News for 29 June 2013

All the news for Saturday 29 June 2013

Malaysia welcomes Hockey World League

Three more World Cup places up for grabs at event in Johor Bahru

This weekend, the vibrant and cosmopolitan southern Malaysian city of Johor Bahru will play host to the second men’s Hockey World League Semi Final, with six pulsating days of tournament action getting under way on Saturday.  

The competition takes place from 29th June – 7th July 2013 and features eight top class international teams, with Germany, England, Pakistan, Korea, Argentina, South Africa and Japan joining host nation Malaysia in the tournament at the striking Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

A guaranteed three places at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague are up for grabs, so there is plenty at stake for all of the competing teams. To learn more about the qualification system for the Hockey World Cup, please click here.

We are delighted to report that the air quality in Johor Bahru – which was being impacted by smoke from forest fires in Indonesia – has significantly improved over recent days. The FIH and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will continue to closely monitor the situation throughout the duration of the tournament.

As per the HWL tournaments in Rotterdam and London, the competition in Johor features two Pools of four before the Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, Classification Matches and Final take place later in the week. Let’s take a closer look at the teams that will take to the field in Johor.

Pool A
Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic champions Germany (World Ranking: 1) enter the Hockey World League at the Semi Final stage, and are clear favourites for success here in Johor Bahru. Head coach Markus Weise has named a powerful team which includes FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fürste, outstanding midfielder Tobias Hauke, classy defender Max Müller as well as ace strikers Christopher Zeller, Thilo Stralkowski and Florian Fuchs, winner of the 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year Award.  Another player to watch is Jan Philipp Rabente, who scored twice in the London Olympic final to give Germany the Gold medal ahead of The Netherlands. Although there is clearly masses of experience within the group, Weise has also shown that he is very much looking to the future by blooding a number of Germany’s hottest young talent. The youngest member of the team is 19 year old Christopher Ruhr, who impressed greatly during this season’s Euro Hockey League for club team Uhlenhorst Mülheim.

Korea (WR8) are another team packed with World Level experience. Their squad contains nine players who have well in excess of 100 international caps, two of which – Lee Nam Yong and You Hyo Sik, are members of the “200” club. Yoon Sung Hoon and Jang Jong Hyun are both closing in on that mark and could make their 200th international appearances here in Johor. Jang is one of the stars of the Korean side, thanks in part to his terrific penalty corner drag flick. He will almost certainly be amongst the Korean scorers at this event, and will be hoping that his goals can help seal a berth at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup.

Argentina (WR10) arrive in Johor Bahru on a fine run of form, having won both of the FIH events that they entered following the London 2012 Olympics. The side produced a top class performance to defeat Pool A rivals Korea in the final of the Argentina Champions Challenge I on home soil at the end of last year before cruising through the Hockey World League Round 2 competition in Rio de Janeiro, winning all five of their matches and finishing with a staggeringly impressive goal difference of +34. 20 year old defender Gonzalo Peillat is fast earning a reputation as a genuinely world class penalty corner flicker, while free-scoring duo Lucas Villa and Guillermo “Willy” Schickendantz ensure that that Argentina are capable of bagging plenty of goals from open play.  

Japan (WR16) are the lowest ranked team in the competition, but have certainly been in impressive form of late. They earned their place in the HWL Semi Finals by winning the Round 2 event in Elektrostal, seeing off the challenges of Austria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Ukraine and host nation Russia. The Asians claimed five wins from five matches in that competition, form that they will be hoping to reproduce in Malaysia this week. 29 year old Kei Kawakami is the team’s most experienced player with almost 150 caps, while Tomonori Ono and Katsuyoshi Nagasawa are both within touching distance of 100 senior international appearances.  

Pool B
England (WR4)
come into the Hockey World League with a new look team that features a host of fresh faced talent. Seven players in the 18 man squad have less than ten international appearances to their name, with Ben Arnold, Oliver Willars, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Dan Shingles, Tom Carson and goalkeeper James Bailey all participating in their debut World Level event. Experience is provided by London 2012 Olympians Ashley Jackson, Nick Catlin, Richard Smith, Dan Fox, Harry Martin and Barry Middleton, the talismanic forward who captains the team.  England are very much in transition, but are starting to find their feet under new coach Bobby Crutchley and are expected to be challenging for top honours in this competition.

