News for 12 September 2013

All the news for Thursday 12 September 2013


Lewis to skipper T&T Pan Am hockey women

Nigel Simon



T&T senior women’s hockey team captain Alanna Lewis closes in on USA’s Emily Wold during their FIH World League Round Two match against USA in Rio de Janeiro in March. USA won 6-0. Photo courtesy Rafael Moraes (FIH).

Paragon’s Alanna Lewis has been re-elected captain of the senior women’s hockey team which will participate at the Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina, from September 21-28.

In addition to the 25-year-old Lewis, the team, to be coached by former national goalkeeper Glen “Fido” Francis, features no fewer than 10 other players, who were part of the T&T squad which ended fifth out of six teams in the FIH World League Round Two qualifiers held in Rio de Janeiro in March.

They are Blaire Wynne, Avion Ashton, Teresa Lezama, Zene Henry, Brianna Govia, Elise Olton, Kayla Brathwaite, goalkeeper Jeneille Carrington, Kwylan Jaggassar and Brittney Hingh.

Back then, the world 26th ranked T&T came up against Brazil, Chile, Scotland, Uruguay and USA and ended in fifth spot. However in Argentina, T&T will first do battle with the host country, the three-time reigning champions, who are ranked second in the world, Guyana (56th) and Canada (23rd) in Pool A round-robin play while Pool B consist of USA (10th), Chile (18th), Mexico (31st) and Uruguay (36th).

The winner of this tournament will qualify for next year’s FIH Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands while the top six teams will qualify for the 2017 Women’s Pan American Cup. Teams placing seventh to eighth will be demoted to the 2015 Women’s Pan American Challenge.

This will mark the third appearance for T&T at the competition after missing out on the 2001 edition held in Kingston, Jamaica where Argentina defeated USA for the gold, the first of three such meetings between both countries in the competition’s history.

The “Calypso Stickwomen” have a best ever finish of fourth, in 2009 in Hamilton, Bermuda after a 2-1 loss to Chile in the bronze medal contest.

The local squad which has three surviving players from 2009 in Lezama, Wynne and goalkeeper Anastasia Netto suffered a 7-0 loss to the Argentines back then, while they were eighth in 2004 in Bridgetown, Barbados with Lewis, Thompson and Wynne part of that team.

Having coached the senior men’s team to a historic Pan American Cup bronze medal in Brampton, Canada, last month with a 3-1 defeat of USA all eyes will be Francis and his team as they look to create some history of their own.

However, speaking yesterday, Francis was cautious about the team’s chances as she said it was a very youthful one with nine players being current members of the national Under-21 squad.

He said, “We are going to the tournament to compete as best as we can without setting any high expectations for ourselves. This is a very young teams and for us this tournament is about development.

The T&T coach was admitted that while his team is in a tough group, it was still possible for his team to get to the semifinals, providing things go in their favour.

“Our group having Argentina and Canada is going to be tough. “We play the Argentines first up and they will be at home so we expect to be put under a lot of pressure. But we then play Guyana who we should beat and then meet Canada in what we expect to be the second placed decider in our group.”

With only a few days left for his team to prepare locally, Francis said apart from practice matches, his players will be continuing to work on their mental and physical aspects of the sport as well.

“The weather in Argentina is expected to be on the cold side and, for some of the girls, it will be a new experience and together will top quality opposition, it can be a problem, but we are doing our best to prepare them mentally for what lies ahead.

“It’s a young crop and with the experience players like Lewis, Blair Wynne and Kristin Thompson we should do a decent job and give a good account of ourselves, but at the same time I don’t intend on putting too much pressure on them with regards to expectations,” said Francis.

Tomorrow, the team is expected to have a motivational session with national Shot Put champion Cleopatra Borel, a multiple CAC and Pan American Games medallist as well as Commonwealth Games, bronze medal winner from 5pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo.

T&T SQUAD

Anastasia Netto (GK), Jenielle Carrington (GK), Alanna Lewis (Captain), Blair Wynne (Vice Captain), Avion Ashton, Kwylan Jaggassar, Kristin Thompson, Teresa Lezama, Elise Olton, Amie Olton, Zene Henry, Brianna Govia, Tamia Roach, Kayla Brathwaite, Dana-Lee De Gannes, Amanda George, Brittney Hingh, Tamara De Nobriga.
Technical staff: Glenn Francis (coach), Nicholas Wren (assistant coach), Sharon De Freitas (manager), Nicholas Baldeosingh (IT Specialist), Karielle De Bique (physiotherapist), Kevin Macintyre (massage therapist), Dr. Zynul Khan (doctor), Amanda Johnson (sport psychologist)

Tournament groupings and fixtures

September 21:

USA vs Mexico, 1.30 pm
Chile vs Uruguay, 4 pm
Canada vs Guyana, 6.30 pm
Argentina vs T&T, 9 pm

September 22:
Chile vs USA,1 30pm
Mexico vs Uruguay, 4 pm
T&T vs Guyana, 6.30 pm
Canada vs Argentina, 9 pm

September 24:
Mexico vs Chile, 1.30 pm
USA vs Uruguay, 4 pm
T&T vs Canada, 6.30 pm
Argentina vs Guyana, 9 pm

September 26:
Third Pool B vs Fourth Pool A, 11.30 am
Third Pool A vs Fourth Pool B, 2 pm
Semifinals:
First Pool B vs Second Pool A,  6.30 pm
First Pool A vs Second Pool B, 9 pm

September 28:
Seventh - Eighth, 11.30 am
Fifth - Sixth, 2 pm
Bronze medal match, 6.30 pm
Final, 9 pm.

The Trinidad Guardian



2014 Commonwealth Games tickets – don’t miss out!


Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - Don't Hang Around!

From 23 July-3 August 2014, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will showcase 4,500 of the world’s finest athletes – many competing after extraordinary achievements at London 2012.

