News for 21 September 2013

All the news for Saturday 21 September 2013

Race to The Hague resumes

Women’s continental championships set to begin in Asia and Pan America

(Photo: Grant Treeby)

After a brief pause, the race to secure a spot at the next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup resumes this weekend when two crucial continental championships get underway on opposite sides of the world.

The Women’s Asia Cup is the first to begin, with Korea, China, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Hong Kong China, Chinese Taipei and host nation Malaysia all in action at the event in Kuala Lumpur.  The first match of the tournament sees Korea take on Kazakhstan, which is followed by exciting contests between Malaysia and China, India and Hong Kong China, and Japan versus Chinese-Taipei. 

The second major event starting this weekend takes place some sixteen thousand kilometres away in Mendoza, Argentina, with the women’s Pan American Cup blasting into action. Hot favourites will be hosts Argentina, with living legend Luciana Aymar aiming to guide her team to glory. Argentina face Trinidad & Tobago in the final match of Day 1, following the conclusion of the USA v Mexico, Chile v Uruguay and Canada v Guyana contests. The tournament takes place in the newly built Mendocino Hockey Stadium, which was officially opened in a special ceremony on Thursday.

You can find out how to keep fully up to speed on all the action from these events by using our helpful links at the bottom of this page.

The winners of the Asia and Pan American Cup competitions will seal direct qualification to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.  A number of the teams involved have already secured a spot at next year’s showpiece thanks to strong showings at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. If an already qualified nation becomes continental champion at either event, this will open the door to the nations who finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. To see who has qualified so far and exactly how they got there, you can see our simple guide by clicking the links below.

World Cup Qualification explained - Men

World Cup Qualification explained - Women

Follow the action...

8th Women’s Asia Cup – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
21-27 September 2013

Official website:

2013 Pan American Cup (Women) – Mendoza, Argentina
21-28 September 2013

Official website: click here.
Facebook: click here.

FIH site

T&T hockeywomen battle champs Argentina

While the T&T Hockey Board, headed by president Douglas Camacho, continued its battle with the Ministry of Sport and its minister, Anil Roberts, over financial funding or a lack thereof yesterday, the national women’s team led by Paragon’s Alanna Lewis will be involved in a tussle of its own today when it faces three-time defending champions and host Argentina in the Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup. The match, the fourth and final on today’s opening schedule will be played at the Mendocino Hockey Stadium, Los Platanos s/n, Parque General San Martin,  Mendoza, Argentina from 8 pm, while the other earlier Pool A encounter features Canada and Guyana, the second Caribbean qualifier. The “Calypso Stickwomen”, coached by former national goalkeeper Glen “Fido” Francis, features no fewer than 11 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 included Lewis, 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. However in Argentina, T&T will first do battle with the host country, who are ranked second in the world, Guyana (56th) tomorrow and Canada (23rd) on Tuesday in round-robin play. Today’s Pool B matches will see tenth ranked USA facing 31st rated Mexico at 12.30 pm and Chile (18th) meeting 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” had 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 on Francis and his team as they look to create some history of their own by finishing among the medals.


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)



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

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

The Trinidad Guardian

Black Stix ready for African challenge

The Ghanaian national women’s hockey team, the Black Stix, is putting finishing touches to preparations ahead of the 2013 Africa Hockey Cup of Nations.

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the City Park Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya from September 26, 2013 to October 6, 2013.

“We have been preparing well for some time now,” Coach Boakye Yiadom told TV3’s Joel Acheampong on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

He said the technical team is adopting a policy of blending new and old players in order to get a formidable team for the tourney. South Africa has dominated the tournament, having won six of the previous seven editions. The 7th edition will also be qualifying tournament for the 2014 Hockey World Cup to be held in the Netherlands.


Tired Argies aim to surprise

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

Argentina arrived in Johor Baru after travelling for 48 hours, 24 of which were hours spent on the plane.

But the Pan American champions look refreshed and aim to pull off a surprise in their opening match against hosts Malaysia in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup to be held at Taman daya, Johor Baru.

The South Americans are without their prolific penalty corner specialist Gonzalo Peillat as he is with the national senior side preparing for the Super 9's which will be held in Perth, Australia from October 17-20.

Nonetheless coach Carlos Geneya is optimistic that the team he has is capable of pulling of some surprises.

"Travelling for 48 hours is not easy but being young their recovery period is fast so I do not think that is an excuse," said Carlos.

"We have a balanced squad and will give it our best. The tournament is vital as we gauge our progress against teams from Europe and Asia."

In the absence of Peillat, Argentina will be counting on two players who have had stints with their senior side - goalkeeper Tomas Santiago and Isidoro Ibarra who is their second choic penalty corner striker.

