News for 21 June 2013

All the news for Friday 21 June 2013

Dutch shoot into World League final game in Rotterdam

5-2 win against New Zealand seals spot in golden game

(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Netherlands – New Zealand 5-2 (3-1 halftime)

The Netherlands continued to dominate at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament and have now earned a spot in the final game thanks to a 5-2 win against New Zealand. The Dutch are automatically qualified for the Hockey World Cup 2014 since they are the host, so the result sets up a major duel between Korea and New Zealand in the third-place game for the last guaranteed spot at the World Cup.

The rematch of the Olympic Semi-Final wasn’t quite as dramatic as the game in London, but was still entertaining. The Netherlands built a 3-0 lead in the first 16 minutes and absolutely dominated the early action. Margot van Geffen opened the scoring four minutes into the game and Kim Lammers and Kelly Jonker followed up to built the solid lead.

New Zealand sparked to life with ten minutes to go in the half when Petrea Webster cut the lead to two with a deflection. After the goal, the Black Sticks gained momentum, but could not create any offense to show for their efforts. In the 54th minute the Dutch hammered the final nail in the coffin when Lammers struck for her second goal of the game. About 30 seconds later Kitty van Male tipped the ball in to make it an insurmountable 5-1 lead, killing any hopes New Zealand had of a comeback.

Katie Glynn scored one last-gasp goal, but it did nothing to affect the bottom line as the Black Sticks dropped the 5-2 decision.

The Dutch will can now look ahead to a final game showdown against Germany. The Germans, ranked fifth in the FIH World Ranking, are the only team with four wins in four outings and have cruised through the competition thus far. It will be a fitting final game to the tournament as the top-two performing teams have made it through the tournament gauntlet to meet for the gold medal.

FIH site

Germany in to final game in Rotterdam

Germans also seal World Cup place with 3-2 win against Korea

Germany will play in the final game at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament (Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Follow us live on the FIH You Tube Page or on Twitter @FIH_Hockey.

Korea – Germany 2-3 (0-1 halftime)

Germany became the first team to officially earn a spot in the Hockey World Cup 2014 after a come-from-behind 3-2 win in a thriller against Korea put them into the final game of the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament. The top three finishers from the event are guaranteed a berth in the upcoming World Cup in The Hague.

Trailing 2-1 with five minutes left in regulation, Germany mounted an incredible comeback scoring two goals in a three-minute span to claim the 3-2 win. Captain Julia Müller tied the game at two in the 66th minute after Germany was awarded a penalty corner chance. It looked the like game was heading to a shootout when Eileen Hoffmann surprised everyone in the stadium when she got her stick on a centering pass to give Germany the win with just over a minute showing on the clock.

Before the dramatic finale, it was a defensive duel as the two goaltenders were put through a test with shots peppering both sides. Korea’s had two extremely dangerous changes, but at the end of 35 minutes it was Germany that held the 1-0 lead thanks to a penalty corner goal from Lydia Haase, who was celebrating her 100th cap for the Germans.

Korea came storming back in the second half scoring two goals. Seul Ki Cheon scroed both the markers just six minutes apart. The go-ahead goal went right between the legs of German goaltender Barbara Vogel. But Korea had little time to celebrate the lead as the Germans were soon mounting their comeback and moving onto the final game.

Korea can still earn a place in the World Cup 2014 with a win in the third-place game on Saturday. The top three finishers are guaranteed a spot in the event.

FIH site

Japan and Belgium to meet in fifth-place game

India and Chile will play for seventh

(Photo: Grant Treeby)

Follow us live on the FIH You Tube Page or on Twitter @FIH_Hockey.

Belgium – Chile 4-2 (2-1halftime)

Belgium had a tougher-than-expected meeting against Chile today at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament but in the end made it through to the fifth-place game with a 4-2 victory. Belgium will meet Japan in the fifth-place game, while Chile will face India.

Belgium started out the game strong enough when Erica Coppey scored 11 minutes into action, but the team slowly started to fizzle as the match went on. Chile jumped on the opportunity and scored their second goal of the tournament when Josefa Villalabeitia put the equalizer penalty corner flick. Anne Sophie de Scheemaekere netted the go-ahead goal, also on a flick, to give the Belgians the slim advantage of at the break.