Pakistan (WR5) has fine tradition of producing teams that are capable of competing with the very best in the world, and this current group is certainly no exception to the rule. The side has had a solid 12 months, with a seventh place finish at the London 2012 Olympics being followed by a brilliant showing at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne last December where they claimed the Bronze medal. The group contains seven players that have played over 100 times for their country, including Muhammad Imran and Muhammad Waqas, the captain and vice-captain respectively. However, the star of the show is brilliant attacker Shakeel Abbasi, a player who is capable of changing a game in the blink of an eye.    

South Africa (WR12) qualified for the Semi Finals of the Hockey World League thanks to a second place finish at the HWL Round 2 event in Rio de Janeiro, where they finished just behind fellow Johor competitors Argentina. The youthful team coached by former South Africa midfielder Charlie Pereira has made great strides forward in recent months, and will certainly be looking to leave an impression here in Johor Bahru. The team is captained by Austin Smith, a player who is as versatile as he is inspirational. Another player worth keeping an eye on is Lloyd Norris-Jones, who has bags of pace and a wonderful eye for goal.

Malaysia (WR13) come into this competition on the back of a series defeat against Pool B rivals South Africa, but you can be sure that the host nation will be aiming to put on a good show in front of their adoring home fans. Head coach Paul Revington has named a strong team for this event in the hope of achieving World Cup qualification, something that they are more than capable of achieving if they produce their best form. The versatile Azlan Misron and veteran striker Chua Boon Huat have both played well over 300 times for their country, while 22 year old Faizal Saari is considered by many to be one of the most exciting talents in the game. It will be fascinating to see how they perform during this tournament.   

For more information about the Hockey World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru, please visit our official tournament microsite by clicking here.  The microsite will bring you all of the news coming from the event, including written match reports, action photos, videos, official match documents, goal scoring statistics, match highlights and much more. The microsite will also reveal any late squad changes, with updated rosters being available ahead of the first day of competition.

Don’t forget, the FIH You Tube Channel will be providing free live streaming and highlights from the event in London.  Further details about this can be found at the bottom of this story. We will also be posting regular updates through Facebook and Twitter throughout the duration of the event. The Twitter hashtag being used throughout the World League Semi Final events in Rotterdam, London and Johor Bahru is #WLR3.   Links to our tournament microsite, Facebook, Twitter and You Tube pages can all be found below.

Hockey World League Semi Final microsite

FIH Facebook

FIH Twitter

FIH You Tube

Live Streaming - Hockey World League Semi Final, Johor Bahru

The FIH You Tube Channel will be live streaming every match from the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru to a global audience. However, due to licensing, legal and contractual agreements, there will be some geo-blocking restrictions in place.  The details can be found below.

Due to the on-going dispute between You Tube and German performance rights organisation GEMA, we regret to announce that the FIH live stream from Johor Bahru will not be available in your territory. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

FIH site

Japan aims to shock

Japan goes into the World League Semifinals as the lowest ranked team amongst the eight that will be doing battle beginning tomorrow at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

The world No 16 team is scheduled to open their campaign against the South Koreans tomorrow and they are confident of using the underdog status as a motivator to book a spot for the 2014 World Cup.

Japan occupies Pool A of the competition alongside Germany (No1), Argentina (No 10), and South Korea (No 8).

They were the last team to book a spot in the World League Semifinals after coming away as champions from the World League Round 2 in Russia which ended early this month.

“The ranking is just a number for me as I think even the world’s best team can be beaten by a lower ranked team at any given time,

“Modern day hockey revolves around which team that comes out and takes their chances and I as I look at things all the eight teams here are capable of beating each other,

“We will take the underdog status into the match and with the players knowing that, they will be determined to prove themselves,” said Japan team manager Fujihara Nobuyuki.