You’ve got until 6pm Monday 16 September to apply for tickets so don’t miss out! Fast, fierce and athletic, Hockey is set to be yet another great event at next year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

To see ticket information and pricing along with a schedule for the event, download the pdf here. The fixtures will be released nearer to the Games, but as you get two matches with each ticket, you're guaranteed to see some top-level hockey no matter what day you might get tickets for.

The Commonwealth boasts some of the world’s best Hockey teams and Glasgow Green will be the place to be to see them competing for a medal. With everything to play for over 11 days of competition, apply for tickets today to have the chance to be part of something spectacular.

EuroHockey 2015

In March 2012 we announced that we had been successful with our bid to host the 2015 EuroHockey Championships in London. The nine day event in August 2015 promises to be another great opportunity to unite the public behind the national team.

Register for the latest ticket updates by ticking the 'event tickets' box on the newsletter sign-up page.

England Hockey Board Media release



NZ in bid process for 2018 Hockey World Cups



Hockey New Zealand has confirmed it has submitted a bid to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to host one major world hockey event - either the 2018 Men’s Hockey World Cup, 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup or alternatively the 2018 Joint Champions Event.

New Zealand is one of five countries that have submitted a bid for one of the World Cups, the FIH has announced the other countries in the running are Australia, England, India and Malaysia. The 2018 Joint Champions Event will be the World League Four final for both men and women.

“New Zealand has a strong history of hosting some of the world’s best sports events. Attracting an event of this scale to Auckland, New Zealand would be incredible for the profile, development and growth of the sport in both New Zealand and the wider Oceania region,” says Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole.

“If we are successful in securing one of these events, there is no doubt our 67,000 registered players, 32 associations and over 300 clubs will get behind this with huge pride.

“Developing and attracting world-class events is a key part of our strategy and the support pledged already from local and central Government has been critical in us submitting these bids,” says Poole.

If successful, the event would be held at North Harbour Hockey Stadium, the same venue as the FIH 2011 Champions Trophy.

“The New Zealand Government works in partnership with the event sector to support New Zealand’s growing reputation as an attractive destination for major events of global significance.  Hockey New Zealand hosting a World Cup or a joint Champions Event will promote New Zealand on the world stage and generate wider benefits for New Zealand. We’re pleased to support Hockey New Zealand’s bid and wish them well in the next stages of the bid process” says Kylie Archer, manager, New Zealand Major Events, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Auckland’s regional body for major events - Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) - is right behind Hockey New Zealand’s submission.

“Auckland has a growing reputation as an event-friendly host and has developed an impressive and diverse portfolio of events. We would look forward to welcoming athletes, officials, media and spectators to the city and ensuring they have an incredible experience,” says ATEED’s general manager Destination and Marketing Rachael Carroll.

Hockey New Zealand submitted the bids on the 31st August. This is the first time the FIH have run a bid allocation process for their major events. The process will ensure that all unallocated events from 2015-2018 will be assigned by the end of this year.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



NZ bid for major tournament


Five countries have submitted bids for one of the World Cups, the others being Australia, India, Malaysia and England. Photo / Christine Cornege

New Zealand's hockey bosses have submitted bids to host a major world event.

Hockey New Zealand have advised the International Hockey Federation they want to host either the 2018 men's or women's World Cup, or the joint Champions event that year.

Five countries have submitted bids for one of the World Cups, the others being Australia, India, Malaysia and England.

The joint Champions event will be the World League Four final for both men and women.

Those finals are being hosted by Rosario (women) New Delhi (men) in December this year and January next year respectively.

"New Zealand has a strong history of hosting some of the world's best sports events," outgoing Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole said.

"Attracting an event of this scale to Auckland would be incredible for the profile, development and growth of the sport in both New Zealand and the wider Oceania region."

If the bid is successful, the tournament will be held at North Harbour Stadium, which hosted the 2011 Champions Trophy.

HNZ submitted the bids on August 31. This is the first time the FIH have run a bid allocation process for their major events. The process will ensure that all unallocated events from 2015-2018 will be assigned by the end of this year.

The New Zealand Herald



FIH shorlists Malaysia for 2018 World Cup

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s is among four bids shortlisted by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the 2018 Men’s World Cup.

India, Australia and New Zealand are the other three countries to have made officials bids. England has also made a bid for the 2018 Women’s World Cup along with Australia and New Zealand.

The FIH confirmed on Tuesday that bids from these countries had been received by the Aug 31 closing date.

The FIH said in a statement that they received seven high quality bids from five nations to host hockey’s marquee events.

As part of the bidding process, the FIH requested that official bid questionnaires be submitted before the Aug 31 deadline.

The next phase of the process will feature the detailed evaluation of each bid, followed by further discussions and clarifications with the national associations as well as site visits to each country.

The final decision will be made by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Nov 7.

All the countries, except for New Zealand, have hosted the World Cup before.

Malaysia hosted it in 1975 and 2002; India in 1982 (Bombay) and 2010 (New Delhi); England in 1986 (London); and Australia in 1994 (Sydney).

Malaysia is proposing that the preliminary rounds be held in Kuantan and Johor Baru before moving the final round to Kuala Lumpur. The proposal also includes hosting the whole tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

Both the men’s and women’s World Cups 2018 will feature an increased 16-nation field.

When Kuala Lumpur hosted the event in 2002, the FIH expanded the number of teams to 16 to accommodate Malaysia as the host nation. So that’s a plus point.

Malaysia had, earlier this year, also made a successful bid for next year’s Champions Challenge I tournament, which will be held in Kuantan in April.

“The FIH are thrilled to receive such excellent response from the National Associations regarding the great opportunity to host the hockey World Cup events in 2018,” said FIH chief executive officer Kelly Fairweather.

“The quality and competitiveness of every single bid is impressive, demonstrating that the decision to allocate events earlier and across the entire four-year cycle was absolutely the right move for hockey.”

