News for 28 March 2013

All the news for Thursday 28 March 2013


Euro Hockey League unveils App

Easy to use App comes two days before KO16 Amsterdam event



Apple fans can download the app here for free

The Euro Hockey League is pleased to announce the successful launch of the EHL App, which is now available to download free of charge on iOS and Android devices.

The App was launched on Wednesday 27th April, two days before the start of KO16 Amsterdam, the unique event that sees 16 of the finest men’s club teams in Europe reduced to the four semi-finalists over four days of intense knock-out action.

This simple, easy to use App is designed keep everyone fully informed about what the happenings at KO16 Amsterdam and all future EHL events. It will provide news, match details, pre-match line-ups, scores & rankings, match highlights and written summaries direct to your hand-held device. Most importantly, the EHL App will be covering all matches live.

More information about the EHL App and this weekend’s tournament in Amsterdam can be found on www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League. The Euro Hockey Club Champions Cup for women is also taking place this weekend, with teams gathering in Hamburg for what is also likely to be an entertaining four days of hockey. More information about the EHCCC can be found at www.eurohockey.org .

Euro Hockey League media release



League and European fates in the balance for Men's teams


Will Hearne, Cannock

THREE men’s teams travel to Amsterdam this weekend in search of glory in the European Hockey League. And back in the English Men’s Hockey League there are several crucial matches taking place as teams chase promotion dreams.

Reading take on Rotterdam in the last 16 of the EHL competition on Good Friday, while the other two English teams, Beeston and East Grinstead, will play each other on Saturday morning for a place in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Saturday also sees Cannock play host to Canterbury in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, with both sides still hoping for a Championship play-off spot.

Postponed last weekend, the match is one of several rescheduled for this weekend.

With East Grinstead in EHL action their postponed Premier Division game with Southgate has had to be put back until Wednesday 3 April. If Canterbury do not beat Cannock on Saturday, East Grinstead can still clinch a top four place with a win.

In the Conference North, Sheffield Hallam entertain University of Durham. Victory could see them overtake leaders Bowdon who travel to Belper on the same day and give them the title. However, Sheffield Hallam will also need to win their game in hand against relegated Preston tonight.

With the weather still causing issues please keep abreast of any fixture changes on the England Hockey website and Twitter.

Meanwhile, Olton have conceded their game with Khalsa which was postponed on Sunday.

Men’s Hockey League (Wednesday, March 27 2013)

Conference North

Sheffield Hallam v Preston 20:00

Men’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 30 2013)

Premier Division

Cannock v Canterbury 14:00

Conference North
Belper v Bowdon 12:00
Sheffield Hallam v Univ of Durham 13:30

Men’s Hockey League (Wednesday, April 3 2013)

Premier Division

Southgate v East Grinstead 20:15

England Hockey Board Media release



Browne’s Canterbury faces must-win clash

England-based T&T professional hockey player Kwandwane Browne and his Canterbury club face a must-win match away to Cannock in order to secure a semifinal playoff spot in the English Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Saturday.

Currently, Canterbury sits in the fourth and final play-off spot with 27 points from 17 matches, one ahead of his former club East Grindstead while third spot Reading, also not certain of qualification, has 29 points from its completed 18-match schedule.

The two qualifiers to date for the Premier Division championship play-offs are table-toppers Beeston with 43 points and Surbiton with 32, both from 18 matches.

This means Saturday’s encounter between Cannock (24 points) and Canterbury, which was postponed last weekend due to poor weather, will see both sides still hoping for a Championship play-off spot.

With East Grindstead in European Hockey League (EHL) action in Amsterdam, their postponed Premier Division game with Southgate has had to be put back until April 3, and if Canterbury does not beat Cannock on Saturday, East Grindstead can still clinch a top four place with a win.

The Trinidad Guardian



Vital matches ahead in Investec Women's League


Olton's Holly Percival

ENGLISH hockey teams are facing some vital matches this week – some are fighting for European glory, while others are battling at the sharp end of the Investec Women’s Hockey League season.

The winners of last season’s Investec Women’s Hockey League Championship, Leicester travel to Hamburg to compete in the EuroHockey Club Champions Cup.

They face Larensche MHC in their opening match on Good Friday, and will play another three matches throughout the Easter weekend.

Meanwhile, back in England there are also some crucial matches for teams in the Investec Women’s Hockey League.

Olton and West Warwickshire play host to the University of Birmingham in a crucial relegation derby in the Investec Premier Division on Saturday.

The match was originally postponed last weekend because of the heavy snow, and a three-goal victory for Olton would see them escape the relegation play-off at the expense of the students.

Leicester’s now crucial postponed match with Slough is rearranged to Saturday 6 April as they are in Europe this weekend. Reading play Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.

In the Investec Conference North, Beeston played Whitley Bay and Tynemouth on Tuesday evening and a 2-0 win meant they won the title for the second successive season and secured their place in the promotion play-offs.

Cannock play host to University of Durham on Wednesday evening and need a victory to keep alive their hopes of avoiding automatic relegation. Cannock’s Chase Park ground is still snowbound and they may look for an alternative venue. Meanwhile, ninth-placed Liverpool Sefton are in action on Good Friday at Wakefield Bradford.

