News for 01 November 2013

All the news for Friday 1 November 2013

TET Black Sticks Men beaten by Australia

Photo courtesy Daniel Carson

The TET Black Sticks Men put up a great fight but were ultimately beaten 3-1 by Australia at the TET MultiSports Centre in Stratford, Taranaki today.

After the match-up was postponed due to heavy rain and wind last night, the sun returned to allow the game to be played during the tournament’s rest day.

The Black Sticks were first to score, but allowed the Kookaburras to score three unanswered goals in the first half. A top quality second period saw neither side able to find the back of the goal.

Head coach Colin Batch was pleased with the overall performance of his side.

“There were a lot of positives out of the game. Coping with the pressure that the Australians build is something we can improve on but we did really well with that in the second half,” Batch said.

“I thought both goalkeepers [Devon Manchester and Hamish McGregor] did well in the game. In the second half Hamish did what he’s good at – defending penalty corners, and we saw that today. Devon did well also so I’m pleased with both of them.

“Our focus now shifts to how we prepare for the final against Australia on Sunday.”

In today’s game, it was Blair Hilton who opened the scoring for New Zealand after receiving a great pass inside the circle from Stephen Jenness and drilling the ball into the back of the goal.

The Kookaburras were quick to respond though, with Jason Wilson pouncing on a deflection off the left hand post and flicking in past an off-balance Hamish McGregor in goal.

Australia found a rhythm late in the first half and added two more goals through Chris Ciriello and Russell Ford to hold a 3-1 halftime advantage.

The score would remain the same following a scoreless second half in which neither side could get the upper hand.

Today is a rest day for all other teams at the Oceania Cup, with the Black Sticks Men and Women both back in action against Samoa tomorrow.

For more information on the Oceania Cup, CLICK HERE

Taranaki Electricity Trust (TET) is the naming rights sponsor of the Black Sticks Men and Women for the 2013 Oceania Cup. Visit for more information.

FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER (Replayed from Thursday)


TET Black Sticks 1: (Blair Hilton)
Australia 3: (Jason Wilson, Chris Ciriello, Russell Ford)
Halftime: Australia 3-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Kookas beat Black Sticks

Wilson, Ciriello and Ford on target as Kookaburras confirm final spot

Photo courtesy of Dan Carson/DC Images

The Kookaburras came from behind to beat rivals New Zealand in their second match at the Oceania Cup on Friday morning. The game took place more than 15 hours after it was originally scheduled following torrential rain that caused the new pitch in Stratford to flood on Thursday night.

While all the goals came in the first half, a tight trans-Tasman affair entertained throughout with both sides failing to convert a number of opportunities in the second period.

Goals from Jason Wilson (QLD), Chris Ciriello (VIC) and Russell Ford (VIC) earned the Kookaburras all three points as they responded well to Blair Hilton’s opener for the Black Sticks.

Afterwards, Kookaburras coach Graham Reid said, “It’s always tight and tense against New Zealand.  We expected a tough encounter today but I was reasonably happy with our guys, although we struggled with the bouncy pitch at times.

“There were periods that we established control of the game, particularly in the second half when we created good opportunities but didn’t finish them. On this pitch we just need to stay down [in the circle].

“There were times we lost the ball a fair bit and I am sure Colin [Batch, New Zealand’s coach] would say the same. Overall, we held on to it a bit better [than New Zealand]; we got the ball in the circle and just didn’t quite finish off, which is something we’ll be looking at.”

The Kookaburras bossed proceedings for sustained periods but New Zealand’s quick counter attack always posed a threat and it was from such a move that the hosts took the lead through Blair Hilton. It was a simple enough finish for the Kiwi who found himself with time to shoot after picking up a deflected cross from the right after quarter of an hour.

Australia’s response was instantaneous. Good word along the right baseline by Glenn Turner (ACT) caused trouble in the New Zealand circle and when a half clearance off the line landed at the feet of Jason Wilson (QLD) he made no mistake, levelling for 1-1 just a minute after falling behind.

Chris Ciriello gave the Kookaburras the lead just before the half hour mark with a penalty corner flick from the first set piece of the game and his fellow Victorian Russell Ford doubled the advantage moments before half time for 3-1. It was his 60th strike for the Kookaburras.