The official bids received for the World Cups are part of the new event assignment process launched and presented to the national associations at the FIH Congress last November.

“The restructured bidding process will ensure that all unallocated events for the 2015-2018 period will be assigned before the end of this year,” he said.

“A total of 20 events between 2015 and 2018, as well as the men’s and women’s Indoor World Cups in 2019, will be assigned from 54 bids submitted to the FIH for assessment.”

The Star of Malaysia



Asia Cup: Only 2 juniors in women's hockey team

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national selectors have named an experienced squad for the eight-team Asia Cup competition, which will be held at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sept 21-27.

The tournament is also a qualifier for the 2014 World Cup to be held in The Hague, Holland.

There are only two players from the national junior side in the 18-strong squad, with an average age of 24.

Eighteen-year-old Fatin Shafika Mohd Shukri continues to shine after being picked for her third big tournament, having featured in the World Hockey League Round One and Round Two.

The other youngster is 20-year-old Nor Azlin Sumantri.

The team will be captained by 28-year-old Nadia Abdul Rahman, who has 100 caps to date.

The team have also put three players on standby – Fatin Naimah Zaki, Nor Hidayah Ahmad Bokhari and Mas Huzaimah Md Aziz.

Malaysia are in Group A with China, India and Hong Kong for the Asia Cup. Group B comprises South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and Kazakhstan.

The national team received a boost Wednesday when G.S. Gill Sdn Bhd signed a contract to sponsor their attire for the 2013-14 season.

The sponsorship, signed by Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president Raja Puan Sri Datuk Noora Ashikin Raja Abdullah on behalf of the association, included the playing attire for the team in the Asia Cup, which is expected to be worth RM200,000.

“This is the 11th year that G.S. Gill has sponsored the national women’s team. We’re happy to note their faith in the team and this will surely inspire them to do well in the tournament. It will be tough but they will go all out to finish as high as possible,” she said.

National coach Mohamed Nasihin Nubli said that their initial target is to make the semi-finals “and then move on from there”.

Malaysia will start their campaign against China on Sept 21, followed by Hong Kong the next day. Their last group match is against India on Sept 24.

The final squad of 18

Goalkeeper: Farah Ayuni Yahya, Siti Noor Hafiza Zainordin.

Defenders: Julaini Mohd Din, Siti Shahidah Saad, Raja Noorsharina Raja Shabuddin, Nuraini Abdul Rashid, Norhashikin Halim, Siti Nor Amarina Ruhani.

Midfielders: Nadia Abdul Rahman, Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohd, Noor Hasliza Md Ali, Fatin Shakira Mohd Shukri, Nor Izaidah Ibrahim.

Forwards: Norbaini Hashim, Siti Rahmah Othman, Fazilla Sylvester Silin, Nurul Nabihan Mansor, Nor Azlin Sumantri.

The Star of Malaysia



Kuala Lumpur break Pahang's hearts

By T.N.Alagesh


THE two favourite teams in Division One locked horns in their final Group A match in the Razak Cup at Kuantan Hockey Stadium yesterday.

It turned out that Kuala Lumpur were the better side with a 2-1 score. Heartbreak for the hosts as the city side advanced to the semifinals, aiming for their 20th title.

Kuala Lumpur, without the services of their top two penalty corner specialists, Mohd Amin Rahim and Razie Abdul Rahim, scored early in the match through a well-executed penalty corner from Nor Shafiq Sumantri in the third minute.

The Pahang defenders were caught napping 10 minutes later when KL's Harvinder Singh deflected in a pass from skipper Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor.

KL goalkeeper Mohd Fitri Jasni frustrated the Pahang players, led by Ismail Abu, with a string of saves in the second half before he was beaten from close range by Sybrie Shamsuddin in the 59th minute.

Perak finished second in the group after a nine-goal thriller with the Silver State registering a 5-4 win against Penang. Perak scored through Sabri Mohamad (20th), Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi (22nd), Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (43rd), Shukri Mutalib (52nd) and Azlan Misron (58th).

Penang replied through Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin (3rd,42nd and 45th) and Ahmad Tarmizi Ismail (26th).

Johor's 3-2 win over Negri Sembilan, who featured several seasoned campaigners, including ex-national skipper S. Kuhan, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, M. Kaliswaran and Suhaimi Ibrahim, was meaningless as they missed out on a semi-final appearance on goal difference.

Accompanying Negri into the last four from Group A were Malacca who beat defending champions Terengganu 4-2 to finish top of the group with goals from Muhammad Aminuddin (17th and 42nd), Dedi Ariyadi Jumaidi (28th) and Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar(49th).

RESULTS -- Division One, Group A: Negri Sembilan 2 Johor 3, Terengganu 2 Malacca 4.

Group B: Pahang 1 Kuala Lumpur 2, Perak 5 Penang 4.

Division Two: Armed Forces 0 Selangor 4.

TODAY -- Division Two: Sabah vs Selangor (6pm), Armed Forces vs Perlis(8pm), Kedah vs Police(8pm). (All matches at Kuantan Hockey Stadium)

New Straits Times



Revington says time to improve MHC planning

National hockey coach Paul Revington is concerned at the direction the Razak Cup is heading. And the South African has made significant observations at the standard of play as well as planning put into the tournament, which is the second most significant domestic event after the Malaysian Hockey League.

In making clear that it is no one party to "blame" with regards to the current status of the Razak Cup, he however felt that the starting point to enhance the status of the event is simply to settle dates in advance. And in doing so the Malaysian Hockey Confederation should not change these dates randomly, and give states and coaches a fair chance to be accountable for performance.

Revington has a point with regards to planning as the MHC Competitions Committee has failed to implement its domestic calendar properly for the Razak Cup dates were moved from September to July and back to September while the National Under 21 Tournament has yet to be held.

