News for 31 March 2013

>All the news for Sunday 31 March 2013


De Nooijer’s Bloemendaal crush Club de Campo

Bloemendaal, Beeston, Amsterdam & Berliner complete QF line-up



Teun de Nooijer in action against Club de Campo on Day 2 of the Euro Hockey League's KO16 event in Amsterdam. (Photo: Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek)

It was another exciting day of action at the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 Amsterdam event with a further four teams earning victories to complete the Quarter Final line-up. Beeston HC (ENG), Bloemendaal HC (NED), Amsterdam H&BC (NED) and Berliner HC were triumphant on Saturday, joining Uhlenhorst Mülheim (GER), Rot-Weiss Köln (GER), Reading HC (ENG) and KHC Dragons (BEL) in the last eight.

Teun de Nooijer’s dream of winning a second Euro Hockey League title in his final ever season as a player remains alive and kicking after his Bloemendaal team powered to a stunning 6-1 triumph over Spanish giants Club de Campo. Australian international defender Chris Ciriello scored a brace of penalty corners, with Roel Bovendeert, Stijn Jolie, Rogier Hofman and Wouter Jolie also registering in the rout.

The result sets up a Quarter Final meeting with England’s Beeston HC, who defeated compatriots East Grinstead earlier in the day.  A deflected penalty corner strike from Oliver Willars in the final minute of the first period of Silver Goal extra time gave Beeston the win after normal time finished with the scores locked at 2-2.

Ace drag-flicker Taeke Taekema proved to the man of the moment as Amsterdam H&BC defeated Atlétic Terrassa 2-1 to seal their place in the EHL Quarter Finals. Taekema – who has missed so much of Amsterdam’s season due to long term injury – scored a superb winner in the fourth quarter of the match, ensuring the tournament hosts of a place in the last eight.

Amsterdam now face a Quarter Final match-up against Berliner HC, a side that produced a stunning victory over in-form Belgians Waterloo Ducks. A brilliant goalkeeping performance from Christopher Stubbe helped the Germans to victory, with the shot-stopper making countless magnificent blocks with Martin Häner, Jonas Gomoll and Robert Marx getting the crucial goals.

The Euro Hockey League action continues on Thursday as the first two Quarter Finals get take place in Amstelveen. The action begins at 12.00 (GMT +1) when HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim and KHTC Rot-Weiss Köln meet in an all-German encounter. The second and final game of the day will be at 14.30, with KHC Dragons of Belgium going head-to-head with England’s Reading HC for a place in the Final Four. The complete Quarter Final line-up can be found below.

More information about all the games including video highlights of all the matches can be found at www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League.

Euro Hockey League: Quarter Final Schedule.
All times are Central European Standard Time (GMT +1)

Sunday 31 March 2013
12.00 HTC Uhlenhorst Mulheim v KTHC Rot – Weiss Koln
14.30 KHC Dragons v Reading HC

Monday 1 April 2013
12.00 Beeston HC v HC Bloemendaal
14.30 Amsterdam H&BC v Waterloo Ducks/Berliner HC

Euro Hockey League media release



Beeston beat East Grinstead in EHL KO16


Ben Arnold celebrates a goal for Beeston in the Men's Hockey League

Beeston HC have secured their place in the Euro Hockey League Quarter Finals KO8, battling to an extra time victory over rivals East Grinstead. A deflected penalty corner strike from Oliver Willars in the final minute of the first period of Silver Goal extra time gave Beeston the win after normal time in the match finished with the scores locked at 2-2. The result sets up a Quarter Final meeting against HC Bloemendaal (NED) on Monday at 11:00am (UK time).

The Bees opened the match scoring four minutes from the end of the first quarter thanks to a thumping strike from Carl Smith, who took full advantage of Grinstead’s failure to clear a loose ball to rattle home a powerful drive directly in front goal. Beeston were well worth their lead, having dominated possession and created more goal-scoring opportunities in the opening stages.