Elsewhere, the last few rescheduled matches in the Investec Conference East go ahead this week.

Chelmsford host Old Loughtonians on Wednesday night, Horsham go to Oxford Hawks on Thursday, and St Albans travel to Bromley and Beckenham on Saturday.

Wimbledon have conceded their game with Ipswich as have Stourport in the Investec Conference West, who were due to travel to Buckingham.

With the weather still causing issues please keep abreast of any fixture changes on the England Hockey website and Twitter.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Wednesday, March 27 2013)

Investec Conference East

Chelmsford v Old Loughtonians 20:00

Investec Conference North
Univ of Durham v Cannock 19:00 at Cannock

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Thursday, March 28 2013)

Investec Conference East

Oxford Hawks v Horsham 19:45

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Friday, March 29 2013)

Investec Conference North

Wakefield Bradford v Liverpool Sefton 18:00

Investec Women’s Hockey League (Saturday, March 30 2013)

Investec Premier Division

Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Birmingham 10:30
Reading v Sutton Coldfield

Investec Conference East
Bromley & Beckenham v St Albans 13:00

Investec Conference North
Loughborough Students v Doncaster tbc

England Hockey Board Media release



Scotland U18 squads selected for matches against Wales

Scotland U18 Boys and Girls will continue their preparations for forthcoming European competitions this summer when they play Wales in two internationals at Forthbank, Stirling on 5 & 6 April.

Elanor Cormack, Scotland U18 Boys Manager, said, “The matches against Wales are our first competitive outings this season in preparation for the EuroHockey Youth Nations Championship in Vienna this summer. We also have matches against Ulster and British Universities coming up as we build towards the competition in July.

“We’ve selected newer members of the U18 squad for these games to allow the coaches to view these players as we consider selection for Europe later in the year. Of course, we also want to win these matches and will be preparing the players to do so.”

Following this weekend’s Four Nations tournament against England, Germany and the Netherlands, Scotland U18 Girls will continue their build-up to the EuroHockey Youth Nations Championship II against their Welsh counterparts.

Colin Clarke, Scotland U18 Girls Head Coach, said, “The games are an excellent opportunity for the squad to play together and put our ideas and skills into practice against an A Division side. The games against Wales are always competitive and I expect these to continue in that vein.

“Results are not the objective in these matches it is all about our processes and how the girls learn and have the confidence to express themselves in international competition. Our target is to create individual decision makers within a cohesive group and these games will enable the coaches to assess where we are on our development pathway.”

Match Schedule:

5th April 14.30 Scotland U18 Boys vs. Wales, Forthbank, Stirling

5th April 16.00 Scotland U18 Girls vs. Wales, Forthbank, Stirling

6th April 16.00 Scotland U18 Girls vs. Wales, Forthbank, Stirling

6th April 18.00 Scotland U18 Boys vs. Wales, Forthbank, Stirling

Scotland U18 Boys: Ewan Campbell (Strathallan School), Steven McIlravey (Harris Academy FP), Ross Morrison (Grange), Murray Collins (Hutchesons’ Grammar & PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Danny Cain (George Watson’s College  & Watsonians), Craig Graham (Dean Close & Gloucester City), Patrick Christie (Edinburgh Academy & CALA Edinburgh), Phil Bryans (George Watson’s College  & Watsonians), Gordon Amour (Glasgow School of Sport & PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Angus Robb (Loretto & Grange), Joe McConnell (Western Wildcats), Robbie Shepherdson (Royal High School & Grange), Jack McAllister (Glasgow School of Sport & Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), John McCluskey (Loretto & CALA Edinburgh), Fergus Sandison (Glenalmond & Dundee Wanderers),  Murdo Elwis (Grange), Hamish Imrie (Fettes College & Grange), John Reid (Jordanhill School & Hillhead), Lee Morton (Glasgow School of Sport & Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Ed Greaves (Glasgow School of Sport & Glynhll Hotel Kelburne), Jack McKenzie (Glasgow School of Sport & Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Andy Duff (Glasgow School of Sport & Glynhill Hotel Kelburne).

Scotland U18 Girls: Megan Inch (Strathallan School & Grove Menzieshill), Rowan Sinclair (Mary Erskine School & CALA Edinburgh), Emma Stewart (Lomond Academy & Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Susan Graham (Dundee High School & Grove Menzieshill), Alison Eadie (Hutchesons’ Grammar & Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Ailsa Small (George Watson’s College & CALA Edinburgh), Catriona McLellan (George Watson’s College & Watsonians), Katie Hibbert (Robert Gordon’s College & Granite City Wanderers), Zoe Sinclair (Wellington High School & Ayr Ladies), Jenny Eadie (Hutchesons’ Grammar & Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Maisie Morris (Kelvinside Academy & GHK), Katie Robertson (Kilgraston & Grove Menzieshill), Christina Farrar (Strathallan School & Grove Menzieshill), Eilidh Thomson (George Watson’s College & Inverleith), Millie Brown (Fettes College & CALA Edinburgh), Jessica Ross (Morgan Academy & Dundee Wanderers), Claire Hill (Kelso High School & Watsonians), Emma McGregor (Firhill High School & Inverleith).

