News for 06 August 2013

All the news for Tuesday 6 August 2013


Scots slip to opening day defeat against Azerbaijan


Scotland's William Marshall contests the ball. Credit: Herbert Kratky

Scotland Senior Men slipped to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of Azerbaijan in the opening game of the EuroHockey Nations Championship II in Vienna today.

Two goals from Ahmed Butt Vagas and a single strike from Saleem Khalid Muhammad resigned the Scots to a loss that now increases the pressure on the results required in the games against France tomorrow and Wales on Thursday. The French recorded a 7-2 win over Wales earlier in the day.

Following the match, Scotland Team Manager Eugene Connolly said, "We were on top for the early stages but we did not take advantage of our superiority and the early chances presented to us in front of goal.

"Azerbaijan then scored and we were chasing the game from there. We actually controlled much of the game but missed chances and a penalty stroke."


Callum Duke averts the attention of two defenders. Credit: Herbert Kratky

After a close opening period to the match, it was Azerbaijan who opened the scoring in the 25th minute through a Ahmed Butt Vagas penalty corner to leave the national side trailing 1-0.

The Scots could have restored parity just before half-time but David Forsyth missed the opportunity to equalise from the penalty spot.


Wei Adams in action against Azerbaijan today. Credit: Herbert Kratky

The Scots found themselves two down in the 51st minute when Saleem Khalid Muhammad beat Scotland goalkeeper Jamie Cachia to find the back of the net.

Azerbaijan killed off the contest three minutes from time when Butt Vagas notched his second goal of the game, again from a penalty corner set-piece to leave the final score 3-0.

Scotland will play France tomorrow at 16.00 BST in what will be a crucial match in their attempts to reach the semi-finals.

EuroHockey Nations Championship II:
Scotland 0-3 Azerbaijan (Butt Vagas 24', 67', Khalid Muhammad 51')

Scotland Men: Jamie Cachia (Sheffield Hallam), Graham Moodie (Edinburgh University), Paul Martin (Grove Menzieshill), Alan Forsyth (Surbiton), Russell Anderson (Brooklands), Ian Moodie (Western Wildcats), Chris Nelson (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Kenny Bain (THC Hurley), William Marshall (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Iain Scholefield (Qui Vive), Wei Adams (Royal Penguins), Callum Duke (Edinburgh University), Ross Stott (Grove Menzieshill), Chris Grassick (Surbiton), Gavin Byers (Grove Menzieshill), Nick Parkes (Surbiton), David Forsyth (Qui Vive).

Please visit the EuroHockey website for all fixtures, results and pool standings in the EuroHockey Nations Championship II in Vienna.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Hayward excited ahead of NHL opening weekend



Black Sticks defender Andy Hayward is looking forward to donning the Midlands orange once again when the Ford National Hockey League gets underway this weekend.

Rounds 1 and 2 of the country’s premier domestic hockey tournament take place across the country this weekend with the Midlands Men playing North Harbour on the North Shore this Saturday and Auckland in Tauranga on Sunday.

Opening weekend will be good gauge as to where all eight regions are at in terms of their performance at the tournament, with finals week hosted at North Harbour Hockey Stadium from August 17-25.

Hayward said after a busy year with Black Sticks duties, it’s always great to be able to go back and play for Midlands and give back to the region that helped develop his talent.

“I always enjoy going back and playing for Midlands and representing the region you grew up in. They still follow me a lot so I’m happy to be able to give back.

“I find playing for your province means you have a bit more of a role in the team. For the Black Sticks you have your specialist job and do that really well which creates a complete team performance. During NHL you have a bit more of an impact, especially with helping coach and teach the younger guys which I enjoy.”

Midlands Men finished 6th at last year’s NHL but are confident they have the firepower to make a stronger impression in 2013 under new head coach Simon Brill.

And with all the Black Sticks Men and Women back with their regions, the tournament will be the strongest and most competitive it has been in several years.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty close competition, there’s probably six or seven teams that are all in with a chance of winning and if you get a roll on and get the team gelling anything can happen.

