News for 13 December 2013

All the news for Friday 13 December 2013


Tighter Test match but Argentina edge South Africa in second hockey Test

Argentina beat the South Africa men’s hockey team 1-0 in the second Test match after the scores were level 0-0 at half-time at Kearsney College in Hillcrest, Durban Thursday afternoon.

The third Test in this five-Test series in KZN is at 3pm Saturday at Queensmead Hockey Stadium in Umbilo, Durban South.

South American champions Argentina scored the winner through a Pedro Ibarra penalty corner midway through the second half (53rd minute).

Three South Africans made their Test debuts, Dylan Coombes, Dean Symons and Nic Spooner, all of Southern Gauteng.

“It was a much tighter Test match and we produced a far better team performance,” said SA captain Rhett Halkett.

“We created some good scoring opportunities and were sharper in defence. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the result we felt we deserved but that is how narrow the margin is on the international stage.

“This young group is learning quickly and we are improving with every game.

“Saturday will be another great opportunity for us to continue along this curve of improvement in order to get the result we desire.”

RESULTS/FIXTURES
1st Test – Argentina 4 South Africa 2; 2nd Test – Argentina 1 South Africa 0; 3rd Test - Saturday (Queensmead 3pm); 4th Test – Monday, December 16 (Queensmead 3pm); 5th Test – Tuesday, December 17 (UKZN Pietermaritzburg 6.30pm).

SA Hockey Association media release



Experienced Germans advance to semi-finals

Malaysia reach semi-final after fiery battle with Korea



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

(1/4 final) - Malaysia vs. Korea: 2-1 (half-time: 1-1)

Asian Champions Malaysia had been hugely impressive since the beginning of this Junior World Cup, and were pitted in this quarter-final against Asian rival Korea, who had shown strong character in their last pool match against India to come back from a 2-goal deficit and edge the local team out of contention.

Malaysia survived two penalty-corner scares against ace Korean striker You Seungju in the initial five minutes of play. Contrary to form, You Seungju missed another attempt. Malaysia were more efficient at the other end and Shahril Saabah capitalized in an opportunity in the 18th minute. They could have deepened the gap soon after, but only found the post, and shot wide yet another penalty-corner attempt.

You Seungju redeemed himself when he hit the target on his forth penalty-corner attempt and the teams went into the break back to back, with total indecision on the possible outcome of the match.

Beginning of second period was somewhat messy, neither team wanting to give an inch and tempers flaring often. Malaysia had the territorial edge but could not capitalize on the opportunities they created and Korea where still keeping their heads above water going into the last ten minutes of the period.

Malaysia were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 62nd minute when Shahril Saabah hit the target with a powerful drag-flick in goal after a perfectly executed penalty-corner. Korea tried to engineer another comeback but could not break-down the Malaysian defense and the Asian Champions were on their way for the semi-finals for the first time since they hosted the Junior World Cup back in 1983, much to the ecstatic pleasure of their numerous fiery fans.

(1/4 final) - Australia vs. Germany: 3-4 (half-time: 1-1)

Exciting quarter-final between two giants of the game. Australia had finished with maximum points in Pool B, while Germany suffered a defeat at the hands of Belgium on opening day.

After a tactical round of observation, Australia drew first blood when Tyler Cowley pounced on a ball mishandled by the German defense and took his time to find William Gilmour unmarked in the middle of the circle. Germany quickly regained their composure and Christopher Rühr put the teams back on par with a low penalty-corner in the 21st minute.

Germany had more opportunities at the end of the period, but the break was reached on a 1-1 tie. Play remained locked in midfield for the first twenty minutes of second period, with few real chances at either end. Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when he received the ball in the circle with his back to the goal, faked to go one way but turned the other and blasted the ball in the ceiling of the net.

The German celebration was however short-lived as Dylan Wotherspoon scored on the next action for the Kookaburras to level the score. The floodgates were now opened and Germany regained the lead in the next minute by Mats Grambusch, the third goal in so many minutes!

Australia pulled their goalkeeper with 5 minutes to go to try and come back in contention, but it immediately backfired as their defense lost the ball and Niklas Wellen did not miss the chance to give his team a more comfortable 2-goal cushion. Dylan Wotherspoon scored his second goal of the evening to close the gap to one unit, but Germany used all the extent of their experience and technical skills to control the end of the match, setting up an explosive semi-final date with the Netherlands, a remake of the 2009 Junior World Cup final.  

FIH site



France stuns European Champions Belgium

Dutch had to fight to the end to fend off strong New Zealand challenge



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

(1/4 final) -Belgium vs. France: 4-5 (half-time: 1-1)

Exciting quarter-final between European Champions Belgium, widely expected to do well in this Junior World Cup, and a French team that had only lost to them on an overtime golden goal in semi-finals of the European Cup.

After boisterous renditions of their national anthems, both teams were immediately in overdrive action. Belgium earned a penalty-corner with a video-referral in the 2nd minute of play but their soft option was wide of goal. Pieter Van Straaten had the first chance for France with a high backhand shot that was deflected by Arnaud Flamand in the Belgian goal.

Match was hotly contested, on the pitch and in the stands between the two sets of very vocal fans. France missed their first penalty-corner attempt but Victor Charlet was on target in the 15th minute to give the lead to Les Bleus.

Belgium immediately turned up the heat and France were under pressure. Gaetan Perez tied the match in the 29th minute and the Belgians had two opportunities to take the lead before the break, first on a penalty-corner then during a wide scramble in the goalmouth when the ball hit the crossbar with the French defense at a loss to realize where the ball had bounced back.

Maxime Plennevaux gave the lead to Belgium in the 37th minute, but Hugo Genestet brought the teams back on par three minutes later with a well-executed penalty-corner option. The wild scoring spree continued and Dorian Thiery put Belgium back in the lead two minutes later! Maxime Plennevaux scored a spectacular diving goal and for the first time of the match one team had a two-gaol cushion.

It however did not last long as Jean-Laurent Kieffer promptly brought France back within reach and Theophile Ponthieu tied the score in the 58th minute! Both teams threw caution to the wind in the final ten minutes of the match. Belgium seemed to have the upper hand but France earned a penalty-corner with a video-referral and scored their third goal in a row by Jean-Laurent Kieffer, his second of the match and the seventh goal of the period, to step in the driver’s seat with four minutes to go.

Belgium replaced their goal-keeper with a field player two minutes from time, but the French players hanged on their lead and were soon dancing with their fans to celebrate their stunning win over the European Champions and their first ever accession to final four.

(1/4 final) - Netherlands vs. New Zealand: 3-2 (half-time: 1-0)

The Netherlands had danced their way to the top of Pool C with maximum points and a handsome goal-difference, while New Zealand had squeaked in second place of Pool D with a narrow win over South Africa.

Both teams started cautiously, possibly because of the midday heat, but the Netherlands were soon all over the Black Sticks circle, peppering goal-keeper Ben Smith from all angles. Play quickly became animated and New Zealand somehow survived another pinball session in their goalmouth and two penalty-corner attempts, with a little help from their post.

The Netherlands scrambled their third penalty-corners and were struggling to entangle themselves from the Black Sticks aggressive press. They did not help their cause by missing some clean chances and another penalty-corner, but Thierry Brinkman finally opened the scoring for The Netherlands in the 28th minute, receiving the ball alone in front of Ben Smith after the orange wave once again overwhelmed the Black Sticks defense.

It was however all they could produce and the break was reached with a narrow one-goal lead for The Netherlands. New-Zealand tied briefly the match in the 38th minute by Nicholas Woods on a penalty-corner. It was the wake-up call that the Netherlands needed and they scored two quick goals by Thierry Brinkman then Tom Hiebendaal on a penalty-stroke to establish a more comfortable cushion.

New Zealand tried to react, mostly with counter-attacks, but the Dutch had now found their marks and tightened the bolts. They were however mesmerized by a quick exchange of Black Sticks passes in the 60th minute that found Benedict Van Woerkom alone in the circle to blast the ball past Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal.

New Zealand replaced their goal-keeper with an additional field player with four minutes to go, and Dutch defender Pelle Vos picked up a yellow card, but the desperate final Black Sticks rush was too late and The Netherlands protected their narrow lead to be the first team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup.