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Scotland hockey international Holly Cram hails full-time tactics


Holly Cram

Scotland hockey international Holly Cram believes the move to full-time training this summer will be a major boost as the side prepares for important tournaments on the horizon.

The senior women are bidding to maintain their place in the top division at the EuroHockey Championships in Belgium this August before turning their focus to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

And Holly – a veteran with two Commonwealth Games – reckons the decision to train five days a week for three months from June could pay dividends.

“I’ve had the experience of full-time training with the GB Team before and it can make a huge difference,” said the 28-year-old forward, who plays her club hockey with Milne Craig Clydesdale Western.

“Some of the younger players haven’t experienced that before and it will stand them in good stead. At the moment everyone is studying and working so to get everyone together will give us a major advantage.

“Our main focus this year is to stay in the top tier of European hockey so we keep playing against the best teams more often. We’ve some friendlies planned beforehand and we are going out to Brussels for a little bit of a reconnaissance trip before the tournament starts.”

Holly is studying to become a Physical Education teacher at the University of Strathclyde and receives funding support and academic flexibility from Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarships for high performance student athletes.

She was one of nine current and former Winning Students competing at the recent FIH World League Round Two in Rio where Scotland missed out on qualification for Round Three by the narrowest of margins, finishing on equal points with second-placed Chile, but the South Americans progressed due to more tournament wins overall.

She was joined by Alison Howie (University of Strathclyde), Nicki Cochrane, Nikki Kidd and Morag McLellan (all University of Edinburgh) and Nicola Skrastin (University of Glasgow), whilst the side also featured former students Alison Bell, Amy Gibson and Susan McGilveray.

Holly added: “The course is going really well and the support from the University and the funding from Winning Students has been a huge help. I’ve really enjoyed the placements and I’ve two coming up soon. I’ve not had the chance to teach hockey so far so I might be a little rusty, but it has been very enjoyable.

“With my course, the Europeans and then Glasgow 2014, it’s a busy time. To be selected for the Commonwealth Games would be massive for me personally, but even more so for all my family and friends as it would be reward for their dedication coming to support me at pitches in the middle of nowhere throughout the years.

“To compete in my home city would be a special experience, one that few people ever get. It’s great to see all the sports facilities in the east end of Glasgow and I’m sure the Games will have a positive impact on hockey and on sport more widely.”

Working in partnership with Scottish Hockey, Winning Students currently supports 30 hockey players competing at Junior and Senior international level for Scotland.

Please visit the Winning Students website for more information about the scholarship programme and the hockey athletes currently on the programme.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Hockey hosts event

Rashneel Kumar


THE Fiji Hockey Federation will be hosting the Fiji 5s tournament this weekend.

Federation development officer Tai Smith said they would use the tournament as a trial for the Fiji under-17 team which will participate in the Junior Youth Olympic play-offs later in the year.

She said they were expecting ten men's and six women's teams during this tournament.

"We have chosen to kick start the season with the abbreviated code as it will be the format used at the Pacific Games to be held in PNG in 2015," Smith said.

"The weekend will also feature games and the first trial run for our under 17 who are preparing to participate in the Junior Youth Olympic playoffs later in the year.

"This will prove to be the highlight of the weekend when we see all our youth come head to head to fight for the 18 spots that will be up for grabs.

Smith said new teams were coming from Ba and Lautoka.

The Fiji Times



Australian hockey star Jamie Dwyer supports fives format for Olympics

Alvin Sallay



Jamie Dwyer conducts a hockey clinic with teenagers before this week's Hockey 6s at Hong Kong Football Club. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Five-time World Player of Year Dwyer insists short format - which will be trialled in HK this weekend - is vital to keep sport in Olympics

Australian hockey idol Jamie Dwyer has thrown his support behind the proposed five-a-side format for the Olympics, saying that it would provide a more entertaining spectacle on television and secure the future of the sport at the Games.

"Hockey was in danger of being kicked out of the Olympics recently and I believe the main reason is that we have too many athletes taking part. With this in mind, I think fives would be perfect. I want to make sure that hockey remains in the Olympics and if this is the way to go, why not? It will be great," said Dwyer.

The five-time World Player of the Year, who is in town for the Hong Kong Football Club Hockey 6s, which gets underway today with an 11-a-side exhibition game, added: "I still want 11-a-side to be the main game, but like in cricket where you have the tests, 50 overs and Twenty20, there is room for other formats too in hockey. Fives will be better for entertainment. There will be more goals and more action, making it a better spectacle for television."

The HKFC 6s will play a huge role in deciding if fives is viable, with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) using the tournament to trial the format with some of the world's best players who have gathered for this week's competition. Four teams - Earth, Air, Fire and Water - led by leading internationals will take part in the International Fives tomorrow and Saturday.

The FIH has also proposed the fives format for the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing next year.

Patrick Watts, chairman of the HKFC 6s organising committee, said: "We are honoured to have been asked to trial the format for FIH. It is a great opportunity for us to introduce fives to the hockey community in Hong Kong and Asia, particularly ahead of the Youth Olympic Games next year."