“It’s good to see it’s pretty even across the board now compared to five or six years ago when there were only a couple of clear favourites.”

Midlands have plenty of experience in their squad along with some exciting young talent. They have also managed to snare two quality international guest players in Ronald Brouwer (Netherlands) and Nick Budgeon (Australia).

“Ronald is a huge talent. I think he’s a big signing for us this year and is a really talented striker. To play over 200 games for Holland is pretty impressive and he demands a high stand at training and talks to the young guys a lot which is really good to see.

“Our back four are strong and with Ronald up front we should go pretty well. We’ve just got to make sure we gel at the right time.”

CLICK HERE for the full Ford NHL draw, team lists and earlybird ticket info

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Barry Middleton’s got talent, says England coach

By Andrew Elliott



Barry Middleton shone in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup

ENGLAND coach Bobby Crutchley believes Barry Middleton holds the key to his side’s success at the European Championships later this month.

Captain Middleton was the player of the series in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup defeat by Olympic silver medallists Holland.

England held the Netherlands to two draws and a narrow loss in the three-match series in Wakefield and Crutchley said: “Barry has been on great form and he is a world-class player. His ability on the ball stands out so much.

“Even when he has got three or four Dutch players around him, he’s able to get out of trouble and that just reflects what a talented athlete he is.”

England’s men begin their European bid in Antwerp, Belgium, on August 18 against Poland, while the women face Spain a day earlier.

Daily Express



Modi hails Indian women hockey team


Modi hails Indian women hockey team

New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated the Indian women hockey team for winning the first ever bronze medal in the Junior Women`s Hockey World Cup.

"Congratulations to our women hockey players for winning the first bronze at Junior Women Hockey World Cup. A historic feat!," Modi tweeted. India defeated England on Sunday.

On Sunday, Indian girls created history by winning country`s first ever bronze medal in the junior women hockey World Cup as they pipped England 3-2 penalties, riding on striker Rani`s dazzling show, in the ongoing Junior Women`s hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach.

Hockey India has announced a cash reward for the Indian team. Each player will get Rs 1 lakh each.

Zee News



Senior team exposure helped junior girls: Kaushik

NEW DELHI: Senior men's hockey coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik has praised the junior girls for their historic World Cup bronze medal and attributed the success to their exposure with the senior team.

India beat England 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out on Sunday after the teams had ended 1-1 in regulation time in the German city of Monchengladbach and lifted their first World Cup medal.

Of the 18 members, 13 have been a part of the core probables in the senior team and that is what worked for India, said Kaushik, also a former women's coach.

"Most of them have been a part of the senior squad so that has given them ample experience," Kaushik said.

"Except for the Odisha girls, everyone else has been in the senior squad for quite sometime and that has given them crucial exposure," said the Olympic gold medallist.

Former India men's hockey captain Pargat Singh also applauded the girls but felt more needed to be done to improve their performances.

"It is a good beginning. We should encourage these girls further and provide them with whatever they need to be the best," Pargat Singh said.

"In women's hockey a proper mechanism is yet to be established. It is necessary to give these girls job security so that they can put all their focus on the sport," he said.

Pargat Singh also pointed out that corporates need to play a larger role in the development of the sport among women.

"Corporates should come forward to promote women's hockey. They have a liability," he opined.

Punjab has been a hotbed for both men and women hockey players but in the junior bronze winning team, only two girls were part of the Chandigarh state team.

Addressing the situation, Pargat Singh said: "We still produce a lot of hockey players but we are losing our players to teams like Railways because we are not able to provide any job security. I hope this scenario changes soon."

The Times of India



Shahabad girls owe it to hardwork, determination

Manish Sirhindi


Shahabad - With the junior girls clinching the first ever bronze for the country at the hockey World Cup, the ‘hockey capital’ of the region has again shot into limelight as five local girls were part of the contingent that achieved the feat at Monchengladbach, Germany.