This team has been kept together for the past three years, right from when they won the Pan American Under 17 tournament.

"In that aspect we have an advantage as these players have been together for three years and have forged an understanding," said carlos.

But despite that, they have all respect for Malaysia, their opening math opponents on Sunday.

"Playing the host in the opening match is a daunting proposition," admitted Carlos.

"I have only seen the Malaysians in action via a video of the friendly they played against our senior squad before the World League.

"I was very impressed with what I have seen and I learn that five of the Malaysian players are regulars with the senior team.

"Thus we are in for a torrid time against Malaysia, but we too have our plans on how to counter them."

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

India face skippers jinx

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

When it comes to Indian hockey skippers and tournaments held in Malaysia, something just does not add up.

In the Asia Cup last month, the skipper of the Indian senior side Sardar Singh was taken ill upon arriving in Malaysia.

And the same happened with the Indian Juniors as skipper Manpreet Singh has fallen ill. He did not play in the friendly against Malaysia, a match India won with a brace from late inclusion Ramandeep Singh who is in the squad following an injury to Mandeep Singh.

But Manpreet is expected to recover in time for the opening tie against England.

Coach Gregg Clark joked by saying perhaps India should only name their skipper upon arriving or bring a 19th player. But in a more serious tone, the South African said taht India's participation in the 3rd edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup will give it precious match practice that they could do with.

"We are indded fortunate to get a chance to play here as we have played local club sides In India over the past three months. Thus the matches here will give us a platform to try out things we want to do at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi," said Clark.

"It is going to be a tough tournament as all teams here will also be in Delhi this December. So we all want to give a good acount of ourselves.

"All teams will no doubt be testing players, tactics and options ahead of the big event and it is no different for us as well."

India have a well balanced side and they will be looking at players who represnted the senior squad at the recent Asia Cup to not only guide the youngsters but also deliver the goods.

The likes of Kpthajit Singh, Amit Rohidas, Ramandeep Singh gives India the extra edge as evident in their friendly against malaysia last night. Four others, the injured Mandeep, SK Uthappa, Malak Singh and Gurmail Singh were not selected for this tournament.

India take on England in their opening match on Sunday and Clark expects a tough opener.

"The English are a very determined side and are tactically sound as well,: said Clark.

"It is a question of taking our chances while defending with discipline.

"While I will not target the title, someone has to win it. A podium finish with a good all rround performance will do nicely gor us."

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Pakistan look for redemption

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

The Pakistani Juniors are hoping to kick start their hockey revival with a good outing at the 3rd editon of the Sultan of Johor Cup that gets underway at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru this Sunday.

After the Pakistani senior side failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, hockey in Pakistan is at an all time low as this is the first time in the hostory of the World Cup that Pakistan have failed to make it to the final rounds.

And Umar Bhutta, the Pakistan skipper to the Sultan of Johor Cup feels that the tournament is a perfect platform to kick start the revival of Pakistani hockey.

"There is so much dismay back home when we failed to make it to the World Cup. It was a disaster. But we are hoping that we can do well at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi this December so that confidence in the sport can be restored," said Umar.

"The SOJC will help us gauge our form and also help us identify the weakness we need to work on ahead of the Junior World Cup.

"The level of competition here is high, thus I will not target Pakistan to be champions but to get a podium finish.

"One has to understand that we have had a change in coach and that will take some adjusting as well. On top of that we did not have much training matches against overseas teams."

Besides Umar who played in the Asia Cup in Ipoh with the senior side Rizwan Junior, Syed Kashif Shah, Khalid Bhatti and penalty corner ace Mohammad Tousiq.

Pakistan were edged 2-1 in the Junior Asia Cup final in Malacca in may last year and are wary of the Malaysian side whom Umar describes as a very good side.

"I am truly impressed with the Malaysian squad and feel that they and India will be the ones to watch out for at this tournament," said Umar who plays for KL Hockey Club in the Malaysian Hockey League."

Pakistan take on South Korea in their opening match on Sunday and Umar sees them as a coehesive unit that will surely trouble them.

"Korea is always difficult to play and taking them on in the opening match will surely make things more tougher," said Umar.

"We have a strong desire to excel and that is what will help us through in this tournament. I have a bunch of players that are keen to restore pride for Pakistan and will not look at this as pressure.

"It is the Junior World Cup that matters to all of us in the team."

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Zulhairi tasked with delivering penalty corner goals


Mohd Zulhairi Hashim is the main penalty corner flicker for the national juniors.

JOHOR BARU: Mohd Zulhairi Hashim was in sizzling form during the national juniors’ playing tour to South Korea and Europe in June and July respectively.

