News for 25 January 2012

All the news for Wednesday 25 January 2012


USA Men's National Team withdraw from Olympic Qualification Tournament

Ashley Meunier


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – USA Field Hockey announced today to withdraw the USA Men’s National Team from the Olympic Qualification Tournament to be held in New Delhi, India, February 18-26. The decision to withdraw was primarily due to player unavailability and player retirements and injuries.

“The decision has been made strategically with the very best outcome for our program in mind,” said Terry Walsh, Technical Director of High Performance. “Unavailability of many of the senior players has left the Men’s program in a position where our best assembled team has a performance potential well below that required to be competitive in a tournament of this caliber. I have had significant discussions with our Men’s National Team Coach, Chris Clements, and we are in agreement that this course of action will be in the best interest of the long term progress of our National Program.”

The USA Men’s Team was selected to attend the first of three Olympic Qualifiers after finishing fifth at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, employment conflicts has resulted in player unavailability. In addition, the inability to commit full-time to a training and competition schedule has resulted in player retirements and multiple injuries following the Pan American Games has caused many of the core senior players to be incapable of selection and competition.

Although USA Field Hockey has a well-established Junior Men’s program, these athletes do not have extended international experience required to compete at the top level. With quality preparations and maturation, these athletes will advance on to the Men’s National Team and be in a better position for participation and qualification of future tournaments in 2012 and onwards.

“In finding that we have experienced serious erosion within the Men’s program due to various team member circumstances, we reluctantly made the difficult decision to withdraw the team from the Olympic qualifier,” said Steve Locke, Executive Director. “Much work and effort has taken place in recent years to develop a quality junior program. I believe that in attending the tournament that will feature the world’s top ranked teams will only hinder the confidence and development of our junior men. In another 12 months, will see these players begin to flourish and I look forward to seeing the team prepared and engaged with upcoming FIH events in 2012 and 2013."

The focus of the Senior Men’s program has now shifted to the FIH World League, set to make its debut in late 2012. Participation in the World League is essential for future qualification prospects. From 2014 and onward, the rankings from the World League tournament and the Continental Tournament Champions will determine the qualification spots for the World Cup and Olympic Games.

The Junior Men’s program will focus on the Junior Pan American Championship to be held in September, with the vision of qualifying for the Junior World Cup early next year. This will provide the younger members of the Men’s National team with exposure at the highest level heading into the Pan American Cup in 2013.

“The future is exciting,” says Walsh. “We have moved a long way forwards in recent years. A significant challenge lies ahead and is one which I believe our new schedule will create fantastic opportunities for.”

“The Board of Directors is in full support of the decision made to withdraw the team from the Olympic Qualifying Tournament,” said Pam Stuper, Chair, USA Field Hockey Board. “The decision was made with the best interest in mind of the athletes and long-term development of the Men’s National Team program.”

USFHA media release

Following the FIH guidelines of offering the replacement place to the next highest non qualified nation, Ukraine, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, Belarus, Sweden, Oman and Ghana are the seven nations who could be offered the place.



Ireland 1-3 Netherlands


Ireland played their final game against Netherlands in Alicante this afternoon. The first fifteen minutes were evenly contested with both sides missing a number of goal scoring opportunities.

The Netherlands took the lead in the 19th minute when Dewyn scored from second phase short corner play and it wasn't long before the Dutch doubled their lead when Weusthof scored from open play in the 22nd minute.

Ireland fought back hard but the Dutch held on to their 2-0 lead at half time.

Ireland got off to the better start in the second 35 and had the majority of play and deservedly earned a goal in the 63rd minute when Chris Cargo slotted home after a counter attack. But Vanderger wrapped the game up in the 68th minute for the Dutch with a well taken reverse stick shot from the left hand side of the circle.

Ireland will now travel to Great Britain for a double header against GB at Bisham Abbey on 26th & 27th January (times TBC).

Ireland Starting XI:
John Jackson; Ronan Gormley (c); Paul Gleghorne; Conor Harte; David Harte; Eugene Magee; David Ames; Michael Watt; Chris Cargo; Mitch Darling; Geoff McCabe.