Rani Ramphal, speaking from Germany, said, “The win has encouraged the team to work harder and perform much better in the coming international tournaments.”

Crediting their coach Dronacharya awardee Baldev Singh for the success, she said, “He has been a great motivator.” Navneet Buta Singh, the youngest member of the squad, said, “It was our determination that enabled us to win the medal. It will encourage the team to win gold in the next tournament.”

Another player, Navjot Kaur, said, “The medal has helped create a new identity for women hockey in the country. Shahabad girls have brought back the golden days of women hockey and more is yet to come.” Meanwhile, coach Baldev Singh said, “The junior team was competent enough to win a gold, but due to certain circumstances they had to be content with a bronze.” He said the win would go a long in boosting the morale of the girls, who would now get on the field with added strength and a sense of achievement and excel further.

The national skipper, eighteen-year-old Rani Ramphal, a localite who scored India's only goal in the regulation time and then found the net twice in the penalty shoot-out to script India's memorable victory, is a product of the local hockey academy. Navneet Kaur, who ably assisted the skipper strike a goal during the match, is also a produce of the Shahabad Hockey Academy. Besides, Navjot Kaur, Manjit Kaur and Monica also represented the country in the Cup.

The local residents came out on the streets to celebrate after they defeated England. Anil Dhantori, local legislator, said a special function to felicitate the local girls would be held after they return home.

More reward


Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh each for six Haryana players who were part of the junior Indian women team that won bronze medal in Germany. Hooda also congratulated the team for winning country’s first ever medal in the tournament.

The medal has helped create a new identity for women hockey in the country. Shahabad girls have brought back the golden days of women hockey and there’s more is to come. — Navjot Kaur, Member of the squad

The Tribune



To rejoice or not is the question

Subhash Rajta


Chandigarh - Few sporting feats could delight and despair simultaneously. The third-place finish by the Indian girls in the junior hockey World Cup is one such occurrence. While why the bronze-hued feat is delightful is obvious, here’s what makes it somewhat bittersweet— it has taken 38 long years for any Indian team to win a medal in the World Cup since Ajit Pal Singh led India to a golden triumph way back in 1975 in Kuala Lampur.

“It’s a proud moment for all of us, my congratulations to the girls... they have been fantastic,” said Ajit Pal Singh. It, however, doesn’t take long for the World Cup winning captain to see the grim side of this heart-warming story. “It’s of course a fine moment for Indian hockey but it’s very disturbing and demoralising to know that we had to wait for a medal in the World Cup for 38 years. Not that we need but it’s indeed another reminder of the despairing depths our hockey has slithered into,” he said.

And soon, the former India captain is rattling out the reasons why Indian hockey is where it is today. “The standards have simply nosedived. We no longer get the players we had in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s...there’s such a yawning gap in standards.”

“And then, he said, there are hardly anyone playing hockey these days. In the past we had several strong teams competing against each other - BSF, Punjab Police, Railways, Army teams at al. Why, even schools and colleges had brilliant teams. Now, there are hardly any teams and hence the plight of the national game.

“Quality always comes from quantity. We keep getting quality cricketers because so many play the game,” he said, explaining the dearth of quality players in hockey.

Much as he’s happy for the girls, he refuses to see their success of much significance in the larger context of the revival of Indian hockey. “It can’t be seen as any turning point for Indian hockey. This is one odd win we have been able to notch up and this alone can’t eradicate the sport from various ills it’s afflicted with. It’s of course good for the girls and their confidence, but then that’s perhaps all about it,” he said.

What worries him more is the failure of our junior players to make the transition to the senior level. Many of them, no matter how talented, fail to make an impression at the senior level. “Junior players of the hockey powerhouses show impressive growth physically as well as mentally once they hit the senior level. Our players fail to match them and hence the huge gap between us and the top teams,” said Ajit Pal.

One hopes this lot of youngsters buck the trend and perform at the senior level too.