Japan last featured in the world cup back in 2006 where they finished in ninth place and under the guidance of former South Korean skipper and Olympic silver medallist Kang Keon Wook the Japanese could well spring a surprise here in Johor.

“It is going to be very tough but it is not impossible, we know that all the teams are strong and in order to make the top three spots we will certainly have to go the extra mile, which I think, is possible.” added Fujihara.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite

Lee aims to shoot Korea into WC

A veteran in the Korean outfit, 30 year-old Lee Nam Yong will be looking to guide the South Koreans into the 2014 World Cup by securing a top three finish at the World League Semi Finals which takes flight in Johor Baru today.

The 30 year-old played an important role in seeing off qualification for the South Koreans into the 2012 Olympics via his goal which came five seconds before the hooter against Irealand at the Olympic Qualifier in Dublin last year was the decider.

Nam Yong began his carrer as a hockey player at an early age of 16 and made his debut with the senior South Korean squad at the age of 20 during the Champions Trophy in Germany.

“I love the sport and I don’t play any other sports but hockey,” said Lee

He is no stranger to Malaysia, but the the outing in Johor Baru will be a first for him “I am very comfortable with Malaysia. I enjoy the food but the weather can be too hot for me at times,

“Our preparation has been good so far and as for the hazy weather it does not really bother me,” he added.

The South Korean is eager to take the pitch and is confident that the Koreans will make the cut. “All the teams have an equal chance to qualify and we will need to be at our best to make the cut,” Nam Yong added.

Nam Yong concluded that his worst moment in hockey was when he was ommited from the 2004 Athens Olympic team. “I was dropped and I don’t really know why,” he added.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite

Imran prays Pakistan make it

Muhammad Imran is a familiar face for Malaysian hockey fans. It was only last month that the Pakistani skipper helped KL Hockey Club win the League and Overall titles in the Malaysian Hockey League.

Although his favourite number is 19 but it was the number 2 on his jersey when Muhammad Imran and his teammates won the gold medal for Pakistan at the 2012 Asian Champions Trophy in Dota, Qatar.

“I was the captain at that time, and I was very proud to be part of the team that gave Pakistan her gold medal, that was the best highlight so far in my career,” said Imran who made his debut in 2004.

“This tournament is very important for us. We are going to try our best to make sure we go to the World Cup ”, he said adding that with the new qualifying system, it would be quite hard to qualify especially with the Asia Cup providing only one spot.

“I first started to play hockey when I was 10 years old. My dad was a sportsman and I liked to watch him play. We used to play together and he encourages me a lot,” said Imran who plays football and cricket as well for the fun of it.

Other than sports, Imran loves to watch movies and dramas during his spare time “This is how I unwind and love stories are my favorites,” he added.

Despite the two golds in the Asian Champions Trophy 2012 and the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, Imran only manage to help the team win a bronze at the Champions Trophy 2012 in Melbourne.

“My worst moment would be when our team ended up in the 12th position in the 2010 World Cup, “said Imran who played twice in the Olympic Games in 2008 Beijing and 2012.

“I have been to Malaysia quite a number of times and I think Malaysia is a good sports loving country. I am quite used to the weather but recently because of the haze it has created a bit of a problem for me. It however looks like it has cleared,“ he said.

“This time around the competition would be of high standard  and quite tough but I believe Pakistan will make it through. The other 2 teams in my opinion would be Germany and England. These are strong teams with experience” he concluded.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite

SA hockey men’s big weekend in Johor

The world’s 12th-ranked South Africa men’s hockey team embark on an ambitious plan to finish in the top four of the eight-team World League Semifinal tournament in Johor, Malaysia when they take on world No 4 England in the first round of matches in Pool B Saturday.

The South Africa versus England match is at 3pm SA time on Saturday and is live on SuperSport 7. SA meet world number 13 Malaysia on Sunday at 3pm SA time (SuperSport 4) and the final Pool B match is against world No 5 Pakistan at 3pm SA time on Tuesday (SuperSport 7).

Success in the back-to-back matches will set South Africa up for a productive week, and a top four placing in the tournament will almost certainly qualify South Africa for a place in the eight-team World League Final tournament in Delhi in January next year. It will also almost certainly ensure that SA qualify for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands, next June.