Reserves (all used): Stuart Loughrey; David Cole; Shane O'Donoghue; Andy McConnell; Peter Caruth; Timmy Cockram; David Fitzgerald (GK)

Irish Hockey Association media release



Black Sticks Women win practice match 3-2 against Japan


Today's practice match was played in three 20 minute thirds.

Black Sticks Women's coach Mark Hager says the performance of the team is improving and they executed the game plan better today.

Results
First 3rd: 2-0 (NZ)

Second 3rd: 2-2
Third 3rd: 3-2 (NZ)

Goal Scorers:
First 3rd:
Kayla Sharland - FG
Katie Glynn - PC
Third 3rd:
Krystal Forgesson - FG

Goalkeepers that played:
Bianca Russell
Sally Rutherford

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Test matches prepare SA hockey women for Olympic Qualifier

JONATHAN COOK


Fresh from their impressive 2-1 win in the Investec International Series against Spain, captain Marsha Marescia and the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team go into another marathon of eight internationals at Randburg Astro over the next 12 days.

First up are one-off Test matches against Ireland at 7pm Wednesday and Belgium at the same time Thursday. The visiting teams meet in a one-off Test Friday.

The teams then go into the Investec Tri-Nations Tournament from Saturday until the following Thursday, the matches at 2pm on weekends and 7pm during the week.

And once the dust has settled on the Tri-Nations, SA and Belgium will meet in a two-Test series on February 4 and 5.

SA head coach Giles Bonnet designed these matches months ago as a key aspect of the team’s preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The SA squad’s moment of truth is as close as next month where they will go in search of gold at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in New Delhi, India. Nothing less than winning that tournament, which takes place from February 15 to 26, will suffice, as the gold medallists in Delhi are granted automatic entry into London 2012.

It is the last chance that Marescia’s girls in the green and gold have of realising their Olympic dream.

No less than 11 Test matches will be played in total at the Randburg Astro, given that Ireland and Belgium have three matches against each other over the 12-day period.

FIXTURES
(all at Randburg Astro)

International Test Matches


25/01/2012      19:00 - 20:15   IRL vs RSA
26/01/2012      19:00 - 20:15   BEL vs RSA
27/01/2012      19:00 - 20:15   BEL vs IRL

Investec Tri-Nations Tournament

28/01/2012      14:00 - 15:15   IRL vs RSA
29/01/2012      14:00 - 15:15   BEL vs RSA
30/01/2012      19:00 - 20:15   BEL vs IRL
31/01/2012      19:00 - 20:15   IRL vs RSA
01/02/2012      19:00 - 20:15   BEL vs RSA
02/02/2012      17:00 - 18:15   BEL vs IRL

Belgium/RSA Series

04/02/2012      14:00 - 15:15   BEL vs RSA
05/02/2012      11:00 - 12:15   BEL vs RSA

SA Hockey Association media release



SA hockey women a busy bunch

NICK GORDON


JOHANNESBURG - Fresh off their recent series win against Spain, the South African women’s hockey team are gearing up for a busy two weeks as they take part in the Investec Triangular Series against Belgium and Ireland.

The series gets under way at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Saturday but there is a curtain-raiser to that event   as the hosts take on a familiar foe in Ireland in a one-off Test at 7pm tonight.

The last time the two sides met was in Parana, Argentina, in a Four-Nations series towards the end of last year and the fixture resulted in a 2-2 stalemate.

Interestingly enough, Ireland –  ranked 14th in the world – had to settle for a place in the bronze medal match while Giles Bonnet’s side reached the final against the hosts.

There is no doubt that confidence will be high when South Africa step onto the turf  having come from a game down in the series to register two convincing victories – before a drawn finale – and take top honours against Spain, but Ireland won’t be an easy hurdle to overcome.

“We are confident for the clashes against Belgium and Ireland however we do expect the games to be tough,” said captain Marsha Marescia yesterday.

“Ireland are a team that improve as they gain momentum in a tournament and Belgium are a team that have improved in the last 12 months, so we do expect the games to be tough.