It's of course a fine moment for Indian hockey but it's very disturbing and demoralising to know that we had to wait for a medal in the World Cup for 38 years. Not that we need but it's indeed another reminder of the despairing depths our hockey has slithered into.

The standards have simply nosedived. We no longer get the players we had in the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s...there's such a yawning gap in standards.

— Ajit Pal Singh, he led India to World Cup victory in 1975


The Tribune



Haryana cart-puller's daughter is hockey's shining young star

Mihir Vasavda



My father works as a cart-puller and my two brothers are carpenters (IE Photo)

The coach of India's World Cup bronze medal winning team, Neil Hawgood, has a simple explanation as to why his favourite ward and star forward Rani Rampal was named Best Player at Monchengladbach in Germany on Sunday. "She is the one who was the most feared by the other teams. You can sense that on the pitch during a match," said the Australian, a day after India's junior women's team's first-ever World Cup podium finish.

While the world took notice of the 18-year-old only this past week, for the family of humble means from Shahbad in Haryana, Rani's talent was never in doubt. As long as a decade ago, Rani's father, a cart-puller, had decided to act after he saw his daughter's unusual interest in hockey. Their village had a reputed academy run by Dronacharya award-winning coach Baldev Singh, and the hockey turf was to become Rani's second home.

Speaking about her early days, Indian hockey's brightest young star said, "My family toiled to make ends meet. So for me, something as basic as a hockey stick was not affordable. My father works as a cart-puller and my two brothers are carpenters. But they somehow ensured I found a way to practise.

"I tell my father not to work any more. But he insists on working. He doesn't listen to me. I hope I can convince him now."

After her family, it's coach Baldev who figures prominently in Rani's 'thank you' speech. "I owe everything to him. He gave me a hockey stick and kit as my family could not afford it. He wanted someone like me, who is from a low-income background, to make a name in the sport, and he trained me at the Shahbad Hockey Academy," says the confident teenager, who now works as a clerk with the Railways.

The lanky forward shone at the Junior Nationals in Gwalior and at the Chandigarh School Nationals, and was soon drafted into the national squad. "She was unlike most of the players of her age, boys or girls. She picked up the game faster and better than the others and while many young players are just thrilled to be a part a new culture and atmosphere, Rani always had the desire to win, no matter who the opponent. That kind of mentality sets her apart from the rest," Baldev said.

Rani's rise has been meteoric. She holds the record for Indian hockey's youngest international debut, aged 14. When she was 15, she was the youngest player at the 2010 women's World Cup. She scored seven goals in the quadrennial tournament in Rosario and, quite incredibly, scored twice in a span of one minute against South Africa. Not surprisingly, she was included in the International Hockey Federation's team of the year 2010.

Former women's coach C R Kumar says the only concern is that she is injury-prone. "She can do almost everything that an individual can with a hockey stick. Perhaps the most talented woman player we have produced so far. The only thing that she needs to work on is avoiding injury. To prolong her career and fulfil the potential, she needs to find a solution to that."

Indian Express



Bigan, Indian hockey’s iron lass

Chaibasa goalie scripts World Cup bronze

A.S.R.P. MUKESH




Ranchi - The iron nerves of Jharkhand goalie Bigan Soy (20) played a huge part in the nail-biting minutes of India’s historic bronze win against England at the Hockey Junior World Cup 2013 Women in Mönchengladbach, Germany, on Sunday.

Till the shootout, Bigan of Chaibasa’s Bandgaon village, had been warming the benches. She had not played for a minute of the tourney.

Till the 70 minutes of the regular match, India and England were tied 1-1. The match could have gone either way.

But as fate would have it, Bigan was called to play in place of India’s regular goalie Chanu Sanarik Ningombam during the final high-pressure penalty shootout.

By the end of the match, India had pinned down England 3-2, to grab bronze, the country’s first-ever medal at this event. Though the nation went into raptures over strikers Rani Rampal and Navneet Kaur, quiet Bigan, who stopped England’s score at two goals, was India’s citadel during the pressure-cooker minutes.