The last time South Africa met England was at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a match that ended in a draw, where a contentious video referral might have cost SA full match points.

SA have recently come off a 3-0 series win over Malaysia and the host nation will be hell-bent on revenge on Sunday, but an impressive 4-1 win over Japan in a practice match bodes well for the South Africans.

SA striker Julian Hykes was in great form in the Malaysia series and will hopefully have recovered from the health problems that saw him miss the Japan game.

The teams in Pool A are world No 1 Germany as well as Argentina, Korea and Japan.

SOUTH AFRICA:Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders); Austin Smith (capt, Western Province), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Lance Louw (SG), Jethro Eustice (SG); Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KCR), Tim Drummond (KCR), Nick Gonsalves (SG), Taine Paton (KCR); Julian Hykes (SG), Craig Haley (WP), Pierre de Voux (WP), Miguel da Graca (SG), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP).

South Africa’s Pool B Fixtures (all 3pm SA time): Saturday, v England (SuperSport 7); Sunday, v Malaysia (SS 4); Tuesday, v Pakistan (SS 7).

SA Hockey Association media release

England men’s squad named for World League

Dan Shingles in action for England NOW Pensions against Scotland.

Ahead of their first game tomorrow England Men’s Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named the final 18 athletes for the FIH World League Semi Final in Malaysia. The competition takes place from 29 June – 7 July 2013 and features eight top class international teams including Olympic gold medallists Germany.

England have been drawn in Pool B and will face South Africa tomorrow - Saturday 29 June - at 14:00 (UK time). Ranked at number four in the FIH world rankings, England will be favourite on paper to top their group, but they will no doubt face tough opposition from Pakistan, South Africa and hosts Malaysia who sit at 5, 12 and 13 respectively.

There is plenty at stake for Crutchley’s side as a top three finish will guarantee England a place at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague.

Follow every England game live via the FIH You Tube channel, click here to find out more. You can keep up with England’s progress by visiting and there will be updates from the team on England Hockey’s official You Tube channel throughout the week.

Following the final selection and the reduction of the team down from 20 to 18 athletes, the unfortunate two who will not take part in the tournament are Sheffield Hallam’s Phil Roper and Loughborough Students’ David Condon.

Click here to see the final squad.

Crutchley’s team has had a challenging build up to Saturday’s first match. As has widely been reported, smoke from large-scale forest fires in Indonesia has been drifting east and negatively affecting the air quality in Malaysia and Singapore. Following the team’s arrival in Johor Bahru, the decision was made to move the team to Kuala Lumpur to enable them to train in more suitable conditions. Following a favourable change in wind direction, and movement of the smog, the team returned to Johor Bahru on Wednesday to make their final preparations.

Despite losing a training match to Korea 2-1 on Wednesday evening, Crutchley has been pleased with the way his team has coped with the exceptional circumstances. “In spite of the upheaval of the last few days the team have gelled really well and shown great resolve dealing with the difficulties of moving camps and having restricted training opportunities. We are now settled here [Johor Bahru] looking forward to our game against South Africa on Saturday.”

Visit the official FIH World League Semi Final page here; it has the full schedule and live score updates throughout the tournament.

Follow the team's performance on twitter: @englandhockey #NOWhockey

England Hockey Board Media release

Danger lurks at every corner

ALERT: Malaysia must ensure Champions Challenge episode doesn’t recur

By Jugjet Singh

Malaysia players training in Johor Baru on Thursday for the World Hockey League Semi-finals which begins today. Pic by Hairul Anuar Abd Rahim

THE World Hockey League Semi-finals look like a walk in the park, as a team just need to enjoy the first three matches before going for broke from the quarter-final stage to qualify for the World Cup.

The competition, which starts today in Johor Baru, offers all the eight teams a place in the quarter-finals.

But like a chameleon, the tournament is designed to trap and destroy teams who are not consistent and not prepared mentally and physically for the last two hurdles.