The 21-year-old former Setapak High School defender scored a total of 16 goals from penalty corner drag flicks in 17 matches. Malaysia played eight matches in Korea and nine in Europe.

And national juniors coach K. Dharmaraj has given him the ultimate task of delivering penalty corner goals in the six-nations Sultan of Johor Cup, which begins Sunday at the Taman Daya Stadium.

Dharmaraj said that Zulhairi has been consistently scoring in the playing tours and he hopes he will shine in the tournament.

“He is the main penalty corner flicker in the team and he has good drag flicks.

“Besides scoring from penalty corner flicks, I also hope he will play well in defence as we will face strong challenge from the other teams,” said Dharmaraj.

Besides Zulhairi, Dharmaraj has five other penalty corner flickers in the team - Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar, Mohd Shahril Saabah, G. Kavin Kartik, Mohd Fitri Saari and Mohd Firhan Ashaari.

Dharmaraj said that Zulhairi’s hopes of making the cut for the Junior World Cup team in New Delhi from Dec 6-15 would depend on his performance in the tournament in Johor Baru.

“I will closely scrutinise his form and also his penalty corner conversion rate as I want to take only the best players to New Delhi,” said Dharmaraj.

Zulhairi was a letdown in the Sultan of Johor Cup last year as he failed to score a single goal in six matches.

Malaysia finished a disappointing last in that tournament.

Zulhairi, who will be featuring for the third time in the tournament, said he would not let Dharmaraj down this time.

“I will give my best and will execute the penalty corner drag flicks in every match in the tournament,” said Zulhairi, who was the top scorer in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL), netting 20 goals for Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in 2011.

In a friendly match on Friday, Malaysia lost 2-1 to India.

Malaysia will open their campaign against Argentina on Sunday.

The other teams in the fray are England, South Korea and Pakistan.

Sunday's fixtures:

S. Korea vs Pakistan - 4.05pm

England vs India - 6.05pm

Malaysia vs Argentina - 8.05pm

The Star of Malaysia

Pakistan use tourney as World Cup trial


Pakistan's Muhammad Umar Bhutta will be a marked man at the Sultan of Johor tournament. He scored two goals in five matches at the recent Asia Cup.

JOHOR BARU: Olympian Muhammad Umar Bhutta will lead the Pakistan junior team for the third edition of the Sultan of Johor Invitational hockey tournament, which begins Sunday.

Forward Umar, who featured in the 2012 London Olympics, is a skilful player who is deadly inside the D.

He featured in the Asia Cup in Ipoh last month where he scored two goals in five matches.

Umar also featured in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) this year for KL Hockey Club and helped the club bag the double - league and overall titles.

Besides Umar, the other Pakistan national players named for the tournament in Johor Baru are Muhammad Rizwan Junior, Muhammad Tousiq, Ali Shan, Muhammad Dilber, Syed Kashif Shah and Khalid Bhatti.

Tousiq is known to be a good penalty corner drag flicker.

The Sultan of Johor Cup will be the second last assignment for the Pakistan juniors before they feature in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December.

Team manager Manzoorul Hassan said India had also included four senior players in their squad for the junior competition and similarly, South Korea had also selected a blend of youth and experience for the tournament.

“The tournament is an ideal chance for us to examine the real strength of our players before going to India for the World Cup,” said Manzoorul.

“In Malaysia, our team will also face England and Argentina for the first time which will give them a chance to test their skills against these non-Asian teams,” added Manzoorul.

Pakistan squad: Mazhar Abbas, Amin Yousuf, Mohammad Khalid, Muhammad Umar Bhutta (captain), Syed Kashif Shah (vice-captain), Mohammad Faisal Qadir, Mohammad Rizwan Jr, Mohammad Tousiq, Mohammad Kashif Javed, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Zohaib Ashraf, Muhammad Umair, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan, Mohammad Suleman, Arslan Qadir, Ahmed Zubair, Ayub Ali.

The Star of Malaysia

English Umpire Tim Benford Promoted by FIH

Umpire Tim Benford during the NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Play-off match at Sonning Lane, Reading

An umpire in England since 2007, Tim Benford has been involved in numerous international tournaments from Los Reyes in 2009 to warm-up matches for the 2012 Olympic Games. This has been recognized by the FIH, promoting Tim to FIH International Outdoor Umpire.

Starting his hockey career as a player for Formby, Tim moved to Loughborough Students for 7 seasons (winning 4 National indoor titles and competing in 4 European Indoor Club tournaments) before retiring in 2007 to focus on his umpiring – as well as running both the London and New York marathons that year.