FIH site



Pakistan put away South Africa to set-up match against India

England overcome weary start to bounce out Egypt; Spain drops Canada after feisty consolation affair



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

(cross-over 9/12) – Pakistan vs. South Africa: 4-0 (half-time: 1-0)


It was an uneventful first half between Pakistan and South Africa who began the game very cautious, both with eyes on advancing to finish at-best in 9th place at the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup. Both teams traded pockets of possession with neither looking too threatening in the circle.

A South African missed assignment in the 8th minute resulted in Muhammed Dilber being left wide open at the far post. Dilber put the fore-hand deflection on target after a hard hit from 45 yards out to lift Pakistan 1-0 entering the break.

South African’s best chance of the half came in the 19th minute when captain Dylan Swanepoel made a key interception off a Pakistan aerial and eventually earned a penalty corner. Matthew Brown’s resulting drag flick was saved by keeper Mazhar Abbas, protecting Pakistan’s one-goal edge at half.

South Africa opened the second frame with a penalty corner but missed the trap completely, allowing Pakistan to regroup. Soon after Ammad Shakeel Butt opened the gap for Pakistan scoring two goals in two minutes. Uhammad Umar Bhutta sent a perfect pass from the right side for Butt to turn and put away on his back hand in the 41st minute. Butt earned his second on a well-executed corner, propelling Pakistan ahead 3-0.

South Africa showed good possession play but continued to be stymied at the edge of the circle by the Pakistan defence. Pakistan’s speed continued to open the game up and a quick passing sequence in the circle allowed Muhammad Irfan to score at the far post for the team’s fourth goal.

With the win Pakistan will move on to face the winner of the Argentina-India game to challenge for ninth, while South Africa will play the loser for 11th.

Match #31 (cross-over 9/12) – Argentina vs. India: 2-4 (half-time: 0-3)

India were clearly disappointed to play in the bottom part of the draw and needed to redeem themselves in front of their fans. They were promptly on the score sheet, first by Ramandeep Singh entering the circle on the right and blasting a shot from a difficult angle through Tomas Rearte in the Argentinian goal, then by Amit Rohidas on penalty-corner. The match had hardly started and Argentina were already looking at a steep road ahead.

They settled their nerves and started pushing forward, forcing two chances on penalty-corners, but both Gonzalo Peillat’s flicks were countered. Play stayed confined in midfield until the 31st minute when Ramandeep Singh cut through the Argentinian defense and once again beat Tomas Rearte from an impossible angle nearly on the backline, much to the pleasure of the local fans.

Argentina pulled one goal back early after the break by Lucas Martinez, but India re-established their 3-goal lead by Gurjinder Singh with a low flick on penalty-corner. With time passing, an Argentinian come-back seemed unlikely and the Indians put on some showmanship for the crowd. They created plenty of chances, and hit the crossbar, but it was Argentina who scored next when Lautaro Diaz recovered well from a bobbled penalty-corner.

The Indian win set-up an always highly anticipated clash between Pakistan and India, although fans on both sides of the border would have preferred the match to be for better ranking than 9th place… As for Argentina, they can only be disappointed to play for 11th place, when they had never finished lower than seventh in eight previous Junior World Cup appearances.

(cross-over 13/16) - Egypt vs. England: 1-6 (half-time: 1-0)

In the first match of the consolation round of the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup it was Egypt that showed up to play for the opening half, stunning England with the a goal in the 10th minute. A lack of basic skills plagued the English squad that showed more experience than Egypt but could not penetrate the circle in any dangerous fashion.

As for Egypt, who entered the 16-team tournament seeded last, Ramy Mohamed served the stinger that was the lone first-half goal. Egypt’s captain Ahmed Mohsen served up most of the trouble for the English back line despite some valiant tackles from England’s leader Andrew Bull.

England had one penalty corner in the opening frame and the resulting Phil Roper drag went low and wide. The team went on to have a series of seemingly promising chances but could barely muster enough to force a save out of keeper Wael Noureldin. Egypt almost advanced their lead by two when English net minder Harry Gibson was called to action on an Eslam Tarek close-range strike in the 22nd minute.

The mid-way break proved useful for England who returned revived to tally four goals in a ten-minute span. Following a penalty corner saved on the line by Egypt’s Mohamed Ragab, David Goodfield’s hard work helped set up a far-post tap in for James Gall to tie the game at one.

Three minutes later England took the lead thanks to a low, penalty corner drag from Luke Taylor, which sparked a momentum shift in favour the English.  Finally finding their passing ways, England gained control and although Noureldin made two back-to-back saves it was Nicholas Bandurak whose final touch in the air gave England the 3-1 advance.

Egypt’s fatigue began to show despite showing potential on two penalty corners earned. In the 51st minute a crucial steal in the midfield sprung an England attack that resulted in Goodfield getting the final touch over the line. Bandurak and Bull added the fifth and sixth goals, respectively to help England advance to play the winner of Canada-Spain in search of the 13th place.

(cross-over 13/16) - Spain vs. Canada: 3-2 (half-time: 2-1)

Both Canada and Spain had to dig deep to fight through fatigue and the sheer fact that they were relegated to the consolation round of the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup. The first half score line reflected the momentum of the game with the opening minutes favouring the Pan American silver medalists, while Spain dominated the latter.

Canada missed two far post deflections in the early get-going first by Brenden Bissett and again in the 11th minute by Balraj Panesar. Spain had one golden opportunity early on teed up perfectly by Alvaro Iglesias but Albert Beltran could not make the trap, leaving the game scoreless.

After knocking several times on the doorstep Canada finally gained the go-ahead after a hard hit from the left side that found Gabriel Ho-Garcia’s stick. The speedy striker made a fake inside then came back to his back-hand to lift Canada 1-0. The goal fueled Spain to push back and they began to threaten the Canadian back line on numerous occasions.

Canadian keeper Kevin Pereira was called to action several times but a hard hit across resulted in an own goal, tying the game at one. Spain earned a series of three penalty corners and on the third Borja Llorens made no mistake with a low drag flick in the 35th minute.

In the second half much of the same back-and-forth action continued with both teams struggling to capitalize in the circle. In the 44th minute Spain had a drag flick saved on the line by defender Gordie Johnston, while Pereira again stood tall for the young Canadians.

Spain found their security goal from Lluis Mercade in the 61st minute after a nice give-and-go with Enrique Gonzalez. With a 3-1 win, Canada pulled their keeper to play with 11 men. They were rewarded in the 64th minute when Brenden Bissett’s rocket cut the lead to one. Spain had one more close chance on the empty net but it was deflected wide, leaving Mercade’s goal as the game winner. Spain will now advance to vie for 13th place against England, while Canada will face Egypt for 15th.

FIH site



Holland first into semis



Holland edged New Zealand 3-2 in a pulstating quarterfinal match at the Dyan Chand Hockey tadium.

And they have set their minds on a place in the final, even though they will face defending champions Germany or Oceania champions Australia/

For Holland are optimistic that they can defeat either of the two teams who meet in the last quarterfinal of the day.

“It was a tough match as New Zealand had nothing to lose in the closing minutes of the match< said Holland coach Sjoerd Marline.

“We look forward to meeting either Germany or Australia as both will be equally tough. To win a tournament we need to win matches and really it does not make a difference who we play.”

Both teams started cautiously, possibly because of the midday heat, but Holland were soon all over the Black Sticks circle, peppering goal-keeper Ben Smith from all angles.

Thierry Brinkman opened the scoring for Holland  in the 28th minute, receiving the ball alone in front of Ben Smith after the orange wave once again overwhelmed the Black Sticks defense.

New-Zealand drew level in the 38th minute via Nicholas Woods from a penalty-corner.

Two quick goals by Thierry Brinkman followed by a Tom Hiebendaal penalty-stroke, 39th and 42nd minutes respectively, established a more comfortable cushion for the Dutch.

In the 60th minute Benedict Van Woerkom was left alone in the circle to blast the ball past Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal.

Hockey Asia



Junior Black Sticks denied semi-final spot


Angus Hazlett and Ben Smith (goalkeeper) in action during the quarter final against the Netherlands. Photo credit: Stanislas Brochier.

The Junior Black Sticks Men have lost 2-3 against the Netherlands in the quarter-final match of the Junior World Cup in New Delhi tonight.

Down 0-1 at half time, the Black Sticks fought hard to get back in the game with goals coming from Nick Woods and Benedict van Woerkom in the second half. Goalkeeper Ben Smith was in explosive form and kept the Kiwis within reach of a win, being named the Hero Player of the Match.

