: There is some good news for hockey lovers in the city.

The city may soon be able to host national hockey tourneys and provide modern facilities to players from across the country. The state-of-art hockey stadium that is coming up in Manjalpur will be ready to host tournaments in next four months. The stadium is being constructed by Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) as a part of the outdoor sports complex. Despite producing dozens of international players, the city didn't have its own hockey stadium for decades.

"Having one's own stadium, helps in promoting the game in a better way. We will have astro turf of international standards at the new hockey ground. We can now bring in national tournaments in the city. We will also try to pitch for international games in future," Baroda District Hockey Association (BDHA) president Nilesh Patel said.

Spread on a sprawling land near Durbar Chowkdi, the stadium can house about 6,000 spectators. According to BDHA authorities, the stadium will cost about Rs 5 crore. The civic body has borne construction cost of the stadium that will be only second of its type after a hockey stadium owned by Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Gandhinagar. "VMC will own the stadium and we will look after the technical part and administration. BJP MP Balkrishna Shukla played the most pivotal role in getting this stadium for the city," BDHA treasurer Vikas Prajapati said.

BDHA has been trying to make improvements in their game over last two years. The association also got a separate affiliation from Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) that has made it eligible for sending its separate team for national tournaments. "If one sees the number of spectators that turn up for hockey games, especially night hockey tournaments, organized in the city they will realize how the game still has large fan following. The stadium will definitely bring in more crowds," Patel added.

The Times of India



National U-21 Hockey Championship: Army beat FATA 20-0

Staff Report


LAHORE: Pakistan Army gave hockey lesson to little known FATA with a 20-0 thrashing in the National Under-21 Hockey Championship at National Stadium here on Thursday. In other three matches, Sui Southern Gas Company (SSGC) outplayed PHF Academy 7-2, Pakistan WAPDA beat Higher Education Commission (HEC) 2-0 and Punjab Colour and Pak Boards played a 3-3 draw.

Matches for today:


WAPDA vs Balochistan
Sindh vs PHF Academy
NBP vs Islamabad.

The Daily Times



Viewpoint: A Changing World

Monthly column examines the opportunities that 2012 brings

BY STEVE JASPAN



Will packed stadiums in London lead to a hockey boom after the Games? (Photo: FIH / LOCOG)

2012 has dawned – fresh-faced and full of promise.  It is a leap year, an Olympic year and one which will see some crucial Presidential elections against the backdrop of fragile economies and political uprisings in many countries.

It is also a year of hectic hockey activity including 6 Olympic Qualifiers, the Test Event and the London Olympics, Men’s and Women’s Champions Trophies the start of the World League and much much more ...

The FIH Congress and bi-annual elections also take place this year in Kuala Lumpur in early November.

One remarkable element of 2011 was the so called “Arab Spring” of uprisings by ordinary citizens tired of suppression, and later during the year anger at the financial or economic mismanagement of their countries.  These “ordinary” citizens demonstrated outside the New York Stock Exchange in Wall Street and many other cities around the world and were soon joined by many prominent people.  So in an age of expanded social networking, electronic media, rapid communication - whether by text, twitter, video or other - we have to ask ourselves as sports administrators and sports lovers what do our hockey “citizens” want and how do they feel about our own “state” of affairs?  Is hockey in a good space in the highly competitive world of sport and entertainment?  We know that it is a very skilful and attractive sport existing in a world where instant gratification is relatively easy to come by – you can see highlights via the electronic media without seeing the game live.

You can be doing other things whilst keeping abreast of scores and action or can even be at other sporting events.  So what is likely to attract hockey players and fans to hockey fields and to contribute to hockey’s economy?

The big question is how do you see hockey in its sporting and social context and what improvements should we make to the game and its administration in 2012 and beyond?

I believe we must be ready to adapt to changing socio-economic trends and present realities.  I’d like to hear your views!

FIH site