Belgium extended its lead to 3-1 to open the second half, but Chile proved to be an opponent that was tough to shake as six minutes later Chile took advantage of a Belgian miscue and pulled to within one thanks to an own goal. It wasn’t until Coppey struck in the 56th minute that Belgium could start to relax with the two-goal lead that lasted through the final buzzer.

Japan – India 4-0 (2-0 halftime)

Shiho Otsuka scored twice and paced Japan to a 4-0 win against India in the 5-8 placement game today. The win bumps Japan in the Saturday’s fifth-place game, while the Indian women will hope to avoid finishing last in the pack in the seventh-place game.

Japan played a solid and patient game of hockey, waiting for the best chances to work the ball deep into the Indian D for the easy goals. Ayaka Nishimura scored just two minutes into the game to set the tone. Otsuka followed up with a nearly mirror image goal to make it 2-0 at the break. Otsuka scored her second goal on the first trip down field of the second half to make it a commanding 3-0 lead. Yuri Nagai closed the scoring with 15 minutes left in the game with her point-blank goal.

Japan is working to finish as high as possible at this Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament to increase their chances of qualifying for the Hockey World Cup 2014. Today was a big step in the right direction. On the other end of the spectrum, India will likely need to rely on making it to the World Cup via their Continental qualification tournament.

FIH site

Black Sticks Women miss out on final


The Black Sticks Women will play Korea in the bronze medal match after being defeated 2-5 by Olympic champions The Netherlands in the semi-final of the World League in Rotterdam this morning (NZ time).

Although New Zealand have already qualified for World League Four in Argentina this December, the goal is to beat Korea and guarantee themselves a spot in the 2014 World Cup. The game is scheduled for midnight tomorrow [Saturday 22 June] and will be live on Sky Sport.

Head coach Mark Hager said it was disappointing not to come away with the win today and progress to the finals.

“There were too many turnovers and we had too many errors on defence. The Dutch played with more energy and intensity than us, and when you give the Olympic champions that many turnovers they will hurt you,” said Hager.

“Our message at half time was to tidy things up, raise the tempo and stick to the game plan. We have young players who haven’t played the Dutch before, so it was a tough but good learning curve for them,” says Hager who noted 19-year old Rosie Keddell and stalwart Krystal Forgesson as stand outs of the match.

Hager said although the Black Sticks recently played Korea in the Four Nations Tournament held in New Zealand in April, it will be another tough test for his team that they definitely won’t be taking lightly.

“Korea played extremely well against Germany [losing 2-3 in other semi-final today], so we will regroup and start preparing for that game,” said Hager.

The rematch of the Olympic Semi-Final wasn’t quite as dramatic as the game in London, but was still entertaining. The Netherlands built a 3-0 lead in the first 16 minutes and absolutely dominated the early action. Margot van Geffen opened the scoring four minutes into the game and Kim Lammers and Kelly Jonker followed up to build on the solid lead.

The Black Sticks got one back when North Harbour’s Petrea Webster saw a gap and fired it passed the Dutch goalkeeper to take it to 3-1 at half time.

Lammers scored her second goal of the game in the 54th minute, despite a video appeal from Bridget Blackwood for dangerous play. The game became out of reach when Kitty van Male stretched the lead to 5-1. The Kiwis dug deep in the closing stages of the game resulting in a great Katie Glynn goal in the 62nd minute, but in the end it was too little too late for the Black Sticks to book a spot in the final.

In earlier games, the Black Sticks Women won 7-0 against India in the opener, lost 3-2 to Germany, won 4-2 against Belgium in the final pool game and won 3-1 against Japan in the quarter-final.

The Black Sticks Men beat Spain 1-0 and now play their semi-final against Belgium on Saturday morning at 3am (NZ time).


Netherlands 5: (Margot van Geffen, Kim Lammers x2, Kelly Jonkers, Kitty van Male)
New Zealand 2: (Petrea Webster, Katie Glynn).
HT: 3-1 to Netherlands

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks go down to Dutch

By David Leggat

New Zealand lost their World League 3 semifinal 5-2 to Olympic champions and hosts the Netherlands in Rotterdam today.

The Dutch hit the ground running, were 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes and New Zealand were left playing catchup.

They did get goals to midfielder Petrea Webster and striker Katie Glynn but the Dutch advanced to the final comfortably, where they face world No 5 Germany early on Saturday (NZT).

Third-ranked New Zealand will play world No 8 Korea in the playoff for third and fourth spot. Plenty hinges on the result, with the top three teams at the tournament guaranteed a place at next year's World Cup in The Hague.