After gaining his Level 3 umpiring badge that year, Tim began umpiring in the National League before his first senior international tournament in 2009 when England played Australia at Beeston. From there his first EHF tournament came in 2012 in Bratislava, umpiring the Euro Clubs Challenge III.

Speaking about this new role from the FIH, Tim said “I’m really pleased with this promotion, it’s been hard work to get here but I’ve very much enjoyed the transition from player to umpire. This role will mean more opportunities to progress at the international level. There’s healthy competition within the English umpires pushing each other to do well, and the advice and support has been invaluable. I’ve also been appointed to Euro Indoor Nations II in January 2014, so there’s even more chances to develop as an umpire”

To anyone who is thinking of becoming an umpire or looking to take that next step, Tim's advice is to "Take the chance to watch higher level matches, to understand the game and how it's umpired. Take opportunities to speak to umpires when you can, but most of all enjoy it!"

Tim Benford is currently umpiring in Malaysia for the Sultan of Johor Cup, where England’s U21 Men are currently playing, with their next match coming up this Sunday.

England Hockey Board Media release

Madzli to play again for national team


Mohd Madzli Ikmar (right) is one of eight former internationals selected to train with the national team in preparation for three assignments over the next three months.

KUALA LUMPUR: Former national skipper Mohd Madzli Ikmar is coming out of retirement and is one of the 30 players selected for the national team after the Razak Cup in Kuantan recently.

Madzli retired in 2011 after the national team failed in their bid to qualify for the London Olympics.

But he has now made an about turn and has told national coach Paul Revington that he will attend the training on Sept 30.

The national team have selected 30 players who will prepare for three main assignments over the next three months.

They are the tour to Australia, which includes playing in the Super Nine series in Perth, the Asian Champions Trophy in Japan, and the tour to South Korea in November.

Ten new players (including several former nationals) have been selected based on their Razak Cup performance.

The new players are Amirullah Zainal and Harvinder Singh. The former internationals are Madzli, Amir Farid, Engku Abdul Malek, Hafiihafiz Hanafi, Ismail Abu, Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi, Mohamed Noor Faeez Ibrahim and S. Selvaraju.

Revington said that he has spoken to all 10 players and they have agreed to return to the training squad.

“We will take 22 players to Perth and a different squad to the Champions Trophy. Of course we will also make a new selection when the team goes to South Korea.

“Those players who are dropped form the Korean tour will go to the SEA Games along with the junior players who are dropped form the Junior World Cup team,” he said.

Former national coach Tai Beng Hai, who is also the MHC (Malaysian Hockey Confederation) coaching director, has been tasked with handling the SEA Games team.

Revington said that this squad of 30 is for the three-month period and he will name a new training squad in January for their 2014 challenge.

“At that time (January) we will also have the national juniors back in the fray and they will be available for selection.

“But this is an opportunity for the former internationals to prove themselves and fight for a place in the national team again.

“Every player has a chance to make the team for the three assignments. From there it is up to them to show if they are still good enough for the national team,” he added.

The training squad of 30:

S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin, Khirulniam Ibrahim, Ahmd Kazamirul Nasruddin, Azlan Misron, Azreen Rizal, C. Baljit Singh, Fizal Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Jivan Mohan, Mohamed Shukri Mutalib, Mohamed Shahrun Nabil, Mohamed Amin Rahim, Mohamed Ramadhan Rosli, Mohamed Azammi Adabi, Mohamed Marhan Jalil, Mohamed Razie Rahim, Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor, Norhizzat Sumantri, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Amirullah Zainal and Harvinder Singh.

The former internationals:

Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Amir Farid, Engku Abdul Malek, Hafiihafiz Hanafi, Ismail Abu, Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi, Mohamed Noor faeez Ibrahim and S. Selvaraju.

The Star of Malaysia

Surprises in National Team

There were several surprises when the Malaysian national team of 30 was named by Paul Revington today.

With the national juniors out of bounds, due to their commitments for the Junior Word Cup, Revington was forced to recall several players that have been left in the cold for the past few years.

Among them are Mohd Madzli Ikmar who last don national colours at the Dublin Olympic Qualifiers in March 2012. Also recalled to the side is S. Selvaraju who last played in the 2009 Invercargill World Cup Qualifiers.

Other notable names in the list are Megat Azrafiq Mwgat Termizi, Engku Abdul Malek Engku Mohammad, Harvinder Singh, Ismail Abu, Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim and keeper Kairulnizam Ibrahim.

Some players like Dangerous Lee, Azrul, Harmesh Singh and Jiwa Mohan were however surprisingly left out.

“Dangerous/Azrul/Harmesh are still "U21" and I purposefully stayed clear of this group of players as per the arrangement with the Juniors Coaching staff last year when we drew up the calendar,” clarified Revington.