An entertaining but ultimately goalless second half ensured the Kookaburras’ place in Sunday’s final.

The Kookaburras conclude their group phase against Papa New Guinea at 8:00am AEDT / 5:00am AWST on Saturday morning, immediately after the Hockeyroos’ final group game, also against Papa New Guinea.

Oceania Cup 2013


Jason Wilson 16 (F)
Chris Ciriello 29 (PC)
Russell Ford 33 (F)

Blair Hilton 15 (F)

Kookaburras squad v New Zealand

Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD) 12/4
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC) 120/66
Russell Ford (Eltham, VIC) 133/60
Rob Hammond (Townville, QLD) 234/28
Fergus Kavanagh (Geraldton, WA) 171/14
Tyler Lovell (GK) (Perth, WA) 6/0
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 188/48
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) 7/1
Glenn Simpson (Melbourne, VIC) 94/18
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, ACT) 94/71
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 35/13

Substitutes Used
Matthew Butturini (Murwillumbah, NSW) 87/15
Andrew Charter (GK) (Canberra, ACT) 49/0
Liam De Young (c) (Brisbane, QLD) 288/34
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD) 306/198
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW) 129/41
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD) 88/31
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA) 15/2

Saturday 2 November
6:00am (AEDT) / 8:00am (local) – Women – Hockeyroos v Papua New Guinea
8:00am (AEDT) / 10:00am (local) – Men – Kookaburras v Papua New Guinea
10:00am (AEDT) / 12:00pm (local) – Women – Samoa v New Zealand
12:00pm (AEDT) / 2:00pm (local) – Men – Samoa v New Zealand

Sunday 3 November
7:15am (AEDT) / 9:15am (local) – Women – 3rd v 4th playoff
9:30am (AEDT) / 11:30am (local) – Men – 3rd v 4th playoff
12:00pm (AEDT) / 2:00pm (local) – Women – Final
2:30pm (AEDT) / 4:30pm (local) – Men – Final

Hockey Australia media release

Australia beat men's Black Sticks

By Daniel Richardson

Blair Hilton scored for the Black Sticks as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Australia in Stratford today. Photo / Getty

Australia have landed a psychological blow to the men's Black Sticks ahead of Sunday's Oceania Cup final with a 3-1 win during their pool play encounter in Stratford today.

Given the weakness of Samoa and Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia will meet again in this weekend's decider so today's result was largely irrelevant in the grand scheme.

The game was meant to be played last night but terrible weather in Stratford saw the organising committee decide to postpone proceedings until today, which allowed for a better spectacle in brighter conditions at the TET MultiSports Centre.

Strikers Simon Child and Stephen Jenness were forced to live off scraps for much of the game as the Black Sticks struggled, particularly during the opening stages, to move the ball through the midfield.

Veteran Phil Burrows came in to the contest as the game wore on and used his 300-plus games of international experience to attempt to provide better service for the attackers but the Black Sticks were largely on the back foot.

New Zealand defended well throughout the majority of the first half as they scrambled adequately and were able to hold off most of Australia's charges.

Captain Dean Couzins marshalled his defenders well, while he was supported by the likes of Nick Haig and Joseph Bartholomew.

The home side took the lead in the 15th minute when Blair Hilton finished off some fine work from Jenness and Shea McAleese down the right-hand side of the turf.

Playing from down 1-0 galvanised the Kookaburras though and Jason Wilson answered back in the following minute before New Zealand stemmed the tide, albeit briefly.

Their resistance was shortly overthrown as Chris Ciriello scored from a penalty corner in the 28th minute and Russell Ford ensured Australia would take a 3-1 lead to the break as he scored two minutes before the hooter.

The second spell remained scoreless as New Zealand defended penalty corners well but couldn't score from their own when the opportunities presented themselves.

Pool play resumes in earnest tomorrow with the Australian men and women set to meet Papua New Guinea in the morning before the women's and men's Black Sticks face Samoa at midday and 2pm respectively.

The finals, which are all but guaranteed to feature New Zealand against Australia on both sides of the draw, will be played on Sunday.