“There is no question that this event should be a bigger and more high profile event in the local Malaysian calendar,” said Revington when met while catching the action in the ongoing Razak Cup in Kuantan.

“The reality is that players in Malaysia are only playing between 5-8 weeks of competitive local hockey in the MHL and thus the Razak Cup should become a critical 10 day competition period for all players and coaches at a high performance and development level.

The South African was also posed with the question on what proposed changes ought to be made to make the event more attractive and useful for the standard of the game to improve.

“Without being too critical, I think there are several. There seems to be a lot of confusion from everyone involved in the event (players, coaches, officials, administrators) as to exactly what Malaysia want to achieve from the event,” contends Revington.

“For a start the actual Razak Cup dates are not set firmly in the Malaysian calendar (the year before) to allow the states, players and coaches to plan and prepare properly.

“Drawing up a calendar that truly makes sense to everyone is the first step toward enhancing the status of the Razak Cup. The fact that the Razak Cup seems to become an event "that moves date" suggests to me that no one really values it - a feeling that definitely filters through to the players.”

Revington added that once a date is set and adhered to it makes it very hard for the states to find excuses for poor preparation.

“The 2013 MHL finished on 19 May 2013. I am sure there are factors I am unaware of - however I find it hard to work out why so many teams have waited until a week or two before the Razak Cup starts to select their squads (not actual teams just squads),” asked Revington.

His argument makes sense as countries like Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have strong provincial/state competitions and traditionally manage to fit in these competitions despite obvious International events.

“The one obvious "addition" or change to the Razak Cup that I believe could enhance it is promoting 2 teams from division 2 and relegating 2 teams from Division 1 each year,” suggested Revington.

“This might ensure no state arrives complacent for the Razak Cup. They must be very clear what their goal is for the event - to win it or get promoted OR to develop a team and group of players to win the event in a year or two's time.

Revington who has watched the Razak Cup over the past two years was also sympathetic to the plight of coaches, we asked if the state coaches are applying the modern tactics of world hockey or are still in the stone age.

“I don't think It is fair to just criticize the state coaches because the state coaches seem as confused as everyone else with regards to the status and position of the Razak Cup in the Malaysian calendar,” said Revington.

“The process of re-establishing the status of the Razak Cup starts with setting a date one year ahead (minimum), then the State administrators appointing coaches and managers for the team at least a year ahead.

“This is followed by the State administrators setting various performance targets and objectives for the Management Team, then the Coaching and Management Team designing a suitable program (that ties in with international Malaysian Team commitments) and communicating this to their selected state squad.

“All this enhances goal-setting, performance standards and motivates the state coaches to keep their knowledge and skill level high. This in turn motivates players to perform. All conversation and communication around the stadium currently revolves around blame and excuses - and this helps no one especially our Malaysian players.”

On the issue of some national players being forced to turn out for state teams after a gruelling period of international duty over the past three months, Revington, he felt that the national players were duty bound to turn out for their states.

“This again has to do with the calendar and planning in advance. The FIH and AHF set their dates and communicate them to Malaysia. Malaysia then set their MHL and Razak Cup dates, the two primary local events, based on FIH and AHF dates and on the Azlan Shah Cup and Sultan Johor Cup dates,” clarified Revington.

“It should be that simple. National players should be forced to play - but not when injured! The Razak Cup must be used as a selection opportunity for Malaysian Teams and Squads - which it is doing currently - however it is a real challenge selecting players within an environment of minimal preparation.”

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



PHF Secretary Bajwa hands in resignation


File photo of Asif Bajwa. PHOTO: Screenshot

KARACHI: Nearly two weeks after the greenshirts failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa resigned amid calls of overhaul in the body’s setup.

Another Olympian Rana Mujahid, who was serving as the Associate Secretary, has been promoted to fill the vacant position.

Bajwa, who served as Secretary for around five years, handed his resignation to PHF President Qasim Zia at the PHF’s Executive Board meeting in Lahore yesterday.

“Under an article of the PHF constitution, the PHF Executive Board unanimously elected Rana Mujahid as Secretary,” said a PHF official. “He will remain till the fresh election for the next term 2014-18.”

Pakistan failure’s to qualify for the global event for the first time sparked widespread protest from Olympians who are calling for a complete overhaul in the PHF’s setup.

However, Bajwa appeared satisfied and hoped for a bright future for the Pakistan team. “I am satisfied with the progress,” he said. “It is because of PHF’s efforts that promising youngsters are coming. I did my job with sincerity and I feel honoured with the team’s achievements during my tenure.”

Pakistan’s bronze medal at the Champions Trophy after eight years and a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games are among the laurels the team won under the former Olympian’s tenure. The team’s bottom finish at the 2010 World Cup in India and its failure to qualify for the next edition can be counted as the biggest failures during the last five years.

Meanwhile, Mujahid said he will have a detailed meeting with the PHF president to outline a plan. “The decision whether I will remain with the junior team will also be made,” said the former player, who is scheduled to travel with Pakistan’s junior team as manager and head coach for an international event in Malaysia later this month.

The executive board has decided to start the election process (club, district, provincial and national levels) from October 25 onwards.

More changes in PHF likely

An official close to PHF’s executive board said Zia’s resignation was likely to follow Bajwa’s decision. Akhtar Rasool, currently the team’s manager-cum-head coach, may become the next PHF president because of his connections with the ruling party.

“Qasim [Zia] may also resign to pave way for Rasool,” said the official. The official added that Bajwa might get the position of Director General of the Pakistan Sports Board.

Protesting Olympians remain unsatisfied

Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh defined Bajwa’s resignation as a calculated move by the PHF. “Only Bajwa wasn’t responsible,” said the former player.

“We want the entire PHF setup to be removed because they all failed. Our demand for an ad-hoc setup remains as we cannot trust the election under the current setup.”

