News for 27 May 2013

All the news for Monday 27 May 2013


Men and Women Super Division semifinals set for Cal Cup 2013

By Jawwad Qamar



Sonora from Mexico and SBDS Sports Academy of Sacramento entertain the Cal Cup crowd with a 3-3 tie - photo by Jag Reyatt

Moorpark, CA: A very busy second day at California Cup 2013 saw all 150 teams in action for non-stop hockey, competing in 13 divisions ranging from Mixed Under-8 to Men/Women Super Divisions at the Moorpark College and Arroyo Vista Park. And, after a number of close matches, semifinalist emerged in both super divisions.

While LA Tigers’ 1-1tie against Clubhouse Casuals of Singapore and SBDS Sports Academy’s 3-3 draw versus Sonora from Mexico secured semifinal spots for both, earlier from pool B, it came down to the last match of the day in pool A to decide the fate of Ciudad de México in a 2-2 thriller against the defending champions Camarillo Cougars, who were sitting on top of the pool with six points from two games. A loss for Mexico would have elevated Hockey Factory to the second position in pool A as they earlier defeated Montauk Sharks 2-0 in last pool match for both teams.


Wendy Stewart, an FIH Umpire, traded her whistle for a hockey stick to help Alberta gain a semifinal spot at Cal Cup 2013 - photo by Jag Reyatt

Whereas the Men Super Division include eight teams playing in two pools, the Women’s Super Division consisted of nine teams divided in three pools of three teams with top place finisher in each pool and the top second place finisher from among all three pools qualifying for the semifinals. And, while defending champions Jolie Pitts, Ricks Chicks and Caliwood easily finished on top in their respective pools to move into the semifinals, Alberta FHC took the fourth spot thanks to their 1-0 win over Blue Ivy Carter in the ladies last regulation match.

Semifinals schedule for Sunday:

Women


2:15 PM – Jolie Pitts vs Alberta

3:35 PM – Ricks Chicks vs Caliwood

Men

4:55 PM – Camarillo Cougars vs SBDS Sports Academy

6:15 PM – LA Tigers vs Ciudad de México

For all scores, schedule and directions to the hockey venues, please visit www.calcup.net.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive



Jolie Pitts to face Caliwood for women’s Cal Cup title while SBDS Sports Academy take on the LA Tigers for the men’s crown

By Jawwad Qamar



Xanthe Travlos scored on a penalty corner and twice later in the shoot out to lead Jolie Pitts into the Cal Cup finals - photo by Jag Reyatt

Moorpark, CA: Defending champions Jolie Pitts needed a sudden death goal by Xanthe Travlos in a shootout to move pass a gutsy Alberta FHC in women’s first super division semifinal. Jolie Pitts were up 2-0 on goals by Alli Tanner and UK import Travlos at the end of first half and it looked like smooth sailing to the championship game for them. However, Alberta were not going to be a pushover as Venus Kwan scored on a penalty corner to cut the deficit to one goal and Amanda Kurianowicz leveled score at 2-2 with one minute left in regulation. In the shootout, both goalkeepers, Lauren Hess Saez for Jolie Pitts, and Burgundy Biletski for Alberta came up big. Specially, Biletski, denying veterans Jesse Gey and Kayla Bashore by charging out at the right moment. Travlos and Chrissy Kilroe for Alberta were the only successful strikers for their sides sending the shootout to sudden death. In sudden death shootout, Travlos was on the mark once again while Kilroe missed, sending Jolie Pitts in to jubilation.

Women’s second semifinal between Caliwood and Ricks Chicks was very similar in regulation time as the previous contest. Caliwood took a 2-0 first half lead on goals by Andrea Earle and Erin Magill. A pair by Liz Sanders in the second half for Ricks Chicks resulted in a 2-2 deadlock and the shoot out also ended with a 2-2 result as Meredith Way and Liz Sanders scored for Ricks Chicks while Michaela Swenson and Jennifer Rose answered for Caliwood. In sudden death shootout, Sanders missed while Rose scored again, sending her team to the finals.