The New Zealand Herald

Australia too strong for Black Sticks


Australia beat New Zealand 3-1 at the Oceania Cup hockey tournament in Stratford today.

With the pool match rescheduled after torrential rain last night, the Black Sticks started well.

Blair Hilton slammed the ball past Australian keeper Tyler Lovell after a great ball down the right flank.

Two minutes later, Australia equalised after a goalmouth melee had seen two shots blocked.

Closing in on 30 minutes, Australia went 2-1 up, with Chris Ciriello the scorer.

Two minutes before the break, Russell Ford added the third for the Australians to go to the break at 3-1.

The Black Sticks could not crack the Australian defence in the second half and will need to step up a notch when the two sides meet in Sunday's final.


Women in rout before rain postpones men's play

By Daniel Richardson

So much for that rest day.

As the rain drove in on Stratford last night, the call was made to postpone the men's Black Sticks game against Australia at hockey's Oceania Cup until today at 11am.

Some of the players were out on the turf warming up before the 7.30pm encounter but the sodden conditions meant a low-quality match was on the cards so the tournament's organising committee took advantage of today's scheduled rest day.

The decision to postpone the game was the commonsense approach, made by tournament director Dallas Riseley from Australia.

Richard Palmer, events manager for Hockey New Zealand, understood there may have been frustration around the move given some people had travelled to Stratford to watch the game.

"It's a logical call and there's some disappointed people and we can only apologise," Palmer said. "The players aren't going to perform in that."

As large pools of water began to form across the TET MultiSports Centre, Palmer gazed out across the turf and noted the freezing cold winds were also a concern for player safety.

"If you look out there now, you'd be playing underwater hockey."

Men's Black Sticks captain Dean Couzins had no problem with the postponement.

"I think it's the right call. I think the pitch was going to be just playable but it doesn't make for skilful hockey or good-quality hockey."

Couzins said the draw reshuffle wouldn't change how they would approach today's game against their transtasman rivals, despite the fact they would now play three tests in three days.

After today's game, New Zealand will probably breeze past Samoa tomorrow and meet Australia again in Sunday's final.

"We're keen to just play two really good-quality games against them," Couzins said of meeting Australia. "We want to keep building different structures and tactics around how we press and build up with the ball."

Earlier last night, the women's Black Sticks continued their impressive tournament with a 25-0 rout over world No 61 Papua New Guinea.

Their game took place before the weather completely closed in but it still rained throughout the contest and there were biting gusts of wind.

The goal-scoring action came thick and fast and even the official score sheet only accounted for 24 goals after the game. Following some quick revision, Sophie Cocks was eventually credited with the lost score, which took her tally to six for the match in only her second international.

Aucklander Julia King, who marked her 50th appearance for New Zealand with a goal, said it was the coldest she had ever been on a hockey field.

"It's just an honour to play for your country for 50 games," the 20-year-old said. "It wasn't the best game to play your 50th match but still, it's a game."

In the day's other matches, the Australian women beat Samoa 23-0 and on the men's side of the draw, PNG beat Samoa 4-1.

The men's game between New Zealand and Australia was set to be today's only outing with pool play resuming tomorrow.

The New Zealand Herald

Ghana's Hockey teams ready for Nations Cup

The senior national male and female hockey teams have started regrouping for a final brush-up for the November 18-24 Africa Hockey Cup of Nations in Nairobi, Kenya.

The teams broke camp days after the infamous Westgate Shopping Mall killings in Nairobi which forced the organisers to reschedule the tournament.

The Ghanaian teams have stepped up their preparations in a non-residential camping, although officials are still struggling to raise funds for the trip.

As a result of the ‘no-money syndrome’, the players and their handlers are expected to depart Accra a day before the tournament, push off and play their first match minutes on arrival.

At least eight countries, including host Kenya, South Africa and Egypt, are billed to play in the seven-day tournament, which also serves as a World Cup qualifier.

The winners in the two categories will pick the continent’s tickets for the World Cup slated for Holland next year.

For the first time, the World Cup will also feature ‘oldies’ from qualified countries to reminisce the past.

