News for 07 May 2013

All the news for Tuesday 7 May 2013


Strong start by Belgium, Canada and France

2013 World League Round 2, Saint-Germain – Men – Day 1

Yan Huckendubler



World League Round 2, Saint-Germain - France vs. Poland (Photo marineandrieux)

Belgium showed that there are ready for this competition, relentlessly attacking the Portuguese goal to finish with a comfortable win (19-0). Canada won a tough battle against Scotland, holding on to a two-goal lead (5-3). Host France had an early scare against Poland but finally won another hotly contested match (4-2).

Belgium vs. Portugal: 19-0 (half-time: 9-0)

The first match of the World League Round 2 in Saint-Germain started under overcast sky and a light drizzle, with a number of player getting their first taste of international play: Emmanuel Stockbroekx and Tanguy Cosyns for Belgium, Hugo Ferreira, Paulo Mendes, Miguel Rodrigues and William Rogerson for Portugal.

It did not take long for Belgium to stake their claim on the match, Tom Boon powering a penalty-corner past Pedro Santos in the Portuguese goal to open the scoring within 3 minutes of play. He doubled his tally a few minutes later on a deflection from close range, then Jerome Dekeyser promptly added another penalty-corner, and future was looking bleak for the Portuguese squad with still an hour to go.

The Portuguese players were fighting valiantly but were overwhelmed by the experience and superior skills of their opponents. Tom Boon scored 4 times, and 5 other players put their name on the score-sheet in first period for a score of 9-0 at half-time.

Belgium cruised through second period without exerting themselves too much. Portugal never let go and maintained their compact structure in defense, but play was confined in their defensive half and they were constantly under pressure. The last 15 minutes were too much for the Portuguese players and they could not prevent Belgium to score at will, 10 goals in second period for a final score of 19-0.

Tom Boon put 7 goals to his name, Jerome Dekeyser 3, and Tanguy Cosyns celebrated his first Cap with a sweet reverse stick deflection from close range.

For more information and pictures of BEL vs. POR, click here.

Canada vs. Scotland: 5-3 (half-time: 4-2)

Before the match, William Marshall (Scotland) was honored for his 100th International Cap. Nicholas Parkes was playing in his first international match for Scotland, while Matthew Sarmento was earning his first Cap for Canada.

The match started at full speed between two teams eager to see some real action after weeks of practice prior to the competition. Canada drew first blood within 5 minutes of play by Matt Guest, cleanly beating the keeper with a reverse-stick shot on a cross from the right, then Keegan Pereira added another goal, collecting the ball after a broken penalty-corner and surprising James Cachia in the Scottish goal with a low shot.

Things were looking bright for Canada, but Scotland promptly closed the gap with a superb penalty-corner by Niall Stott, leaving no chance to Antoni Kindler in the Canadian goal after the initial shot was blocked by the runners. Canada immediately forced another penalty-corner on a swift combination between Matt Guest and Mark Pearson on the right; the corner led to a penalty-stroke and Scott Tupper did not miss the chance to re-establish a two-goal cushion for Canada.

The see-saw continued, with both teams conceding an own goal in a few minutes. Play was flowing quickly from one end to the other, much to the pleasure of the crowd .Canada had a slight advantage in possession but were regularly under pressure, and needed to survive a penalty-corner in the last seconds of the period to go into the break on a 4-2 score. It was however clear that nothing was done and the result could swing either way in this opened and balanced match.

Canada were promptly on the attack in second period, but could not seriously threaten James Cachia in the Scottish goal, and the first opportunity was for Scotland, forcing a penalty-corner after stealing a ball from a defender. The set-piece was well defended by Canada, and play continued at a fast pace, with the goal-keepers called into action at both ends.

Scotland earned a penalty-stroke on a stick obstruction in a melee in front of the goal, and Niall Stott scored his second goal of the match, closing the gap once more to one goal… but only for a few seconds as Mark Pearson collected the ball in traffic in the Scottish circle on the next action and slammed it in goal. 5-3 and fifteen minutes to go, the crowd was enjoying the attacking display!