“After the Spanish series the team is highly motivated to succeed in the Triangular and continue to improve in various areas of our game.”

South Africa, ranked 12th, will then take on Belgium – who haven’t featured in a competitive Test since losing 3-0 to the Netherlands in October – tomorrow night in another one-off Test.

This series – as well as  two further  Tests against Belgium – form  a crucial part of South Africa’s future plans as they gear up for their Olympic qualifier in New Delhi, India, beginning on February 15 where a gold medal is vital for them to book their spot in London.

“This will be a great opportunity to assess how we cope under pressure while we prepare for the qualifier in India,” added Marescia.

Ireland’s coach Gene Muller, who used to coach South Africa, means business and has named an experienced squad for the series.

“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,” Muller was quoted as saying on the International Field Hockey website.

Tickets are available at the gate on match days and are R20 each.

The Citizen



Uneven turf gives India the jitters

Navneet Singh


The main turf of the Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium that was re-laid to host the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2010, has started showing alarming signs of wear and tear. The main concern is the area inside the striking circle around one of the goalposts.

The stadium, which was renovated at a cost of Rs 262 crore, could become the centre of controversy, as it’s the venue for the Olympic Qualifiers beginning on February 18. The surface has a warranty period of seven years.

The issue was raised on Tuesday by hockey coach, Michael Nobbs. He even threatened to lodge a protest with the international body (FIH) that is conducting the Qualifiers.

“It’s a big disadvantage to play an event like the Olympic Qualifiers on a faulty pitch,” said Nobbs, also hinting at the uneven surface inside the striking circle and around the half-line.

“On several occasions (during the five-match series against South Africa), the (penalty-corner) push was perfect but the ball couldn’t be trapped cleanly because of the uneven bounce, which spoiled the show.”

Nobbs, along with a team of Sports Authority of India officials, including stadium administrator Uma Dutta, inspected the faulty area on Tuesday. Another round of inspection is due on Wednesday. “Tomorrow, we have a meeting with the agencies that were entrusted with the task of laying the turf,” Dutta said.

Barring a couple of tournaments involving foreign teams, hardly any action has taken place in the stadium after the Commonwealth Games. Sources say a defective base work could be the reason for the uneven surface. “The base was probably prepared hurriedly. That’s why there is a problem,” said a SAI official.

Hindustan Times



Olak slam MHC for making them play at KL Hockey Stadium

By AFTAR SINGH


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are making a mockery of themselves — again.

MHC competitions committee secretary Hashim Mohd Yusoff inspected the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium last month and declared it unsuitable for the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) due to its deplorable condition.

In all, only 14 of the 29 stadiums in the country were deemed playable.

Surprisingly, the KL Hockey Stadium was used to host the Division Two match between Kuala Lumpur Sports School and Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak)-PKT last Friday.

But the match had to be called off after just 13 minutes due to a downpour.

And the bungling MHC have scheduled the replay for the same venue at 5pm today.

This has irked Olak team manager Joseph De Silva.

“MHC last month said the KL Hockey Stadium cannot be used for the junior league because the turf is in a bad state,” he said.

“Not only is the turf torn at a few places but there is also no place for the technical officials, coaches, team officials and players to sit.

“The seats have been removed and the officials, coaches and players have to sit with the spectators.

“There is no security for my players, coaches and officials at the stadium.

“I spoke to KLHA secretary V. Rajamanickam, who is also a MHC technical official, about the sorry conditions and he told me that he had already informed MHC about it.”

Joseph said he then called Hashim, who is also the MHC assistant secretary, to complain about the stadium.

“Hashim replied that the replay will be held at the same venue due to a shortage of grounds,” said Joseph.

“I will lodge an official complaint with MHC today. I hope our game against Kuala Lumpur Sports School will be played at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, which has two good pitches.

“But if MHC insist that we play at the KL Hockey Stadium, I will hold them responsible if any of my players get injured.”

The Star of Malaysia



Klang emerge Champions



Klang District emerged as champions after a nail biting match against their main rival Petaling District in the Finals of Sukan Selangor played at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The lack of playing hockey stadiums in Selangor saw all the matches the men's hockey played at the  at Bukit Jalil from Jan 13-16.