“It was some of our core skills of passing and trapping that probably let us down, and in our next game we have to make sure that is up to scratch.  We are certainly capable of competing with these top teams, so we will just be concentrating on the basics,” said head coach Grant Edwards.

There were some very nervous moments for the New Zealand defence in the first spell as the Dutch had 11 shots on goal plus four penalty corners, with one drag flick ricocheting off the post and a number of shots going just wide of the net.

“We could easily have been 3-nil down at the end of the first half and it was Ben [Smith] who kept us in the game for a long period of time - he was awesome,” said Edwards.

Although possession was close to equal for both sides, the Dutch were the team most likely to score and it happened in the 28th minute when Thierry Brinkman pushed it low passed Smith at close range.

Like the Junior Black Sticks have throughout this tournament, they came out fighting at the start of the second half. It paid off instantly when they were awarded a penalty corner and a clever variation ended in Midlands player Nick Woods finding the back of the net to equalise.

The good work was quickly overturned in the next four minutes when Brinkman scored his second goal of the game, followed by Tom Hiebendaal who stretched their lead to 3-1 converting a penalty stroke.

New Zealand came back within one goal of the Netherlands when Benedict van Woerkom scored a field goal in the 60th minute.  Unable to find the equaliser, Smith left goal and was replaced by another New Zealand field player with three minutes to go. A last minute flurry from the Kiwis didn’t end the way they had hoped and the Dutch now progress through to the semi-finals.

Edwards noted Sanjay Lala and Ben Smith as stand out players of the game.

The Black Sticks will now play the loser of the Germany vs Australia quarter final which is still to be played.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Sir Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks programme which is about providing specialised coaching, training and international competition experience for the next generation of Black Sticks.

Full time: 2-3 to Netherlands
Half time:  0-1 to Netherlands
New Zealand goal scorers: Nick Woods (38th), Benedict van Woerkom (60th)
Netherlands goal scorers: Thierry Brinkman x2 (28th, 39th), Tom Hiebendaal (42nd)

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Burras go down fighting

Australian U21 men lose 4-3 to defending champs Germany at Junior World Cup




Australia’s U21 men, the Burras, will not contest the medal places at the 2013 Junior World Cup after they lost 4-3 to defending champions Germany in the quarter-finals on Thursday night.

National Junior Coach Paul Gaudion said after the match he was “extremely proud” of Australia’s performance saying, “The desire and fight the boys showed tonight was excellent. We gave ourselves a great chance to win against a very good team – a team we should perhaps have met later on in the tournament.

“We were very well planned and although we couldn’t quite carry out those plans fully the boys played their hearts out.”

The defeat leaves Australia facing New Zealand on Friday in the first of two matches that will determine their final classification position, from fifth to eighth. Gaudoin added, “We’re aiming for fifth place now; that’s the best we can do. We’ll lick our wounds tonight and then refocus in the morning. There are lots of lessons we can learn from tonight and I hope that the guys understand how to take the experience of tonight and apply it to becoming Kookaburras in the future”

Victorian Will Gilmour had given the Burras an early lead with a swept strike inside the near post but the sides went in level at the break after Christopher Ruhr’s penalty corner levelled for Germany.

An evenly balanced contest between two previous winners of the tournament exploded into life midway through the second half with five goals scored in a remarkable final 15 minute period.

No sooner had Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel put Germany ahead for the first time just over midway through the second half Queenslander Dylan Wotherspoon drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-2. But less than 60 seconds later Germany were ahead again after a well worked team goal unlocked the Aussie defence.

As the match entered its final five minutes and with Australia chasing an equaliser, the Burras threw the dice. Removing goalkeeper Andrew Butturini to play with an additional outfield player they were caught out almost immediately as Niklas Wellens made it 4-2. Wotherspoon’s bundled close range goal with a minute remaining gave the Burras a glimmer of hope but there was to be no grandstand finish.

Gilmour’s eighth minute opener came after his opportunistic Victorian teammate Tyler Cowley took advantage of a mistake in the German defence to feed him. The Melbourne man still had plenty to do but wheeled away in celebration as his swept shot beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

Germany’s equaliser, from Christopher Rohr, came after video referrals failed to conclusively disprove the decision to award a penalty corner against Australia and the German’s shot found the backboard.

Both sides created chances to take the lead early in the first half with Will Gilmour and Justin Douglas both coming close while at the other end Cameron Joyce’s timely intervention was all that prevented Germany taking the lead.

Then came the goal rush. Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel’s close range shot into the roof of the net in the 55th minute put the Burras behind for the first time but the Australian response was immediate. Good work by Tyler Cowley set up Wotherspoon on the edge of the circle and the powerful Queenslander did well to create space before firing his shot into the bottom corner for 2-2.

No sooner had Wotherspoon levelled than Australia were behind again. A flowing German break down the right side involving four players found Mats Grambusch steaming into the circle where he connected with the cross to make it 3-2 from close range.

As time ticked down the Burras removed Andrew Butturini, the goalkeeper, and replaced him with a kicking back outfield player in the hope of snatching a late equaliser. However, Butturini had yet to take his seat in the dugout before Wellen made it 4-2, firing home into the empty goal and putting the game beyond Australia. Despite the blow, the Burras refused to give up and pushed upfield with Wotherspoon providing a glimmer of hope when he bundled the ball over the line at the back post but it was not enough to stave off defeat for the 2009 bronze medallists.

Australia’s Burras will meet New Zealand’s Junior Black Sticks at 5:45pm local time (11:15pm AEDT / 8:15pm AWST) on Friday as they begin the two match playoff for positions 5-8.

On Sunday, the winner will face the winner of the match between Belgium and Korea for fifth and sixth places, while the loser will play the loser of the Belgium – Korea fixture for seventh and eighth spots.

Junior World Cup, Men
Quarter-Final
Delhi, Argentina

On Twitter: #burrashockey

BURRAS 3 (1)

Will Gilmour 8 (F)
Dylan Wotherspoon 57,69 (F,F)

GERMANY 4 (1)
Christopher Ruhr 21 (PC)
Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel 55 (F)
Mats Grambusch 58 (F)
Niklas Wellen 65 (F)

Burras squad v Germany
(listed alphabetically by surname)
Name (Hometown)
Started

Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Andrew Butturini (GK) (Burringbar, QLD)
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW)
Will Gilmour (Melbourne, VIC)
Casey Hammond (Melbourne, VIC)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Aaron Kershaw (Goulburn, NSW)
Frank Main (Perth, WA)
Luke Noblett (Sydney, NSW)
Kane Posselt (Atherton, QLD)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Mulwillumbah, QLD)

Used Substitute
Robert Bell (Brisbane, QLD)
Tyler Cowley (South Morang, VIC)
Justin Douglas (Townsville, QLD)
Cameron Joyce (Port Pirie, SA)
Flynn Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Jayshaan Randhawa (Eltham, VIC)

Unused Substitute
Edward Chittleborough (GK) (Blackwood, SA)

Quarter-Final Results
Netherlands 3-2 New Zealand
Belgium 4-5 France
Malaysia 2-1 Korea
Australia 3-4 Germany

Australia’s Remaining Fixtures
Australia v New Zealand – Friday 13 December – 11:15pm AEDT / 8:15pm AWST
Australia v Belgium OR Korea – Sunday 15 December – time tbc

Semi-Final Fixtures
France v Malaysia – Friday 13 December – 9pm AEDT
Netherlands v Germany - Saturday 14 December – 1:30am AEDT

Hockey Australia media release



Germany defeats Australia to reach semis

s2h team


In an exciting quarter-final match today, Germany defeated Australia 4-3 to make it to the semi-finals. Australia opened their scorecard through Will Gilmour who converted a Penalty Corner and scored the first goal for them. Germany responded in the 21st minute after Christopher Ruhr scored an equalizer for them.

The scorecard remained still until the last 15 minutes of the game when it rained goals for both the teams. Germany’s Linnekogel scored a field goal in the 55th minute while Australia’s Wotherspoon equalized the score in 57th minute. A minute later, Germany again took lead when Niklas Wellen scored for them. Again in the 65th minute, Germany scored another field goal. Australia could only manage to lower the score by one goal in the 69th minute.

Talking to the media after the match coach Andre Henning of Argentina said,” For a young team, the boys have played well. We had a good build-up and strategy for the match.” On facing tough Australian side in the quarter-final itself, he said,” It is important to play such matches. It wouldn’t be fair to say that others teams had easy matches. In the earlier match, France defeated Belgium and even Netherlands faced tough resistance from the New Zealand team.”