The Express Tribune



Bajwa resigns, Mujahid appointed as new PHF secy

LAHORE - Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary M Asif Bajwa on Wednesday resigned from the secretaryship while Rana Mujahid was appointed as the new secretary of the federation.

Bajwa’s resignation wasn’t much surprising after the national hockey team’s dismal performance in the recently-concluded Asia Cup in which they failed to qualify for the Hockey World Cup 2014 to be held Netherlands. “I have resigned to pave the way for others to perform and to contribute for the revival of hockey,” said the outgoing secretary after the PHF executive board meeting which held under the chairmanship of PHF chief Qasim Zia.

The shameful defeat of the green shirts in the Asia Hockey Cup put the PHF under the immense pressure as the former hockey legends raised voice against the present setup of the federation and asked for drastic changes in the PHF to revive hockey.

“I have faced the criticism of the former Olympians with decency and courage during my five years tenure as PHF secretary and I hope from now on, they would lend support to the new secretary in the larger interest of the game,” said Bajwa.

“I think the time is high to hand over responsibility of PHF secretary to the one better than me who may bring better changes in the federation and lift the standard of the game. My services are always available for hockey and whenever the PHF needs me, I will be there for the cause of the national game,” he added. “I have decided to give attention to promote hockey at my native town Sialkot by playing a vital role in the hockey academy functioning there and will try to produce some quality players who may serve the country at international level and earn laurels for it,” Bajwa concluded.

The executive board discussed the performance of the national team in the Asia Cup besides taking into consideration a number of issues including its upcoming elections. The meeting also emphasized on the improvement of the national team’s performance in the upcoming events and recommended drastic changes in the team management in due course of time.

Expressing his views, new PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said he would utilize his expertise to live up to the expectations of the executive board which had reposed confidence on him by appointing him the secretary.

He paid rich tributes to the outgoing secretary and acknowledged his services for the cause of hockey. “The meeting has formed a four-member fact finding committee to determine the factors responsible for Pakistan team’s debacle in the Asia Cup,’ Rana said. The committee headed by Shahida Jamil and Wasay Jalil as its secretary and M Saeed Khan and Mansoorul Hasan as its members will submit its report in 10-day time which will be sent to Pakistan Sports Board (PSB). “In the light and recommendations of the committee, the PHF will decide about the team management,” he said.

He revealed that national team manger Akhtar Rasool had submitted his report on the overall showing of the team and said apart from bad luck, the rain in the semi-final was another key reason of the team’s poor show.

The Nation



Asif Bajwa resigns over World Cup failure

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary resigned on Wednesday after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup sparked protests from former players and fans angry over a spectacular decline in the national game.

Pakistan, a four-time world champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist, failed to win the Asia Cup earlier this month, a victory they needed in order to qualify for next year's World Cup in the Netherlands.

The failure came as Pakistan struggled to lift itself out of a deep slump, after they finished seventh at last year's London Olympics and eighth at Beijing four years earlier.

Pakistan's retired field hockey stars demanded the government sack incumbent officials at the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) over the World Cup debacle, threatening Tuesday to stage protests in Islamabad and burn their medals.

Bajwa, a former Olympian, resigned during an executive board meeting Wednesday, saying he takes responsibility for the failure.

“I resign over the latest result. But I must say that it was through our efforts that Pakistan earned victories in the last five years,” an adamant Bajwa told reporters.

During his five-year tenure, however, Pakistan won only the Asian Games in 2010, and earned the dubious distinction of finishing 12th and last in the last World Cup three years ago.

They also finished seventh in the World Hockey League in July this year, an event from which the top three earned berths for 2014 World Cup.

Bajwa's deputy Rana Mujahid, another Olympian, takes over as secretary until next month's PHF elections.

Mujahid announced the formation of a four-member fact finding committee to analyse the causes of the Asia Cup debacle.

“I will try to do my best for the uplift of the game and we will prepare a report through the fact finding committee within the next 10 days,” Mujahid told reporters.

Dawn



Pakistan hockey official resigns over World Cup failure

A top Pakistan hockey official resigned on Wednesday after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup sparked protests from former players and fans angry over a spectacular decline in the national game.

Pakistan, a four-time world champion and three-time Olympic gold medallist, failed to win the Asia Cup earlier this month, a victory they needed in order to qualify for next year's World Cup in the Netherlands.

The failure came as Pakistan struggled to lift itself out of a deep slump, after they finished seventh at last year's London Olympics and eighth at Beijing four years earlier.

Pakistan's retired field hockey stars demanded the government sack incumbent officials at the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) over the World Cup debacle, threatening Tuesday to stage protests in Islamabad and burn their medals.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa, a former Olympian, resigned during an executive board meeting Wednesday, saying he takes responsibility for the failure.

"I resign over the latest result. But I must say that it was through our efforts that Pakistan earned victories in the last five years," an adamant Bajwa told reporters.

During his five-year tenure, however, Pakistan won only the Asian Games in 2010, and earned the dubious distinction of finishing 12th and last in the last World Cup three years ago.

They also finished seventh in the World Hockey League in July this year, an event from which the top three earned berths for 2014 World Cup.

Bajwa's deputy Rana Mujahid, another Olympian, takes over as secretary until next month's PHF elections.

Mujahid announced the formation of a four-member fact finding committee to analyse the causes of the Asia Cup debacle.

"I will try to do my best for the uplift of the game and we will prepare a report through the fact finding committee within the next 10 days," Mujahid told reporters.

The Times of India



Mujahid is new PHF secretary general

Elections of national hockey federation next month



Asif Bajwa resigns over World Cup failure

LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general Mohammad Asif Bajwa resigned on Wednesday after the team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup sparked protests from former players and fans angry over a spectacular decline in the national game. Pakistan, a four-time world champions and three-time Olympic gold medallists, failed to win the Asia Cup earlier this month, a victory they needed in order to qualify for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands. The failure came as Pakistan struggled to lift themselves out of a deep slump, after they finished seventh at last year’s London Olympics and eighth at Beijing four years earlier.