“These guys are for the Project 2013 coaches to train without any crossover with the Senior Squad.

“I want to see if the experience of Madzli/Megat/Engku will add something to our defense over the coming months.

“Megat and Engku are only 29 years old and will be given a path in the absence of Faiz Helmi and Izad Hakimi and with the increase of Squad from 26 to 30. “

Meanwhile Selvaraju was elated with his recall.

“It is indeed good to be selected again and I will redouble my efforts during training and hopefully make the grade for the final 18 for the various tournaments,” said Selvaraju.

“It may be tough but I intend to fight every inch to get a place into the World cup squad.

“The journey will be tough but getting recalled is a good start.”

1. Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin
2. Amirullah Zainol
3. Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi
4. Azlan Misron
5. Azreen Rizal Nasir
6. Baljit Singh Charun Singh
7. Engku Abdul Malik Engku Mohamad
8. Faizal Saari
9. Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi
10. Harvinder Singh
11. Ismail Abu
12. Izwan FIrdaus Ahamd Tajuddin
13. Jivan Mohan
14. Kairulnizam Ibrahim
15. Kumar Subramaniam
16. Megat Azrafiq Megat Termizi
17. Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib
18. Mohd Madzli Ikmar Mohd Nor
19. Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah
20. Muhamad Amin Rahim
21. Muhammad Azammi Adabi
22. Muhamad Ramadan Rosli
23. Mohammad Marhan Mohd Jalil
24. Muhammad Noor Faeez Ibrahim
25. Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim
26. Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor
27. Noorhizat Sumantri
28. Roslan Jamaluddin
29. S.Selvaraju
30. Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Noor Faeez back in the fray

By Jugjet Singh

FORMER National Juniors skipper Noor Faeez Ibrahim has been given a "second hockey life" when chief coach Paul Revington named him in the training squad for three tournaments and a tour this year.

Noor Faeez skippered the Junior Asia Cup side that won gold in Malacca and took Malaysia into the New Delhi Junior World Cup, but his attitude, as well as form, saw him being booted out of camp in May.

Subsequently, he missed the chance to play in the World League Semi-finals and also the Asia Cup, but is now set to claw his way back into the national senior side.

"I have noticed some changes in his attitude since he was dropped from the training pool, and with the assurance of one of our coaches that Noor Faeez can be turned into a valuable player, we included him in the training pool for three tournaments and a Tour until Dec 31," said Revington.

Noor Faeez, 22, played a pivotal role to take Malaysia to the Junior World Cup when he was under the care of Juniors coach K. Dharmaraj.

The other surprise inclusion was Madzli Ikmar, 33, who retired after the Dublin Olympic Qualifier in March last year.

"Madzli has over 300 caps and has shown good discipline and form, playing for his state and club and he has also agreed to come out of retirement and join the training pool," said Revington.

The first assignment will be the Perth Super Series on Oct 17-20, followed by the Asian Champions Trophy in Kakamigahara, Japan, on Nov 1-10.

Then there is a tour to South Korea on Nov 20-Dec 3, and it ends with the Myanmar Sea Games on Dec 11-22.

Also recalled were S. Selvaraju, 28, and Engku Malek, 29, who were teammates in the 2005 Junior World Cup in Rotterdam -- for the Sea Games gold medal quest.

New Straits Times

Will the semifinals break the monotony?

S. Thyagarajan

Ragunath (right) and Mohd. Riyaz giving tips to youngsters at the coaching camp at Radhakrrishnan Hockey Stadium on Friday. Photo: R. Ragu

A quick survey of phase one of the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup tournament shows an alarming degree of mediocrity creeping into club hockey. With recruitment of fresh talent either stopped or drastically reduced, even top institutions’ strength has been depleted.

Nothing mirrors this more than the failure of a glamour outfit like Air India. Even teams like IOC and BPCL, which at one point had the majority of national pool in their tanks, looked stale both in style and approach. True, a few stars like Deepak Thakur of IOC and Ignace Tirkey of Army did corner some attention. But overall it was a dismal picture.

The quality also suffered due to the poor state of the turf at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium. However, there is news to cheer for the fraternity as the pitch is slated for replacement by the end of the year.

It is a fact that no sports facility, created for the SAF Games held in 1995, has been put to such constant use. The venue was also the platform for five star championships under the supervision of the International Hockey Federation.

The authorities charged with relaying the turf should go the whole hog and attend to every aspect of its construction from strengthening the base to perfecting the drainage system.

Eager expectancy

There is eager expectancy in the air as the 2013 edition awaits the climax on Sunday. What has warmed the cockles of many a heart is Indian Overseas Bank’s semifinal entry. The local outfit richly deserves this.