Should New Zealand lose, they would need to take route B to The Hague, by winning the Oceania Cup in Stratford in late October-early November.

The top four teams at Rotterdam all progress to the World League finals in Argentina in December.

The Netherlands, who beat New Zealand in a penalty shootout in the Olympic semifinal in London last year, got on top early today with a scrambled goal from Margot van Geffen, a deft deflection by Kim Lammers off a strong drive, and a brilliant 1-2 move, finished by Kelly Jonker after experienced defender Emily Naylor had played a loose ball into midfield.

Webster's shot pulled one back for the Black Sticks 10 minutes before halftime, however further goals from Lammers and Kitty van Male had the Dutch coasting, with Glynn's late deflection a consolation.

New Zealand had a better second half, after struggling to match the Dutch for much of the first half.

Things improved after halftime and New Zealand kept the Dutch defence honest.

They had chances to score when the contest was still alive, the worst miss coming from Sian Fremaux, who pushed the ball wide in front of an open goal after fine work by Charlotte Harrison down the right.

Goalkeeper Bianca Russell had an outstanding game for the Black Sticks, with a string of fine saves.

''The Dutch really show us how it's done today," Russell said.

''It was a really classy effort."

Germany came from 2-1 down with five minutes left to beat the Koreans 3-2 in the other semifinal.

The decisive goal came in the final minute from Eileen Hoffman.

In other games Japan beat India 4-0 and Belgium defeated Chile 4-2. Japan and Belgium will play off for places five and six, India and Chile to meet for spots seven and eight.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks lose semi-final


The Netherlands have booked their place through to the final of the World League Semifinal tournament after a convincing 5-2 victory over the women's Black Sticks in their semifinal clash in Rotterdam this morning (NZ time).

The Dutch have had the edge over New Zealand in recent times, winning their semifinal battle in a shootout at last year's London Olympics, and that theme continued today.

They will now take on Germany, who beat Korea 3-2 in the other semifinal, in the final.

New Zealand will play Korea in the playoff for third and fourth. The winner of that clash automatically qualifies for next year's World Cup.

Both New Zealand and the Netherlands had already sealed a berth at the World League Final tournament in Argentina in December, before today's game started.

The Netherlands were rampant in the early stages of the game, scoring three goals in the opening 16 minutes to seize control.

They netted after just four minutes, when Margot van Geffen scored in a goalmouth scramble to give them the perfect start to the game.

The Dutch doubled their advantage in the 14th minute, when Kim Lammers deflected a viscous shot from Valerie Magis into the goal, to make it 2-0.

Things went from bad to worse for the Black Sticks, 2 minutes later, when Kelly Jonker found the back of the net from a great earlier pass from Ellen Hoog.

New Zealand had their best chance of the first half in the 22nd minute, but Gemma Flynn fired wide with a promising reverse flick chance.

The Black Sticks gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Petrea Webster pulled a goal back, 10 minutes out from halftime, to make it 3-1.

The Netherlands finished the first half strongly, and the Black Sticks had goalkeeper Bianca Russell to thank, for keeping the margin to just two goals at halftime.

It was an emphatic first-half performance from the Netherlands, as they enjoyed 71 per cent of possession and the far better goalscoring opportunities.

The Netherlands made sure of the victory with 16 minutes left, when Lammers scored her second of the game to give them a 4-1 buffer. Kitty van Male added to New Zealand's woes shortly after, scoring the Netherlands' fifth goal, to cap off a pleasing performance for the Olympic gold medallists.

To their credit, the Black Sticks kept fighting until the final whistle and added a late consolation goal through Katie Glynn.


Indian women lose to Japan, to play in 7-8th play-off match

ROTTERDAM: Indian women's hockey team continued their disappointing show in the FIH World League Round 3, losing 0-4 to Japan in the a classification match on Thursday.

Going by the rankings, the ninth-ranked Japanese started the match as favourites against India (12th) and as expected they stream rolled their opponents, scoring two goals in each half to book a berth for the fifth-sixth place play-off game.

Japan's all four goal came through field efforts. It took the Japanese just two minutes to surge ahead through Ayaka Nishimura before Shiho Otsuka doubled their lead in the 18th minute.

Just 30 second into the second half, Otsuka scored her second goal of the day to give Japan a 3-0 lead.

Japan made the scoreline 4-0 with yet another field goal coming from the sticks of Yuri Nagai this time.