Bigan’s glory is also Jharkhand women hockey’s maiden tryst with global limelight. No other player from the state so far had managed to be part of the winning squad of the World Cup. “India began the game with Chanu but Bigan was rushed to take charge of the goalpost during tiebreaker. Team India coach (Neil Hawgood) thought it wise to throw in a surprise element to break the equaliser,” S.K. Mohanty, chief coach at SAI, said.

“She (Bigan), in her maiden outing, held her nerves till the last minute. I am so proud of her,” said an elated Savitry Purty, one of the chief selectors of the national team, a former player and general secretary of Hockey Jharkhand.

According to Purty, when the team was being picked, she insisted on having Jharkhand’s Bigan and Sushila Lakra.

“During selection, I don’t put the state ahead of the country. But these girls had potential,” she added.

Bigan and Sushila were standbys till the pulsating final moments when the former stepped in to make history.

“Sushila didn’t get the chance, but Bigan’s inclusion in the last moment made a difference. Plus, a nail-biting finish cultivates character in a player,” Purty said.

S.K. Verma, the in-charge of SAI (Ranchi centre), where Bigan has been training since 2009, said her feat was “remarkable, considering what was at stake”.

Born on May 17, 1993, to farmer Nara Soy homemaker Lipi Soy, Bigan, who is pursuing her intermediate studies, has played senior nationals this January as well as U-21 Asia Cup in June 21, both in New Delhi, and in both meets, she was adjudged the second best player. In 2011, she played a few U-18 Asia Cup matches in Thailand.

“Bigan is an equally talented soccer star, but it’s lucky for India that she chose hockey,” Verma grinned.

Apex body Hockey India has announced Rs 1 lakh for each team member. Back home, officials demanded felicitations for Bigan and Sushila from the state. Purty said at the level of the hockey outfit they were “planning a mega felicitation after August 10 when the girls return to India”.

Well begun, Bigan.

CHAK DE GIRL

Here’s what you need to know about hockey sensation Bigan Soy

Claim to fame As gallant goalie during shootout pressure, helped India grab first-ever junior World Cup hockey medal

Birthday May 17

Zodiac sign: Taurus

Age: 20

Home:    Bandgaon, Chaibasa

Parents:    Farmer Nara Soy & homemaker Lipi Soy

Hockey home: SAI, Ranchi

Past plaudits:    Adjudged second best player in 2013 nationals, 2012 U-21 Asia Cup

Know her by: Pretty smile, cool head

The Telegraph, India



Jharkhand girl helps hockey team win bronze

Kelly Kislaya


RANCHI: Bigun Soy at last got the chance to prove her worth. As India won its first ever bronze medal in Hockey Junior World Cup on Sunday by defeating England 3-2, the 19-year-old goalie made Jharkhand's presence felt in the championship.

Soy never got a chance to get to the field throughout the tournament but when she was made the goalie in the last match she proved her mettle by saving six out of eight penalty strokes.

Talking to the TOI, general secretary of Hockey Jharkhand and former player, Savitri Purty said, "The girl is very talented and she has gained much experience as she has been in the national coaching camp for around five years now. When I was selecting girls for the coaching camp for Junior World Cup in 2010 I had seven options but I chose Soy because of her experience as she has played for many national and international matches."

"She should not just b satisfied with one victory but should aim high, and reach a level where she can get the Arjun Award," Purty added.

Born on May 17, 1993, Soy belongs to a poor family of Bandgaon Village in Chaibasa. Her father Nara Soy is a farmer while her mother Lipi Soy a housewife. She was enrolled in Bariatu Hockey Centre at the age of 13 in 2006. Her coach at the centre, Fulkeria Nag said, "Soy used to play in the right half position when she joined. I suggested her to try goalkeeping and preventing penalty goals became her speciality."

State head of Sports Authority of India, SK Verma has known Bigun Soy for over four years now and claims that she is the most disciplined girl in field.