Malaysia have never qualified for the World Cup since hosting it in 2002, and would find it difficult to finish among the medallists in Johor Baru, as only the top-three advance to the Hague, Netherlands, next year.

Looking back at the Champions Challenge I in Argentina last December, hopefully national coach Paul Revington’s men are better prepared this time.

Then, Malaysia beat Poland 4-0, South Korea 4-2 and Canada 4-2 in their group to enter the quarter-finals.

In the quarter-finals, Malaysia hammered South Africa 4-1, which was a remarkable achievement.

However, when it mattered most, they were crushed 6-3 by South Korea in the semi-finals, and in the bronze play-off, beaten 4-3 by Ireland.

In the end, Malaysia could only finish fourth in Argentina. That type of form, faltering after great early run, must not happen in the World Hockey League Semi-finals.

Comparatively, the Koreans had only one win in the group stages, but went all the way to the final before a 5-0 loss to Argentina.

Both Argentina and South Korea are also competing in Johor Baru, and when you include England, Germany and Pakistan — the leader board looks cluttered with the chances of Malaysia sneaking in as a top-three candidate looking remote.

But South African Revington, optimistic as ever, said: “I don’t think this past week has been the concern — it was the period between January and just prior to last week that definitely affected everyone involved in the national squad.

“We managed to keep a lid on things in the Azlan Shah Cup and produced some quality hockey as a team (winning the silver medal behind Australia).

“However, immediately after the Azlan Shah Cup, the real issues set in. I am confident that we have managed to get control of the situation and I will be pushing for further improvement than the Azlan Shah performance.”

And his thoughts on the opening game were: “Malaysia versus Pakistan has developed into a good rivalry over recent years.

“Pakistan are a very good side and we respect their ability.

“I think everyone in this event also knows that Malaysia have been improving year after year, month by month and have a group of players who can match any team in world hockey.

“This makes the opening game an exciting encounter.”

Revington picked Germany as one of the top-three teams, and said the other seven have an equal chance to lay their hands on the remaining two slots.

New Straits Times

No complaints so fixtures remain the same

JOHOR BARU: There will be no changes to the fixtures for the FIH World Hockey League semi-finals, which begins today at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here today.

Germany and South Korea were unhappy with the fixtures and questioned why all their Group A matches are being held in early part of the evening. But at the team managers’ meeting yesterday, both teams did not raise the issue.

At the meeting, all the teams were told of a new 45-second ruling for the taking of penalty corners. This rule was implemented in the recent World League semi-finals (1) in Holland for both the men and the women.

A penalty corner shot clock will be used for the first time to prevent the teams from wasting time. FIH competitions manager Martyn Gallivan said this came into effect in March.

The Star of Malaysia

Revington’s squad have a good chance of making the 2014 World Cup


JOHOR BARU: Today marks the start of one of national coach Paul Revington’s targets as Malaysia aim to qualify for the 2014 World Cup Finals after missing out on the last two editions in 2006 and 2010.

The FIH World Hockey League semi-final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here offers three automatic slots for the 2014 Finals. The fourth placed team also have a very good chance of making the cut as some of those who qualified would have secured their berths through their respective continental championships.

For Malaysia, the main objective is to make the semi-finals.

Malaysia, ranked No. 13 in the world, go into battle against fifth-ranked Pakistan today in Group B. The other teams in the group are England and South Africa.

Group A has Germany, South Korea, Argentina and Japan.

Malaysia, captained by Mohamed Shahrun Nabil, need to top the group to avoid meeting the big teams like Germany, Argentina, or South Korea in the cross over quarter-final match.

Revington fully believes in the ability of his team to put up a good show with the home fans behind them.

And he is keeping his fingers crossed for a good start with a win over Pakistan.

“Of late, our matches against Pakistan have been close and entertaining. We have developed a good rivalry with Pakistan in recent years. They are a very good side and we respect their ability. I think everyone in this tournament knows that Malaysia have been improving and we have a group of players who can match any team in world hockey. This makes the opening game an exciting one,” said the South African.

Pakistan, on the other hand, are familiar with the Malaysian team as nine of their players played in the recent Malaysia Hockey League (MHL). The only absentee is Waseem Ahmad who was ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

One area that Pakistan is banking on to win the match is through the penalty corners.