However, it was East Grinstead who had the better of the second stage, with team captain Glenn Kirkham scoring twice to give his team a 2-1 lead. 2009 FIH Young Player of the year Ashley Jackson was the architect of Kirkham’s first goal, picking out his diving team-mate with a perfectly weighted pass for a close-range deflection. Kirkham second of the game – a rasping shot through the legs of Beeston keeper George Pinner – actually came while his team were reduced in numbers, with Niall Stott serving a five minute suspension after being shown a Yellow Card.  Beeston stepped up their game toward the end of the quarter with man of the match Ben Arnold and Adam Dixon both going close, but it was Grinstead who went into half time with a slim advantage in place.

East Grinstead found themselves on the back-foot in the early stages of the fourth quarter, as Beeston set about the task of getting an equaliser in determined fashion. The Bees applied huge pressure on their opponents, earning a number of penalty corners before the seemingly inevitable equaliser arrived from captain Adam Dixon, who showed incredible composure to wrong-foot the goalkeeper and slide a shot into the goal in his reverse.

The final quarter saw no further goals but was packed with incident. Beeston continued to pressurize the Grinstead defence and would surely have scored were it not for three brilliant saves from EG shot-stopper Richard Potton. However, Grinstead’s cause was hit when yellow cards were awarded to Ollie Ashdown and Ashley Jackson towards the end of regulation time, meaning that they would have to play the majority of the first period of Silver Goal extra time with nine players.

Beeston dominated the play in extra time but struggled to find a way past the inspired Richard Potton, who was in sparkling form. That was until the very last attack of the half, when a penalty corner resulted in the winning goal of the game. Oliver Willars was the scorer of the decisive strike, with his goal-bound strike taking a wicked deflection from the stick of Rick Gay before sailing past stranded Potton.

EHL review

EHL Man of the match: Ben Arnold (Beeston HC)

England Hockey Board Media release



Under-18 Boys battle to draw in Spain

England Under-18 Boys came from behind to earn a draw in the heat against hosts Spain in the Easter Four Nations Tournament in Valencia on Easter Saturday.

The first half was a tight affair with much battling in the middle of the pitch and few chances created for either side.

The Spanish forwards were a threat individually and found themselves in one-on-one situations on several occasions.

It was one of these chances that led to the goal just after the half hour as a Spain forward eliminated two England defenders before reaching the baseline and knocking the ball across the face of goal for Enrique Herrera to tap into an empty net.

Spain threatened again just two minutes into the second half as a deflected cross bounced up and hit the England crossbar.

But England levelled on 43 minutes as James Alberry sent over a cross from the right touchline and James Gall dived in front of his marker to get his stick to the ball and clip a shot into the roof of the goal.

The last ten minutes saw four cards brandished and Spain were down to nine players at one point. But England couldn’t make the advantage work in their favour and the game ended 1-1.

Jon Bleby, head coach, said: “It was a tremendous effort from the team in very hot conditions against the host nation.

“They showed great character to come back from 0-1 down at half time and it was a very strong tactical performance.

“In looking forward, we need to be more ruthless in attacking circle entries. We are optimistic about the game with Germany tomorrow which is sure to be a decisive battle.”

England must beat Germany to qualify for the final.

England Hockey Board Media release



Battling England U18 girls lose to Dutch


England U18 Girls

England Under-18 girls provided a stern test for a strong Netherlands side in the Easter Four Nations Tournament at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire on Easter Saturday, defending capably for the majority of the match, but they still went down 2-0.

Firebrands keeper Rebecca Garner put in a superb display in the goal, pulling off a string of fantastic saves to keep England in the game.

But despite the many positives to be taken from the game, the Dutch did find a way through to score two second half goals and take victory.

The first half saw few chances, largely due to the well organised defences limiting opportunities for both sides.

The second half was more open and it was on 41 minutes when the Netherlands struck with a shot from a penalty corner.

But England were still very much in the game and managed to put a few good passages of play together, carving out a few chances for the forwards.

Then, with one minute remaining, the Dutch finally got their second after Garner had kept them at bay on several occasions.