The first semifinal in the Men’s Super Division saw SBDS Sports Academy from Sacramento upset the defending champions Cougars in a brilliant performance 2-1, denying the home crowd favorites a chance for a threepeat. The always agile Francisco Aguilar gave 1-0 lead to the Sports Academy team in the 24th minute mark. While the Cougars looked for the equalizer with urgency, Gurcharm Singh doubled the score with a minute to spare. A last second penalty corner goal by Will Holt was of little consolation to the huge crowd.


Francisco Aguilar challenging Shawn Nakamura on his way to scoring his team’s first goal in Cal Cup semifinals - photo by Jag Reyatt

In the second semifinal, LA Tigers blanked Mexico 2-0 on goals by Tyler Sundeen and Jags Gill.

On Memorial Day, the women’s final will take place between Jolie Pitts and Caliwood at 1:35 pm followed by the men’s final between LA Tigers and SBDS Sports Academy at 3:00 pm.

For all result, schedule and directions to the hockey venues, please visit www.calcup.net.

Fieldhockey.com Exclusive



Mens U20 Cal Cup matches begin to wind down but the intensity picks up

MOORPARK, California –  Although the competition days are quickly dwindling down at the 2013 California Cup in Moorpark, Cali., the athletes’ hunger for the Cal Cup crown hasn’t faded in the slightest creating close matches across the board. One-goal deficits were the results of yesterday’s hard fought games.

The Ventura County Red Devils (VCRD) and East County High Performance (ECHP) played their second match of pool play at the event. The matches are now being played on the field turf at the college, and the championship match will be played on the main turf on Monday. With the new surface both team were equally put at a disadvantage as most of the training is done on water based turf not field turf. However, the new surface didn’t seem to faze the ECHP as they seemed to control possession well by moving the ball early and often to allow the first opportunity. Austin Groeneveld (Jenkintown, PA) had some quick play and skill into the VCRD defensive end and into the circle for a shot which was initially saved, however Glenn Carr (Shickshinny, PA) was there to play the rebound. Scoring the first goal in the second minute making it 1 – 0 in favor of the ECHP. Both teams continued for good stretches of time, back and forth fighting to keep possession. In the 18th minute, Kenny Patrone (Sewell, NJ) scored the second goal for the ECHP putting them up 2 – 0 and was the last goal before the half.

Starting the second half VCRD was down two goals and was in need to lessen the deficit to get the game back under control. The two teams swapped possession for most of the second half and both had a number of opportunities. Despite this, neither team could put another goal on the board and the match ended 2 – 0 in favor of the East Coast HP.

“Another day of hockey equals another day of opportunity to get better at playing hockey,” U.S. Men’s National Head Coach Chris Clements. “Our players and staff have thrived with this competition and level of play. The athletes have made improvements in tactical awareness and the teams challenge each other every minute of the game. Both matches yesterday were hotly contested as a place in the final was up for grabs. The situation this competition has placed these players in is ideal for player development and performance. All three teams were only separated by one point yesterday and this is exciting for the growth and competition between the regions moving forwards.”

The second match against the BAHP and ECHP was also played on the field turf at Moorpark College.The two teams, from the beginning, were playing with great intensity as they both needed to win to make the finals.  ECHP forced the first penalty corner of the match. Nate O’Lari (Orange, MA) took a low, direct shot to give ECHP a goal in the 8th minute 1 – 0.  Play continued back and forth with a number of chances for both sides.  In the 18th minute the BAHP forced a penalty corner that was played to Robert Rubens (Germany). The shot was scored off the far post to equalize the match 1 – 1 and was the final score at the half.

The two teams fought and swapped possession for a good portion of the second half.  In the 41st minute, Nanu Sidhu (San Jose, Cali.) played a back stick pass into the circle for a deflection off Hansraj Singh (San Jose, Cali.) to put the BAHP up 2 -1. Played continued and the ECHP was unable equalize the match before the final whistle blew.