Hockey was almost booted out of the Olympics last month by the International Olympic Committee. It was among five sports considered for removal from the programme in 2020, but escaped when wrestling was eventually shown the door. The narrow shave was underlined by the fact that hockey, wrestling and modern pentathlon were in the final round of voting after canoeing and taekwondo survived the early rounds.

"I was shocked to hear that hockey was one of the sports on the brink of losing its Olympic status," Dwyer said. "It was even more amazing considering that at last year's Olympic Games in London, every game was packed with spectators and the fans loved it.

"But this is all about television and a smaller format where the five best players from each country will be on show will definitely be more entertaining for the fans and be good for TV," added Dwyer, who represented Australia at the last three Olympic Games, leading the nation to a gold medal in Athens in 2004 and bronze in Beijing and London.

The four teams in the International Fives will play a round-robin competition. Each team are allowed four outfielders and a goalkeeper and will play three 10-minute periods with rolling substitutions permitted. A goal can be scored from anywhere on the field, so this will include own goals. The pitch will be roughly half the size of a normal ground with boards all around it and there will be no circles or D's. The other main difference from the traditional game is that there will be no penalty corners.

"The HKFC 6s is a great setting to give the fives format a trial run," said FIH sport director David Luckes. "With the calibre of players at the Hong Kong tournament, we felt this was the perfect opportunity to get meaningful feedback before the 2014 Youth Olympic Games."

South China Morning Post



Kuala Lumpur through to semis

By Jugjet Singh


NATIONAL Under-16 defending champions Kuala Lumpur made the semi-finals with one game in hand when they hammered Terengganu 6-1 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Kuala Lumpur have 12 points from four wins having beaten Perlis 5-1, Negri 2-1 and Sabah 4-3 and next play Selangor today and possibly claim the top spot in Group A.

"I did not get enough time to train this team but they have shown character and improvement in every match.

"We now have to beat Selangor and keep a clean record ahead of the semi-finals," said KL coach K. Embaraj.

Their match against Sabah almost turned into a disaster after Sabah took a 3-0 lead before the City lads came charging back to win 4-3.

"That was their best match as they never gave up even after being 3-0 down. This is what I look for in players, and the KL boys have it," said Embaraj.

RESULTS -- Group A: Terengganu 1 Kuala Lumpur 6, Sabah 0 Negri 2, Selangor 2 Perlis 1.

Group B: Malacca 4 Penang 3, Perak 1 Johor 1.

TODAY -- Group B: Johor v Malacca (8am, Pitch I), Perak v Pahang (8am, Pitch II).

Group A: Sabah v Perlis (4pm, Pitch II), Kuala Lumpur v Selangor (6pm, Pitch I), Negri v Terengganu (8pm, Pitch I).

All matches at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times



City boys come out tops in clash of unbeaten teams

By ASHREENA PILLAI


KUALA LUMPUR: The City boys thrashed Terengganu 6-2 in their Group A match of the MHC-Milo-NSC Under-16 hockey championships at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

In a match-up between two unbeaten sides, it was KL who came out triumphant.

Goals by Fallah Hassan Shahrom Jamil (22nd minute), Mohd Fitri Kahirul Ariffin (23rd), Mohd Zulhazwan Hashim (29th), Ameer Mohamad (37th), Mohd Shafirul Aqmal (67th) and Wan Haziq Hisyamuddin (69th) gave KL an emphatic win and top spot in Group A with 12 points.

Che Ku Shaiful Aidil Eizwan got both Terengganu’s goals in the 33rd and 43rd minutes.

With a spot in the semi-final guaranteed, KL coach K. Embaraj plans to use their match against Selangor today to try out new tactics.

“We always expect a tough match and the boys did really well today. There is progression in the way they are playing ... we’re improving and that’s the most important thing,” said Embaraj.

“We’re in a good position so there’s an option to try something new in tomorrow’s (today) match. The first 11 will play but we can be more creative tactically and we’ll try out some new set plays and see how they go.”

Group B leaders Perak failed to collect full points for the first time after being held to a surprise 1-1 draw by fourth-placed Johor.

Perak led through a Mohd Nur Asyraf Rusli’s field goal in the 34th minute before Johor’s Mohd Sharizat Khuzir equalised in the 57th minute.

Perak will face second-placed Pahang today. A win or a draw will be enough to see them through to the semi-finals, where they are likely to face Group A runners-up Terengganu.

The Star of Malaysia



Bankers ready to turn their fortunes around after a long time in wilderness

By K. RAJAN



Reinforcement: Striker Shakeel Abassi (No. 6) is one of the four Pakistan players Maybank have recruited for their MHL campaign this season. Reinforcement: Striker Shakeel Abassi (No. 6) is one of the four Pakistan players Maybank have recruited for their MHL campaign this season.

PETALING JAYA: It may be early days still but the signs are encouraging indeed. Yes, former giants Maybank are ready to return to their glory years.

The Tigers are sitting pretty atop the Premier Division of the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) standings with six points after two rounds of matches.