“We are still one of the best in the world in penalty corners although we no longer have Sohail Abbas. I believe Mohmed Imran is a capable goal scorer from the drag flicks and I hope he will prove himself in this tournament,” said Pakistan coach Akhtar Rasool.

“We have also worked hard on our fitness level as we do not want the team to suffer last-minute defeats like they did in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March,” he added.

For the record, Malaysia and Pakistan battled to a 2-2 draw in their last encounter at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March.

The Star of Malaysia

Belgium, Australia and Holland reach World Cup finals

JOHOR BARU: Three teams – Belgium, Aus­tralia and Holland – have qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Holland.

In the first semi-finals of the World Hockey League which ended in Holland last Sunday, Belgium emerged as the surprise winners after beating Australia in the final.

Holland finished third but as they have already qualified by virtue of being the host nation there is a good chance that fourth placed New Zealand will take up the slot.

For the Asian teams, it was a major disappointment that India failed to snatch one of the three places at stake. The Indians finished sixth.

There are four Asian teams – Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan – competing in the second semi-final of the World Hockey League here, which begins today at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium. Only the top three will earn automatic berths to Holland.

Based on current form, Pakistan and South Korea are tipped to make the cut.

But with Germany, Argentina, England and South Africa in the fray, the chances of the Asians being eclipsed are rather high.

If the Asians fail here, then they will only have the Asia Cup in August to qualify. And that throws up the possibility that for the first time only one Asian team will play in the World Cup.

At the 2010 World Cup, Asia was represented by India, Pakistan and South Korea.

The Star of Malaysia

Kate Walsh optimistic

By Mike Haymonds

ENGLAND captain Kate Walsh is optimistic of her team's chances of ending a run of defeats by world number two Argentina in today's semi-final at the Investec World League in Chiswick.

In 13 meetings since 1994 England have managed just one win and a draw and the South Americans beat GB in a semi-final at last year’s Olympics.

Walsh said: "We should go in with no fear. We need to approach the game not thinking of individual players but of our own play.

"We need to show the fearlessness of youth which we have in our squad."

After their 3-2 quarter-final win over Italy England, ranked four, have qualified for the World League final and they now have the target of a top three finish in Chiswick to clinch a berth at next year's World Cup. Based on the complex criteria for additional places, as a semi-finalist here, they are virtually certain to be in The Hague next May.

Coach Jason Lee said: "We can face Argentina with more freedom as the pressure is off."

In Malaysia England men start their World League campaign today against South Africa.

Coach Bobby Crutchley has released Phil Roper and David Condon from the 20-strong squad which has been in Malaysia for the past ten days.

Daily Express

USA Field Hockey announces 18-player Junior World Cup roster

U.S. U-21 head coach Steve Jennings names U.S. roster for the 2013 Junior World Cup

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – U.S. Under-21 head coach Steve Jennings has announced the squad that will represent Team USA at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, July 27-August 4.  Held every four years, the Junior World Cup represents the top international event for elite field hockey athletes under the age of 21.

The selection process for the Junior World Cup team spanned over four events, including the Women’s National Championship, U-21 Women’s National Championship, Futures Elite Championship and National Futures Championship. From the four events, 34-players were selected to attend Junior National Camp. The final squad was trimmed to 18-players plus three replacement athletes. 

“We have selected a very talented squad and are excited to see their potential unfold over the coming weeks,” said Jennings. “It will be a big challenge but the skill, speed and unity of our team will represent us in great fashion.”

The team features three U.S. Women’s National Team players, Teresa Benvenuti (Morristown, N.J.), Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.) and Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.), who is currently competing at the World League Semi-Final in London. 

The U.S. qualified for the Junior World Cup by finishing third at the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. 

The Junior World Cup features 16-teams split into four pools of four teams each. Following pool play, teams will either move into a placement round for the bottom eight finishers or advance to the quarterfinal, semi-final and final round.