Play became more physical in the last ten minutes, with Scotland pushing forward and Canada keeping them at bay. Opportunities became scarce and Canada earned the 3 points of the win after an intense battle. They will be happy with their form for their first match in six months, while Scotland can be satisfied of their fierce resistance against a better ranked team.

For more information and pictures of CAN vs. SCO, click here.

France vs. Poland: 4-2 (half-time: 2-1)

Before the match, Szymon Hutek (Poland) was honored for his 100th International Cap, and his teammate Mateusz Poltaszewski for his 50th Cap, while Michal Kasprzyk earned his first Cap for Poland.

With sun finally back and a good crowd cheering them on, France started at full speed and forced a penalty-corner on their first action, but their option fizzled and it was soon the turn of the Poles to have a chance at the other end: Piotr Kozlowski did not go for subtleties and powered the ball over the head of the French defenders to grab the early lead.

France settled their nerves and tried to take control of play, but their intense activity was hindered by too many unforced errors to be really threatening. Matthieu Durchon had a good opportunity, but Arkadiusz Matuszak stood tall in the Polish goal to block the violent shot from close range. France were finally rewarded of their efforts after 20 minutes, when a shot by Gaspard Baumgarten eluded the keeper’s glove.

With the score back at parity, France continued their relentless assaults and had a golden opportunity to take the lead on an open net, but a Polish defenders arrived from nowhere for a miraculous save on the high shot. The end of period was clearly dominated by France, but Poland did not lose their structure under pressure and were matching step for step the relentless pace of their opponent.

France finally took the lead with 2 minutes to go in the period, when Martin Genestet managed to steal a ball from a defender and delivered a pass for Matthieu Durchon sliding in front of the goal, celebrating in style his return in the French team after 4 years of retirement. Les Bleus resumed on the same tempo after the break, monopolizing the ball and threatening the Polish circle, but the Poles were holding tight. They even had a chance on a swift solitary counter-attack by Krystian Makowski that split the French defense and was only stopped by a desperate attempt by Martin Zylbermann in the French goal.

Hugo Genestet gave a more comfortable cushion to France in the 47th minute, sliding behind the keeper to collect a loose ball and deflect it in goal. The local crowd was now breathing more comfortably, pushing their team for more goals. However, the French, too focused on attacking, left space to the high Polish attackers and Karol Majchrzak scored a solidary goal with less than 5 minutes to go, setting up a torrid end of match.

The score was settled by Martin Genestet, scoring with a couple minutes to go after a phenomenal run by Matthieu Durchon, carrying the ball over 50m, dragging the keeper on one side and delivering a gem of a pass for his teammate for an easy tap-in in front of the empty goal. France will be happy with their reaction after their shaky start, while Poland are already with their back to the wall in the tight race for qualification.

For more information and pictures of FRA vs. POL, click here.

Schedule for Tuesday May 7:
13h00: Belgium vs. Scotland
15h30: Canada vs. Poland
18h00: Portugal vs. France

FIH site



Scotland lose to Canada in their opening game

Scotland’s FIH World League Round 2 campaign started with William Marshall being honoured for playing his 100th International Cap. However celebrations ended there as Scotland lost 5-3 to Canada, in what proved to be an exciting end to end match.

Canada opened the scoring only 42 seconds after the starting whistle, with Matt Guest beating the keeper with a reverse-stick shot. Three minutes later, Keegan Pereira made it 2-0 through a penalty corner.

Scotland were able to get one back through Niall Stott, who scored a terrific penalty corner. But Canada responded almost immediately with Scott Tupper scoring the penalty-stroke and re-establishing a two-goal gap for the Canadians.

Both teams conceded own goals later on to bring the half time score to 4-2.

Scotland got off to a good start in the 2nd half, showing promising signs of a comeback. Scotland were rewarded a penalty, which was clinically put away by Niall Stott. A few seconds later Mark Pearson collected the ball in the Scottish circle and smashed one in to the back of the net to make it 5-3.

With ten minutes left to play, Scotland continued to push forward in search of a few more goals. Albeit Canada sat back and defended well to prevent a comeback from happening.