The attack, spearheaded by the seasoned Adam Sinclair with Vinod Rayar and Shanmugam as able allies, was as attractive as it was authoritative.

International Rupinder Pal Singh, Aman Lakra and Muthuselvan cornered a lot of attention but none more than goalkeeper Sreejesh. He is the trump card for IOB.

Punjab National Bank, which takes on IOB in the second semifinal on Saturday, earned plaudits for its effective performance. Mid-fielder Ajitesh Roy was prominent in almost every encounter.

The contest between the oil giants — IOC and BPCL — in the first semifinal defies prediction. Both include a plethora of international stars. But taking into account the show of class displayed by Deepak Thakur the pendulum can well swing in favour of IOC, who was joint winner last year.

There is genuine hope that the semifinals on Saturday will elevate the quality to a new level of delight. It is for the teams to fulfil this expectation.

The Hindu

Sailor-made win for Indian Navy against RCF

MUMBAI: Runners-up in the last season, Indian Navy on Friday sealed a berth in the final of the Mumbai Magicians-Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd-conducted Super League at the Mahindra Stadium, in Churchgate.

Navy logged their sixth win on the trot when they handed Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF) a 3-1 defeat. Navy got all the three goals in the first half.

Navy, with 19 points from six wins and a draw are now assured of finishing as one of the top two teams who will contest the final next Wednesday. The second team in contention to make the title round is Western Railway who have won all their six matches so far.

They only require a point from their remaining two matches against Central Railway on Saturday and Navy on Monday. The two finalists along with the third and fourth placed teams will earn direct entry for the Bombay Gold Cup to be held next month.

Indian Navy got off to a bright start as their roving forward Faheen Khan hit the target in the very second minute through a field effort. Four minutes later Navy captain Surinder Singh converted a penalty stroke and a further 14 minutes later consolidated the lead through a penalty corner conversion.

The Times of India

Jamali can save hockey: Manzoor

Azhar Khan

LAHORE - Former hockey Olympian Manzoor Junior has asked the government to appoint Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president as he is the only person who can save Pakistan hockey.

Talking exclusively to this scribe on Friday, the former captain who led the country to 1984 Olympics gold medal said: “Jamali is a very good administrator and has great knowledge and experience of hockey so his appointment as PHF chief will prove very helpful for the game the future of which is at stake due to wrong policies of the current PHF management.”

“If Jamali becomes the PHF chief, he should devise a five-year plan to improve and raise the standard of the game and his main tasks should be earning medals in the Olympics 2016 and World Cup 2018. He should also get benefit from the services of former hockey greats as with their sincere efforts, they can help revive hockey in the country,” he added.

Manzoor, also known as golden player, suggested that there must be provincial hockey academies under the able guidance of ex-Olympians with the purpose of hunting and grooming young and promising talent which could represent the country at international level and earn laurels for it. Speaking in favour of Asian style hockey, he said: “Asian style hockey is our pride but when we gave up it and adopted the European, our hockey started declining so instead of following European style blindly, we should not only revive our style but also teach and train our youth with technical and attacking hockey which is the only way to regain lost hockey glories.”

“There is a beauty in our style which includes dribbling, short passes and attacking hockey but when we neglected it, it became difficult for our team to beat even lowly-ranked teams with utmost ease. But with revival of our own style, we can prepare our youth well for the mega hockey events and in reply, they can earn medals for the country,” the ex-Olympian added.

He said another major reason behind hockey downfall was lack of domestic events in the country. “In our era, a lot of domestic hockey used to play and the domestic events used to help the PHF in hunting and grooming some quality players for the national team. So domestic events should be revived and must be held on regular basis if we want to raise the standard of the national game.”

“It is my request to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to appoint Jamali as PHF chief to save hockey from further decline otherwise the future of the game is bleak,” he concluded.

The Nation

T&T hockey men confirmed for Commonwealth Games

By Kern De Freitas

The Trinidad and Tobago Hockey Board (TTHB) may currently be experiencing financial woes, but they will soon be left with another unbudgeted tournament after the T&T stickmen were confirmed for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland.

TTHB president Douglas Camacho revealed that the Board had only yesterday accepted the invitation to compete in the tournament at the expense of Pakistan. The Games will from July 23-August 3.

That turn of events means both T&T’s men’s and women’s will attend the Games, as the women had already qualified. The T&T men were given the lifeline due to their world ranking of 30, no doubt boosted by their Pan American Cup bronze medal performance.

Pakistan’s men are currently ranked eighth, but they will miss the event due to an “internal sporting dispute”, BBC Sport reported yesterday.