The U.S. has been placed in Pool A, featuring the Netherlands, Korea and Ghana. Pool B includes Argentina, China, South Africa and Canada. Pool C is made up of New Zealand, Australia, India and Russia and Pool D features England, Germany, Belgium and Spain.

The U.S. will open pool play at the Junior World Cup against Korea on Saturday, July 27, followed by the Netherlands on July 28. The U.S. will close out pool play against Ghana on July 30. The quarterfinals will be played on Thursday, August 1, the semi-finals on August 2 and the gold and bronze medal match on August 4.

The U.S. finished eighth at the last Junior World Cup, held at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts in August 2009. The roster featured seven athletes who went on to represent Team USA at the 2012 London Olympic Games, including, Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.), Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.), Julia Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.), Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) and Michelle Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.). The roster also featured 12-players currently on the U.S. Women’s National Team.

The U.S. will depart on July 17 for the Netherlands for final preparations before the tournament commences in Germany. The U.S. will play against the Dutch team twice before heading over the border to Monchengladbach. Once in Germany, the U.S. will have a friendly match against New Zealand before opening pool play on July 27. 

“The focus right now is purely to do our best and to take care of each moment,” said Jennings. “Tournaments are always a challenge and it will be critical for us to be able to keep a level perspective throughout--for us to do well, we will have to be a complete team on and off the field.  We will need to embody great resiliency in the toughest moments and celebrate successes with a commitment to consistent improvement. We look forward to the challenge!

The following athletes have been selected to the 2013 Junior World Cup:

Teresa Benvenuti (Morristown, N.J.), Lauren Blazing (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Marie-Elena Bolles (Phoenixville, Pa.), Emma Bozek (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.), Samantha Carlino (Kennett Square, Pa.), Anna Dessoye (Mountain Top, Pa.), Maxine Fluharty (Millsboro, Del.), Laura Gebhart (Mount Joy, Pa.), Katie Gerzabek (Springfield, Pa.), Kelsey Harbin (Escondido, Cali.), Georgia Holland (Stony Brook, N.Y.), Aileen Johnson (Oceanport, N.J.), Ainsley McCallister (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Nikki Parsley (Milford, Del.), Hannah Prince (Gorham, Maine), Kelsey Smither (Suffolk, Va.), Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.)

USFHA media release

Barry on the Cusp of ESPN Glory!

Limerick hockey player Rebecca Barry this week received the news that she has been nominated for an ESPY Award, the first field hockey player ever to do so.

The ESPYs, Excellence in Sporting Performance Yearly Awards, is an accolade presented by the American cable television network ESPN to recognise sporting achievements.

Barry’s nomination comes as a result of her wonderful goal for her College side Richmond Spiders in Virginia, where she is currently on a Scholarship Programme. Her mazy run on the right flank allowed her 3D skills to come into play, lobbing the oncoming keeper and finishing on the half-volley from a tight angle.

The goal was one of ESPN’s top ten plays of the week back in October of last year, and since then the clip has seen over 100,000 hits on YouTube, a figure that will no doubt rise in the coming weeks.

ESPN have subsequently decided the finish is worthy of nomination for the Best Play of the 2012/2013 season across all sports, a fantastic achievement given the calibre and profile given to mainstream American Sports such as basketball and baseball.

She is one of 16 nominees for Best Play that include the likes of Michael Phelps and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Awards will be held on the 17th July in a star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles.

Barry, 20, plies her trade in Ireland for Catholic Institute, and is a former youth Olympian and Under 18 Captain.

She told of her surprise and delight at the nomination:

“I found out I was nominated because the Assistant Director of public relations in the athletics department in the University of Richmond, Mark Kwolek, e-mailed me at lunch time yesterday to tell me. Shortly after, Ryan Elliott, the associate head coach of the Richmond hockey team from Bangor, Co.Down, text me as well. Between both of them, I eventually figured out what an ESPY actually was!”

“I truly am honoured for a play of mine to even be considered for such a prestigious award alongside professional sports people and other fantastic moments. I still can't believe it! I am so shocked by the amount of people who have reached out and shown their support already and I am so grateful for all who have.”