The Indian eves are yet to secure a win in the tournament with their best result being the 1-1 draw against Belgium in the pool stages.

The Indian girls will now play either Belgium or China in the seven-eighth place classification match on Saturday.

The Times of India

Kookaburras v Netherlands Preview

World's 2nd v world's 3rd face off for Final spot

Ahead of their semi-final clash with the Netherlands, Charlotte Vlek and Kathleen McCaskie preview the Kookaburras’ semi-final.

The Kookaburras continued their improving form at the Rabobank World League on Wednesday, defeating India in what has been described as a critical match and securing progress to the semi-finals. With the win they also booked a place in the 2014 World Cup and are now aiming for their second goal; to win the tournament.

Their road to the final continues against the hosts and crowd favorites, the Dutch. Although Australia defeated them in the two warm-up games, it is evident that the Dutch are in form and currently remain undefeated in the tournament. Rated just behind the Kookaburras at third in the world rankings, the Netherlands finished first in the pool phase games after a 3-all draw with New Zealand, followed by two convincing wins against India (2-0) and Ireland (5-0). They continued their dominance into the quarterfinals, defeating France in an exhilarating 8-4 victory.

Despite their clear form leading into the semi-final, the Dutch team is relatively inexperienced, missing players like van der Horst, Jolie, Balkenstein and de Wijn. A total of six athletes are making their debut this tournament. One of those players is Olivier Polkamp, a teammate of Mark Knowles at Rotterdam, who has been playing well after joining the Dutch team for the first time just weeks before the start of the World League.

Having scored a total of eighteen goals across their four matches, it will be vital that Australia shut down the impulsive and vibrant attack of veterans Jeroen Hertzberger and Rogier Hofman, who between them have scored 11 of the team’s goals. The other barrier obstructing Australia will be the composed and expert skills of goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann, who has been an integral part in the success of the team, thus far.

The Kookaburras won’t be taken off guard by these statistics. They know the Dutch style of play well having played them more than 130 times but also having played with many of the players in the Hoofdklasse. Speaking about the match, Jamie Dwyer said, "We know everything about them and whether they are experienced or inexperienced, they are a good team. We just need to execute our skills, keep pressure on the ball and play like we played India."

Hockey Australia media release

Hockeyroos aiming high at World League

Adam Commens says World Cup qualification is the target

Freelance writer James Stock previews the Hockeyroos' tournament from London...

The Hockeyroos head to London with high hopes for the upcoming FHI Hockey World League Semi-Final. Heading into the competition with seven other teams, Australian hockey’s finest ladies are targeting a top three spot in order to secure World Cup qualification. They will face stiff competition throughout, starting in Pool B of the group stage coming up against England, featuring many of Great Britain’s Olympic Bronze Medal winners, South Africa and Spain.

With a young but increasingly experienced team there is anticipation within the group that obtaining World Cup qualification is a realistic possibility. Coach Adam Commens says, “I think that we've certainly performed well in the warm up. We had a solid start to the campaign with a draw against Belgium. Then we beat Germany 5-1, who are ranked fifth in the world and just one place above us. Then we had a bit of an off-day against the Netherlands, although they are the benchmark team at the moment. We had two really good performances against England, who are placed fourth in the world. It shows that we're capable, and if we put it all together on the day we're capable of winning the tournament and that's what we're aiming to do.”

The World League Semi-Finals, as it’s named, represents another first for hockey, as London continues to platform innovative concepts for the sport. The pitch will be markedly different from the usual, in that the ‘D’ will be a blue colour, compared to the green of the rest of the playing area (see photos in the gallery below, courtesy of Ady Kerry/AK Pictures). The FIH is hoping this move “will help spectators and TV audiences distinguish this important area of the pitch as they enjoy this exciting and fast-moving sport”.

Whilst Anna Flanagan may be grabbing the headlines in the build-up to the tournament for her well-deserved success in being named the 2012 FIH World Young Player of the Year, it is Madonna Blyth who will reach a significant milestone at the tournament. The next time the long-term Hockeyroos captain leads her side out onto the turf, she will reach her 250th cap, one of only five Hockeyroos to reach the milestone. The skipper says “it’s pretty exciting! It’s something I’m really proud of and it’s something I’ll try and enjoy on the day, but I’m trying not to think about it too much in the build-up.”