He said, "I often use her as an example for other girls at the city centre, Ranchi as she is a very talented and most disciplined and punctual girl."

Soy along with her team reached Delhi on Monday where she received a warm welcome from SAI and Hockey Federation. Verma said, "Soy would be coming to Ranchi soon and we are planning to organise a felicitation ceremony for her. She will be receiving an amount of Rs.1 lakh by Hockey India along with her team-mates but we will also be appealing to the state government to felicitate her and give her a reward."

The Times of India



2 girl graduates of local hockey academy feature in Indian win

Nitin Sharma



Monika Malik’s parents with her photograph in Chandigarh on Monday

Ever since the news came that the Indian junior women's team claimed bronze medal with a 3-2 win through penalty shoot-out against England in the Junior World Cup in Germany on Sunday evening, coach Manjeet Kaur at the Sector 18 Chandigarh Girls' Hockey Academy has been getting calls from former players and coaches. And the coach's excitement is evident since two of her former trainees, Monika Malik and Ritusha Arya, both 19, are members of the victorious Indian team.

Both the players graduated from the Sector 18 Girls Hockey Academy and trained under Kaur and coach Rajendra Singh. Monika scored a goal in India's 4-2 win over Spain in the quarters while Ritusha scored a goal in India's 10-1 win over Russia in the league stage.

"I am happy for the two girls. Both have been training at our academy and have done the country proud. Both Monika and Ritusha are known to be attacking players and they showed that in the tournament," said coach Manjeet Kaur.

Monika, whose father is a head constable with Chandigarh Police, graduated from the academy in 2011. Ritusha, who belongs to Allhabad, graduated last year before she joined the Centre of Excellence at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. While Monika and Ritusha both featured in the Chandigarh team's third-place finish in the Junior Nationals in Sonepat in 2011, Ritusha also featured in the second-place finish in last year's nationals held at Sonepat too. "I accompanied the teams to the nationals as well as other tournaments. And both of them were eager to learn at the junior level. Monika was playing in her third international tournament and Ritusha was playing in her second, but the girls showed a lot of maturity. They were also part of the Chandigarh team which won the title in the 2009 School National Games held at Chhattisgarh," said the coach.

Monika's father Takdeer Singh Malik, who shifted to Chandigarh from his native village Gumri near Gohana in Sonepat district due to his job, believes that the bronze-medal finish will inspire Monika to do well at the senior level too. "She started playing hockey at our village and then she joined the Chandigarh Academy. Most of the time, she used to stay at the hostel due to training and would practise at the Sector 18 stadium too. Nowadays she trains at Shahbad, Haryana. Last year, she also led the Kurukshtra University to inter-university title and was also part of the Indian team which finished third in Junior Asia Cup in Bangkok," said Takdeer Singh.

Indian Express



Accolades, rewards for junior women`s hockey team after podium finish

New Delhi/Chandigarh/ Bhubaneswar: The "historic" feat achieved by the Indian team in winning the bronze medal in the junior women`s World cup in Germany Sunday has brought them accolades and rewards from all around.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda announed a cash award of Rs.5 lakh each for the six players from the state who were a part of the squad, while his Odisha counterpart announced a cash award of Rs.1.25 lakh each for the four players from the state.Hooda had initially announed an award of Rs.3 lakh each.

Of the six Haryana girls, five were from Shahbad town, 65 km from Chandigarh, and one from Jissar. The Odisha girls were from Sundergarh district.

Senior men`s hockey coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik praised the junior girls for their historic World Cup medal and attributed the success to their exposure with the senior team.

India beat England 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out Sunday after the teams had ended 1-1 in regulation time in the German city of Monchengladbach and lifted their first World Cup medal.

Of the 18 team members, 13 have been a part of the core probables in the senior team and that is what worked for India, said Kaushik, also a former women`s coach.

"Most of them have been a part of the senior squad so that has given them ample experience," Kaushik told IANS.