In another gripping back-to-back game, ECHP played BAHP this afternoon and concluded the match with a 3-3 tie. After a tremendous weekend of tournament play, BAHP and VCRD will compete tomorrow at 12:10 p.m. PDT in the championship round.

All of the U-20 men’s athletes are being evaluated by U.S. Men’s National Head Coach Chris Clements and Assistant U.S. National Team Coach Ben Maruquin in hopes of being selected to the U.S. Men’s National squad. Clements will make his final decision on Thursday, May 30, a day the selected Senior, U-20 and U-17 men hope to achieve the zenith of field hockey.

USFHA media release



Four High School All-Stars compete at Women's National Championship

These athletes are in fact a rare breed.


You’ll see them pushing No. 2 pencils on their SAT and pushing out streamline passes at the Women’s National Championship (WNC). Despite being the four youngest athletes at the 2013 Women’s National Championship, these extraordinary outliers do not lack in skill or heart. While being a high school student at a prestigious tournament filled with the nation’s most tremendous collegiate Under-21 talent pool may seem like a fair enough reason to be intimidated, Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.), Alyssa Chillano (Phoenixville, Pa.), and Heather Morris (Pottstown, Pa.) have reputations of exceeding the norm. 

USA Field Hockey: When did you begin playing field hockey and how did you get involved in the sport?

“I started playing field hockey in second grade for my Twin Valley Youth league. My mom, who played field hockey in the Olympics, ran the program so she put a stick in my hands at an early age.” – Ashley Hoffman

USA Field Hockey: What was your reaction to hearing you had been selected as a WNC athlete?

“When I received the email that I had been selected to compete in the WNC I was ecstatic. This is a great opportunity for me to develop my skills and knowledge of the game, but being able to play with the U-21 team makes it that much better. It feels really good to play well with a supportive team around you and it can't get much better than the girls on the U-21 team.” - Alyssa Chillano

USA Field Hockey: How do you handle the pressure of being one of the youngest athletes at WNC?

“I handle the pressure by not thinking about it. I have played with and against many of these players before, so nothing seems that different to me. Obviously playing against the national team players can be intimidating, but I try to look at them as just another opponent on the field and focus on my specific role to keep my nerves down.” – Heather Morris

USA Field Hockey: What’s your plan of attack to perform well at WNC?

“My plan of attack to perform well at the WNC is to rely on instinct and basic fundamental skills, as well as being mentally prepared for challenges that may arise. To me, playing simple is the key to success. When you try to over-think and over-analyze things you can get caught up instead of moving on and doing better the next time around.” – Alyssa Chillano

USA Field Hockey: What motivates you to keep playing at such a high level?

“Moving up in the pipeline motivates me the most because there is always someone better than I am, so I continually strive and improve in order to play alongside those athletes to become the best in that age group. I always have that want to be better. I don't want to be thought of as just one of the youngest players on the team. I want to be a solid player and be an asset to the team. I want to be remembered as that, and that's what motivates me.” – Ashley Hoffman

USA Field Hockey: What do you attribute your success to?

“I attribute my success to the wide variety of talented coaches who have helped me over the years, my willingness to work hard, learn, and improve, and my passion for the sport.” – Heather Morris 

The Under-21 team, coached by Steve Jennings, has had a successful start to the week-long selection tournament, sitting on top of the leader after day three of competition.

USFHA media release



US head coach Craig Parnham a day closer to finalizing Womens National Team roster


NORFOLK, Va. – U.S. head coach Craig Parnham is one day closer to finalizing the 2013-14 U.S. Women’s National Team roster as day three of the Women’s National Championship wrapped up this evening on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Late this afternoon New Jersey recorded their first win of the tournament, Pennsylvania defeated New England/North, and under the lights Mid-Atlantic and Under-21 battled to a draw.

Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) tallied two goals to help New Jersey secure their first win of the tournament against Midwest/California. Reinprecht’s first goal was scored in the 32nd minute to give New Jersey a slight advantage going into the second half.