Germany will be playing Netherlands tomorrow.

Stick2Hockey.com



Malaysia and Germany in semifinals

Y. B. Sarangi



DECISIVE STRIKE: Germany's Niklas Wellen's (centre) 62nd-mintue goal proved to be the winner in the end. Photo; R.V. Moorthy

The ‘bashing boys’ from Malaysia edged out Korea 2-1 to prove critics wrong, while defending champion Germany prevailed over Australia 4-3 in a battle of titans to reach the semifinals of the junior World Cup hockey tournament here on Thursday.

This was Malaysia’s fourth last-four finish, which came after a gap of 28 years. The contest went neck-and-neck and was locked 1-1 till the 54th minute before five-time champion Germany surged ahead when it scored two goals in the space of three minutes.

Australia removed its goalkeeper five minutes before the hooter, but Germany made it 4-2 through Niklas Wellen’s goal, which proved to be the winner in the end. The Aussies narrowed the gap, but could not stretch the thrilling contest to penalty shootouts.

In an all-Asian fixture, the Malaysians applied their body, mind and skills to dominate possession and win control against the fast-paced Koreans, who earned three penalty corners within the first 12 minutes.

Helmi Jali sent in a superb cross from the right and Shahril Saabah turned 90 degrees to his left to shoot home the first goal in the 18th minute. Both teams continued to look for openings and Korea drew level when drag-flicker Seungju You scored six minutes before half-time. The see-saw affair continued till Saabah launched a deceptive low flick to convert off Malaysia’s third short corner in the 62nd minute. Malaysia will take on France in the last-four clash.

India beats Argentina

A better-organised India defeated Argentina 4-2 in a classification match to set up a clash for the ninth spot with arch-rival Pakistan

The results (quarterfinals): Malaysia 2 (Shahril Saabah 18, 62) bt Korea 1 (Sengju You 29).

Germany 4 (Christopher Ruhr 21, Dieter-Enrique Linnekogel 55, Mats Grambusch 58, Niklas Wellen 65) bt Australia 3 (Will Gilmour 8, Dylan Wotherspoon 57, 69).

Classification matches): England 6 (James Gall 41, Luke Taylor 44, Nicholas Bandurak 48, 60, David Goodfield 51, Andrew Bull 66) bt Egypt 1 (Ramy Mohamed 10).

Spain 3 (OG 30, Borja Llroens35, Lluis Mercade 61) bt Canada 2 (Gabriel Ho-Garcia 24, Brenden Bissett 64).

Pakistan 4 (Muhammad Dilber 8, Ammad Shakeel Butt 42, 44, Muhammad Irfan 61) bt South Africa 0.

India 4 (Ramandeep Singh 4, 31, Amit Rohidas 7, Gurjinder Singh 40) bt Argentina 2 (Lucas Martinez 38, Lautaro Diaz 69).

The Hindu



The Blues for Belgium

France made their first ever semi finals in the history of the Junior World Cup when they came from two goals down to defeat European champions Belgium 5-4 at the Dyan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi.

The best ever previous performance was in 1979 when France hosted the Junior World Cup and they lost out on a place in the semis to Malaysia who edged them 1-0.

Ironically France could well meet Malaysia in the semi finals should Malaysia defeat Korea in the other quarterfinal.

“Words cannot describe how I feel right now and truly this is a fantastic day for French hockey,” said France coach Gael Foulard.

“Even though we were down 2-4 at one stage, I believed in the players and they rose to the occasion.

“Bring anyone on in the semis, we do not care now cos we know we can defeat any team if we keep on playing like this.

“I always knew we could defeat Belgium, never mind the fact that they are the European champions.”

France missed their first penalty-corner attempt but Victor Charlet was on target in the 15th minute to give the lead to Les Bleus.

Gaetan Perez tied the match in the 29th minute and Maxime Plennevaux put them ahead in the 37th minute.

Hugo Genestet brought the teams back on par three minutes later with a well-executed penalty-corner option. The wild scoring spree continued and Dorian Thiery put Belgium back in the lead two minutes later. Maxime Plennevaux scored a spectacular diving goal and for the first time of the match and Belgium had a two-gaol cushion.

It however did not last long as Jean-Laurent Kieffer promptly brought France back within reach and Theophile Ponthieu tied the score in the 58th minute.

France earned a penalty-corner with a video-referral and scored their third goal in a row by Jean-Laurent Kieffer, his second of the match and saw France into the semis.

Hockey Asia



Audacious France ousts Belgium

Uthra Ganesan


If luck favours the brave, France clearly is the bravest team in the fray here. The surprise quarterfinalist rode on luck and audacity to reach its maiden semifinal in the hockey junior World Cup, defeating European champion and title favourite Belgium 5-4 at the national Stadium here on Thursday.

In the process, it avenged its defeat in the European Cup semifinals last year.

It was a sign of things to come when Belgium wasted a penalty corner in the second minute of the game while France went ahead, converting its own in the 15th minute when Victor Charlet tapped in a rebound.

The entire match followed a similar script. “Sometimes there are no reasons to lose except that maybe the other team took its chances and we didn’t,” admitted Belgian coach Philippe Goldberg. He couldn’t have summed it up better.

Belgium was the better side in every respect — skills, passing, ball possession, planning and creating chances. When penalty corners didn’t work, it reworked its attack and got field goals. Belgium got everything right except the result.

France, on the other hand, was disorganised and desperate, throwing everything it had at the game. The French didn’t shy away from getting physical, indulging in some dangerous body play and received repeated warnings.

Despite it all, Belgium went ahead twice in the second half, going up 4-2 in the 47th minute. A soft goal conceded off a French counter-attack, in the very next minute, was the turning point. That goal energised France and it started attacking in waves, unnerving the Belgians.

Two penalty corners in the last 10 minutes were all it took France to cause the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

“I am very happy. All I kept telling the boys was to believe in themselves. Mental strength was very important and I am proud of this team,” French coach Gael Foulard said.

Next up will be Malaysia, who downed a fighting Korea 2-1.

Earlier, an early morning start was no hindrance for the Netherlands to ensure an easy passage to the last-four stage with a 3-2 win over New Zealand. The Dutch dominated completely and toyed with the New Zealand defence.

Thiery Brinkman’s double strike and Tom Hiebendaal completed the tally for the Netherlands.

The results:

Quarterfinals: France 5 (Jean-Laurent Kieffer 2, Victor Charlet, Hugo Genestet, Theophile Ponthieu) bt Belgium 4 (Maxime Plennevaux 2, Gaetan Perez, Dorian Thiery); the Netherlands 3 (Thierry Brinkman 2, Tom Hiebendaal) bt New Zealand 2 (Nicholas Woods, Benedict van Woerkom).

The Hindu



France stun Belgium to enter semis of Junior Hockey WC

NEW DELHI: Jean-Laurent Kierffer scored a brace as France stunned European champions Belgium 5-4 in a nail-biting encounter to enter the semifinals of the ongoing Hero Junior Men's Hokey World Cup on Thursday.

In another quarterfinal, The Netherlands eked out a hard-fought 3-2 win over New Zealand to progress to the last-four stage.

France scored through Victor Charlet (15th minute), Hugo Genestet (40th), Kierffer (48th, 65th) and Theophile Ponthieu (58th) to register a hard-earned victory.

Belgium's first goal came from an own goal in 29th minute, while Maxime Plennevaux (37th, 47th) and Dorian Thiery (42nd) were the other goal-getters.

It was an exciting clash between Belgium, widely expected to do well in this Junior World Cup, and the French team that had only lost to them on an overtime golden goal in the semifinals of the European Cup.

Belgium earned a penalty-corner via a video-referral in the second minute, only to shot wide.

Pieter Van Straaten had the first chance for France with a high backhand shot that was deflected by Arnaud Flamand in the Belgian goal.

France wasted their first penalty-corner but Charlet was bang on target in the 15th minute to give the lead to Les Bleus.

Belgium immediately turned up the heat and equalised in the 29th minute through an own goal as both the teams went into the breather locked at 1-1.

After the crossover, it rained goals as both France and Belgium were in no mood to give an inch to each other.

Plennevaux gave Belgium the lead in the 37th minute, but Genestet brought France back on par three minutes later with a well-executed penalty-corner conversion.