Former Pakistan’s hockey stars demanded the government sack incumbent officials at the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) over the World Cup debacle, threatening Tuesday to stage protests in Islamabad and burn their medals. PHF secretary Asif Bajwa a former Olympian, resigned during an executive board meeting Wednesday, saying he takes responsibility for the failure. “I resign over the latest result. But I must say that it was through our efforts that Pakistan earned victories in the last five years,” an adamant Bajwa told reporters. During his five-year tenure, however, Pakistan won only the Asian Games in 2010, and earned the dubious distinction of finishing 12th and last in the last World Cup three years ago. They also finished seventh in the World Hockey League in July this year, an event from which the top three earned berths for 2014 World Cup.

“I have faced the criticism of former Olympians with decency and courage during my five years tenure as secretary of the PHF and I hope from now onward they would lend support to the new secretary in the larger interest of the game,” maintained Bajwa. He said he would be paying attention to promote hockey at his native town Sialkot by playing a vital role in the hockey academy functioning there. The PHF executive board discussed the performance of the national team in the Asia Cup besides taking into consideration a number of issues including the coming elections of the PHF. The meeting laid emphasis on improving national team’s performance in coming events and also discussed some changes to be made in due course of time in the national hockey team management.

Bajwa’s deputy Rana Mujahid, another Olympian, takes over as secretary until next month’s PHF elections. He paid rich tributes to the outgoing secretary and acknowledged his services for the cause of hockey. Mujahid announced the formation of a four-member fact finding committee to analyse the causes of the Asia Cup debacle. “I will try to do my best for the uplift of the game and we will prepare a report through the fact finding committee within the next 10 days,” Mujahid told reporters. The committee comprises of Shahida Jamil, Wasay Jalil, Muhammad Saeed Khan and Mansoor ul Hasan. “In the light and recommendations of the committee, the PHF will decide about the team management,” he concluded.

The Daily Times



Samiullah, Ayaz demand resignation of entire PHF

Staff Report




KARACHI: Former Olympic star forward Samiullah Khan and half-back Ayaz Mahmood have demanded that the whole set-up of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) should resign after Pakistan failed to qualify for the next year’s World Cup. “Resigning of Mohammad Asif Bajwa is not enough and all the officials of PHF and team officials should step down,” they said in reaction to Bajwa’s resignation. “The whole PHF was responsible for the debacle in hockey and they should show some grace by resigning from their respective positions,” Sami added.

“I am surprised at the remarks of Bajwa that future of hockey is bright. Pakistan hockey was ruined by the present hockey officials,” he commented. He said it was like musical chair game as Rana Mujahid had replaced Bajwa. “This is all a political move. All PHF officials must go home now,” he said. “Pakistan hockey has suffered greatly in the past five years and it would take years to repair the damage.” Sami hoped that immediate steps would be taken at the top level to save the game from further humiliation and embarrassment.

Ayaz said like Bajwa rest of the officials including Olympian Qasim Zia should vacate their positions at once. He recalled that Pakistan hockey achieved nothing in the past few years. “And despite defeat and poor positions in different events, they are claiming that hockey future is bright which is shocking.” Ayaz, a member of 1984 Los Angles Olympics gold medal winning team, said poor performance of the team was an eye opener for the whole nation, but not for the PHF officials. “Pakistan has lost all its pride internationally after failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 42 years,” he concluded.

The Daily Times



Elections of PHF next month

LAHORE - The elections of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and all the district and provincial hockey bodies across the country will be held from October 25 to November 25.

This decision was taken in the PHF executive board meeting which held under the chairmanship of PHF president Qasim Zia here on Wednesday.

“The entire election process from district, provincial and the national hockey federation will be completed within a month,” said the newly-appointed PHF secretary Rana Mujahid after the meeting. 

“The entire election process will be completed in a most transparent way and the PHF will appoint various elections committees to supervise the process,” he added. 

He said the meeting approved holding of the National Women Championship in November.

The Nation



IPC ministry likely to impose ad-hoc on PHF

Mohsin Ali


ISLAMABAD - Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) ministry is likely to impose an ad-hoc setup on the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as well as other federations.

The reliable sources inside the IPC and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) on condition of anonymity have confirmed to this scribe on Wednesday that after strong recommendations were made to IPC Minister Syed Riaz Hussain Pirzada to impose ad-hoc on the PHF, the ministry is likely to impose an ad-hoc on the hockey federation after the dismal show of the national team in the 9th Asia Cup Hockey 2013 due to which the green shirts failed to qualify for the World Cup 2014.

The sources said PHF secretary Asif Bajwa’s decision of tendering his resignation was unexpected as earlier, he had denied on number of occasion to submit his resignation after the devastating performances of the national team. It was also surprising that PHF president Qasim Zia accepted Bajwa’s resignation without wasting any time and appointed one of his highly close aides as the federation new secretary.

The sources have further said that the IPC and the PSB were thinking on same lines since long but political pressure in the previous government was the main reason behind delay in imposing or even suggesting an ad-hoc on the PHF. Now things have changed with the arrival of new government and a strict minister in shape of Riaz Pirzada, the top brass of the had realised that their days are numbered so despite being politically very well connected, Asif Bajwa was left with no other option but to quit one of the top slots of the PHF.

The sources said Asif had tendered resignation through a deal. “There is huge possibility he might be once again install on the same post under new set up due to his deep political connections,” they added.

The sources said: “The PHF fresh elections are very much on the cards, but it has been decided in principle that an ad-hoc body should be installed for the time being and they must have powers to run the day-to-day affairs of the PHF well and hold the elections in a fair and transparent way.”