The Head Coach of the Ghanaian female team, Osei Boakye-Yiadom, told the Daily Graphic on phone that his ladies had hit their peak form at the right time for the tournament and was, therefore, hopeful the team would do well.


Inverleith and Grange clash in Edinburgh Derby

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1

Saturday serves up another all Edinburgh clash with bottom of the league Inverleith facing a resurgent Grange side, who are on the back of four wins in a row.  Both teams have not had the start to the league they would have wished for and will be keen to win this typically feisty and competitive fixture.  Three points for Grange could see them leapfrog PSL Team Sport Clydesdale into fourth whilst Inverleith could move as high as seventh in a very congested bottom half of the table.

At National Glasgow Hockey Centre third plays fourth, with champions Glynhill Kelburne up against one of this season’s most improved teams, PSL Team Sport Clydesdale.  After a faltering start Glynhill Kelburne are back on track and scoring lots of goals, with last week’s hammering of Inverleith shows a return to previous season’s form.  PSL Team Sport Clydesdale on the other hand have had a tricky couple of weeks dropping points to Dundee Wanderers and Hillhead.  Coach McKnight will be keen to trouble Glynhill Kelburne, having earned a draw in the same fixture earlier in the season.

Western Wildcats welcome Edinburgh University to Auchenhowie on the back of well deserved three nil victory knocking Hillhead off the top spot on Tuesday evening. The Milngavie and Bearsden men have the best record in the league with only one defeat and a draw so far this season.  They face an Edinburgh University side that have found some form with wins against Inverleith and Aberdeen evidence of their progress.  This game will be decided on how well the students can contain the ever prolific Western forward line.

In Dundee, Grove Menzieshill host Gordonians. Chris Anderson’s men will be keen to get back to winning ways, having not registered a win in their last four outings, the most recent fixture a defeat to Grange.  Gordonian’s form has been even less impressive with five straight defeats, albeit by a single goal on three occasions.  Earlier in the season the sides drew, so despite Menzieshill having a points advantage pre match, this match may be closer than league positions suggest.

The final match of the season sees Paul Dailly’s young Dundee Wanderers team travel west to face Keith Joss’s Hillhead.  Wanderers have had mixed results recently with a draw away to PSL Team Sport Clydesdale a highlight, whilst they were disappointed to win against fellow strugglers Edinburgh University.  Hillhead by contrast have had their best ever start to a league season winning five games in a row before defeat on Tuesday evening.  Despite being separated by eight league places this fixture has the potential for an upset so Joss’s men will have to be at their very best to get their season back on track.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 1

The first match on the fixture card is mid table Glynhill Kelburne face struggling CALA Edinburgh.  With ten points separating the sides, Glynhill Kelburne will see this an opportunity to add momentum to their push for an elusive top four finish, meanwhile a win for CALA would see them move six points off the bottom. Glynhill Kelburne have enjoyed a good run of recent, winning three of their last five matches, the most recent victory a closely fought 2-1 victory against Western Wildcats.  CALA in contrast have failed to win in their last five outings, an agonising 3-2 defeat to GHK added to their early season woes.

The league’s two Westerns meet at Auchenhowie on Saturday.  Wildcats have had indifferent start to the season winning matches against those around them in the league but failing to make an impact against those teams placed in the top half of the league.  Milne Craig Clydesdale Western have been more consistent, with only a defeat to Menzieshill tarnishing an otherwise perfect start to the season.  The southsiders will start the game as favourites but will be well placed to remember how difficult fellow pacesetters Edinburgh University found their trip to the Wildcat’s den.

Edinburgh University will be confident of adding to their six league wins so far this season with a home match against bottom side Grange, who are yet to register a win this season.  Despite a disappointing defeat to league leaders Menzieshill on Saturday, Sam Judge’s students will be keen to get back to winning ways and will be looking to do so in emphatic style.  Grange on the other hand will be looking to get on the score sheet having failed to score in their last three encounters.

Champions Grove Menzieshill face second from bottom Watsonians in Edinburgh on Saturday.  Yet to drop a point and with a goal difference of plus fifty-one, this could be a great challenge for capital city side.  Four points in the last three matches does, however, show signs of a mini revival for the recently promoted Watson’s ladies.  An outstanding defensive performance by Watsonians and a misfiring Grove Menzieshill forward line is the only combination likely to upset the form guide in this fixture.