Thiery put Belgium back in the lead two minutes later and then Plennevaux scored a spectacular diving goal to give the team a two-goal cushion for the first time in the match. But the Belgians were in for a rude shock as France netted two goals in a span of 10 minutes to level the scores.

Kieffer brought France back within reach and then Ponthieu tied the score in the 58th minute.

Both teams threw caution to the wind in the final 10 minutes of the match.

Belgium seemed to have the upper hand but France earned a penalty-corner with a video-referral and scored their third goal in a row that came from the sticks of Kieffer, his second of the match and the seventh goal of the period, to take the lead with four minutes to go.

Belgium replaced their goal-keeper with a field player two minutes from time, but the French defence stood tall to make their maiden appearance in the semifinal of the tournament.

Earlier, for Netherlands, Thierry Brinkman (28th, 39th) scored two field goals, while the other came via penalty stroke from the sticks of Tom Hiebendaal in the 42nd minute.

The Black Sticks fought hard and scored through Nicholas Woods, who converted a penalty corner in the 38th minute and a field effort from Benedict van Woerkom (60th), but it was not enough to earn them a place in the semifinals.

The Netherlands will face the winner of the other quarterfinal match between Australia and holders Germany in the semifinals, while France will be up against the winners of the match between Korea and Malaysia.

The Times of India



Malaysia in semis


(Photo: Satwant Singh Dhaliwal)

Malaysia booked a place in the semi final of the Junior World Cup with a 2-1 win over South Korea at the Dyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi.

The last time Malaysia made the last four was at the 1982 edition in Kuala Lumpur. They will take on France in the semis tomorrow (Friday).

The Malaysians were outstanding, both in attack and defence and gave scant respect to the Koreans who had dumped India out of the quarterfinals.

“I am speechless. This is indeed a great moment for Malaysian hockey. I dedicate this feat to all Malaysians whose prayers have been answered,” said coach K. Dharmaraj.

“We just went out there to give our best and believed that the result would be in our favour.

“We look forward to the match against France as we have nothing to lose. Ftrance are a great team as they sent Beligium, the European champions out in the quarters.”

Both sides took a cautious approach to the game from the opening whistle and it was the Malaysians who took the early gamble to push more men forward.

The decision almost paid off as Muhammad Rashid Baharom was found unmarked in the circle by Faiz Helmi Jalil, but first time effort on goal sailed agonisingly wide.

The Koreans took advantage of the extra space and immediately raced forward to the other end and won their first penalty corner of the match.

Danger man You Seungju stepped up to try and give Korea the lead, but Muhammad Izad Hakimi Jamalludin was on hand to deny the flicker on two occasions.

Malaysia then earned their first penalty corner of the game in the 9 th minute but Izad Hakimi failed to deflect home a set piece.

K.Dharmaraj’s side then took control of the match and begun to torment the Korean defence and after a wave of attacks, Malaysia finally found the breakthrough in the 19th minute.

Faiz Helmi’s cross from the right flank found Muhammad Shahril Saabah in the circle, the striker was calm enough to slot the ball home after being pressured by three South Korean defenders.

However, the Koreans had the final say of the first half as eight minutes before the half time hooter Seungju found the back of the net from their fourth penalty corner after his powerful drag flick deflected off Izad Hakimi’s stick and sailed into goal.

The second half saw Malaysia taking charge and in the 45 th minute skipper Fitri cae close with a reverse stick attempt ythat sailed inches wide.

In the 53 rd minute Mohd Syamim Yusof came close and ten minutes from time Shahril’s reverse stick hit sailed agonisingly close.

But Shahril was not to be denied as he sent his penalty cornera ttempt sailing into goal in the 62 nd minute for a historic place in the semis.

Hockey Asia



Juniors come good

DREAM RUN: Team ready to slay France today


MALAYSIA qualified for the Junior World Cup semi-finals after 31 years when they edged South Korea 2-1 in a pulsating quarter-final at the Dyan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.

It was a superb  achievement by coach K. Dharmaraj and his team as the Koreans were favourites to win the match as they had dumped India out of the tournament.

But a disciplined and determined display by skipper Fitri Saari and his players ensured that not only did Malaysia make the semis, but bettered the target of a top six set by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation.

Shahril Saabah was the  hero as he netted both the Malaysian goals.

"I am really happy to have contributed to this win and I dedicate this to all Malaysians who have stood behind us all this while," said Shahril in between sobs.

"We knew that we could beat the Koreans and gave it our all in the match and I am really happy that we are in the semis. Now for France and I believe we can create history by making the final."

Malaysia, who are the reigning Asian junior champions, have  been hugely impressive since the beginning of the Junior World Cup.

Malaysia survived two penalty-corner scares against ace Korean striker You Seungju in the initial five minutes of play.

Malaysia were more efficient at the other end and Shahril Saabah capitalised on an opportunity in the 18th minute.

Seungju redeemed himself for his earlier misses when he hit the target on his fourth penalty-corner attempt.

In the second half, Malaysia had the territorial edge but could not capitalise on the opportunities created.

Malaysia were finally rewarded for their persistence in the 62nd minute when Shahril hit the target with a powerful drag-flick after a perfectly executed penalty-corner.

"I cannot say anything as I might end up crying.

"This win shows there is a future for Malaysian hockey and we will do our best to make the final," said coach K. Dharmaraj.

"We will not let this win get into our heads as we have another match in 24 hours' time and we look forward to playing France who are a good team."

New Straits Times



Malaysia through to semis ... finally

By S. Ramaguru



Mohamed Shahril Saabah (right) in a file photo. He was the hero of the day after scoring both of Malaysia's goals in their 2-1 win over South Korea in the Junior World Cup quarter-finals on Dec 12, 2013.

After 31 years, Malaysia have finally made the semi-finals of the Junior World Cup again – and they are already looking beyond it.

The National Juniors defeated South Korea 2-1 in an exciting quarter-final match at the Major Dyhan Chand National Stadium here on Thursday.

And the hero of the day was Mohd Shahril Saabah, who netted both the goals.

The last time Malaysia made the semi-finals – in 1982 – they finished fourth.

In Friday’s semi-finals, Malaysia will take on France, who had earlier dispatched European champions Belgium 5-4 in another quarter-final tie.

Although South Korea started strongly, it was Malaysia who took the lead in the 18th minute when a quick attack saw Shahril slotting home from the top of the D.

Nine minutes later it was all level. Off their fourth penalty corner, South Korea made it 1-1 with top scorer You Seong-ju’s direct drag flick. It was his eighth goal in the tournament.

The second-half saw some scrappy play by both sides and the Koreans also resorted to a little more robust game. That, however, failed to rattle the Malaysians, who stood firm.

Their resilience paid off and the Malaysians got the winning goal in the 62nd minute off their third penalty corner, with Shahril scoring his first direct flick.

National Juniors skipper Fitri Saari, who was named man-of-the-match, said they intend to go all the way to the final and make history.

“We want to be remembered for achieving the best result at this level,” he said.

“We went into the match expecting a tough time but I was confident we could win because we have always beaten the Koreans.

“We knew what to expect ... so long as we could get the goals, the match was there to be won.

“We played to instruction, except for the last five minutes when we kept attacking while the team coaches wanted us to defend the lead.

“In the end, it finished well for us. I give credit to all the players for their attitude and fighting spirit,” said Fitri.

The Star of Malaysia



France face Malaysia in Junior Hockey World Cup semifinals

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: Defending champions Germany showed why they are the team to beat in the competition as they came up with an impressive show to down Australia 4-3 to move into the semifinals of the Hero Junior World Cup on Thursday.

It was a day to remember for France as well as they made their first-ever junior World Cup semifinals with a stunning win over European champions Belgium.

An emotional Malaysia too made it to the last four, becoming the only team from Asia to make the grade. The Netherlands completed the semifinal lineup with a 3-2 win over New Zealand.

Germany, who had started with a loss against Belgium, suffered an early setback conceding in the 8th minute. They fought back to take a 2-1 lead and Australia were made to play catch up.

With five minutes to go and Germany leading 3-2, Australia decided to replace their goalkeeper with an additional player. But the move backfired as Germany scored seconds later, a goal which eventually turned out to be the match-winner.

"We had a very good build up and offence idea and it worked well," Germany coach Andre Hennig said after the match.France made history by making the semifinals for the first time after they overcame Belgium 5-4 in a fiercely-contested tie.