After the game, Scotland Manager Eugene Connolly said, “The main reason for not getting more out of the game today is because we started nervously, conceding two goals in seven minutes. When we got in to our game we were every bit as good as Canada. Unfortunately they had that comfort zone of two goals and we perhaps weren’t as ruthless enough as we should have been.”

Scotland play Belgium in their 2nd game of the FIH World League Round 2, which will prove to be a very tough task. Talking about their next match, Eugene Connolly said, “Belgium will be very tough, they scored 19 goals today. There are two things we have to focus on: Defend a lot better than we did today and make sure we retain our possession.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Tigers believe guest players will fire them into semi-finals

By S. RAMAGURU



Pakistani Shakeel Abassi is back to bolster the Maybank frontline.

KUALA LUMPUR: For a long time, Maybank had resisted the option of hiring foreign players for their Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) campaign.

They broke the tradition last year and finished third in the league and the overall tournament.

This year the three Pakistan players from the previous season, Mohamed Irfan, Mohamed Waqas and Shakeel Abassi, are back and are joined by countryman Shafqat Rasool and former Sapura defender Jiwa Mohan.

The team finished second in the league, their best showing in 18 years. Now, the Tigers hope to go one up and regain the overall title on May 19.

But before that, they have to get past Tenaga Nasional in the semi-finals this weekend. And Maybank are banking on their guest players to get them through.

Team manager Abdul Rahim Musa said that the guest players have been a revelation this season and have propelled the team to a higher performance level.

“There is no doubt that they are instrumental in our second place finish in the league. It will be good to get back on the title-winning trail. But we have to take it one step at a time. The semis-finals are not going to be easy as we have been through it before,” he said.

Rahim said that the tactical strategy employed by coach Wallace Tan will be crucial in the semis.

“When you come to this stage and play a strong team, tactics will play a huge part.

“We had a two-week break after the league ended and it has given us ample time to work on our weaknesses.

“The team were given a break the last three days because of the general election. We start training again on Tuesday (today) and we hope to be fully fit for the first-leg on Friday,” he said.

But the Maybank team are not just about the five guest players.

They have players who have been with them for a long time and can be depended upon.

Youngster Hafizuddin Othman has been capable in goal while others like Engku Abdul Malek, Hairul Nizam Rani, Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Redza Maadun, Sharin Mohamed, Mohamed Zulhairi Hashim and Azrul Effendy Bustaman have been with the team the past few seasons.

Rahim said that the local players have also benefited playing with the foreign players.

“We also have another young guest player, Dick Chenny from Sabah. All in, I would say that we have a blend of experienced and young players.

“But we should not underestimate Tenaga Nasional. They have been our traditional rivals. We have played them so many times that we are familiar with each other’s play.

“They have also strengthened their team although they have a completely local line-up. It will be a close match. Our hope is to get past them to reach the final.”

For the record, Maybank have won the league title in 1988, 1990 and 1994 and the overall titles in 1994 and 1995. The last time they made the final for the overall title was in 1999 when they lost to Bank Simpanan Nasional.

The Star of Malaysia



Tenaga forwards told to cut out fancy stuff


KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional forwards have been told to cut out the fancy stuff and shoot on sight in a bid to turn the half chances into goals when they play Maybank in the first-leg semi-finals for the overall title in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) on Friday.

Tenaga’s bane this season has been their inability to convert goal-scoring chances and it has proved costly for them during the preliminary round.

But there was some semblance of improvement in the two-leg quarter-finals against Terengganu where they won 3-2 and 5-1 for an 8-3 aggregate win.

Tenaga’s stand-in-manager Nor Saiful Zaini said yesterday that the forwards have to get it right and the best way is to just shoot on sight. There is no need to worry about manufacturing a penalty corner. If you can score from field play, then it’s well and good.

“Why waste time and effort trying to get the corners and then miss out on the opportunity to score?

“The second-half performance in the second match against Terengganu is a point to remember.

“We not only scored field goals but also netted from penalty corners. If we play like that, we can reach the final,” he said.