"Except for the Odisha girls, everyone else has been in the senior squad for quite some time and that has given them crucial exposure," said the Olympic gold medallist.

Former India men`s hockey captain Pargat Singh also applauded the girls but felt more needed to be done to improve their performances.

"It is a good beginning. We should encourage these girls further and provide them with whatever they need to be the best," Pargat Singh told IANS.

"In women`s hockey a proper mechanism is yet to be established. It is necessary to give these girls job security so that they can put all their focus on the sport," he said.

He advocated the need for corporate to pitch in to support women`s hockey in the country.

Five girls from the Shahbad Hockey Academy were part of the Indian squad.

Of them, two - Rani Rampal and Navneet Kaur - led from the front to ensure a podium finish for their team.

Vice captain Rani scored the team`s solitary goal in regulation time of the bronze clash with Englande. Both teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of stipulated time. Rani scored twice again when the match went into the penalty shootout.

Her team-mate Navneet missed one penalty stroke but recovered in time to score with her second chance and give India a 3-2 victory over England.

"We are proud of the girls here. Their victory has given women hockey its golden moment. They worked very hard for it," coach Baldev Singh told IANS in Shahbad.

The other players from this town were Manjit Kaur, Navjot and Monika.

Family members and friends were excited that girls from the town had brought laurels by winning the bronze.

"We will give them a big reception when they return. They have done us proud," local resident Babita Rani said.

The Odisha players in the squad are Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla and Deep Grace Ekka.

Sundergarh in the past has thrown up star players like former captain Dilip Tirkey, William Xalco, Ignace Tirkey and his brother Prabodh. They have all represented India at the Olympics.

Namita, Lilima and Anupa Barla are also trainees at the government sports hostel in Panposh near the steel city of Rourkela.

Hockey coach A.N. Bihari, who is also in-charge of the sports hostel, told IANS that that they are planning a grand welcome for the trio.

After their triumph, the team is expected to arrive in New Delhi Tuesday.

Punjab, once a hotbed for both men and women hockey players, did not have a direct representation in the junior hockey team. In the winning squad, only two girls were part of the Chandigarh state team.

Addressing the situation, Pargat Singh said: "We still produce a lot of hockey players but we are losing our players to teams like Railways because we are not able to provide any job security. I hope this scenario changes soon."

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the Indian women hockey team for winning the first ever bronze medal in junior Women`s Hockey World Cup.

"Congratulations... A historic feat," Modi tweeted.

Zee News



Hooda announces reward for junior hockey players from Haryana

CHANDIGARH: Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today announced a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each for six hockey players from Haryana, who represented India team that won a bronze medal in Junior Women Hockey World Cup held in Germany.

While five of the players hail from Shahabad and another is from Hisar. They are Navjot, Manjeet Kaur, Navneet Kaur, Rani Rampal, Monika and Poonam Rani.

Hooda congratulated the team for winning country's first ever bronze medal in the Junior Women Hockey World Cup, an official release said.

The Times of India



Cash award for Odisha's hockey girls


BHUBANESWAR: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday announced a cash award of Rs.1.25 lakh each for the four players from the state who were a part of the historic bronze medal winning Indian women's junior World Cup squad.

An aide in the chief minister's office said that Pattnaik will reward the players.

The Odisha players in the squad are Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla and Deep Grace Ekka. All the girls hail from the Sundergarh district, which is a nursery of Indian hockey.

Sundergarh in the past has thrown up star players like former captain Dilip Tirkey, William Xalco, Ignace Tirkey and his brother Prabodh. They have all represented India at the Olympics. Ignace was also a part of the team that finished last in the 2012 London Games.

Namita, Lilima and Anupa Barla are also trainees at the government sports hostel in Panposh near the steel city of Rourkela.

Hockey coach AN Bihari, who is also in-charge of the sports hostel, said that that they are planning a grand welcome for the trio.

"We are proud of their achievement. We are getting ready to give them a rousing welcome" Bihari said.