The Times of India



Comeback win for England U21 Men


England U21 Men, Nick Bandurak

SIX unanswered second half goals helped England Under-21 Men battle back from a half time deficit and secure their first win at the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup in New Delhi, India, on Thursday.

“It was an excellent second half,” said England Head Coach John Bleby. “It panned out as we thought it would if we just kept pressing, but we’re keeping our feet firmly on the ground because we’ve got another important game on Saturday.”

Egypt took the lead after just ten minutes through a field goal from Ramy Mohamed as they broke away following a turnover, and held that lead to the break as England struggled to score despite having the majority of possession and a couple of good chances.

The breakthrough came on 41 minutes, and James Gall was the scorer. A good move down the right hand side and some good inter-passing between Chris Proctor and David Goodfield led to Gall scoring at the far post.

Three minutes later Luke Taylor scorer from a penalty corner with a hard drag-flick under the Egyptian goalkeeper.

Nick Bandurak (pictured) scored his first goal on 48 minutes, pushing home from just two metres after a circle melee, and David Goodfield added his name to the scoresheet on 51 minutes when he got a touch on a James Gall shot.

Bandurak’s second goal came on the hour mark, scoring from the rebound after Phil Roper’s shot had rebounded off the goalkeeper. And the sixth goal came on 66 minutes, captain Andy Bull firing in a shot from the top of the D to cap a great performance which earned him the man of the match award.

England will now play either Spain or Canada in the 13/14th place play-off match at 10am (GMT) on Saturday.

England Under-21 Men’s Squad v Malaysia

Started

Harry Gibson (GK) – Loughborough Students
Jonathan Gall - Surbiton
Andrew Bull (capt) – East Grinstead
David Goodfield – Sheffield Hallam
Brendan Creed – Sheffield Hallam
Sam French – Univ of Birmingham
James Albery – Cambridge City
Phil Roper - Wimbledon
Luke Taylor – East Grinstead
James Gall - Surbiton
Joseph Sharp - Beeston

Substitutes used
Thomas Pinnegar (GK) - Univ of Birmingham
Jonathan Griffiths – Loughborough Students
Daniel Faulkner – Loughborough Students
Robert Farrington – Loughborough Students
Chris Proctor – Beeston
Nick Bandurak – Cannock

Did not play
Arjan Drayton-Chana – Sheffield Hallam

England Hockey Board Media release



SA U21 hockey men lose to Pakistan

The South Africa U21 men’s hockey team lost 4-0 to an on-song Pakistan in the playoffs for ninth to 12th places at the Junior World Cup in Delhi Thursday.

SA U21 will play Argentina on Saturday at 2.10pm SA time (live on SuperSport 7) in the playoff for 11th and 12th places.

The FIH reports that it was an uneventful first half between Pakistan and South Africa, who began the game very cautiously, both with eyes on advancing to finish in 9th place. Both teams traded pockets of possession with neither looking too threatening in the circle.

A South African mistake in the 8th minute resulted in Muhammed Dilber being left wide open at the far post. Dilber put the forehand deflection on target after a hard hit from 45 yards out to lift Pakistan 1-0 entering the break.

The South Africans’ best chance of the half came in the 19th minute when captain Dylan Swanepoel made a key interception off a Pakistan aerial and eventually earned a penalty corner. Matthew Brown’s resulting drag flick was saved by keeper Mazhar Abbas, protecting Pakistan’s one-goal edge at the end of the half.

South Africa opened the second frame with a penalty corner but missed the trap completely, allowing Pakistan to regroup.

Soon after Ammad Shakeel Butt opened the gap for Pakistan, scoring two goals in two minutes.

Uhammad Umar Bhutta sent a perfect pass from the right side for Butt to turn and put away on his backhand in the 41st minute. Butt earned his second on a well-executed corner, propelling Pakistan ahead 3-0.

South Africa showed good possession play but continued to be stymied at the edge of the circle by the Pakistan defence. Pakistan’s speed continued to open the game up and a quick passing sequence in the circle allowed Muhammad Irfan to score at the far post for the team’s fourth goal.

With the win Pakistan move on to face India to challenge for ninth, while South Africa will play Argentina for 11th place.

SA Hockey Association media release



Shakeel scores brace for colts in World Cup


The colt’s speed continued to open the game up and a quick passing sequence in the circle allowed Muhammad Irfan to score at the far post for the team’s fourth goal. PHOTO: hockeyindia.org

Pakistan beat South Africa 4-0 in their Junior Hockey World Cup in their 9-12 classification match on Thursday, according to details available on the FIH website.

It was an uneventful first-half between Pakistan and South Africa who began the game very cautiously. Muhammad Dilber scored the opening goal to lend the greenshirts a 1-0 lead right before the breather.

South Africa opened the second frame with a penalty corner but failed to convert it to their advantage. This gave Ammad Shakeel enough motivation to contribute two goals in two minutes. Umar Bhutta sent a perfect pass from the right side for Butt to turn and put away on his back hand for his first goal. Butt earned his second on a well-executed corner, propelling Pakistan ahead 3-0.

The colt’s speed continued to open the game up and a quick passing sequence in the circle allowed Muhammad Irfan to score at the far post for the team’s fourth goal.

The Express Tribune



Pakistan blank South Africa in playoffs

NEW DELHI: Pakistan hammered South Africa 4-0 in the 9-12 classification match at the Junior Hockey World Cup on Thursday.

Both teams traded pockets of possession with neither looking too threatening in the circle.

A South African missed assignment in the 8th minute resulted in Muhammed Dilber being left wide open at the far post. Dilber put the fore-hand deflection on target after a hard hit from 45 yards out to lift Pakistan 1-0 entering the break.

South African's best chance of the half came in the 19th minute when captain Dylan Swanepoel made a key interception off a Pakistan aerial and eventually earned a penalty corner. Matthew Brown's resulting drag flick was saved by keeper Mazhar Abbas, protecting Pakistan's one-goal edge at half.

South Africa opened the second frame with a penalty corner but missed the trap completely, allowing Pakistan to regroup. Soon after Ammad Shakeel Butt opened the gap for Pakistan scoring two goals in two minutes.

Uhammad Umar Bhutta sent a perfect pass from the right side for Butt to turn and put away on his back hand in the 41st minute. Butt earned his second on a well-executed corner, propelling Pakistan ahead 3-0.

South Africa showed good possession play but continued to be stymied at the edge of the circle by the Pakistan defence. Pakistan's speed continued to open the game up and a quick passing sequence in the circle allowed Muhammad Irfan to score at the far post for the team's fourth goal.

With the win Pakistan will move on to face the winner of the Argentina-India game to challenge for ninth, while South Africa will play the loser for 11th.

The Times of India



India to face Pakistan for ninth place in Junior Hockey World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: They might be out of the title race, but India on Thursday ensured something that every hockey fan in the country looks forward to - a clash with Pakistan.

India played a dominating game to outclass Argentina 4-2 and guaranteed a face-off between the arch-rivals for the 9th place on Saturday in the Junior World Cup.

Earlier, Pakistan won their match 4-0 against South Africa. Similar to match against Korea in the league stage, India started aggressively. Ramandeep Singh gave India the lead in the 4th minute.

Amit Rohidas, whose penalty corner conversion was ordinary against Korea, found his touch and converted India's first set-piece three minutes later. Aided by Ramandeep's brilliant solo goal in the 31st minute, India went to the half time with a commanding 3-0 lead.

Argentina tried hard to come back into the match in the second half, but their efforts were not good enough. Argentina's goals came from the sticks of Lucas Martinz in the 38th minute and Lautaro Diaz in the 69th minute.

Meanwhile, in other classification encounters of the day, England thrashed Egypt 6-1, while Spain scrapped past Canada 3-2.

The Times of India



India beat Argentina, to clash against Pak for 9-10th place

NEW DELHI: Ramandeep Singh scored two field goals to guide India to a comfortable 4-2 win over Argentina today and set up a mouth-watering clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in the 9th-10th place classification match at the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup here.

Though he was late to rise to the occasion, Ramandeep (4th minute, 31st) showed his scoring prowess by scoring two fantastic field goals in the 9-12th place classification match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Apart from Ramdeep, the drag-flick specialists Amit Rohidas (7th) and Gurjinder Singh (40th) were the other goal-getters for the hosts.

Argentina's goals came from the sticks of Lucas Martinz in the 38th minute and Lautaro Diaz in the 69th minute.