Head coach Andy Bradshaw said: “I was very pleased with the defensive attitude of the team, especially when under a lot of pressure from a very good side.

“They put in a very hard shift to get to the last minute of the game having only conceded one goal. A special mention must go to Rebecca Garner who kept us in the match at times.

“The plan is to defend like we did today and then try to show the same composure going forward. When we win the ball, we don’t want to be turning it straight back over, we need to play out and make more chances, more so than we did today.

“We’ll go into the game against Germany looking for a good result and then have another crack at the Netherlands on Monday.”

England Hockey Board Media release



England U16 Boys go down against Spain

ENGLAND Under-16 Boys matched their hosts for long periods, but lapses in concentration cost them dear and they lost out 5-1 to Spain in the Easter Four Nations Tournament in Valencia on Easter Saturday.

The first half looked to be heading for a goalless draw, with England defending well, but two late Spanish goals in the last two minutes spoiled their efforts.

Firstly Arnau De-Bruijn Lopez scored from a penalty stroke after a shot at goal had come off a defender’s foot on the goal line.

And then Eduardo Gonzalez doubled their lead less than a minute later with a powerful reverse stick shot from open play.

England reduced the deficit on 34 minutes through Havant’s Joe Brown, and England looked strong as they went in search of an equaliser.

But Spain extended their lead on the hour mark, Jose Basterra-Ochoa scoring from a penalty corner, and then adding his second from a drag flick a minute later to make it 4-1.

Finally, with two minutes left, he completed his hat-trick with a goal from a tight angle.

“After a promising first period some of the failings from the first day manifested themselves again,” said Head Coach Charlie Bannister. “We’re got some habitual things that we need to address quickly before tomorrow’s match against Germany.”

England Hockey Board Media release



Dutch defeat for Under-16 Girls


England U16 Girls-Anthem

DESPITE some periods of good play, England Under-16 Girls lost out 6-1 to the Netherlands in the second match of the Easter Four Nations Tournament at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire on Easter Saturday.

Facing a top class opposition, England struggled to get on the front foot in the face of strong intense play from the Dutch, who were 6-0 ahead until England scored in the final minute.

Captain Kyra Fortuin gave the Netherlands the lead from a penalty stroke after 12 minutes, awarded after the England keeper had come out to defend a one-on-one situation.

They doubled their lead four minutes later through open play from Marieke Hoff, and another goal came on 28 minutes, also from open play but this time from Milou Jaeger.

England began the second half well and matched their rivals for a time, but Michelle Fillet made it four after 20 minutes of the second half to dash home hopes of a comeback.

Elke Boers added another from a penalty corner on 61 minutes before Fortuin added another from a penalty stroke in the 66th minute.

Captain Erica Sanders pulled back a consolation goal in the final minute for England, scoring from a penalty corner as her shot was deflected off a Dutch defender.

But it wasn’t enough to challenge the Dutch, and England will now prepare for a clash against Germany on Sunday.

England Hockey Board Media release



Canterbury reach Men's Premier Division play-offs


Canterbury's Michael Farrer

Cannock’s slim chances of making the play-offs in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division were dashed as they lost 3-2 to Canterbury.

Dan Coultas put Cannock into the lead with just eight minutes on the clock but Nat Joy soon equalised for the visitors. With the score at 2-2 going into the last few minutes of the game, Canterbury ended on a high after Michael Farrer (pictured) slotted home the winning goal.

The win sees Canterbury finish in third and they will now go into the play-offs along with Beeston, Surbiton and Reading.

Sheffield Hallam will go into the promotion play-offs after topping the league by one point, thanks to a 6-0 victory over Bowdon. Phil Roper was on target twice in the rearranged fixture.

Men’s Hockey League (March 30 2013):

Men's Premier Division: Cannock 2, Canterbury 3.

Men's Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 6, University of Durham 0; Belper v Bowdon home walkover; Khalsa v Olton and West Warwickshire home walkover.