The Pakistan Olympic Association have been experiencing inner turmoil, with two factions emerging—one recognised by the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and the other backed by state-run Pakistan Sports Board.

According to the report, the Pakistan Hockey Federation “ignored the IOC-backed faction” of the Association, and as such did not send a team for the Glasgow Games.

The BBC also reported that the POA had initially been given a further month after the August 16 deadline to submit an entry for the Games.

Trinidad Express


Playing its inaugural ACC game, fifth-ranked Syracuse falls to BC

Leah Settipane made a career-high 10 saves as Boston College beat Syracuse. Boston College Athletics

No. 1 North Carolina 2, No. 4 Virginia 1

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior forward Charlotte Craddock scored the game-winner in the 65th minute of play on Friday night as top-ranked North Carolina team beat No. 4 Virginia 2-1 at the Cavaliers’ Turf Field. The Tar Heels improved to 7-0, while UVa fell to 7-1.

The Tar Heels took an early lead on a goal from senior Sinead Loughran in the 20th minute of play in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. Loughran’s score, on a pass from sophomore Emma Bozek, put the Tar Heels up 1-0. Virginia tied the game just before halftime, when Riley Tata scored on an assist from Hadley Bell in the 34th minute of play.

Craddock’s goal, her fourth of the season, came on a pass from sophomore Emily Wold.

UNC finished with 13 shots, nine of them in the first half, to five by Virginia. The Tar Heels had four penalty corners to UVa’s two.

No. 2 Maryland 4, No. 14 Wake Forest 1

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –  Maryland worked to beat No. 15 Wake Forest 4-1 on Friday night in the teams’ Atlantic Coast Conference opener. After a tight first half, Maryland pulled away in the second to move to 7-0.

The Terps (7-0, 1-0 ACC) held Wake Forest (5-2, 0-1) without a penalty corner until the final 10 seconds of the match. The teams were practically even in shots in the first half, but Maryland’s offense outshot the Deacs 12-4 in the second.

Maryland struck first when senior Jill Witmer got her stick on sophomore Anna Dessoye’s shot from the top of the circle to give the Terps the lead four minutes in. Wake tied it up five minutes later when Holly Brown scored off a pass from Kari Walkley.

Sophomore Katie Gerzabek broke the tie in the 25th minute when she cracked a backhanded shot off the rebound from the top right part of the circle. Maryland led 2-1 at halftime.

About five minutes into the second half, Dessoye was there to put in Ali McEvoy’s saved shot and give the Terps some distance. McEvoy finalized the score at 4-1 when she struck off a rebound on a penalty corner play with 15 minutes to play.

No. 17 Boston College 6, No. 5 Syracuse 3

NEWTON, Mass. – Boston College earned 6-3 victory against fifth-ranked Syracuse to open Atlantic Coast Conference play on Friday afternoon at Newton Campus Field Hockey Complex. The Eagles (6-1, 1-0 ACC) scored on all six shots they took to beat a previously undefeated Orange (6-1, 0-1 ACC) team.

Down 2-1 in the first half, BC scored three goals in a span of two-and-a-half minutes to pull ahead. The victory marked the first for the Eagles against the Orange since 2009.

The Eagles answered Syracuse’s opening goal in less than two minutes when junior Emma Plasteras dribbled through multiple defenders and centered the ball. SU did not clear the ball and with goalie Jess Jecko out of position, sophomore AshLeigh Sebia was able to put the ball in the net to even the game.

Syracuse regained the lead in the 16th minute as Russell tipped in Geyer’s shot on another corner attempt, but the BC scoring flurry quickly followed. In the 24th minute, senior Virgynia Muma scored on her own rebound after sophomore Romée Stiekema spun through two defenders on the right side of the field and centered it. Just a minute and 20 seconds later, senior Paige Norris dribbled it into the circle and lifted it into the air on net. Freshman Brittany Sheenan tipped it past Jecko to give the Eagles the 3-2 lead. Only 24 seconds later, senior Chapin Duke controlled the ball from Plasteras and put BC up 4-2 on a scrum in front of the net. Less than two minutes later, freshman Eryn McCoy nailed a shot past Jecko on a corner with Plasteras and Norris assisting, to go up 5-2.

Before the end of the half, Russell scored her second goal of the afternoon after BC goalie Leah Settipane made two saves on a corner attempt, but could not come up with the third and Russell put the rebound back in the 33rd minute of action.

In the second half, the only score came when the Eagles were awarded a penalty stroke. Junior Sarah Hospodar tallied her first goal of the season at the 60:14 mark to put BC up 6-3. She also made a defensive save as time winded down after Settipane made an initial save on a corner shot, keeping the ball out of the net and preserving the Eagles’ lead.