Sydney Kirby (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) increased New Jersey’s lead to 2-0 in the 63rd minute. Reinprecht scored her second goal of the afternoon in the 66th minute putting New Jersey ahead by three goals with four minutes remaining. However, Natalie Cafone (Fairfield, N.J.), quickly answered back with a goal, also in the 66th minute, giving Midwest/California hope for a comeback. Shellie Onstead, head coach of the Midwest/California team, made the decision to pull the goalkeeper for an extra attacking player, but unfortunately it did not pay off for them.

“We had a good first half,” said New Jersey head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn. “California is a quality team and they always get better throughout the tournament so we knew we would be up for a challenge today. I think we have improved a lot since our first game and that’s really what it is all about for us.”

Pennsylvania player Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa) logged two goals in the first five minutes of action against New England/North. Jenna Kovar (Hampton Bays, N.Y.) added a third goal in the 9th minute and Pennsylvania entered halftime with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The action continued but no goals were tallied until the 66th minute when Kellie Joyce (South Pomfret, Vt.) scored for New England/North. The final score was in favor of Pennsylvania, 3-1.

“I think it is really exciting that we are putting the ball in the goal and every game we are getting a little bit stronger as a team,” said Pennsylvania head coach Denise Zelenak. “We have been working on our defensive presses and playing as a unit and we have been seeing different players step up. With three goals every game, I can’t complain and we are happy to be going into our day off in control.”

The final match of the evening played under the lights was a hard fought battle between the top ranked teams, Mid-Atlantic/South and Under-21’s. Both teams have had a successful start to the tournament, and entered tonight’s match with six points apiece.

Not only was the matchup a battle for first in the standings, it was a battle of the sisters as Michelle and Carissa Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) took on younger sister Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.). After a scoreless first half, Taylor West (Princess Anne, Md.) put Mid-Atlantic/South on the board in the 56th minute. Maxine Fluharty (Millsboro, Del.) evened the match, 1-1, with a goal in the 62nd match. 

“I thought we played a great game,” said Under-21 head coach Steve Jennings. “Both teams were really sharp and it was a chess match from start to finish. I am really proud of the way we hung in there and in the end we were able to get the draw. We wanted the win of course, but I think when you go down by a goal in the closing moments and still come back to get one shows a lot of poise and I am really happy with the result today.”

Although sitting comfortably on top of the leader board, Jennings says his team is not getting ahead of themselves. “We know there are two huge games and everything still to play for. We are taking one game at a time and trying to see if we can be in the final and win it all when it gets down to that point,” said Jennings.

With an off day tomorrow, Zelenak says her team will be putting their feet up. “Three games in a row, they need a little non-hockey time but we will be ready to go on Monday.”

Monday morning Pennsylvania takes on Mid-Atlantic/South at 9:00 a.m., followed by New England/North and Midwest/California at 11:00 a.m., with the final match of the day at 1:00 p.m. between New Jersey and the Under-21 team. All matches will be played at Powhatan Sports Complex on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. Admission is free and open to the public. For more Women’s National Championship coverage, checkout usafieldhockey.com and @USAFieldHockey for tournament updates, results and features.

USFHA media release



Charlie Pereira holding training camp

JONATHAN COOK



SA men's hockey team head coach Charlie Pereira. Photo: TERRY FEBRUARY


A national training camp for 40 South African men’s hockey players takes place at the University of Johannesburg from Monday to Friday.

“The goals for the camp are firstly to establish the fitness and conditioning of players, secondly to do medical screening on all players and thirdly to work on technical and tactical skills, and then to play full games so that we can select a team for a Test series against Malaysia as well as for the World League semi-finals there,” the newly-appointed South Africa men’s hockey team head coach Charlie Pereira said Sunday.

Assisting Pereira at the camp will be trainers Craig Fulton, Rob van Ginkel, Garreth Ewing and David Viney.

Malaysia’s The Star Online said Sunday that head coach Paul Revington’s national team will play a Test series in South Africa next month as part of their preparations for the World League semi-finals, which take place from June 29 to July 7 in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

It is understood that the four-Test has been pencilled in for June 6, 8, 9 and 11 in Potchefstroom and Johannesburg, and Revington said it would be a good test for his players.