The final fixture of the weekend sees sixth placed GHK travel to Tayside to play Dundee Wanderers.  After an encouraging start to the season, Dundee Wanderers have lost sight at the top with defeats to the top three sides.  GHK have had a more mixed start to the season with three wins a good return for their efforts, the most recent a vital two one victory against CALA.  Dundee Wanderers are a difficult team to beat at home, so GHK well be hard pushed to cause an upset.  The key for any team visiting Tayside is taming Dundee’s international stars, do that and you have a chance of a positive result.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

21-goal thriller leaves Paragon on top

National forward Kiel Murray scored six goals including five of his team’s last six as Paragon held off Petrotrin 11-10 in their T&T Hockey Board Super Indoor Championship Men’s Open Division opener at the Jean Pierre Complex, Mucurapo on Wednesday.

Paragon, which recently captured the national Indoor crown to deny the Oilmen, the double was first to strike via another national player, Akim Toussaint and two minutes later his international team-mate Cogie Butler made it 2-0.

However, Petrotrin with its own core of national players hit back with five unanswered goals through Wayne Legerton in the sixth, seventh and eighth minutes, Evan Farrell (ninth) and Atiba Whittington for a 5-2 lead.

The see-saw battle then swung back Paragon’s way as Murray (12th), Gerron Frank (13th) and Toussaint (18th) replied to leave both clubs even at 5-5 at the end of a pulsating half.

On the resumption, Paragon picked up where it left off with Murray scoring three quick goals inside the first three minutes and another by Toussaint to take control of the match at 9-5.

There was still another twist to the match as Dwain Quan Chan banged in three goals in the 27th, 30th, and 31st to pull the Oilmen within one at 9-8 and nine minutes left.

With five minutes remaining Toussaint got his third to give Paragon some breathing space at 10-8, but Whittington drove in his second for Petrotrin to pull within one again at 10-9 in the 36th.

Murray then calmed the nerves of his team-mates with a 38th minute goal for a 11-9 lead and despite Quan Chan’s fourth item of the match in the 40th minute his team managed to hang on for victory.

..Henry triggers Paragon revenge

Zene Henry had a hat-trick as Paragon avenged a 5-4 semifinal loss to national Outdoor and Indoor champions, Notre Dame, 7-1 in the Women’s Open Division lone match on Wednesday.

Henry got the opener as early as the first minute before national forward Blair Wynne drew the Dames level a minute minute.

But Paragon was a no mood to play second fiddle to its opponents on the night and then hammered in six goals without reply to seal a convincing victory ahead of its remaining matches against Indoor runners-up Ventures and Shandy Carib Magnolias.

Pauline Joseph made it 2-1 in the 15th minute while Keima Gardiner added a quick double in the 18th and 19th for a 4-1 cushion at the half.

Three minutes after the restart, Henry got her second and within a minute she completed her hat-trick while Danielle Thompson added another in the 27th.

Wren, Morales set up easy Army/Coast-Guard vets win

Nicholas Wren and Anthony Morales scored two goals each as newly crowned Mixed Veterans champions, Defence Force picked up from where it left off last week with a 9-4 bashing of Notre Dame.

The quintet of Gerard Ferguson, Kirth Davis, Anton Reyes, Roger Daniel and Neil Lashley added one each for the Teteron Boys while Sean Olton got two, and John Lewis and Selwyn King one apiece for the Dames.

Malvern, runner-up to Defence Force last weekend in the National Indoor final, also made a winning start, 5-2 over Fatima led by a Darius Nathaniel treble. (NS)

Nathaniel found the target in the fifth, tenth and 11th minutes while Anthony Marcano and Cecile Wren chipped in with one each to cancel out Derek Lee and Rolph Young’s goals for Fatima.