Hockey Australia media release

Investec SA star Shelley Russell’s pace and skill impresses Scotland coach


Investec South Africa attacking midfielder Shelley Russell. Photo: STEPHEN FINDLATER.

Scotland women’s hockey team head coach Gordon Shepherd has come out in praise of the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s attacking midfielder Shelley Russell following the four-match Test series that ended Tuesday night in Edinburgh.

“I felt Russell was on great form and her pace was used well, and I think her skill set has got better since I last saw her. My players also commented on this,” said the Scotland mentor in reflecting on his team’s 2-1 loss in the series.

SA lost the first Test 3-2 before winning the second and third Test matches 4-1 and 5-2 respectively. The fourth Test was 10-goal thriller with the spoils shared evenly.

Shepherd also feels SA should make more use of Russell’s fellow midfielder, fellow double Olympian and Western Province team-mate, Tarryn Bright. “Bright was good at times but I think they could use her more.”

Another one of the aspects that the canny Scot was impressed with were the SA forwards. “I thought the forwards did very well throughout the series.”

Shepherd said the SA forwards’ basic skills were good, as was South Africa’s success in playing long balls through to the strikers.

World number 11 South Africa meet world number two, reigning World Cup champions and London 2012 Olympics silver medallists Argentina in a training session in London Thursday evening ahead of the Investec World League semi-finals tournament, which kicks off for the girls in green and gold when they tackle world number four England at 8 pm (SA time) on Saturday.

The Argentina affair could possibly be divided into three chukkas and should prove to be ideal preparation for both sides ahead of the opening round of Investec World League matches at the University of Westminster in Chiswick, London on Saturday.

SA Hockey Association media release

GB and England hockey coach Bobby Crutchley braced for 'rocky road'

New Great Britain and England coach Bobby Crutchley admits he is braced for a tough 12 months after a significant overhaul of the men's hockey squad.

Crutchley has already started to turn his focus onto the 2016 Rio Olympics and he says the next year will be difficult with an inexperienced team.

Several players retired from the GB squad after the London 2012 Olympics.

"It is going to be a big challenge and one we have to face head on," he told BBC Radio Berkshire.

Crutchley took over in February with the World League semi-finals his primary focus this year as well as the European Championships.

And he says there must be short-term pain in order to achieve long-term gain.

"There is no doubt that over the next few months and in this first year it is going to be very tough," he added.

"We have selected a squad with the Olympics as our primary focus. That is our priority.

"I'm confident come three years working with the group coming into Rio we will be in good shape. Initially with that big turnaround of players the challenges are there for us. Certainly in the short term it will be a rocky road but it is a challenge we have to face."

Crutchley added: "The players have to learn about the intensity of international hockey that they don't face in their domestic environment.

"You can't change the fact people don't have the experience of 100 caps which is why the ones that we still have are so vital.

"For us this year, qualifying for the World Cup is going to be the primary focus. That is going to be a tough ask with our development but I am looking forward to testing ourselves against the best opposition."

Bobby Crutchley factfile

Born : Wirral
Age: 42
England caps: 80
Honours : 1998 Commonwealth Games bronze medal

BBC Sport

Georgie Twigg: Britain has to capitalise on interest in hockey following London Olympics

London return: Twigg will star for England in this week’s Investec World League (Picture: Getty Images)

Georgie Twigg admits Britain has to ‘capitalise’ on the interest in hockey created by her team’s bronze medal-winning display at the Olympics.

The Surbiton midfielder, who played in the bronze medal play-off as Britain beat New Zealand 3-1 in London, has played her part in trying to create a legacy for the sport in the UK.

While the men’s team finished a disappointing fourth, Kate Walsh’s women secured a medal in front of a raucous crowd at the Riverbank Arena, affectionately known as the ‘Smurf Turf’.

Since then, the girls have been in demand, but Twigg says she has been pleasantly surprised at just how many people seem to be inspired by their performance at the Games.

‘After the Olympics, there was a big buzz around. Everyone was excited and individually and as a team we have got involved with promoting the sport,’ said the 22-year-old.

‘We also got invited to a lot of nice things, like BBC Sports Personality of the Year, but there was work to be done, going into schools and sports clubs to spread the word and try to capitalise on the momentum built up in London.

‘We’ve had reports of people interested in getting into hockey, and also coming back into the sport.’

Staging the Investec World League semi-final in Chiswick, west London, this coming week is another important part of keeping hockey in the headlines.

England have the chance to progress and begin their campaign against South Africa on Saturday evening.