"We are thankful to be able to work with MSN Selangor to organize it here, while it is a shame the turfs had not been replace despite the many attempts by SHA since 2009 to raise awareness and address the issue", said  Organizing Chairman Kuganeson Poologasingam

The Under 20 , 7 team tournament which act as a development and selection event for the coming SUKMA Malaysia  saw a lot of upsets in which the defending gold medalist Gombak was shown the exit at the group stages as Kuala Langat topped the table and Sabak Barnam pipped Gombak to the semifinal spot.  The players were also inspired by the chance to play at the National Hockey Stadium which lifted their game.

Klang who easily edged Petaling 2-1 in the group stages, saw a different team altogether as an attacking minded Petaling had Klang defense marshalled by Helmi Sazrin Tamami working overtime to keep Klang in the game.

Klang caught a break on the 23rd minute from a penalty corner set piece Farid Afiq Mohammad pounce on a loose ball deflected off the Petaling keeper to slam it home. At the second half it was all Petaling as they piled on the pressure looking for the equalizer. Klang Goalkeeper Muhd Faris Rozmi was in top form as he foiled Petaling attempts to search for an equalizer.

The last 5 minutes Petaling were camped in the Klang half as the Klang team defended furiously. 4 back to back penalty corners were awarded to Petaling faield to convert leaving Klang to emerged as Gold Medal Winner.

Kuala Langat emerged at bronze medalist after defeating Sabak Bernam 3-2

Prizes to the winners were presented by SHA President Dato Salamon Selamat and Executive Director of MSN Tuan Nor Zamri Ishak

District Hockey sports association need to be revived

Organizing Chairman Kuganeson said its important to work in tandem with the PBT and MSN-Selangor to help revive the district level sports association. In Selangor the district sports association have slowly died off and replaced with hockey clubs. Only Gombak District is affiliated to SHA and Klang District are in the process revival. District Association have automatic voting rights in SHA and we have always encourage the revival of there associations and are willing to assist in anyway.

For Selangor Hockey Association Competition Committee the next event will be the K.Ramalingam Trophy for the Selangor Veteran Open Carnival to be held on Jan 28 at Real Sports Arena in Klang. The tournament will take place on an indoor surface, the lack of playing facilities has forced to seek new alternatives and indoor hockey is growing fast in Malaysia

The late Kandiah Ramalingam was an Ex-survey Department Official, married to Mdm.Rajesh and blessed with two sons. He was a former national football referee, a Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) official, a hockey player, Umpire, Technical Official, held various positions in Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) & Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF), his last undertaking was Hon. Secretary of SHA. The K.Ramalingam Trophy is SHA’s way of honoring him for his contributions to Hockey.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Umpire Ged Curran selected for London 2012 Olympics

By Jim Shepherd



Ged Curran 2012. Photo: Jim Shepherd

There was good news for one Scot just after Christmas when Dundonian Ged Curran was informed that he had been selected to umpire hockey at the London 2012 Olympics.

Ged started his Hockey at St John's High School in 1979, as a 12 year old, then played for Lawside FP before moved to Dundee Wanderers, playing in a variety of positions from goalkeeper to left wing, midfield and eventually left back

In 1992 he went to a Menzieshill Indoor Tournament at the Dick McTaggart Sports Centre and due to shortage of umpires and, having do some Club umpiring, he offered to help out and it was there that former Olympic Umpire Craig Madden told Ged he though he had a future as an umpiring.

At the age of 25 he began to umpire regularly in the National leagues, Outdoor and Indoor, though still playing for Moray House College in Edinburgh where he was a PE student.

In 1995 Ged umpired his first outdoor international match in Genoa and has now umpired 95 Senior International matches which included at four Champions Trophy tournaments, doing the Finals at Lahore, Melbourne and Mönchengladbach.

He also umpired finals of both Champions Challenge 2 in Dublin and Champions Challenge 1 in December at Johannesburg, was reserve umpire for outdoor World Cup Final in New Delhi in 2010 and umpired the final of the Indoor World Cup in Poznan last year.