Wednesday’s T&THB Super Indoor results

Mixed Veterans

Defence Force 9 (Nicholas Wren 3rd, 19th, Anthony Morales 4th, 28th, Gerard Ferguson 5th, Kirth Davis 8th, Anton Reyes 9th, Roger Daniel 17th, Neil Lashley 19th) vs Notre Dame 4 (Sean Olton 3rd, 5th, John Lewis 20th, Selwyn King 29th)

Malvern 5 (Darius Nathaniel 5th, 10th, 11th, Anthony Marcano 27th, Cecile Wren 30th) vs Fatima 2 (Derek Lee 23rd, Rolph Young 26th)

Women’s Open

Paragon 7 (Zene Henry 1st, 23rd, 24th, Keima Gardiner 18th, 19th, Pauline Joseph 15th, Danielle Thompson 27th) vs Notre Dame 1 (Blair Wynne 2nd)

Men’s Open

Paragon 11 (Kiel Murray 12th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 35th, 38th, Akim Toussaint 3rd, 17th, 25th, Cogie Butler 5th, Gerron Frank 13th) vs Petrotrin 10 (Dwain Quan Chan 27th, 30th, 31st, 40th, Wayne Legerton 6th, 7th, 8th, Evan Farrell 9th, Atiba Whittington 10th, 36th)

The Trinidad Guardian

PHF controversies continue

LAHORE: Pakistan hockey teams participation in the Asian Games is in danger after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) failed to confirm its participation before the deadline.

According to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) the PHF failed to confirm their participation despite two written reminders send to them.

Pakistan hockey team is already out of the Commonwealth Games.

It is worth mentioning here that the Pakistan hockey team is the defending champion of the Asian Games.

The News International

Incheon Asian Games 2014 : PHF fails to respond to POA invitation

By Special Correspondent

LAHORE: The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) had invited, among many other National Sports Federations, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on October 21, 2013 as the deadline for the Asian Games 2014 at Incheon, South Korea for entry by sport was approaching. The POA wanted to ascertain the willingness of the National Federations concerned and also measure medal prospects. Despite the invitation letter and two subsequent reminders the PHF has failed to respond to the invitation. The refusal and avoidance of the meeting with the POA and non-provision of its willingness is tantamount to the PHF conceding that it does not intend to participate at the Incheon Games.

“The OCA and the organising committee of the Incheon Asian Games 2014 will only accept entries by the POA led by Lt Gen (r) Syed Arif Hasan, for it is the bona fide National Olympic Committee recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC),” said POA Director General Khalid Mahmood on Thursday. “The Pakistan hockey team had won gold at the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou. That, and Pakistan hockey’s Asian record, suggests that it definitely is a medal prospect. The PHF is foregoing that because it has aligned itself with the illegal, unrecognised POA. This is politics which is likely to hurt Pakistan hockey very badly,” he added.

Khalid lamented that already the present dispensation at the PHF had denied the Pakistan team participation in the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, United Kingdom. “The PHF must remember that its ultimate loyalty and responsibility should be Pakistan hockey and its betterment – and not politics at its cost,” said the POA official.

The Daily Times

Third time lucky

Malaysia's Head Coach, Paul Revington

Having finished third on two occasions of the AHF Champions Trophy, Malaysia are hoping to make it to the final this time around.

The AHF Champions Trophy will be held in Kakamighara, Japan from November 2 till 9 and the Malaysian team departed for Japan today (Wednesday), with some players sacrificing their Deepavali celebrations.

Malaysia were third in the inaugural tournament in Ordos, China in 2011 and they were also third in Doha last year.

Despite missing several talented juniors due to their commitment towards preparation for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December, as well as opting to rest several senior players, coach Paul Revington believes that he has enough talent in the team to mount a challenge for a place in the final.

“The players have been progressing well and showed their determination in training,” said revington who opted to leave out seniors in the likes of Mohd Shahrun Nabil and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil.

“Teams like India atre represented by their juniors while Pakistan is in a team rebuilding process.

“On the otherhand players in the current Malaysian team need to prove their worth to be included into the World Cup training squad that we will name in January.

“So this is a perfect opportunity for them to show that they deserve a place in the World Cup training squad.”

Malaysia will open their campaign with a tough match against Japan on November 2 before taking on November 2 before playing Oman a day after.

This will be followed by matches against Pakistan (Nov 5), China (Nov 7) and India (Nov 8(. The placing matches are on November 9.