India will now face neighbours Pakistan in the 9-10th place play-off match on Saturday.

Pakistan had defeated South Africa 4-0 in their 9-12th place classification match earlier in the day.

Argentina will play South Africa in the 11th-12th place classification game on Saturday.

Out of the podium race, the Indians came out like wounded tigers and dominated the share of exchanges in the opening half.

India controlled the proceeding from the word go and surged ahead in the fourth minute of the match through Ramandeep, who after receiving a through pass from Rohidas, dodged past an Argentine defender to score from the right corner of the circle.

Three minutes later, Rohidas doubled India's lead by converting the first penalty corner awarded to the hosts with a grounded flick.

Argentina's best moments came in the middle of the opening period when they earned two back-to-back penalty corners but India's defence was up to the task to thwart any danger to their goal.

Ramandeep was once again at the thick of things when he scored a brilliant field goal in the 31st minute after dodging past three Argentine defenders to help India go into the breather with a three-goal cushion

The Times of India



We'll treat the classification tie like any other game: Coach

NEW DELHI: Out of the podium race in the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup, India have a chance to redeem some pride with a win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the 9-10th place classification match but national coach Baljit Singh Saini today refused to treat the high-profile fixture as a "special" encounter.

India rode on Ramandeep Singh's two field goals and penalty corner conversions from Amit Rohidas and Gurjinder Singh to beat Argentina 4-2 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here and set up a mouth-watering clash against Pakistan in the classification match on Saturday.

"India-Pakistan encounters may be special for spectators and media but not for us. We can't treat it as a special match because if we do so there are chances of committing mistakes. We will take it as just another game," Saini told reporters.

"But I must admit pressure would be there on the boys before the match but once they take the field it is like just another game."

With a top eight finish out of sight, Saini said India will do its best to finish as high as possible in the 16-team competition.

"We had high expectations from this tournament but now we are playing for pride. We are definitely disappointed that we couldn't finish in top eight. But the good thing to take from this tournament is that we lost only to one world class team so far," he said.

Saini was of the view that conceding soft goals early in the tournament crushed their medal hopes.

"In the pool stages we conceded goals in the first 10 minutes and that disturbed our game plan. The boys are young and they will learn with experience," he said.

Ramadeep, who finally rose to the occasion with two brilliant field goals against Argentina, is a doubtful starter against Pakistan after injuring his shoulder in the dying stages of the match today.

"We still don't know the extent of Ramandeep's injury. It seems he did not dislocate his shoulder but he is in immense pain. We can take a call on him only after assessing his medical reports," the coach added.

The Times of India



Our team is worthy of beating World Class teams says Baljit Saini

Tazeen Qureshy


Indian might have been out of the quarter-finals but they still hope to make the best out of whatever is left for them. After winning against Argentina 4-2 in today’s match, team manager Baljit Singh Saini said,” We had a lot of expectations from the team. But we couldn’t remain in the top eight unfortunately. We lost to a world class team Netherlands, defeated Canada and drew against another good team Korea. We even beat Argentina, which has a good drag-flicker. So, though we couldn’t qualify, we want to prove that our team is worthy of beating world class teams.”

On not being able to utilize chances despite better positioning, he said,” The players have got exposure in the junior level. They made a lot of mistakes. But, it was not a selfish approach by the players, rather they were in a hurry.”

Ramandeep, who has had a not-so-good tournament so far, was seen back in form after he scored two field goals against Argentina. “Ramandeep is back in form and he played his game today. However, he has hurt himself on the shoulder and the extent of injury will only be known after check-up,” he added.

India will next play Pakistan on Saturday. “It is a special match for people and the media. It is a special match for players also. But, to avoid making mistakes, we will not take it in that way.”

Stick2Hockey.com



Spain pip Canada in position match

NEW DELHI: Spain beat Canada 3-2 in the 13-16 classification match in the Hockey Junior World Cup here Thursday.

The first half score line reflected the momentum of the game with the opening minutes favouring the Pan American silver medallists, while Spain dominated the latter.

Canada missed two far-post deflections in the early get-going first by Brenden Bissett and again in the 11th minute by Balraj Panesar. Spain had one golden opportunity early on teed up perfectly by Alvaro

Iglesias but Albert Beltran could not make the trap, leaving the game scoreless.

After knocking several times on the doorstep Canada finally gained the go-ahead after a hard hit from the left side that found Gabriel Ho-Garcia's stick. The speedy striker made a fake inside then came back to his back-hand to lift Canada 1-0. The goal fueled Spain to push back and they began to threaten the Canadian back line on numerous occasions.

Canadian keeper Kevin Pereira was called to action several times but a hard hit across resulted in an own goal, tying the game at one. Spain earned a series of three penalty corners and on the third Borja Llorens made no mistake with a low drag flick in the 35th minute.

In the second half, much of the same back-and-forth action continued with both teams struggling to capitalise in the circle. In the 44th minute Spain had a drag flick saved on the line by defender Gordie Johnston, while Pereira again stood tall for the young Canadians.

Spain found their security goal from Lluis Mercade in the 61st minute after a nice give-and-go with Enrique Gonzalez. With a 3-1 win, Canada pulled their keeper to play with 11 men. They were rewarded in the 64th minute when Brenden Bissett's rocket cut the lead to one. Spain had one more close chance on the empty net but it was deflected wide, leaving Mercade's goal as the game winner. Spain will now advance to vie for 13th place against England, while Canada will face Egypt for 15th.

The Times of India



It’s time to offer ‘Fateha’ for hockey: Shehna

Former Olympian Shehnaz Sheikh, speaking after Pakistan’s humiliating elimination from the Jr. World Cup on Tuesday, remarked that the only consistency the national sides showed these days was their condemnation to playing for the last positions.

In comments to APP after Belgium held Pakistan to a 2-2 draw in their last pool match in New Delhi, Shehnaz reiterated his call for change at the helm of Pakistan Hockey Federation as a first step on the long road towards revival of the national game.

“It was the time to offer ‘Fateha’ for the national game which I earlier believed was in Intensive Care Unit”, he said in sarcastic observation on Pakistan juniors’ pathetic display in New Delhi where they scrapped through 3-2 against lowly Egypt and then were whipped 6-1 by tile contenders Germany.

“I would rather say Pakistan showed consistency but only in being condemned to playing for the last positions”, he said.

Pakistan failed to reach quarter-finals after 2-2 draw against Belgium and would now play for positions outside the first eight.

“I believe that lack of physical fitness and team work resulted in sorry state of affairs for the team,” he said, adding, there was no aggression and spark in the players which was mandatory in modern hockey.

Shehnaz said he would not call it a junior team as 10 senior players were playing in it.

“If a team having 10 senior players cannot beat junior opponents, how can you expect them to play against senior international teams,” he emphasised.

The former olympian said the recent change of hockey management had also caused confusion among the players which was another reason of the debacle.

Last four years had been the black years for hockey as same old faces were running the affairs of the game with no output, Shehnaz added.

He appealed to the patron-in-chief of hockey to look into the affairs of hockey and fix the chronic problems.

Hockey Asia



Pools announced for women’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup

HWL finalists Netherlands & Australia to compete in Pool A; Argentina, England & Germany clash in Pool B



(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Following Sunday’s dramatic conclusion to the inaugural edition of the women’s Hockey World League competition in San Miguel de Tucuman, Argentina, the FIH can now reveal the pools for next summer’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

Pool A will consist of reigning Olympic and World League champions the Netherlands (World Ranking: 1), World League Silver medallists Australia (4), New Zealand (5), Korea (8), Japan (9) and Belgium (12), while 2010 world champions Argentina (2) will face England (3), Germany (6), China (7), USA (10) and South Africa (11) in Pool B.

The pools for the World Cup are based on the current FIH World Rankings, which have been updated to include the ranking points earned by the teams that competed in the inaugural Hockey World League Final. 

The results from that event triggered some changes to the rankings, with the Netherlands – tournament winners in Tucuman – reclaiming top spot ahead of fourth place finishers Argentina. The Netherlands relinquished the top spot after a third place finish at the Tri-Finance EuroHockey Nations continental championship in the summer, but their superb triumph in the World League ensures that they finish the year as the world’s number 1 ranked team.

England’s Bronze medal in Tucuman was enough to keep them third in the World Rankings, just ahead of World League finalists Australia, who have leap-frogged New Zealand into fourth. To learn more about the current FIH World Rankings, please click here.