Earlier, the IPC minister indicated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had taken strong notice of Pakistan hockey team's poor show in the Asia Cup, which was the last hope for the green shirts to earn a place in the next year’s Hockey World Cup to be held in Netherlands, but despite making tall claims like past, Akhtar Rasool and company failed to accomplish the task.

The sources revealed that now the file was very much lying with the minister and now it was up to him how much time he took to implement the decision.

When this scribe contacted PSB Director General Syed Amir Hamza Gilani to seek his point of view, he neither confirmed nor denied the move. The DG said: “Lot of things are going on these days. The axe will soon fall on some other federations as well because we have been warning them time and again to keep their house in order and implement the Supreme Court orders and government sports policy regarding holding of office for the third term in true letter and spirit but all our suggestions fall on deaf ears. Now the ball is in IPC minister’s court so let see what happens next.”

The Nation



Bahawalpur Corps win Army Hockey C’ship


BAHAWALPUR - The Bahawalpur Corps hockey team clinched the Pakistan Army Hockey Championship 2013 title here by defeating the Gujranwala Corps 3-1 in the final of the championship held at Dring Stadium, Bahawalpur.

Earlier, Bahawalpur Corps defeated Multan Corps hockey team after a good competition while Gujranwala defeated Quetta Corps in the semi-finals to book their berth in the finals.

The hockey teams of different corps from across the country took part in the championship. Corps Commander Bahawalpur Lt Gen Zubair Mahmood Hayat was the chief guest on the occasion and gave away the trophy to the winning side Bahawalpur Corps hockey team and also distributed prizes among top performers. A number of hockey fans and players watched the match enthusiastically.

The Nation

 



India stars add spice to Murugappa Cup

Krishna Kanta Chakraborty


CHENNAI: Big-time hockey is back in Chennai. With several Indian stars like PR Sreejesh, VR Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh, Kothajit Singh, Nitin and Nikin Thimaiaah representing their respective teams in the All-India Murugappa Cup that kicks off at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Thursday, there's a buzz in the city hockey circuit.

Overnight rain spoiled last-minute preparations for most of the teams participating in the tournament, which will see local favourties Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) taking on South Central Railway in the first match of the tournament, while former champions Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) face new entrants Steel Authority Of India Limited later.

IOB, who had a brief practice session at the YMCA, Nandanam ground on Wednesday afternoon, are one of the strongest sides in the championship. They made it to the semifinals four years back, but since then things haven't gone well for them in this tournament.

IOB are the only local team in the tournament and boast of some of the best international players like 'keeper Sreejesh, drag-flicker Rupinder and former India forward Adam Sinclair. BPCL, who won the title in 2006, will start favourties against SAIL, who have been given entry for the first time. BPCL, who lost to IOC 3-4 in a tight match in the semifinals last year, will bank on experienced campaigners like Hari Prasad and former India defender William Xalco.

The Times of India



Scaling new heights

SHREEDUTTA CHIDANANDA



"I used to get emotional but now I keep my cool," says Raghunath

V.R. Raghunath, the hockey player from Karnataka, has come to hold a crucial place in the Indian hockey team

Even before he was announced as Player of the Tournament, last week’s Asia Cup felt like the time V.R. Raghunath broke through. It can be inaccurate to pinpoint one single competition or moment as the watershed in a player’s career but there is a recognition after Malaysia that Raghunath is now the Indian hockey team’s principal defender.

“It was a team effort; it was not about any one individual,” he protests when congratulated. “If one player made mistakes the others were there to cover for him.”

With his drag flicks, Raghunath scored six goals as India (despite defeat to South Korea in the final) all but assured itself of a berth at next year’s World Cup – a target that once seemed distant.

That he could strike the ball blisteringly hard was never in doubt. But as the 24-year-old admits, he has not always been very cautious in defence. “I have realised that I am a defender first,” he says, candidly. “The drag flick is only a second option. For the last two years, I’ve been trying to improve as a defender. I’m still lacking in certain areas but I work on it all the time. I should defend for 70 minutes; I will score when I get opportunities: this is my new mantra.” It is one that has served him well. This time, with the experienced Sandeep Singh out of the squad and apprehension in some quarters, Raghunath not only scored his goals, but also knit a safe partnership with Rupinderpal Singh at the back.

“Ours is a friendly combination,” he says. “There was no competition between us; each wanted the other to score more. The coach had made us work on a few things, like our concentration when taking the drag flick. We did well.”

Part of the reason for this appreciation Raghunath has suddenly drawn is his emergence as the senior partner in defence, and the manner in which he has borne this responsibility. True, the opposition was not European, but previous Indian sides have fallen before less.

Those unconvinced by Raghunath’s place in the side have begun to come around. The Karnataka player now seems smarter, and perhaps crucially, at ease with himself. “Earlier, I used to pick up many, many cards,” he says. “Now I control it a lot. I’ve matured. I used to get emotional but now I keep my cool. The team requires something of me and I cannot let them down.”

This calm has also to do, it would seem, with his own standing in the team – two things mutually dependent. Where he was in and out of the national side until three or four years ago, Raghunath is now a fixture within. “I was not performing consistently earlier,” he confesses. “But for the last two years, I’ve been playing well. I know I should maintain an average, a certain minimum standard below which I cannot fall. I think I’ve done that.”

He has clearly demanded much of himself. In the months leading up to the 2012 Olympics, Raghunath set about burning off the excess weight he visibly carried. He dropped over six kilos in two months, staying off rice, sweetmeats and fried snacks – a decision that didn’t come easy. He hasn’t touched any of the stuff since. “I’ve become very conscious about my diet,” he says. “I can’t take any risks. My body is such that I tend to put on weight quickly. Only when you’re fit can you run wherever you want and I want to stay fit no matter what.”