Meanwhile the women’s team will also participate in the tournament and coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim is optimistic that his charges will finish on the podium in the four team event that will see India, Japan and China participating.

“The three countries are surely better then us but that does not mean we will not try to finish on the podium,” said Nasihin.

Players get second chance

By Jugjet Singh

FOUR former national players received a lifeline to play in the Asian Champions Trophy which starts in Kakamigahara, Japan, tomorrow.

Former skipper Madzli Ikmar, 34, quit after the London Olympics Qualifier, but coach Paul Revington recalled him for the Japan mission.

Also recalled were Megat Azrafiq, Ahmad Kazamirul, and Engku Malik. Kazamirul was also out in the cold for a long period, before being recalled for the recent International Hockey 9s in Australia, while the other two players have been out of action for more than 18 months.

The men's team will have champions Pakistan, India, Japan, China and Oman for company; while the women's tournament will be made up of Japan, India, Malaysia and China.

Malaysia won bronze medals in the last two editions in Ordos, China, in 2011 and Doha last year.

Squad -- Goalkeepers: S. Kumar, Khairulnizam Ibrahim.

Defenders: Ahmad Kazamirul, Azlan Misron, Engku Abdul Malik, Megat Azrafiq, Madzli Ikmar, Razie Rahim.

Midfielders: Azreen Rizal, Sukri Mutalib, Marhan Jalil, Nabil Fiqri, Ramadan Rosli.

Forwards: Faizal Saari, Ismail Abu, Izwan Firdaus, Amirullah Zainol, Azammi Adabi.

New Straits Times

‘The tactical game has improved’

After spending six months with the junior hockey players, Gregg Clark is satisfied that the youngsters have grasped the tactical aspects of the game well.

All set to host the Junior World Cup here in December, Hockey India has decided to field a young team in the Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Kakamigahara, Japan, from November 2 to 10.

Clark, the chief coach of the side, said the team was progressing well, and the upcoming event would be a good build-up in the overall scheme of things. “The positive point is that 14 of the 18 players are from the squad that won the Sultan of Johor Cup and they can add good value. “Some players are coming in and it will be a good learning experience for them. The players’ understanding and implementation of the game have become better. As a coaching group that is what we look forward to. The tactical game has improved and needs further improvement,” he said on Tuesday.

Clark said the team would hope to better its penalty conversion rate with Gurjinder Singh’s inclusion. Baljit Singh Saini, who has been assisting Clark, said the players gained from video analysis and individual scientific analysis.

Manpreet Singh, who will lead the side, said that the team was pumped up after its success in the Johor Cup. “The inclusion of some regular members of the senior team (like me) lifts the overall standard of our game. We hope to continue with our good work,” he said.

India will also take part in the women’s competition of the Asian Champions Trophy, and chief coach Neil Hawgood said the exposure would help the players ahead of their hectic schedule next year. “We are exposing three-four new kids. Next year we are playing CWG Asian Games and Champions Challenge, so before that we need to expose the players (to different competitions),” he said. Captain Ritu Rani said the side needed to get rid of its slow starts, because of which it finished third in the Asia Cup and could not qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Hockey Asia

I bunked examinations to play hockey: Affan Yousuf

By Tazeen Qureshy

Services of Affan Yousaff will be missed when India embarks another shot at Asian Champions Trophy this week in Japan.

However, the young lad, not considered for the team even as Junior National Team was fielded with Manpreet at the helm, takes things in his own stride.

"Every player aims to represent his country in important tournaments. It is the same with me. But, it is a tough competition out there. I am not taking anything in my mind. My only work is to play well and help my country win. At my end, I will try to give my best whenever given a chance", he said on asked his reaction for getting the selectors' nod for Japan trip.

Affan Yousuf, the seventeen year-old lad from Bhopal, was vice-captain to the Junior Indian team that won the Sultan Johor Cup at Johor Baru earlier last month. This was his third major tournament since the Murugappa Cup in 2010 and 3rd Senior Nationals where he represented Air India.

“It was an honor for me to be appointed as the Vice-Captain. Since we have prepared well for the tournament, we expected positive results,” said Affan who has also played for the Bhopal Junior team not long ago.