The team will be arriving in the national capital on Tuesday and are expected to reach here later this week.

The Times of India

 



Ghana's Junior Black Sticks angry over neglect by ministry

Players of the national U-21 female hockey team were incensed by a ‘cushioning’ $200 dollars each hurriedly mobilised from Accra by the Ghana Hockey Association (GHA) and sent to the Junior Black Sticks ahead of their final placement match against Russia yesterday at the 7th Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, describing it as an insult.

The stop-gap measure provided by the GHA was to help players purchase few things they would need with the hope that on their return to Accra on Wednesday, government would have released their per diems and other allowances.

But the agitated players said it was the second time they were being mistreated after a similar incident last February in South Africa during the World League Series when players had to virtually return home empty-handed because government had reneged on its promise.

The Youth and Sports Ministry failed to release a budgeted $138,000 for the trip, compelling officials to look for temporary measure for the players to feature in their maiden World Cup tournament for fear of being sanctioned.

And since their arrival at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Monchengladbach till date, the leader of delegation, Vivian Dougblor, has had to secure almost every basic need for the team on credit following Ghana’s goodwill with the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

The Vice-president of the association, Richard Akpokavi, stayed back in Ghana to pursue the release of funds to the girls, most of whom appear frustrated.

But the team manager, Ramatu Osmanu, and the assistant coach, Emmanuel Abban, spent the night last Saturday cajoling the girls and assuring them that their money would be given to them.

Both players and their technical handlers have not received a dime for months in preparing for the tournament.

Despite a false start at the tournament, the Junior Black Sticks made progress by drawing 1-1 with Belgium in the penultimate placement match last Saturday only to lose 4-5 on penalty strokes.

The players have been applauded by officials of the FIH for their ‘massive improvement’ from last week while recommending that Ghana needed more international friendly matches to expose the girls.

GhanaWeb



Juniors win in Leeds

By Jugjet Singh


THE Malaysian Juniors beat England 6-5 in the third and final test in Leeds on Sunday, but lost the series on a special shoot-out.

The Juniors just completed a nine-test series in Europe in preparation for the Junior World Cup where they are grouped together with England, Pakistan and South Africa.

Earlier in Poland, they whipped the Polish juniors 7-0 and 8-2, but lost 3-0 to the senior Poland side.

And they lost all three matches to Belgium juniors 3-2, 7-0 and 4-2.

In Leeds, the Malaysians drew 3-3, then lost 5-1 before finally beating England 6-5 in regulation time, but lost the penalty shoot-out to decide the overall winners of the series.

Zulhairi Hashim was on fire when he scored four penalty corner goals in the sixth, 10th, 22nd and 63rd minutes. The other goal was scored by Hazrul Baharom in the 69th minute.

"The players did not disappoint as they played nine matches in 12 days and still have the stamina to beat England in the final game. We are in the same group (Group D) with England in the Junior World Cup, so these three matches were really important in our tune-up for New Delhi," said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

Malaysia will play England, South Africa and Pakistan again in the Sultan of Johor Cup on Sept 19-29, and this time they will have the full squad as five of their best players will return to the fold after completing their Asia Cup duty with the senior side.

"We will be much stronger, but so will be the other teams as many of their players are also with the senior side now. But the Sultan of Johor Cup will indicate our true strength before heading for New Delhi," said Mirnawan.

The five juniors with the senior side are Fitri Saari, Meor Azuan, Izaqd Hakimi, Faiz Helmi and Firhan Ashaari.

New Straits Times



Boon Huat's funeral


You will be missed: Malaysian flag was placed on national hockey player Chua Boon Huat’s casket as pallbearers comprising his close friends, coaches and team-mates paraded some 1km from the family home in Taman Semabok Perdana in Malacca to the main entrance of the residence garden during the sombre send off on Monday. — A. MALEX YAHAYA / The Star


National coach Paul Revington paying his last respect to Chua Boon Huat at Malacca Memorial Park in Malacca.



The Star of Malaysia