“We will name the final [Malaysia] team [for the World League semi-finals] on our return from South Africa,” said Revington.

A South African, Revington was a former SA men’s coach and led the side to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games as well as the 2006 Hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany.

Before heading to South Africa the Malaysians will play four matches at home against the visiting Liaoning provincial team from China.

“I plan to use all 26 squad players in the matches with the Chinese team,” said Revington. “We will be able to name our team for South Africa after the second match."

SA Hockey Association media release



Diverse talent named in Black Sticks Men's side


Alex Shaw, courtesy www.photosport.co.nz

Eight Olympians and a number of newcomers have been picked by head coach Colin Batch in the World League Semi-Final team set to take off to Europe this weekend.

Batch says his team is continuing to rebuild and hopes the combination of experienced and younger players will help create a successful team in Rotterdam next month.

Seven of those named have less than 20 caps, including Junior World Cup Squad players Kane Russell, George Muir and Jared Panchia.

“These three players had strong performances during the Korean test series and I think they have real potential going forward,” says Batch.

Auckland defender Alex Shaw (19 caps, aged 23) was a player relieved to have a call from Batch on Friday and said although he thought he was in with a chance, you just never know.

“Making this team has been a goal of mine, so I had my fingers crossed after the Korean series. I haven’t ever played hockey in Europe, so this will be a whole new experience,” says Shaw.

Shaw says the more experienced guys in the team are a big help and advice isn’t far away, playing club hockey with captain and defence stalwart Dean Couzins.

“I’m always learning from Dean, he will be telling me what to do throughout the game and he gives me a lot of advice, so that is pretty awesome,” says Shaw.

“I have also learned a lot from Phil [Burrows] who has a real presence, he demands a lot of us as players and helps fire the team up, which is a really good thing,” says Shaw.

Batch says that it is this sharing of information and the enthusiasm that the younger players bring that will help the side to perform.

“We are spending a week in Europe before the World League starts, working on our attacking and defensive structures, this will be invaluable,” says Batch.

Simon Child and Brad Shaw have both made themselves unavailable for the World League, opting to take time out from the national side. Both players have confirmed they will return for the Ford National Hockey League which is compulsory for all national athletes vying for selection in the 2014 National Squad.

The World League is the new qualification tournament with the top three automatically qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.

The Black Sticks Men are in Pool B and will face the Netherlands, Ireland and India in pool play.  Australia, Spain, Belgium and one team TBC are in Pool A.

CLICK HERE for the Black Sticks Men's and Women's World League teams and schedules

Black Sticks Men’s Team
World League Semi Final
2 – 26 June 2013, Rotterdam

 

Shirt #

Player Name

Region

Position

Age

Caps

2

Cory Bennett

North Harbour

Defender

21

10

4

Nick Haig

Canterbury

Defender

26

111

5

Andy Hayward

Midlands

Defender

27

150

8

Dean Couzins

Auckland

Defender

31

278

9

Blair Hilton

Capital

Midfielder

23

91

13

Marcus Child

Auckland

Midfielder

22

32

14

Jared Panchia

Auckland

Forward

19

10

16

Hamish McGregor

Southern

Goalkeeper

25

14

18

Phil Burrows

Capital

Striker

33

295

19

Alex Shaw

Auckland

Defender

23

19

20

Devon Manchester

Auckland

Goalkeeper

23

12

21

Kane Russell

Southern

Defender

21

18

23

Shay Neal

Northland

Midfielder

22

35

24

Arun Panchia

Auckland

Midfielder

24

102

25

Shea McAleese

Central

Midfielder

28

179

27

Stephen Jenness

Capital

Forward

22

79

29

Hugo Inglis

Southern

Forward

22

100

30

George Muir

North Harbour

Midfielder

19

4

Team Management

Coach: Colin Batch
Asst. Coach: Bryce Collins
Manager: Peter Van Breugel
Physiotherapist: Gavin D’Souza
Performance Analyst: Hemant Lala

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks' World League semifinal tournament team named

By David Leggat


A blend of youth and experience make up New Zealand's men's hockey team for their World League semifinal tournament in Rotterdam next month.