England Hockey Board Media release



Univ of Birmingham lose, but ensure survival


Olton's Amy Hone

University of Birmingham lost out 3-2 to rivals Olton and West Warwickshire in the Investec Women’s Premier Division on Saturday – but they still did enough to ensure they will stay in the top flight while Olton will have to battle for survival in the relegation play-offs.

Olton put everything into it and managed to win the game 3-2 with goals from Julie Stowe, Vicky Hopkin and Mandy Gatherer. Level on points, Olton still trail Birmingham by four goals in the table and must win the relegation play-offs to preserve their place in the Premier Division next season.

In the Conference East, Old Loughtonians lost to fellow strugglers Chelmsford but still survive to take part in the Conference next year. Chelmsford face relegation play-offs.

Investec Women’s Hockey League (March 30 2013):

Investec Premier Division: Olton and West Warwickshire 3, University of Birmigham 2; Reading v Sutton Coldfield away walkover.

Investec Conference East: Bromley and Beckenham 1, St Albans 3; Chelmsford 2, Old Loughtonians 0.

England Hockey Board Media release



TNB blow hot and cold



It was a case of blowing hot and cold for Tenaga Nasional Berhad when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sapura despite twice taking the lead in a Premier Division clash at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.

This is TNB's third draw in the TNBMHL in four matches and it was a case of another two points lost rather then one gained. And it puts them in a disadvantage early on in the fight for the League title.

Though they are now second in the standings, TNB have played a match extra then top placed KL Hockey Club and third placed Maybank. And the two teams are expected to collect full points in their matches tomorrow, thus putting TNB at a disadvantage.

Still credit ought to be given to Sapura, who defended gallantly and made full use of their counter attacking options to snatch two vital goals in set pieces for a share of the spoils. Sapura have yet to win a match as their sole point was from a draw against Nur Insafi in their opening match.

It took TNB only  minutes to take the lead as Mohd Amin Rahim rifled home a penalty corner that left Sapura keeper Mohd Hairi Abdul Rahman grasping to get to the ball. Though sapura were awarded a penalty corner in the very next minute, the stop was fumbled by Megat Azrafiq Mehat Termizi and TNB were off the hook.


But TNB failed to extend their lead despite chances falling to Faisal Saari and Mohd Firhan ashaari and that gave the impetus for sapura to hit back. And they were on level terms in the 30th minute with Pakistani import Khasif Ali scored from a penalty corner.

TNB took only two minutes to nudge ahead with Faisal scoring from an acute angle.

Despite winning three penalty corners, both Amin and Faisal failed to increase the lead for TNB and Sapura hit them with a goal in the 54th minute through Khasif, yet again from a penalty corner that had TNB custodian S. Kumar beaten all the way.

Unofficial MHL site



Sapura dent TNB's bid

MHL: Come from behind twice to share spoils

By JUGJET SINGH


TENAGA NASIONAL failed to grab the top spot in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League when they were held to a 2-2 draw by Sapura yesterday.

TNB, who beat UniKL 4-2 on Friday, failed to convert their chances numerous chances after taking the lead twice.

TNB took the lead after only three minutes when skipper Amin Rahim's powerful flick of their first penalty beat Sapura keeper Hairi Abdul Rahman.

Sapura immediately mounted a counter and won their first penalty corner in the fourth minute, but it was a disappointing outcome as Megat Azrafiq failed to trap the push-out by Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin.

Sapura then lived dangerously as Faizal Saari and Firhan Ashaari squandered sitters.

But they found the equaliser in the 30th minute from their second penalty corner, when Pakistani Khasif Ali made a powerful drive.

However, TNB restored their lead two minutes before halftime when an unmarked Faizal slotted home from an acute angle.

The second half saw the same script, as TNB did most of the attacking while Sapura relied on counter-attacks to break free.

Sapura found the equaliser again in the 54th minute, against the run of play, from their third penalty corner when Khasif stepped up once again to send a powerful flick past national goalkeeper S. Kumar.

Tenaga remain second on six points, while Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club top the table with seven points.

Results -- Premier Division: Sapura 2 Tenaga Nasional 2.