No. 8 Stanford 3, California 0

STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford blanked California 3-0 on Friday afternoon in the NorPac opener for both teams, picking up its sixth consecutive victory and extending its stranglehold on the rivalry series.

Alex McCawley scored twice and Kelsey Harbin added for team-leading fourth goal of the season for Stanford (6-1, 1-0 NorPac), which has registered four consecutive shutouts during its climb up the national polls.

Stanford has now won 13 of its previous 17 against California, including four in a row dating back to last year.

The Cardinal owned advantages in shots (18-1) and penalty corners (9-0). California (3-4, 0-1 NorPac) received its only shot from Nicole Wallstedt right before halftime.

No. 13 Northwestern 3, No. 9 Duke 2

DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore Caroline Troncelliti’s goal with 8:12 remaining was the difference as No. 13 Northwestern ran its winning streak to eight with a 3-2 victory against No. 9 Duke at Jack Katz Stadium on Friday evening.

The Wildcats controlled possession through the opening minutes of the contest and the pressure paid off 10 minutes into the contest. Kelley Stump earned a pair of penalty corners for the visitors and the second resulted in Puffenberger scoring off a rebound of Dominique Masters’ initial shot at the 9:45 mark, giving NU a 1-0 lead.

Similar to last year’s matchup in Durham when Northwestern scored the first four goals of the match, the ‘Cats didn’t let up once they got the early advantage. NU notched its fifth penalty corner of the half with 14 minutes remaining and Puffenberger fired a rocket from the top of the circle that was deflected in by Nikki Parsley past Lauren Blazing to make it 2-0.

Meanwhile, Northwestern’s stellar defense entered the contest ranked second in the nation with a 0.73 goals-against average while only allowing two goals during the previous six contests. The Wildcats allowed the Blue Devils to attempt only one shot in the first half, including none during the final 29 minutes of action. NU recorded 11 shots during the opening 35 minutes of play while posting a 7-1 edge in corners.

However, Duke came out of the intermission rejuvenated and trimmed its deficit in half in the first minute of the second stanza as Emmie Le Marchand’s shot was saved by Maddy Carpenter, but Aileen Johnson put in the rebound.

The comeback would be completed with 11:20 remaining in regulation when Heather Morris scored off a penalty corner, making it 2-2.

Northwestern responded three minutes later, though, as Masters got free on the left side of the circle and sent the ball in front of the cage where Troncelliti fit it through the legs of Blazing, giving the Wildcats a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.


500 and counting

Chrissy Lewis Summers, head coach at the Potomac School in Mclean, Va. and owner of Beyond Sticks, writes from a unique perspective of losing to Coach Marsha Way and giving Way her 500th win. 

As the clock wound down on a perfect Fall day and the scoreboard loudly declared "Home: 1 Guest: 2" I knew we were about to join the ranks of literally hundreds of other field hockey teams who’ve come up short. Only one week earlier, our guests, St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Va., won their 500th game at home under the helm of head Coach Marsha Way. Since arriving at St. Agnes School (the school merged with St. Stephens School in 1991) in the fall of 1979, she has never missed a season as the varsity coach, even during her tenure as athletic director. Over 35 years, she has amassed an incredible 21 conference championships, 20 conference tournament championships, four Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championships, and 12 undefeated seasons.

"I was pleased it happened on our home turf. It is just surreal,” remarks Coach Way of the monumental win. Despite achieving a milestone few reach in any level of sport, she is humbled less by the number but by those around her. "I don't want the attention on myself. This happened because of every kid I've ever coached and every assistant coach I've ever had. We did it as a team."

When comparing the game in her early coaching days to now, she is continually amazed at how the sport has evolved.  “The kids are just more skilled.  The game is much faster and the kids are faster. They can do more with their sticks. It’s great to watch.” Unlike some coaches, as the game evolved, so did Marsha and her staff.

Is there a secret to her success? According to Marsha, her “kids are simply hard workers”. Nonetheless, from what this coach can see, Marsha takes that work ethic, builds upon it, and instills a discipline in them that has created over 3 decades of consistently top level play. When asked to sum up her coaching mantra, it is beautifully simple and effective: “Work hard, play smart, and play as one team.” Her team doesn't just say it; they live it.

Although we plan on working to make sure their 501st win against our squad is her final win on our turf, there is no doubt we will not be the last team to see her players churn out another win for the record books. All under the listing “Head Coach: Marsha Way.”

Congratulations to a fellow coach on being a role model, on making those you play better, on honoring the game we all love, and finally, on scoring more than the other team for 35 years and counting. 

USFHA media release