Eight of the squad of 18 are Olympians, the group having been finalised at the end of New Zealand's six-test series against Korea, which ended last week.

Seven players have less than 20 caps, including Junior World Cup quad players George Muir, Jared Panchia and Kane Russell.

''Those three players had strong performances during the Korean series and I think they have real potential," coach Colin Batch said.

"We are spending a week in Europe before the World League starts, working on our attacking and defensive structures, this will be invaluable.".

Two experienced players, Simon Child and Brad Shaw, have both made themselves unavailable for the World League, opting to take time out from the national side.

The World League is the new qualification tournament with the top three automatically qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in India.

World No 6 New Zealand are in pool B and will face the Netherlands, Ireland and India in pool play. Australia, Spain, Belgium are confirmed to play in Pool A, with the fourth team still to be finalised.

The tournament runs from June 13-23.

New Zealand squad:

Goalkeepers: Hamish McGregor (Southern), Devon Manchester (Auckland)

Defenders: Cory Bennett (North Harbour), Nick Haig (Canterbury), Dean Couzins, Alex Shaw (Auckland), Andy Hayward (Midlands), Kane Russell (Southern).

Midfielders: Blair Hilton (Capital), Marcus Child, Arun Panchia (Auckland), Shay Neal (Northland), George Muir (North Harbour), Shea McAleese (Central).

Strikers: Stephen Jenness, Phil Burrows (Capital), Hugo Inglis (Southern),Jared Panchia (Auckland).

The New Zealand Herald



Five players recalled to beef up Project 2013 squad

By S. RAMAGURU



Raring to go: Joel Samuel Van Huizen is one of the five players recalled for Project 2013 squad.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2013 team have recalled five players following their good performances in the recent Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Sapura’s Joel van Huizen and Terengganu’s Mohamed Sufi Ismat, who withdrew earlier due to studies, have been given another chance to make good. Tenaga’s Shahiran Jalil, Mohamed Fariq Saadon and Sapura’s Farizul Afiq, who were axed when their performance dropped, have been re-instated.

Team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said that the five players will join the 26 players currently training with the team.

“No player is assured of a place in the final squad. We want to ensure that we have the best players available for the Junior World Cup.

“We are planning to trim the squad but for now we will maintain the 26 who are in training and bring in the five players, who had been training with us before. Their performances in the MHL have been encouraging and we have seen some positive signs. So we will give them another chance to prove their worth,” he said.

Mirnawan also pointed out that they have another five players who are with the senior team. The players – Faiz Helmi Jali, Firhan Azhaari, Fitri Saari, Meor Azuan and Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin – will only join the Project squad after the Asia Cup which ends in Ipoh on Sept 1.

The Project 2013’s target is the Junior World Cup which will be held in New Delhi in December.

They will also play in two big invitational events as part of their preparations – the Sultan of Johor Cup in September and the Six-Nation Invitational in New Delhi.

The team will leave for South Korea on May 29 to play four matches with club sides.

Mirnawan said that they will take only 19 players for the trip.

“The selection will be done in a day of two. Later in June we also have a trip to Europe where we expect to play against four nations. This programme is being finalised although we have commitment from England, Germany and Belgium. We also hope to play the Dutch national juniors,” he said.

Mirnawan said that the final team for the Junior World cup will be decided after the six-nation meet in New Delhi.

“We want to give all the players a chance to make the team. The senior players have an advantage as such the rest are fighting for 13 remaining places. But like I said there is no guarantee for any player. It is their performance that will count in the end,” he added.