Division One: TNB Thunderbolts 2 Ipoh City Council 2, Tengku Mahkota Ismail SS 1 UniTen 3.

Today -- Premier Division: KLHC v Nur Insafi (National Stadium Pitch II, 6pm), Maybank v UniKL (National Stadium Pitch I, 6pm), Terengganu v Sapura (National Stadium Pitch II, 8pm).

New Straits Times



Tenaga cannot turn on power

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: Former Champions Tenaga Nasional’s attempt to chalk up a second win came to an abrupt stop when Sapura held them to a 2-2 draw in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Tenaga led twice in the match but each time Sapura came back and found the equaliser.

Despite the draw, Sapura still remain second-last in the table standings. Sapura had previously drawn 1-1 with Nur Insafi and this was their second point in the MHL.

For Tenaga, the draw dented their title ambitions, as it was their third draw in the MHL after four matches. They drew 4-4 with Terengganu and then 3-3 with KLHC before notching their first win on Friday after a 4-2 win over UniKL.

They move to second place with six points but on better goal difference to Maybank.

Tenaga will rue the missed chances when they could have easily notched a second win. Still the draw keeps them on the tail of the two title front-runners KLHC and Maybank who can overtake Tenaga today when they play their fourth matches.

Tenaga took the lead early in the third minute off their very first penalty corner. Skipper Mohamed Amin Rahim scored with a direct drag flick.

Against the run of play, Sapura earned a second penalty corner in the 30th minute and their Pakistani import Kashif Ali scored with the attempt.

Three minutes later, Tenaga were back on top with a gem of a goal from Faizal Saari off a field attempt, to walk off at half-time with a 2-1 lead.

In the second half, Sapura took the fight to Tenaga and equalised again off their third penalty corner in the 54th minute and again, it was Kashif on target for 2-2.

In Division One, TNB-Thunderbolt continue to lead the standings after a 2-2 draw with Ipoh City Council at the National Hockey Stadium.

Uniten-KPT won their second match when they defeated SSTMI 3-1 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium to move into third place in the standings.

The Star of Malaysia



Perak lift Boys Under 16 title



Perak came from a goal down to emerge champions of the MHC-MILO-NSC National Under 16 Tournamemt as they edged Malacca 2-1 at the Ministry of Education Stadium in Pantai tonight.

Perak deserved the win as they showed composure and tremendous grit, despite a first half deficit, utilising the penalty corners awarded to score the two goals that gave them the title.

"I could not have asked more as the players showed courage and fighting spirit, never giving up despite being a goal down," said Perak coach Mohd Nizam Mohd Hashim.

"It is a good win for Perak hockey as it shows we are on the right track in developing future players."

Malacca took the lead in the 31st minute through Mohd Alif Syazwan Noorshah who converted a penalty corner.

However Perak were on level terms in the 43rd minute Muhd Luqman Hakim Mohd Asri who struck from a penalty corner.

Muhammad AsheinyrulAzreei gave the silver state the title by scoring the winner in the 56th minute.

Roll of Honour:

Champion: Perak
Runner Up: Malacca
Third: Kuala Lumpur
Fourth: Terengganu

Best Player of the Tournament: Luqman Nul Hakim Ahmad Shukran ( Terengganu)
Man of Match (Final): Mohd Badrul Amin (Perak)
Top Goal Scorer: Wan Haziq Hishamuddin (Kuala Lumpur)
Best Goalkeeper: Adrian Andy (Sabah)
Fairplay: Malacca

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Penang lift Girls title



Penang emerged champions of the MHC-MILO-NSC National Under 16 Tournament when they edged Selangor 3-2 at the Ministry of Education Stadium in Pantai this evening.

Selangor took the lead in the 7th minute through Syazwati Aznan and looked confident stroking the ball around.

Penang did not panic and created several moves to trouble the Selangor defense that held Tim with a spirited is play by skipper Elya Syahirah Elias.

But the islanders were not to be denied as Nur Aida Abdul Azim burst through the centre to slot past the Selangor keeper Farikhatul Aini Sam'an in the 10th minute for the equaliser.