Coached by former international Wallace Tan, Maybank started their campaign with a 2-1 win over debutants Terengganu before thrashing Sapura 5-3 last week.

Maybank are among the pioneers of the MHL which was inaugurated in 1987.

The bank boys won the overall title in 1988, 1990 and 1994 and the league title in 1994 and 1995.

But they have since struggled to make an impact, finishing fourth last season and being knocked out in the semi-finals of the overall competition by eventual winners Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).

The latest Maybank revival can be attributed to the signing of four Pakistanis – Shakeel Abassi, Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Waqas and Shafqat Rasool – and former international Jiwa Mohan.

Jiwa acknowledged that “Maybank have signed quality foreigners and are set to make the league exciting”.

“The MHL has been a two-horse league for some time now – KLHC and Tenaga Nasional. But this time around it’s much more interesting as most teams have strengthened their squads.

“We’ve had a good start and are playing well ... I credit it to maturity,” said the 32-year-old Jiwa.

“However, the league still has a long way to go and we need to keep working hard until the end.”

Jiwa, who has 293 international caps, had plied his trade with Sapura since 2005. He only switched to Maybank this season.

The Star of Malaysia



Maybank are dangerous opponents says Chua

Having secured four points from their opening two matches, KL Hockey Club are on the right track in their title defence of the Malaysian Hockey League.

And their longest serving player, Chua Boon Huat feels that the team has all the right ingredients to cap another successful season in the MHL despite the fact that they are no longer the favourites.

"When there was an exodus of players before the season began, many thought that it was curtains for KLHGC. But we took all this in our stride and vowed to do better. Towards that the management secured six foreign players and made the right choices," said Chua.

"And they are great signings as they are experienced and fitted into our system very well. They adapted right from the first match and I am happy playing alongside them.

The national players who left KLHC for Terengganu are Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Azlan Misron, Ismail Abu,  Mohd Ameerullah Aziz and Fitri Saari.

They signed six foreigners and leading the cast is skipper of the Pakistan national team, Muhammad Imran who scored five goals in the Azlan Shah Cup last week , the evergreen Waseem Ahmad, Fareed Ahmad, Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Akhtar Ali. In addition they also signed up Australian international Tim Deavin.

KLHC defeated UniKL 5-0 in the opening match and drew 3-3 against Tenaga Nasional Berhad on Sunday. This weekend they will take on table toppers Maybank on Friday before playing visiting Nur Insafi Warriors.

"Maybank have had a great start and the two wins have boosted their confidence. And their four Pakistani imports have also fitted in well. So its going to be difficult for us on Friday," added Chua who has played for the club siince 2003 when they were known as Ernst and Young.

"We need to be patient in the match and not give them room to control the midfield as Shafqat Rasool and Shakeel Abbasi can create havoc if given a free hand."

Unofficial MHL site



Time to recall WSH players, as HIL hardly found any new talent.

K Arumugam



Akashdeep, Mandeep, Satbir, Gurinder, Keshav Dutt and others part of bronze winning 2012 Junior Asia Cup team. They went on to shine in the HIL a year later. They are proven talent before the HIL, that's why they were purchased on good tariff in the first place.

My Last Word: The Hockey India League hype has died down. Its time to ask one vital question: Whether the commercial entity has fulfilled one of its objectives – of spotting new talents.

If an unbiased opinion is formed based on numbers that are qualitative, it will throw light on the subject in question. It is clear that though HIL has achieved on many fronts, it came as a cropper in spotting new talent due to many factors.

A caveat here. We talk about new talent not someone already played for India, but not well known outside hockey circle, and thus hardly a star, but became so because of HIL’s success. Yes, like in the case of Mandeep Singh or Malak Singh.

At the outset, it has to be accepted that the Hockey India League is a new vista not just in India, but in the world hockey as a whole. It’s a grand success the day the hockey world’s first auction had taken place a month before the ball was set in motion.

HIL has got wider coverage than expected, millions followed, mostly new comer Gen Next to hockey. Response to HIL’s and their franchises’ social media vouch-safe for this.

Quality of hockey was poor compared to WSH, only Ranchi Rhinos and Delhi Waverriders rescued the HIL, however, being the first exercise of this magnitude, presence of world’s real stars, promotional packages helped to overcome this. undefined

If today Mandeep Singh or Malak Singh is a known face to the whole lot of hockey followers, new and old, its is due to HIL and its quality broadcast.

Administratively, financially (to HI and players), and spectacle wise HIL is a huge success, now none talks about WSH.

HI therefore has reasons to smile.

But if HI thinks that it has found new talent through the HIL process, and thus it can ignore about 50 quality youngsters who are in any day is as good as those who do national duty right now, numbers and scientific analysis do not support HI’s intransigent view.

Now the numbers that indicate why HIL fails to find out new players – like for an instant Shivender Singh and the like through the process of Premier Hockey League.

120 players played in the HIL
50 players are from other countries
70 Indians only could take took part.

Who are these 70 Indian players?
19 have already played Olympics or World Cup
9 have already represented India at Senior levels
22 players have played Junior Internationals.

This leaves exactly 20 players, who can be categorized as domestic players.