The current coach Roelant Oltmans, a hardened veteran on the international hockey circuit, worked with Raghunath during the Hockey India League earlier in the year, and has increasingly placed much faith in his defender. “He gets more out of players than they think is possible themselves,” Raghunath says of the Dutchman. “He gets them to perform above their level. He motivates us so much. He gets 15-20 per cent extra out of each of us.”

That the coach is the brooding martinet he appears from the outside is a suggestion quickly dismissed by Raghunath. “No, no,” he laughs. “It’s not that he’s strict. He just expects us all to be responsible.”

Raghunath’s exploits at the Asia Cup were not a thorough surprise but there lingers a sense that he has turned a corner now. For a national side desperately in need of success, that can’t be such a bad thing.

The Hindu



Disciplined MSP steal the thunder

MUMBAI: Maharashtra State Police (MSP) stole the thunder, literally, in a league match of the Mumbai Magicians-MHAL Super League 2013, at the MHAL Stadium, Churchgate, on Wednesday.

The state cops churned out a good, disciplined performance to script a well-deserved 5-2 victory over Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) at Churchgate's Mahindra Stadium.

MSP opened scoring as early as the ninth minute when Vinod Manugade found the net with a powerful drag-flick from their first short corner. This was the first win for MSP in three matches.

The Times of India



Pakistan teams to participate in Surjit Hockey tournament?

JALANDHAR: Teams from Pakistan are likely to participate in the 30th Surjit Hockey tournament to be played from October 10-19.

According to the organisers, two teams from across the border have showed their willingness to participate in the tournament subject to their visa clearances.

"A team each in the men's and women's section has agreed to participate in the 30th Surjit Hockey tournament. We have requested the concerned authorities to facilitate visas to the teams," general secretary of Surjit Hockey Society Iqbal Sandhu said.

The men's and women's teams of Pakistan's Punjab XI are likely to compete in the tournament to be played next month at Olympian Surjit Hockey Stadium.

Last year, teams from Pakistan could not participate in the tournament due to visa issues.

In the men's category, 12 teams will be participating while five teams will be part of the women's competition, which is being held for the first time.

The Times of India



Crunch time for business hockey

Emoni Narawa


THE Fiji Business House Hockey competition enters the knockout stages tonight.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Health Wellness Unit and MH, teams vie to maintain their stand in the competition.

Fiji Hockey Association development officer Tai Smith said the semi-finals would be a thriller.

She said the association was pleased with the overwhelming support from the business houses.

"It is obvious the support we got that most of our business organisations including our banks that company heads are beginning to be supportive of the wellbeing of their personnel and are strongly encouraging the staff to get into physical activity," she said.

"Tomorrow (tonight) two company CEOs will come head to head in what is going to be an exciting encounter. Chow, last season's outright winner, led by the CEO Ram Bajekal, takes on the exciting Celtrock Team led by CEO and former top scorer, Zavir Khan."

Tonight's fixtures:

6pm, SPC-FASANOC (Corporate Challenge); 6.30, Chow-Celtrock (Semi Final); 7, ANZ-FBC; 7.30, SPC-Grid (Corporate Challenge); 8, Aliz Pacific-BSP Life (Corporate Challenge

Tomorrow: 6pm, Aliz Pacific-FMF; 6, BSP Life-ANZ; 6.30, SPC-WBC; 6.30, Grid-FASANOC; 7, G/Fielder-Fiji TV; 7, FBC-BSP Life

The Fiji TImes



US Junior Premier Hockey announces 2014 Indoor U14 Division

After two years of success, Junior Premier Hockey is looking forward to the start of the 2014 Junior Premier Indoor League (JPIL) with the inclusion of a few exciting additions.

As a result of USA Field Hockey’s announcement that the U-14 National Indoor Tournament (NIT) will nearly triple in size plus the regular requests JPIL receives regarding the specific age group, the addition of a U-14 Division has been implemented to the 2014 JPIL. This will give the younger age group the opportunity to play in the same competitive and well-organized environment on a regular basis as their older teammates prepare to compete for success at the NIT.

Marple Sports Arena in Broomall, Pa. has been secured as the host site for the U-14 Division. The Sportsplex at Feasterville and at Pottstown, Pa. will continue to be the host sites for the U-16 and U-19 Divisions.

Invitations have been sent out to the top identified U-16 and U-19 Clubs. Participation in these two divisions is strictly invitation only. The entry deadline is October 1.

Participation in the U-14 Divisions is open to all clubs on a first-come basis and is limited to 24 teams maximum, with a limit of two teams per club. The entry deadline is October 15.

The Junior Premier Indoor League was created by Nigel Traverso and Rachael

Bloemker Milne who recognize the need for a well-organized and competitive indoor league, whereby the top indoor youth clubs have the opportunity to compete against each other on a regular basis over the course of the indoor season. Participation in the JPIL will provide all athletes and coaches with a high level of competition that will help prepare them and their club for success at the NIT qualifiers, NIT Championships and beyond.

It is JPIL’s intention to have some of the best indoor umpires and managers, selected by Steve Horgan, USA Field Hockey Director of Umpiring, at this premier event.

“The JPIL is a high level, well-organized event that allows for umpires to enhance their skills, timing and knowledge of the game,” said Steve Horgan, USA Field Hockey Director of Umpiring. ”This event allows us to recognize the potential of a number of umpires and managers, and are working on moving them up the ranks."

"We are excited to see the growth of the JPIL with the addition of a U-14 division for 2014, providing structured field hockey experiences for younger athletes," said Steve Locke, USA Field Hockey Executive Director. "On behalf of USA Field Hockey, I wish the Junior Premier Indoor League and the participating teams the best of luck this season."

A special thanks to Princess Hockey USA, the Official Sponsor of the Junior Premier Indoor League.

Should your club be interested in participating in the 2014 JPIL or need additional information, please visit www.JuniorPremierHockey.com or contact Rachael Bloemker Milne This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Nigel Traverso This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

USFHA media release