Penang took the lead thanks to some fine work by Nur Aida who worked her way into the semi oracle from the right before laying up a pass for Nur Syamini Atiqah Hishamul Anuar to slot in from two meters out to give Penang the lead.

Penang were denied a legitimate penalty stroke when a Selangor defender threw her stick when the Penang player was about to take a shot. But to the amazement Umpire Ernawati awarded a penalty orner when it rightfully should have been a stroke.

Selangor started off the second half forcing two penalty corners in the opening minutes, But they failed to get a shot on goal, no thanks to their inability to adapt to the situation as their set pieces were in tatters.

But they eventually equalised in the 65th minute through Zafikah Zainuddin in the 65th minute.

However Penang hit back in the very next minute via Nur Atiqah Hazirah Mohd Ashr to lift the title.

Roll of Honour


Champions: Penang
Runner Up:Selangor
Third: Kuala Lumpur
Fourth: Perak

Fairplay: Terengganu
Player of the Tournament: Nur Izatul Syafikah Ahmad ( Selangor)
Player of the Final:L Nur Aida Abdul Azim (Penang)
Top Goal Scorer: Liyana Aqilah Mohd Sepawi ( Perak)
Best Goalkeeper: Syazwani Azam ( Penang)

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Perak prove their pedigree

By Jugjet Singh


The Perak team celebrate their success in the Under-16 event.

PERAK won the National Under-16 title when they edged Malacca 2-1 at the Ministry of Education Stadium yesterday.

Perak showed composure and tremendous grit, despite being down 1-0 in the first half, utilising the penalty corners awarded to score the two goals that gave them the title.

"I could not have asked for more as the players showed courage and fighting spirit, never giving up despite being a goal down," said Perak coach Nizam Hashim.

"It is a good win for Perak hockey as it shows we are on the right track in developing future players."

Malacca took the lead in the 31st minute through Alif Syazwan Noorshah who converted a penalty corner.

However Perak were on level terms in the 43rd minute when Luqman Hakim Asri struck from a penalty corner.

Then, Asheinyrul Azreei gave the silver state the title by scoring the winner in the 56th minute.

Results -- Final: Malacca 1 Perak 2. Third-Fourth: Kuala Lumpur 4 Terengganu 3.

New Straits Times



Early scare but it’s Perak Under-16 trophy

By ASHREENA PILLAI



Elated youngsters: The Perak players celebrating after the prize presentation ceremony of the MHCMILO- NSC Under-16 hockey championships at the Ministry of Education Stadium, Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — FAIHAN GHANI/The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Perak emerged champions of the MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 hockey championships after a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Malacca in the boys’ final at the Ministry of Education Stadium in Bangsar yesterday.

The final, a repeat of their Group B opening match which Perak won 2-0, saw the highly-fancied Perak side dominate the first half.

It seemed only a matter of time before they would score but Malacca had other ideas. Mohd Aliff Syazwan Noorshah scored a penalty corner in the 31st minute to give his side a surprise 1-0 lead going into the break.

But a resilient Perak team kept piling on the pressure for an equaliser before Muhd Lukman Hakim Muhd Asri slotted home from a penalty corner in the 45th minute with Muhammad Sheimyrul Azrel adding another in the 56th to seal the win.

“It’s just indescribable. I’m very happy and very proud of my boys. It’s been a wonderful tournament for us and now we get to bring back the trophy,” said Perak team manager Borhan Abdul Halim.

“It took us a while to adapt to the pitch as we had been playing all our matches in Bukit Jalil. And also, not having Aiman in the side, we lacked that spark to convert our penalty corners. So we definitely missed having him in the side, but this is as much a victory for him and the boys and all the coaching staff,” said Borhan.

“We were expecting them (Malacca) to use the same tactics they used against KL and they gave us a good fight.”