Tenaga’s regular forwards have been Faizal Saari, Amir Farid, Firhan Azhaari and Mohamed Azammi Adabi.

Faisal is their top goal getter and has scored 16 goals to date, just one goal behind tournament top scorer Khasif Ali of Sapura.

Nor Saiful added that they can get the better of Maybank only if the players put up a concerted effort.

Tenaga Nasional have a well-balanced team with younger players making up the bulk of the team.

The strikers are all below 23 years of age.

The midfielders are also a young bunch with Mohamed Marhan Jalil in the centre, flanked by Faiz Helmy and Mohamed Ramadhan. Norhizzat Sumantri, who is 21, is the reserve midfielder.

The backline boasts very experienced players in Mohamed Amin Rahim, Mohamed Madzli Ikmar and Mohamed Sallehin Ghani while the youngest member of the defence is Mohamed Izzat Hakimi.

In goal, Tenaga have the ever dependable S. Kumar.

“So when you look at our team, we have a strong line-up of experience and youth but our finishing is sorely lacking.”

Tenaga won’t not expect any favours from their old rivals Maybank. The two are the only teams still in the MHL since its inception in 1987. And Nor Saiful has been part of the MHL since then, just like Maybank coach Wallace Tan.

There is much history between the two teams and their success have been well recorded. On Friday, Tenaga Nasional and Maybank will embark on yet another journey to try and win one more title.

And they will definitely want to stop favourites Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club from dominating the proceedings in the MHL.

The Star of Malaysia



Siti, Fazilla set to end Spanish sojourn

MALAYSIAN Women's National players Siti Amarina Ruhani and Fazilla Sylvester Silin hope their stint in Spanish hockey is only the start of more to come for Malaysian players.

Siti and Fazilla, whose performances in the Spanish Women's League Two helped Castelldefels Hockey Club seal promotion to the top flight, said playing in Spain was an eye-opener for them.

The duo were signed by the club at the start of the 2012-2013 season alongside Spain's former Olympic players Esther Termens and Lara Domenech.

The duo will, however, be returning to Malaysia soon to complete their studies.

"Playing in the league was an invaluable experience as it gave me the opportunity to compete alongside two former Spanish internationals as well as the budding players there," said Siti, who has 77 caps.

"There is a lot of club level hockey being played in Spain and the number of quality players is also very high.

"I had a lot of fun learning new skills from the senior players and also enjoyed the experience of playing and living there," added Fazilla.

Castelldefels are already assured of a top-two finish this season and can still emerge champions if they win their last two matches this week.

Siti and Fazilla said playing abroad was not without its challenges but it was necessary if a player is to improve.

"The biggest challenge for me was the language barrier. However, I understand it is important to pick up a few words, especially those that are commonly used during a match," said Fazilla, who has been capped 69 times.

"For me the challenge was the opponents, as some players from the other clubs play very robust hockey," said Siti.

"But I have learnt to cope with it as I believe it is a good challenge for me to improve my game."

The duo said they were ready to come home after the season ends but hoped that more Malaysian players would get the chance to experience what they did in Spain.

"We love to go back again to play with the club but we have to come home and finish our studies first. We also have to focus on the next international tournament for Malaysia," said Fazilla.

"I hope there will be more opportunities for Malaysians to play with European hockey clubs, either with Castelldefels or others, and have the chance to be exposed to high quality hockey competitions."

New Straits Times



EHL Final Four: Meet & Greet!



The Euro Hockey League is pleased to announce that a unique and very special prize is up for grabs for the winners of our latest competition.

Four lucky individuals will each get the chance to meet with one of four of this year’s most iconic players: Rot-Weiss Köln super-striker Christopher Zeller, KHC Dragons talisman Jeffrey Thys, brilliant Amsterdam attacker Billy Bakker and HC Bloemendaal’s all-time legend Teun de Nooijer.

The Meet and Greets will take place on Saturday 18th of May, with the winners also getting access to the VIP areas throughout the day.  It really is a prize worth winning!