Twigg added: ‘We have the opportunity to host another world-level tournament and that’s testament to the success of hockey in the Olympics.

‘I hope we get the crowds in like we did at the Games. This is definitely another stepping stone for us. The legacy is being put into place and all the players have got really involved – it really has been our responsibility to do so.’

The girls are back. See England in action at the Investec World League in London as they battle for World Cup qualification. Visit


Sophie Bray, England's next big thing

By Mike Haymonds

SOPHIE BRAY has been tipped to be a key player for England in the Investec World League.

Bray, 23, has played for the past two seasons for Dutch club MOP and has been England's top scorer in their warm-up games before the tournament, starting in Chiswick on Saturday.

Head coach Jason Lee, who has introduced a more attacking style, said: "She is a successful goalscorer with tight skills.

"She reads the game well, is competitive and has a winning mentality."

A former pupil at Tiffins School, Kingston, Bray played county tennis and football for Fulham before dropping them for hockey at age 16. She played for England at U16 and U18 levels before spending seven years in the U21 squad, winning a gold medal at the 2009 Youth Olympics.

Bray said: "It's a big leap to senior international level but I'm really enjoying the challenge.

"My two years in Holland helped me to improve my game technically and tactically."

The World League is a qualifying event for next year's World Cup in The Hague. England's pool games are against South Africa  on Saturday, Australia on Sunday and Spain next Tuesday.

Daily Express

World Cup or bust, says MHC president

By Jugjet Singh

Coach Paul Revington in a training session with the players on Wednesday. Pic by Hasriyasyah Sabudin

MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah met with his players for the World League Semi-finals and his advice to them was to make the World Cup for the sake of the sport in the country.

Refusing to dwell  on the controversy which had interrupted  the players' preparations  the past week, Tengku Abdullah  only wanted a concerted effort  from every quarter in order to qualify for the World Cup in the Netherlands next year.

"Today was supposed to be the day when I addressed all the issues which had cropped up over the month because I was really busy with other commitments.

"Then the coach (Paul Revington) resigned and urgent meetings were held by every quarter and I thank them for bringing the episode to a quick end," said Tengku Abdullah in his first comment on the controversy regarding  Revington's drastic action.

A high tea was the order of the day as Revington, assistant Arul Selvaraj, team manager George Koshy and National Sports Council director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong had a chat with the players.

"The focus should be on three matters now, with the controversy left behind. No 1, the players must give their best on the pitch on tournament day and keep the winning momentum right till the day we qualify.

"No 2, the players must be focused to eat and sleep right in these crucial weeks as we need every ounce of help to reach the goal.

"No 3, is that once you reach the goal and qualify for the World Cup, a big bonus as well as bigger sponsors await -- that's a pledge. But if you fail, the future of hockey in this country will take another beating," said Tengku Abdullah.

Revington  reiterated that he will stay on till the World League on  June 29-July 7.

"I will think about the future with Malaysia at a later date," said Revington.

Malaysia must finish among the top three in Johor Baru to cement their spot in the World Cup.

New Straits Times

Tengku Abdullah wants team to qualify for next year’s World Cup


Horsing around: MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (left) having fun watching physiotherapist Yeo In-seung do a Gangnam dance. Looking on are (from second left) national coach Paul Revington, NSC hockey liaison officer Nur Azlan Shah and strength and conditioning coach Behrad Honar.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants national coach Paul Revington and the players to stay focused on the World League semi-finals, which begins in Johor Baru next week.

“I also want the national coaches and players to stay united to produce good results in Johor Baru,” said Tengku Abdullah yesterday.

“I don’t want any more outside interferences. I also don’t want any quarters to make any comments that can jeopardise our team’s performances.

“I also don’t want to talk about what transpired among the national coaches in the last few days.

“I’m glad that the issue among the national coaches has been settle. Let bygones be bygones.

“Let’s work together to make sure the national team qualify for next year’s World Cup.

“The public have high expectations for the team to qualify for the World Cup.

“Failure to qualify for the World Cup is not only the failure of the team but also a failure for me as the president,” added Tengku Abdullah after having high-tea with the national players, Revington, national assistant coach S. Arul Selvaraj and team manager George Koshy.

National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong, MHC senior vice-president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and MHC secretary Johari Aziz also attended the high-tea at a hotel here.

Last Saturday, Revington shocked the MHC by quitting the national team due to outside interference.