Can we rightly feel happy on the fact that at least 20 domestic talents got a chance to play in the high voltage HIL?

No. Because each team had 24 players, but only 20 can be fielded for a particular match out of which only 18 can play.

All the HIL stars that public at large now adore like Malak Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurmail Singh, Pardeep Mor, Satbir Singh and Sushant Tirkey, have already played 3-4 junior internationals, and hence do not fall under new talent. Yes, they got stardom solely because of HIL. We are happy on that, but its a different matter.

After through scrutiny of relevant documents, I found to my utter disbelief that 80-90 percent of these ‘domestic players’ hardly got any chance to play.

Because, the coaches were cautious, they have to deliver and played safe – which means they did not offer much space to these unproven talents. Unless one gets a chance to play sufficient time on the turf how can he showcase his talent.

Coaches cannot be faulted here but only the system.

That’s why we don’t talk about Rahul Shilpkar (?), Sumit, N. Sharma, Suresh, Gaganpreet, Parvinder, Sanjay, Raj Hans, Rinel, Arvind, and the like.

It is pertinent to note the fact that if most Jr. internationals who played the WSH are considered for HI, even these 20 would not have got the chance.

A system that had scope for only 20 domestic players -- due to less number of franchises – is at fault. It cannot unearth new talent at all. So the HIL could not.

That’s why its responsibility of public to push for inclusion of WSH players in the forthcoming camp which is bedrock for selecting team for the Junior World Cup.

There are a dozen players who already represented India at junior levels with merit, and are full of energy and enterprise, waiting for the iron curtain of HI to open so that they can realize their potential and dream.

If HI tends to mis-interpret, knowingly or purposefully, the success of HIL to success of talent scouting, it will again commit another blunder. It selected a team without established stars and finished last at the last Olympics.

I sincerely hope HI differentiates between what is commercially saleable and successful need not always prove beneficial to making of Team India.

Hockey India General Secretary Narinder Batra has definitely proved he is better administrator than any of his rival in the hockey body political cell pool.

Now he is a winner. Winners always show magnanimity. He should now show compassion to youngsters, run hockey affairs as truly national. Instead of selectively calling one or two players, like Gurjinder Singh, he should invite all the young stars of WSH for the camp starting at Bangalore in a few days’ time.

This is only way to success which Indian hockey desperately in need of.

Stick2Hockey.com



Adopting old selection system will be a hasty move: Hanif

KARACHI: Hockey coach Hanif Khan said on Tuesday that adopting the old selection system would be a hasty step, but at the same time he expressed his willingness to accept the old system of selection.

“Personally, I have no objections if the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) decides to appoint a selection committee,” Hanif maintained.

“I was deeply disappointed with poor showing of the youngsters in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup,” he further said.

Pakistan finished last in the event won by Australia when the green shirts beat hosts Malaysia 3-2.

The PHF decided to abolish the selection committee headed by Hanif a few months ago, empowering chief coach Akhtar Rasool and his deputy to select the squad for international events in a bid to improve performance of the team.

However, there has been huge criticism of Pakistan’s poor showing in the Azlan Shah Cup due to which the PHF may rethink the new selection process.

“The performance of youngsters [in the Azlan Shah Cup] was below par which really surprised and disappointed us,” Hanif remarked. “We rested some seniors and picked youngsters to give them international exposure, but they were unable to produce any performance worth mentioning.”

The former Olympian said that the youngsters’ poor performance was not a good omen for the future of hockey while admitting that Pakistan team have weak back-up line which is more worrisome.

However, Hanif claimed that they would work on various options to overcome the problems and make Pakistan team better.

Dawn



New FIH Committees named for 2013-14

Five commttees, two commissions and three panels finalized


The FIH today announced the new committee members who will serve for the 2013-14 term. In total, the FIH has five committees, two commissions and three advisory panels that all welcomed new members. The changes to the committees were approved at the last Executive Board meeting earlier this month and the groups will begin work immediately.

FIH President Leandro Negre wished to thank all the new members for their dedication to hockey and also the outgoing commttee members for their service. "Our committees are at the core of the FIH and the work they do is vital to the success of the FIH and international hockey. I am pleased with the new make-up of our committees and know that all of the members will work hard to continue to move our sport forward. By the same token, I would like to thank all of the outgoing committee members for the countless hours the gave and the dedication they showed to helping hockey to grow."

The new committees are as follows:

 