To enter the competition, simply keep an eye on the official EHL Facebook page and follow the upcoming instructions.
https://www.facebook.com/EuroHockeyLeague
The winners of the competition will be announced no later than Monday 13th May. Good luck!

Euro Hockey League media release



Deepak Bijawad to lead Karnataka

Sunil Subbaiah


BANGALORE: Deepak Bijawad will spearhead South Zone champions Karnataka's challenge in the 64th edition of the Senior National Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup, which gets under way at the KSHA stadium on Wednesday.

The team had a week-long preparatory camp under the watchful eyes of coach Ramesh Parameswaran for the championship which returns to the city after 16 years.

Karnataka, who have never won the title since the Nationals began in 1928, will look to capitalize on the home advantage. They take on West Zone toppers Mumbai in the opener. Other teams in the six-team single-pool competition are Punjab (North), Uttar Pradesh (Central), Manipur (North East) and Jharkhand (East). Top two teams play the final on May 16.

"We have a good team of youngsters. The tournament is an opportunity for them to prove their potential," Ramesh said. The Indian Hockey Federation has requested Hockey India to allow umpires from neighbouring states to officiate in the tournament.

Karnataka State Hockey Association advisor RK Shetty said the institutional teams rejected their invitation to play in the tournament. "We invited Railways but they said they are affiliated to Hockey India," he said.

Karnataka squad:

Goalkeepers: SG Sambran, Mahan Gowda.

Defenders: Deepak Bijawad (captain), K Ponnanna, AD Cariappa.

Midfielders: Rathan Muthanna, Vinayaka Bijawad, Nagasrini, Naveen Manupati, Teja Babu.

Forwards: Umesh, KR Rajesh, Biju BY, Md Nayeem, Chengappa PS, Honnurswamy, Boney Marshal, Kusha. Participating teams: Karnataka (South), Punjab (North), Uttar Pradesh (Central), Manipur (North East), Jharkhand (East), Mumbai (West).

The Times of India



IHF rejects FIH bid on talks again

Sunil Subbaiah


BANGALORE: The International Hockey Federation's (FIH) latest attempt to bring the two warring bodies - Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Hockey India (HI) - together has failed after IHF expressed reservations over the proposal.

Recently, FIH had suggested the formation of an arbitration committee under IOC member and Swiss Olympian Denis Oswald, who is also the president of the International Rowing Federation. He was to have heard both HI and IHF before submitting his report to the executive board of FIH.

In an email to IHF on Sunday, FIH chief executive Kelly Fairweather too had requested the body to favourably consider the proposal but IHF rejected it feeling it may not get a fair hearing.

In IHF's absence, an ex-parte verdict by Oswald is likely in the coming days, it is learnt.

The Times of India



Lahore face Sialkot in U-16 Hockey final

LAHORE-Lahore will take on Sialkot in the 2nd Motorway Police U-16 Boy’s Hockey Championship final after both the teams winning their respective semi-finals here on Monday at the National Hockey Stadium.

Lahore had to struggle before overcoming spirited Faisalabad 7-6 in a penalty shoot out while Sialkot beat Multan 4-2 with ease and comfort.

Faisalabad led the first half with a firm 3-0 lead and ended the second session 4-1 as Lahore stormed with greater anticipation to lock the score at 4-4 at the end of the third half and emerged winners in a penalty shoot out for the much disappointment of Faisalabad which saw victory slipping out of their hands.

The final will be played at4:30pm while the third and fourth place match between Faisalabad and Multan will he held at3pm.

The Nation



Post-Collegiate HARROWines



As part of USA Field Hockey's Post- Collegiate HARROWines series, staff member Kait Mitchell catches up Rutgers head field hockey coach and U.S. National Indoor Team member Meredith Long for a quick Q & A.

“Mm, can you move that dresser over there?”

“No, a little more to the right.”

“Perfect.”

As a new abode owner and Harrow Cup captain, Meredith Long has a knack for strategizing, which was noted when she balanced our interview and uprooting her furniture simultaneously. It helps that the U.S. National Indoor athlete has a substantial amount of practice with the art of organizing. As the current head coach of Rutgers University, Long has practice picking and perfecting squads since her days of mentoring field hockey players at the University of Vermont followed by coaching at Towson University. A member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association and a 2005 University of Maryland grad, Long ran through her Rolodex of recruiting and coaching expertise to make her Harrow Cup team Titan worthy of $10,000. So whether a sofa or an athlete, Long will find their perfect placement.