But the South African has decided to continue training the team for the World League semi-finals.

Tengku Abdullah said that if the issue cropped up again, he would take drastic actions against those responsible for creating problems in the national team.

“But the good news is the national players are injury-free ... that’s a big boost for the team in the World League,” he said.

“I want the players to be professional by taking care of themselves by having their meals on time, having enough sleep and avoiding things that can jeopardise their performance.

“The players must rise to the occasion and qualify for the World Cup. The players will be rewarded with a bonus if we book a place in the World Cup.

“Qualifying for the World Cup will also help make hockey one of the top sports in the country and encourage more private companies to sponsor the game,” said Tengku Abdullah.

Asked about the haze situation in Johor Baru, Tengku Abdullah hoped that the situation would improve by next week.

“We are monitoring the situation and hope it will rain next week ... to clear the haze,” said Tengku Abdullah.

The Star of Malaysia

Winds of change

Tengku Abdullah promises restructuring in MHC

Vigneshn Kumar

THE Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will soon undergo restructuring. This was revealed by MHC president Tengku Abdullah Shah after Mailsport highlighted yesterday speculations that MHC general-secretary Johari Aziz would be replaced.

“There will be a restructure but we haven’t finalised anything at the moment,” said Tengku Abdullah. “Nothing had been done yet (about Johari).”

According to sources, a seasoned official in the local sports scene has been approached to take over the role “next month” as Johari is set to leave, citing “health reasons”.

Johari, however, dismissed such talks saying he was “fine” and that his contract is only expiring next April. The former TNB employee, however, did not rule out the possibility of changes being implemented once MHC hire a chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, Tengku Abdullah welcomed those who are qualified to apply for the CEO post.

Former international K. Logan Raj submitted his application to MHC yesterday for the top job. “I welcome anybody who are interested to fill the position,” said Tengku Abdullah.

MHC had recently advertised the post on its website, with the deadline for the vacancy closing on July 25.

Malay Mail

Scotland U18 Boys face Irish challenge

Lee Morton v Wales

Scotland U18 Boys welcome Ireland to Glasgow this weekend for three youth international matches at Bellahouston from 21-23 June.

Head Coach Graham Dunlop’s side were in action last weekend against Ulster, where they recorded a win, loss and draw, and will be looking to build upon these performances as they look forward to the EuroHockey U18 Championships in Vienna at the end of July.

Scotland U18 Boys Team Manager Elanor Cormack said, “The focus will be to build upon last weekend’s performances in Ulster and implement the tactics the boys are working on with Graham and the coaches. Barring injury, this is the finalised squad of players we will work with for the European competition at the end of July.”

Scotland U18 Boys: Gordon Amour (Glasgow School of Sport & PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Danny Cain (Watsonians & George Watson’s College), Patrick Christie (CALA Edinburgh & Edinburgh Academy), Murray Collins (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale & Hutchesons’ Grammar), Murdo Elwis (Grange & Kinross High School), Ed Greaves (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Fraser Henderson (Taunton Vale & Millfield School), Jack MacAllister (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne & Glasgow School of Sport), Aedan McCrossan (Edinburgh University), Jack McKenzie (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne & Glasgow School of Sport), Joe McConnell (Western Wildcats & Douglas Academy), Lee Morton (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne & Glasgow School of Sport), Ross Morrison (Grange), Angus Robb (Grange & Loretto), Fergus Sandison (Dundee Wanderers & Glenalmond), Grant Scott (AAM Gordonians & Robert Gordon’s College), Robbie Shepardson (Grange & Royal High School), Jamie Wong (AAM Gordonians & Robert Gordon’s College)

Match Schedule:

21st June 19.00 Match 1 v Ireland Bellahouston, Glasgow
22nd June 15.00 Match 2 v Ireland Bellahouston, Glasgow
23rd June 15.00 Match 3 v Ireland Bellahouston, Glasgow

Scottish Hockey Union media release


US U21 Championship and FEC Athletes Compete for First-Time Opportunity on International Stage

Spanning from the first time you sat behind the steering wheel of a car to opening your first college acceptance letter, first-time feelings provide a scrapbook of unforgettable moments. They mark something bigger in the works. For 72 athletes at both the Under-21 Championship and the Futures Elite Championship (FEC), another first-time feeling is on the brink. These hand-selected players are working toward a chance to represent Team USA and make their first appearance on the international stage at the 2013 Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Some of the nation’s most talented young athletes have been invited to Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. from June 20-25 in hopes of earning a spot on the U.S. Junior National Team and the Junior World Cup roster.