She paid tribute to her coaches both in Ireland and America:

“While the play itself is what is being publicised, I couldn't let an opportunity like this pass without saying that without Irish Hockey, I wouldn't have gotten the chance to go to America in the first place. It is coaches like Dave Passmore, Úna McCarthy and Richie Malone who gave me opportunities to play on underage international squads and have been key influences in the development of my love for the game.”

“This play wouldn't have happened were it not for my team mates and the coaching staff, especially our head coach, Gina Lucido who is a superb leader and one of the best people I know. I really am delighted for her!”

Despite being the underdog, she hopes the hockey family get behind her and show their support:

“I am not sure what the winner gets, but the final 4 get to go to the ESPY awards ceremony in LA in late July. I am up against the 2nd seed in the 1st round, and being the 15th seed, the odds really are stacked against me. Having said that, we are going to give this a right go! However it pans out, I am so grateful for this chance.”

To vote for Barry’s goal and get behind an Irish athlete, please click here and select the ‘Best Play’ category.

To see the special goal in full, click here!

Everyone at Irish Hockey wishes Rebecca all the best in her quest for an ESPY Award!

Irish Hockey Association media release

Calling all Coaches!

PAHF to Hold High Performance Coaching Course During Men's Pan Am Cup

The Pan American Hockey Federation (PAHF) is pleased to invite Coaches of the continent to join the PAHF High Performance Coaching Course during the “Men’s Pan American Cup” that will be from 10 to 17 of August 2013, at Brampton City, Canada.

Course Information:

The Course will be carried out from August 13, 7 PM to August 17, 9 PM – after final match with certificate delivery. The course includes theoretical sessions, match observation during tournament and eventual practices at field. This will be an excellent opportunity for the coaches of the Continent enter the PAHF Coaches Accreditation System, and also to recycle through the exchange of technical information with other continental colleagues, at the highest level PAHF Event. The Course will be dictated in English. Participants will be limited to 25. Also there will be place for 5 observers, at the most. The Conductors will be: FIH Master Coach Rodolfo Mendoza (ARG) and PAHF Coach Anthony Marcano (TRI).

Course Activities:

• Registration, Opening & Introduction of the Course Conductors and participants;

• Theoretical sessions, practical sessions, special presentations and contributions of the participants;

• Analysis of the matches of the Hockey Tournament;

• Official closing with delivery of participation Certificates and a CD with Course Contents.

1- All participants will receive the complete program of the course after their final registry. Remember to bring your own sports outfits and hockey sticks for the practical sessions;

2- Participants expected profile: Coaches who will participate are expected to have fair knowledge of the game and preferably be experienced in the coaching of hockey at international level. However, if coaches are contenders for the PAHF Accreditation, they are welcome to join. Participants should also to be able to transfer their new know-how to other coaches in their countries so that the PAHF can be sure that the standards of Coaching through this progressive and effective learning are being reached and, the process of education improved.

3- Venue: All Matches, Trainings and Classes will be held at the Cassie Campbell Community Centre and Field Hockey Pitch, 1050 Sandalwood Pkwy W, Brampton, Ontario L7A 0K9. Transport will be provided from the Hotel to the Venue.

Cost for Participation:

The cost for participation in the Course will be of US$500,00, which includes 5 nights of accommodation at Holiday Inn Hotel, 30 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, Ontario L6T 4G3, in shared Double Room, with breakfast included, the right to attend the course and a certificate of official participation issued by the PAHF. Participants are responsible to cover their own meals (lunch and dinner). For those who will be staying at non-official residence, course fee is US$100. Participants will be responsible for their own arrangements of transportation to and from the Airport.

Fee and Room payment arrangements shall be dealt directly with the Field Hockey Canada (FHC). Please contact Rhonda Lewis, Local Course Coordinator, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For any other issue, please contact Mrs. Julio F Neves at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Interested coaches must send inscription by completing the Form of Participation (one by coach) at the PAHF website: and pay the Course Fee to confirm.


Our Best Regards,

Laura Darling AND Julio F Neves

PAHF Hockey Development Council Chair PAHF Project Coordinator

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Field Hockey Canada media release