Appointments
Chair Willard Harris TRI
Members Ana Tuero Vigil ESP
Nii Quaye-Kumah GHA
Horacio Servetto ARG
Lyn Farrell NZL
Brian Fernandez MAS
Athletes
Chair: Michael Green GER
Members: Lindsey Wright-Carlisle RSA
Linda Ee SIN
Henri Lhomme FRA
Bram Lomans NED
Simon Mason ENG
Liam de Young AUS
Beth Jurgeleit NZL
Scott Sandison CAN
Competitions
Chair Ken Read AUS
Athletes Rep Michael Green GER
Africa Marelize de Klerk RSA
Asia Mathavan Devadas SIN
Europe Wiert Doyer NED
Oceania Sarah Garnett NZL
PanAm Alberto Budeisky ARG
Heino Knuf GER
Asif Bajwa PAK
Alberto de Frutos ESP
Narinder Batra IND
Rules
Chair David Collier ENG
Members Peter Elders NED
Margaret Hunnaball ENG
Ramesh Patel NZL
Katrina Powell AUS
Christian Blasch GER
Eric Donegani CAN
Alain Renaud FRA
Clive McMurray RSA
Umpires
Chair Ermanno Silvano ITA
Athletes Rep Lindsey Wright Carlisle RSA
Africa Shiraz Ali Rahiman Yakub KEN
Asia Masako Kamisuki JPN
Europe Carola Meyer GER
Oceania Jason McCracken NZL
PanAm Roger St Rose TRI
Bjorn Isberg SWE
Renee Cohen NED
COMMISSIONS
Judicial
President Don Davies AUS
Deputy President Michael Krause GER
Deputy President Annabel Pennefather SIN
Gordon Nurse ENG
George Bennett BAR
Paul Litjens NED
Urvasi Naidoo ENG
Stuart Margetson IRE
Janice Shardlow ENG
Vincenzo Vitale ITA
Reinoud Imhof NED
Tim Ollerenshaw ENG
Pablo Reyes GUA
Eduardo Guelfand ARG
Risk and Compliance
Chair Stephan Abel GER
Rep EB Mary Cicinelli CAN
Foundation Jean-Pierre Strebel SUI
Members Fumio Ogura JPN
David Collier ENG
Pavel Cherepanov RUS
Martin Gotheridge ENG
Joachim Hurter GER
PANELS
High Performance & Coaching
Chair Steve Jaspan RSA
Members Herman Kruis NED
Jorge Lombi ARG
Tahir Zaman PAK
Heino Knuf GER
Jenny King RSA
Equipment
Chief Advisor Jean-Claude Le Clef BEL
Members Simon Mason ENG
Louis Coster NED
Wolfgang Hillman GER
Medical
Chief Advisor Peter Wefers-Bettink NED
Members Michael Green GER
Adrian Lorde BAR
Wiebke Müller-Eising GER

FIH site



Last day for Early Bird Tickets

TriFinance EuroHockey Champs: Regular ticket sales begin Thursday




Six weeks after starting the ticket sales for the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, the European Hockey Federation can announce that the ‘Early Bird’ pricing period comes to an end this evening (Wednesday 27 March). Of the available tickets for the European nations event, an ample 25% have been sold to date. Companies have displayed similar interest, with 60% of the VIP arrangements sold and a completely sold out VIP Lounge for the Final. Of the 1.000 m² available shops at the event, 80% has been sold in the first 6 weeks. Tomorrow, the organization will start with the regular ticket sales and Season Tickets for several days will also go on sale.

In addition, Sligro, the Dutch wholesaler for food professionals, completes the list of main partners for the tournament. Besides main and title partner TriFinance,  the Flemish Government with Topsport Vlaanderen, the Province of Antwerp, the National Lottery and Fintro had already offered their support as main partners of the organization.

REGULAR TICKET SALES AND 'SEASON' COMBINATION TICKETS GO ON SALE TOMORROW:

6 weeks after the start of ticket sales, the ‘Early Bird’ period will end tonight. A total of 60.000 tickets are available for the 9 tournament days. Of the foreseen ‘Early Bird’ tickets, almost 50% has been sold. After this ‘Early Bird’ sale, the organization will start the regular ticket sales on Thursday 28th March.

Regular tickets costs between 10 and 60 euro, depending on play day and the stand section, they are available through the website.

-      All tickets are day tickets and comprise access to all matches on that day (4 or 6 matches), and they include access to the entire entertainment zone: the Hockey Park, Kids’ Village and the Hockey Plaza.

There are 6 different stands sections. Ticket prices vary depending on the stands category and play day:

Individual tickets range from 15 to 60 euro a piece at regular rates.
Group tickets (from 31 tickets) range from 10 to 35 euro at regular rates.

The organization also offers 2 ‘Season Ticket’ formulas.

Season ticket ‘Kick Off Weekend’: with this, you can enjoy 12 matches on 17th and 18th August 2013, during the opening weekend of the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships. With the ‘Kick Off Weekend’ ticket you save up to 10 euro with respect to 2 separate tickets for the first Saturday and Sunday in the regular ticket sale.

Season ticket ‘Final Four Days’: with this, you can enjoy the final 16 games of the tournament (semi-finals and finals, both Ladies and Gents) from Thursday 22nd until Sunday 25th August 2013. You can save up to 20 euro with respect to tickets for the same days on  regular sale.

All ticket information and the match schedule are available at the tournament’s website:www.trifinanceeurohockey2013.be.

European Hockey Federation



Dating Hijinks: The Guy Who Played Women’s Field Hockey For Love, But Almost Killed Her Instead

by Amanda Chatel



All was well and good… until Sean showed up.

On Wednesdays, Amanda Chatel will be sharing stories about her strange, fascinating and sometimes wonderful dating life. If it makes you want to date, check out TheGloss dating page.