Knowing just how much pressure and excitement is surrounding the events, U-21 National Team and American University head coach Steve Jennings sat down with USA Field Hockey to discuss both championships and the Junior National Team selection process.

USA Field Hockey: What kind of dynamic does the Futures Elite Championship and U-21 Championship bring to an athlete’s career? 

SJ: The FEC is one of the best opportunities for Under-17 and Under-19 to be seen by our national team staff and the Under-21 Championship provides an excellent opportunity for our older athletes to begin the selection process for our U-21 national squad. It’s a select opportunity for any age group to get this much exposure to better themselves with an elite level of Junior National Camp coaches and national team selectors.

USA Field Hockey: Why are the FEC and U-21 Championship important in the development of future national team players?

SJ: These tournaments further heighten the development of athletes by surrounding them with some of the greatest minds in field hockey. They’re learning from fantastic coaches and playing with and against great players to better position themselves to compete for their first-time on an international level.

USA Field Hockey: When will the U21 National Team and Junior World Cup Team be announced and how are the athletes notified?

SJ: We plan on making an announcement on June 28 during Junior National Camp where we hope to be telling the athletes of their status face-to –face.

USA Field Hockey: What are you looking for in potential U21 National Team athletes?

SJ: We’re looking for physically-gifted athletes who perform really well under game pressure. Of course the athletes need to be passionate about the sport and hungry and willing to learn. They need to be able to solve problems on their own within a match as well. These are some of the key factors we’re looking for in the next level of play.

USA Field Hockey: How will the U.S. U-21 National Squad fare on the international stage this summer against top opponents like Argentina, Australia and New Zealand?

SJ: There are a lot of great athletes throughout the country. We still have a lot of hard work to go but I feel good about with the talent pool we are looking at.

The Junior World Cup consists of 16 teams competing in pools of four. The U.S. earned a spot at the 2013 World Cup event by finishing third at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. View the Junior World Cup participating teams and schedule of competitions.

USFHA media release

Jeff Sauvé Departs BC Rugby to Join Field Hockey Canada

On June 18, 2013 it was announced that Jeff Sauvé, CEO of the British Columbia Rugby Union will step down to become the newly appointed CEO of Field Hockey Canada (FHC).  Based in Vancouver, BC, Sauvé will assume his full-time role with FHC effective July 22, 2013.

“Jeff fully understands the importance of combining the strengths of the Provincial and National Sport Organization is essential for the ongoing development of field hockey in Canada,” said Ian Baggott, Chair of Field Hockey Canada. “The Board of Field Hockey Canada is confident in Jeff’s ability to develop key relationships and business partnerships on and off the field which will effectively galvanize the commitment of the field hockey community as we move forward”.

Jeff has worked in rugby since 2003, starting as the Manager, Marketing and Communications for Rugby Canada and assuming the role of CEO of the British Columbia Rugby Union in 2004. He has been an integral part of BC Rugby’s growth by collaborating with over 60 member organizations, increasing membership and doubling its program offerings.  He and his staff have developed a strong sponsorship portfolio and empowered coaches and volunteers to collaborate in delivering 15 provincial teams, 35 annual events and province-wide coach and officials programs.

Prior to relocating to BC, Jeff was involved in a number of sports organizations at a variety of levels inclusive of the Executive Director of the City of Vaughn Hockey Association and Manager and Consultant with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA).  He is a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor Physical Health and Education (BHPE) and a Master of Human Kinetics, Sport Management from the University of Windsor.

“I am thrilled the Board of Directors have provided me the opportunity to serve as CEO of Field Hockey Canada.  Of course, with opportunity comes a level of expectations.  I will work collaboratively with our stakeholders to grow, promote and create conditions for success for field hockey in Canada, ” said Jeff Sauvé.

“I know of the passion and dedication demonstrated by the athletes, volunteers, provincial associations and staff in the field hockey community across Canada. I am excited for the opportunity and looking forward to meeting the individuals I will work alongside.”

On behalf of Field Hockey Canada and the community we welcome Jeff in his upcoming role. We are excited about his contribution in the latter half of 2013 and during the cycle leading up to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, 2014; Pan/ Parapan Am Games in Toronto, 2015; and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio, 2016.

Field Hockey Canada media release