The players

The current training squad of 26: Mohamed Hazrul Faiz, Mohamed Hafizuddin Othman, Mohamed Najib Abu Hassan, Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman, Mohamed Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Karthik, Mohamed Azwar Abdul Rahman, Mohamed Hafiz Zainol, Mohamed Nor Aqmal Ghaffar, Dangerous Lee, Shazril Irwan Nazli, MohamedHaziq Shamsul, Mohamed Syafiq Zulzairin, Mohamed Zulhairi Hassan, Mohamed Aminuddin Zain, Mohamed Syamin Yusof, Mohamed Asri Hassan, Mohamned Shahril Saabah, Shahrul Azaddin Arkauzi, Shazrul Imran Nazli, Mohamed Amirul Aidid, Mohamed Rezuan Jaafar, Mohamed Azrul Hasbullah, Sobirin Alias, Mohamed Aslam Hanafiah.

Five to be called up: Joel van Huizen (Sapura), Mohamed Fariq Saadon (Tenaga), Shahiran Jalil (Tenaga), Mohamed Sufi Ismat (Terengganu), Farizul Afiq (Sapura)

The five players with the national senior team: Faiz Helmi Jali, Meor Azuan, Fitri Saari, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Firhan Azhaari.

The Star of Malaysia



NSC: Time to form age-group national hockey teams

KUALA LUMPUR: It is high time the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) consider having age-group national teams on a long term basis.

Although the MHC have always had a national junior team who are prepared over a four-year cycle, there is a need to have teams in the 16 and 18 age brackets.

In the wake of the National Under-16 team finishing last in a four-nation meet in Germany, MHC should seriously considered the above.

National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong said that there is simply no point having an ad hoc team formed only when there is a tournament.

“Naturally you will not get the desired result. If you know there is a tournament to play each year then it would be better to have long term preparations.

“I know the MHC have a national junior programme which has been on-going since the early 80s. It is a good programme and has served them well. So they need to look at the lower age group and prepare teams on a long term basis. I am sure there will be benefits in having such a programme,” he added.

The Under-16 tournament in Mannheim in Germany has been held annually with the Malaysians being regular invitees. The tournament is in its ninth year.

In the tournament which was held last week the Malaysians lost all three matches in the round robin event. They lost to Germany 3-4, Holland (2-6) and Belgium (0-3).

Still Malaysian Nur Lokman Hakim won the Best Forward award.

The MHC have the Project 2017 squad which is linked to the 1Mas programme and is handled by Lim Chiow Chuan.

The MHC have said that the Project 2017 is still on an ad hoc basis and it will only officially take off early next year once the Project 2013 four-year cycle ends. The Project 2013 will end after the Junior World Cup in December.

The Star of Malaysia



MPHA, Haryana women enter final of the Sub-Junior Hockey Nationals

BHOPAL: Defending champions Madhya Pradesh Hockey Academy (MPHA) and Haryana women's team entered the final of the third Hockey India Sub-Junior National Hockey Championship (finals) 2013 on Sunday.

A fine display by their forwards in the penalty shoot-out guided Haryana women to a 4-2 win over Chandigarh after the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of the regulation time in the first semifinal.

In the shoot-out, Reet and Deevika were on target for Haryana. Earlier, Haryana scored through Sonika (31st minute) and Reet (45th) while Sarabdeep Kaur (51st) and Saroj (53rd) scored for Chandigarh.

In a hard fought second semifinal, MPHA defeated Jharkhand 3-2 via golden goal.

After the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time, Priyanka scored the golden goal to help MPHA book their final berth.

MPHA earlier scored through Karishma (22nd), Preeti Dubey (52nd) and Priyanka (79th) while Kanti Pradhan (14th) and Alka Dung Dung (64th) scored for Jharkhand.

Meanwehile, in the men's competition, Jharkhand registered an easy 5-0 win over MPHA in the second semifinal. Sudhir Mundu scored three goals for Jharkhand.

In the first semifinal, Odisha defeated Punjab 4-1. Odisha scored through Nitin Mukesh (36th), Suraj Minz (49th), Rakesh Tete (65th) and Ashwin Kujur (69th) while Punjab scored their only goal through Arvinder Singh (52nd).

The Times of India