This weeks Dating Hijinks takes us into the past of one of our many beloved readers and frequent commenters, Sean. Sean is, well, awesome. He was also slightly hounded by me to participate because I’ve decided I love him and, therefore, he has no choice.

I now present you Sean’s tale:

I’ve come to realize my stories about my awkward attempts to speak to people I’ve been interested in are FAR more interesting than any of my date stories. This one, in particular, was buried pretty deep in my brain because it was the only one that would have resulted in a hospital stay if it had gone any worse. Enjoy.

Hmm, clever title…let’s call it “I Would Have Had To Wear A Kilt Anyway.”

Most of my best stories come from my years in undergrad. I was away at school and had met some awesome people who quickly became my core group of friends. One of the benefits (and downsides) was that most of them were athletic in some form. Hockey, basketball, street hockey, volleyball… they played a multitude of sports, and that worked out well because my university had many competitive and house-league teams. I, however, was not so coordinated; street hockey or frisbee were fine, but I was never one to play proper sports. My coordination is limited to pool/billiards (it’s geometry!) or strumming a guitar. That’s it.

Anyway, in second year there was a girl in my program (let’s call her Ellen) that lived a few houses down from me (we had townhouses as dorms) and I thought she was lovely. She had bright eyes and a great smile. I desperately wanted to talk to her, but I could never work up the nerve. It amused everyone I knew. I’m not in the least bit shy typically, but put me in front of a woman I’m smitten with and suddenly I’m spouting dumb shit like “I’ve got new socks on!” Half the year went by and I hadn’t spoken to her once.

One evening, my friend Teresa stopped by to ask if I would follow her to tryouts the next morning for the campus field hockey team. I rarely say no to an invite, and I had never seen people play field hockey, so I said sure. She didn’t know anyone, and neither did I, but I’ve always had a knack for greasing the wheels in group situations so I tagged along to things a lot.

So it’s 6 am on a Saturday morning and I’m standing on the football field with Teresa, a bunch of female students, the female coach, and of course, Ellen. Naturally this leaves me in a weird place, but I suck it up and try to just be me. Typical, likeable me who doesn’t normally mention his socks. A couple of the potential players and the coach look at me and the coach asks if I want to try out.

“Umm, no ma’am, I’m just here to shake the pom-poms for my friend here. Wait, try out? Isn’t this a female team?”

“Yes, but under the university rules, we’re allowed one male player.”

At this point, all the players look at me and smile. They’re allowed one male player, intended to be the ringer. Then I notice Ellen is also smiling at me.

My stomach flip-flops, and I’m instantly grateful I didn’t have breakfast.

“Umm, sure, why not. It’s like street hockey right?”

I learn quite quickly it’s closer to soccer played with a wooden golf putter; moreover I shoot left-handed, but all the sticks are right-handed. This is getting worse by the second. They start doing passing drills, and I’m a bit clumsy with it, but I’m getting along ok. Teresa partners with me and we pass the ball back and forth, then she asks Ellen to switch partners with her (I forget what excuse she gave, but it worked.) She gives me a subtle wink, and leaves me to my fate.

Now it’s interesting. I use the physical activity as a way to get my mind off who I’m doing drills with, and it becomes relatively easy. We chat about school and our classes, and we realize we have several of the same interests. This is going great! All’s well until the coach calls out that we have to move 5 yards back to practice longer passes. Bit harder, but still interesting. We repeat until we’re 30 yards away from one another. How the hell am I going to get this little ball that far with a putter? The coach shouts to me that passing at that range is similar to a slap shot in ice hockey, or a golf swing. OK, fair enough.

So here I am, about to hit a small, dense ball really hard at a girl I like. Can’t be that bad… I mean seriously, what’s the worst that could possibly happen? Everyone else is doing it just fine. I CAN DO THIS IF I STOP OVERTHINKING IT.

So I get ready to hit the ball. I remember watching hockey players take a slap shot. I remember my dad showing me how a golf swing works. I CAN DO THIS. I focus, and get ready, then start the motion as fluid as I can, and as fast as I can. I see the ball, I see the club come down, and I follow through with my body. I’ve swung really hard, and it felt right.

So why is the ball still at my feet?

OH JESUS LIVING F*** MY FIELD HOCKEY STICK IS SAILING STRAIGHT AT ELLEN. Hand to God, we both stared at it for the longest second ever, until we both register what was happening. I yelled “MOVE!” and she dove to the side just in time.

Everyone stops, and runs over to see why she screamed and it registers for them what just happened.

As it turns out she’s shaken, but OK. I apologize profusely and the coach suggests I go sit on the sidelines.

I do so for five minutes before I quietly sneak away and go home. I learned later that both Ellen and Teresa made the team, but I couldn’t bring myself to attend any of the games. I saw Ellen a couple times afterward, but it was awkward and she clearly didn’t want anything to do with me. I didn’t blame her.

Teresa still remembers that day. This story lives because of her. Thanks for the extra therapy bill!


Personally, I’d fall for a man who hurled a field hockey stick at me, but that’s not really saying much based on my idea of romance. Whether you’re a guy or a gal, I think it might be your turn to submit your tales of love, lust or the ultimate dating failure: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The Gloss