In the girls’ competition, Selangor failed to defend their 2012 title as they fell to Penang 3-2 in the final yesterday, as goals from Nur Aida Abdul Azim (10th min), Nur Syamimi Atiqah Hishamul Anuar (25th min) and Nur Afiqah Hazirah Mohd Ashr (66th min) were enough to see Penang crowned champions. Nor Azrina Mohd Ropi (7th minute) and Zafikah Zainudin (65th minute) were the scorers for Selangor.

Results

BOYS
Final: Malacca 1 Perak 2
Third placing: KL 3 Terengganu 2
GIRLS
Final: Selangor 2 Penang 3
Third placing: KL 2 Perak 1

The Star of Malaysia



U-16 Asia Cup changed to five-a-side format

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) have revived their Under-16 Asia Cup but it will now become a Hockey Five (five-a-side) event and act as the qualifier for the Youth Olympics.

The last time the tournament was held was in 2000 in Singapore with India as the winners. But then it was the normal 11-a-side game.

This year, the meet will again be held in Singapore as well but under the new five-a-side format.

This is the first time such a format is being introduced in Asia, and it will serve as the qualifier for the 2014 Youth Olympics which will be held in Nanking, China.

AHF competitions secretary D. Mathavan said yesterday that the tournament is sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) which oversees the Youth Olympic qualifiers.

He said a total of 10 teams will play in the Singapore tournament which will be held from April 4-7. It will also see the girls’ event being held simultaneously with 10 teams as well.

For the men, the teams in Group A are Pakistan, Japan, China, Sri Lanka and Taiwan. Teams in Group B include South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan. India did not enter a team for the event.

Mathavan said the Under-16 Asia Cup will remain a one-in-four-years affair with its timing just prior to the Youth Olympics.

“All 10 teams have confirmed their participation in the event and we expect it to go on as planned. Teams can submit their team lists at the team managers meeting on April 3.

“Each team will play two games a day,” he added.

Meanwhile, SSTMI-Thunderbolt coach Wan Mohamed Roslan has been appointed to coach the national team to the tournament in Singapore.

The Malaysians have yet to name their team and it is not known whether they have been training at all under the new format.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary-general Johari Abdul Aziz said that he was informed by the coaching committee that Wan Mohamed will be the coach.

“I do not have any other information on the matter. But we will be taking part in Singapore,” he said.

Malaysia will play Kazakhstan at 12 noon on the opening day and also meet Bangladesh at 8.00pm the same night. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the semi-finals and the final will be held on April 7.

The Star of Malaysia



Many youngsters recalled

K. Arumugam




Many youngsters who have been sidelined from national camps for one reason or other, strictly other than merit, essentially because they played in the World Series Hockey, have thankfully been recalled for the forthcoming junior camp.

Most heartening is the return of Devinder Walmiki, who played stellar role in the inaugural Johor Cup and the same team's goalkeeper Harmanpreet Singh.

Returning from the same junior India team is froward Ramandeep Singh.

About ten sidelined players have been asked to report at Bangalore, where the junior camp starts on first of April

It was indeed really surprising that while two other Walmikis - elder brother Yuvraj Walmiki and cousin Anup Walmiki -- are in the Hockey India scheme of things, Devinder was not considered for India camp despite being his proven all round capabilities. The wilful mistake by the authorities have largely been rectified now.

Harmanpreet Singh was the main goalie of Johor Cup 2011, played all matches except the first and last where Naveeen was deployed.

Need for bigger goalie pool, and absence of proven goalie in the junior side -- coach Micheal Nobbs did not play Sushant Tirkey in the recent Azlan Shah Cup - seemed to have prompted recall of Harmanpreet, who is a student.

Others who have been recalled included sensational forward Affan Yousaff from Mumbai, who is now playing for the Indian Oil Corporation on stipend basis. He is also a student, playing in the inter-university circle.

This site, in its official facebook page ("https://www.facebook.com/IndianHockey.Stick2Hockey") broke the news of induction of WSH players after the Azlan Shah Cup, quoting a high official. This news proved correct right now.

This site also emphasized the need for recall of youngsters in its latest article last week after making detailed analysis of how inherent deficiencies of Hockey India League failed to produce any new talent.

Stick2Hockey.com