KM: What tactics will you pull from your coaching experience and into your new leadership role as a Cup Captain?

ML:
My team is built from quite a few athletes who I have played with in college and on the U.S. National Indoor Team. During the draft I kept this image or this type of player I wanted on my team in my mind. I feel really good about my selection and the certain style I wanted to employ. You would definitely characterize us as an up-tempo team. We have quality mids and lots of speed from up front. The Titans will have a fast style of play and be on the counter attack.

KM: What has training been like with everyone so spread out?

ML:
The phase we’re heading into now is to make sure we’re having training sessions as a group. Since the draft the players have taken it upon themselves to practice. Some are even involved in High Performance. We aren’t too spread out so in May we’ll be meeting at Rutgers to go over tactical stuff like penalty corner and just playing together. I’m looking to identify each player’s strengths and put them in a position that complements the team. We’re creating a structure and taking our training seriously. We’re looking to win.  

KM: Can you give us a clue as to what the Titan jerseys will look like?

ML:
The jerseys will have a grey Titan logo with bright orange trim. We’re also in the process of making shirts and fan gear. We’re anticipating a pretty big group of support in the stands.

KM: Out of curiosity, as a philosophy major do you have any sort of additional edge over your opponents?

ML:
As a player and a coach I try to create a culture and an environment where a team can really be successful and believe in what they’re trying to do. I’m constantly conscious of projecting contagious enthusiasm to make that environment a reality and pull from my philosophy background to do so.

KM: What will you do with your earnings if your team wins the 2013 Harrow Cup?

ML:
I haven’t quite decided that yet.  I have thought about using that money and somehow giving back to the sport and continuing to grow the game even more. Or who knows maybe I’ll take a trip to Disney World.

KM:  To you, why is it important to encourage post-collegiate hockey?

ML:
It’s really exciting that women our age who once no longer had a real outlet like this have an opportunity to get competitive again. We have athletes who are dusting off their sticks and getting back out there. How exciting is that? 

USFHA media release



Hockey stalwarts honoured with life membership

By MIKE GANDON



Life: Ross Robinson (left), George Kolsky and Dawn Robinson.

Three of Illawarra hockey’s most hard working and dedicated people have been made life members of Illawarra Hockey Incorporated.

Husband and wife  Ross and Dawn Robinson along with George Kolsky recently received this honour.

Ross Robinson and George Kolsky were largely responsible for the building of the two international standard water based turfs at the Illawarra Credit Union complex at Unanderra.

They were involved in the fund raising for the indoor building through to the design and also helping with the labouring in the construction of the outdoor surfaces.

In recognition of their work through this time the two fields were named after them a number of years ago.

Dawn Robinson was Illawarra hockey president through this major time of hockey and spent countless hours working through the finance and the set up of the board.

"It is a great honour to have such wonderful people who spent many voluntary hours helping out the sport of hockey in the Illawarra which has gone a long way in the development of our numerous international players both indoor and outdoor  from juniors through to masters,’’ Illawarra hockey’s Gaye Tarrant said.

"To honour them with life membership is a step towards recognising the work they have done.’’

The Robinsons and Kolsky were honoured to receive life membership of Illawarra hockey.

"We’ve had a lot to do with it [the hockey association] and we’re very proud to be recognised in that way because I’ve been away from it for a few years. George is still pretty heavily involved ,’’ Ross Robinson said.

"It’s remarkable that people suddenly remember ‘Ross, George and Dawn, we’d better think of them a bit. We’ll give them life membership.’

"It’s quite remarkable that they’ve done that.’’

Kolsky agreed that it was great to be recognised publicly for their dedicated contribution to hockey in Illawarra.

"There was a lot of work involved,’’ Kolsky said.

"We’re pretty pleased.’’

 

Illawarra Mercury