Looking back on what has been a very successful umpiring career Ged is well aware of those who have been major influences including umpires Frank Moran from Dundee Wanderers, Craig Madden and Norrie Urquhart,  Henrik Ehlers from Denmark, Clive McMurray in South Africa, Don Prior from Australia and Ray O'Connor from Ireland.

Another key factor for Ged has been the support he has had from Dundee City Council Education Department, Fiona McLagan the new head teacher at St John's RC, where Ged is Principal Teacher of Physical Education, and her predecessor George Haggarty, plus the St John's PE department staff for their continued support. And above all to his wife Ali and children Molly, Mark and Paul for putting up with his continued absences from home
Credit for story and photo: .

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Scottish Hockey now recruiting for a Development Manager

Scottish Hockey is the National Governing Body for Hockey in Scotland and has an immediate vacancy for a Development Manager to join its busy team on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 will provide a heightened awareness of Hockey, and this, combined with the completion of the new National Hockey Centre in 2013 will provide fantastic platforms to steer the development of our sport in a dynamic and diverse way.  The Development Manager of Scottish Hockey has an exciting opportunity to make a real difference.

Scottish Hockey is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual to further promote Development as embodied in the Scottish Hockey Union's Business Plan to 2014 and beyond.

Scottish Hockey is the National Governing Body for Hockey in Scotland and has an immediate vacancy for a Development Manager to join its busy team on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 will provide a heightened awareness of Hockey, and this, combined with the completion of the new National Hockey Centre in 2013 will provide fantastic platforms to steer the development of our sport in a dynamic and diverse way.  The Development Manager of Scottish Hockey has an exciting opportunity to make a real difference.

Scottish Hockey is seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and self-motivated individual to further promote Development as embodied in the Scottish Hockey Union's Business Plan to 2014 and beyond.

Download Development Manager Job Advertisement (MS word)
Download Development Manager Job Description (MS word)
Download Development Manager Person Specification (MS word)
Download Development Manager Job Application Form (MS word)

For an informal chat about the role or for further information, please contact Robert Heatly, Chief Executive Officer on 0131 453 9070.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS IS FRIDAY 17 FEBRUARY WITH INTERVIEWS SCHEDULED FOR LATE FEBRUARY OR EARLY MARCH

For more info please see our Vacancies page.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Madhya Pradesh to set up museum after Dhyan Chand

BHOPAL: A museum in the memory of hockey legend Dhyan Chand will come up in Madhya Pradesh, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced.

Dhyan Chand, who passed away in 1979, should be the first sportsperson to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country, Chouhan said at a felicitation programme at his residence Friday night.

Last month, changes were made in the qualifying criteria for Bharat Ratna and sportpersons are now eligible for the award.

Dhyan Chand's name has been referred by Hockey India (HI) to the sports ministry for the award. India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar and shooter Abhinav Bindra, India's first individual Olympic champion, are also in the reckoning for the honour.

Chouhan said Dhyan Chand deserves to be the first sportsperson to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna since he won three Olympic gold medals (1928, 1932 and 1936).

"Hockey is the soul of Indian sports, but it is not getting the honour it should have. Major Dhyan Chand had helped India to win three Olympics gold medals. The world has recognised his unique style of playing," said Chouhan.

Chouhan said cricket's lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) has diverted the attention from the national sport and reiterated that incentives will be given to deserving hockey players.

At the function, the 18 members of the Indian men's team that won Asian Champions Trophy 2011 and 28 Olympians who had taken part in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, were felicitated. Eighteen members of national junior women's hockey team and coaches and 16 members of sub-junior women's team with their coaches were also felicitated.

The Olympians and senior players were awarded with Rs.1 lakh each while the junior and sub-juniors were given Rs.10,000 and Rs.20,000 each.

The chief minister also gave away appointment letters in various departments to players Amardeep, Shalu Raikwar, Anjali Koshthha, Anupam Lonekar, Shareef Khan and Shri Sindhya.

The Times of India