Affan assisted captain Manpreet Singh for the tour; and said the below before team departure: “We have a good team. Manpreet, Mandeep and Malak have just returned from Asia cup. Their inputs are helping us a lot in the field. Our coaches have also trained us well,” he says.

And it proved to be so at Johor Bahru

Born into the hockey family like most of the hockey stars, A­­­­­­ffan’s entry into hockey was natural. He credits his family for the success he has achieved till date. “My grandfather Khuda Dad, father Mohammad Yousuf and uncle Sameer Dad have played for the country. My brother Imran also plays for the national team. So, hockey came naturally to me,” he says.

In fact his interest in the game ran so deep that he didn’t mind bunking exams just to play hockey. “I have bunked exams many times to play hockey, let go classes,” he laughs off.

Affan has played for the Bhopal Badshahs in World Series Hockey under the captaincy of his uncle Sameer.

“My father and uncle keep advising me on my game. For this particular tour, they have advised me to remain confident and give my best. I hope to live up to the expectations of my family and coaches,” he signs off.

JFHA school's tourney from Nov 7

Sunil Subbaiah

BANGALORE: Jude Felix Hockey Academy- (JFHA) will conduct Dreamworld India U-16 inter-school hockey tournament at the KSHA stadium for the third year in succession, from November 7. The final is slated for November 10 under lights.

Six teams — Bishop Cottons HS, Rashtriya Military School, RDT HS for Inclusive Education, Sports School Kudige, Maria Niketan HS and St Paul High School from Chennai— will play the tournament on a round-robin format with the toppers battling for top honours. The academy will distribute hockey sticks signed by Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh to all participants.

"The matches will be of 30 minutes duration while penalty corners will be one-on-one battle between an attacker and the defending goalkeeper," Felix said

In an attempt to provide overseas exposure to his academy students, Jude has planned to take 24 players in the age group of U-12, 14, 16- and 18 to Singapore for a one-day hockey carnival.

JFHA has also partnered with Red Ribbon Revolution, an initiative to eradicate the stigma and discrimination against children living with HIV and AIDS, and bring them to the mainstream.

The Times of India

Mates celebrate anniversary event

Zanzeer Singh

THE Fijian Mates Hockey Club's 25th anniversary celebrations will coincide with its annual tournament at Nadovu grounds in Lautoka this weekend.

The Mates Club was founded in the late 1980s by Jimmy Little, Herbert Pickering, the late Claude Campbell, Tommy Levy, Isaac Johnson and Hynie Coffin.

Mates have come a long way and is the oldest surviving hockey club in the Sugar City.

This year's tournament has drawn an overwhelming response with the participation of clubs from Suva, Nadi, Ba and Lautoka.

Mates media liaison officer Ernest Coffin said this was the biggest inter-club tournament in the Western Division.

He said it would be a fun-filled affair with games for the children and entertainment programs for the pioneers of hockey in Lautoka.

"The teams in both the men's and women's divisions have been divided into two pools," the former national rep said.

"Ventures of Suva will defend the men's title and they are firm favourites being the national champions.

"Ventures are a powerful side having the likes of the Smith brothers Adrian and Hector Junior with Tevita King, Leevan Dutta and James Saqalaca. But they will face stiff competition from Marist and Stingers.

"Ventures will also defend women's title. The side will have top players like Allison Dutta, Myra Tora and Cathy Thaggard.

"However making a comeback in the tournament is Mobees. The side, along with the unknown Mates team, will give Ventures a good run in the competition.

The Mates tournament is sponsored by its fans club in partnership with Media Pacifica South Pacific Limited, David O'Conner, Rajnil Singh and the Fiji Hockey Federation.

"For the first time we have included a program whereby the organisers are giving back to the community," Ernest said.

"We will have the Lautoka Senior Citizens program which is held monthly in the Sugar City thanks to Margie Beddoes, Joe Foon, Alex O'Conner and Andrea Manueli.

"We will invite all the pioneers of the sport in Lautoka to come and sing along with the band on Saturday from 3pm"

The tournament will start at 8am tomorrow with the registrations of teams.

The Fiji Times

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Hockey Asia