The announcement of the men’s World Cup pools will be made after the completion of January’s Hero Hockey World League Final in New Delhi, India, while a full match schedule for the stunning showpiece in The Hague being announced in the coming months.

Women’s Pools – Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014

When:
31 May – 15 June 2014

Where: Kyocera Stadium, The Hague (NED)

Pool A

Team, World Ranking


Netherlands, 1
Australia, 4
New Zealand, 5
Korea, 8
Japan, 9
Belgium, 12

Pool B

Team, World Ranking


Argentina, 2
England, 3
Germany, 6
China, 7
USA, 10
South Africa, 11

How they qualified

Netherlands: Hosts
Germany:  Continental Champions Europe
Argentina: Continental Champions Pan America
Japan: Continental Champions Asia
Australia: Continental Champions Oceania
South Africa: Continental Champions Africa
England: 2nd place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
Korea: 3rd place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
New Zealand: 4th place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED) *
China: 4th place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, London (ENG) **
USA: 5th place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, London (ENG) ***
Belgium: 6th place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi Final, Rotterdam (NED) ****

* Netherlands finished second in the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Rotterdam.  As they are already pre-qualified as the host, this meant that the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi-Final events earned direct qualification to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. This place was given to New Zealand, who were fourth in Rotterdam and higher ranked than China at the time the event took place.
** China qualified as first reserve courtesy of Germany’s victory in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships.
*** With second reserves Japan and the already qualified Argentina winning the respective continental championships in Asia and Pan America, the World Cup ticket was handed to third reserves USA.
**** Belgium qualified as fourth reserve courtesy of Australia’s victory in the Oceania Cup 2013

FIH site



Women’s officials confirmed for Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014

World class officials will oversee the action in The Hague, Netherlands



Wendy Stewart. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The FIH is pleased to confirm the names of the officials who will oversee the women’s competition at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup tournament, which takes place in The Hague, Netherlands between 31st May and 15th June 2014.

The Hockey World Cup is held every four years and ranks alongside the Olympic Games the most coveted, cherished prize in the sport.

The summer showpiece will be overseen by some of the finest competition officials in the world, with South Africa’s Sheila Brown being given the crucial Tournament Director role. It is the second successive World Cup TD appointment for Brown, who was also in charge at the 2010 event in Rosario, Argentina. She will be supported by vastly experienced TOs Laura Pigretti (ARG), Edna Rutten (NED) and Rosie Stern (AUS). Pigretti and Rutten were both crucial members of the Technical Team at the London 2012 Olympic Games, while Stern recently took charge of the Argentina Hockey World League Final in San Miguel de Tucuman.

The umpires list for The Hague is vastly experienced, with Soledad Iparraguirre (ARG), Wendy Stewart (CAN), Lisa Roach (AUS) and Amy Hassick (USA) being just four of eleven umpires who also officiated at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The full list of officials can be found below.

Tournament: Rabobank Hockey World Cup (Women)                

Venue: The Hague (NED)                      

Participants:
NED / GER / KOR / NZL / AUS / ENG / ARG / CHN / JPN / USA / BEL / RSA
Date: 31 May / 15 June 2014                   

FIH Representative: NEGRE, Leandro (FIH)      

FIH Event Co-ordinator: TBC (FIH)                                

TD:
BROWN, Sheila (RSA)

TOs:
PIGRETTI, Laura (ARG)
RUTTEN, Edna (NED)
STERN, Rosie (AUS)      

Medical Officer:
MÜLLER-EISING, Wiebke (Dr) (GER)

Umpires Managers:
GARNETT, Sarah (NZL)
DE KLERK, Marelize (RSA)

Media Officer: TBC (FIH)                      

Judges:
CHIANTHIANTHONG, Petsuda (THA)
LIJS, Adrienne (NED)
NAPIER, Helen (NZL)
PETITJEAN, Sylvie (FRA)

Umpires:
ADENOT, Claire (FRA)
BENNETT, Karen (NZL)
BLOCK, Frances (ENG)
BRUNEKREEF, Caroline (NED)
DELFORGE, Laurine (BEL)   
ESKINA, Elena (RUS)
HASSICK, Amy (USA)
IPARRAGUIRE, Soledad (ARG)
JOUBERT, Michelle (RSA)
KANG, Hyun Young (KOR)
MEISTER, Michelle (GER)
MIAO, Lin (CHN)
PRESENQUI, Irene (ARG)     
ROACH, Lisa (AUS)
SOMA, Chieko (JPN)
STEWART, Wendy (CAN)      
TRIVIC, Melissa (AUS) 

FIH site



Black Sticks in same pool as Dutch


Anita Punt in action for the Black Sticks against Netherlands.

New Zealand have drawn Olympic and World League champions the Netherlands in next year's World Cup tournament in The Hague.

The Black Sticks, who have slipped from third to fifth in the latest rankings, are in pool A, along with fourth-ranked Australia, who beat them 5-1 at the World League final in Argentina last month, Korea (No 8), Japan (No 9) and Belgium (No 12).

The 2010 World Cup winners Argentina head pool B, which also includes England (No 3), Germany (sixth), China (seventh), the United States (No 10) and 11th-ranked South Africa.

New Zealand will head there without assistant coach Greg Nicol, who announced he was stepping down yesterday.

Nicol has resigned after two and a half years as Mark Hager's No 2, to take up a role as director of coaching for Central Hockey, based in Napier.

The World Cup runs from May 31 to June 15.

The New Zealand Herald



Nicol resigns as Black Sticks assistant coach



After two and a half years as assistant coach with the Black Sticks Women, Greg Nicol has resigned to take up a new role in Napier as director of coaching for Central Hockey.

Nicol’s family is from Napier and he said when the opportunity came along to be back with family and make a difference in a region that he has a long affiliation with, he was keen to take on the challenge.

Nicol said there is a lot he will miss about being part of the Black Sticks team and he hopes to contribute to their success in the future should the opportunity arise.

“For two and a half years the team has been a big part of my life, I have seen the players on a daily basis and I will really miss being part of that team environment,” says Nicol.

“Mark [Hager] has been influential in making change and the players now have belief due to the results we have had – we were only one moment off medalling at the Olympics last year which is a big step forward. There is a lot of talent in the group and I think there is a real opportunity to continue that success.”

Nicol said he is very grateful for the opportunity to work with the team and is thankful for Hockey New Zealand’s ongoing support. 

The vacancy will be advertised from today with applications closing on the Friday 10 January 2014. 

CLICK HERE for more details about the position

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Women's world rankings

Hockeyroos move to fourth in the world in newly published world rankings




The Hockeyroos have risen to fourth in the International Hockey Federation’s world rankings following their silver medal finish at the World League Finals in Tucuman earlier this week.

Australia’s women have 1918 points and sit just four points behind third placed England, who won the bronze medal at the World League Finals. Fourth represents the Hockeyroos’ highest ranking since 2007 and comes at the end of a year that has seen them rise from sixth following gold medal successes at the World League Semi-Final tournament in June and the Oceania Cup in November.

2014 represents another big year in the team’s development with medal glory at stake at the World Cup in The Hague (31 May -15 June), the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (23 July – 3 August) and the Champions Trophy in Tucuman (29 November – 7 December).

The Hockeyroos’ male counterparts, the Kookaburras, finish 2013 in second place in the men’s world rankings, 63 points behind Germany. The Kookaburras will contest their World League Finals in Delhi from 10-18 January 2014.

Women’s Hockey World Rankings – Top 10
1. Netherlands (2273 points)
2. Argentina (2190)
3. England (1922)
4. Australia (1918)
5. New Zealand (1870)
6. Germany (1798)
7. China (1675)
8. Korea (1623)
9. Japan (1583)
10. USA (1353)

Click here to see the rankings in full.

Hockey Australia media release



Dominant Negri finally get first win in U-21 hockey

By Ashreena Pillai



Johor's Mohd Fariq Saadon (left) and Negri Sembilan's M. Asraf Zulazli vying for the ball in their MHC Under-21 match on Dec 12, 2013, which Negri won 5-3.

KUALA LUMPUR: After losing to Selangor 3-1 on Wednesday, Negri Sembilan were desperate to get their first win in the MHC Under-21 hockey tournament.

Their determination paid off when they beat Johor 5-3 in their Group B match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Thursday.

Negri’s dominance in the first half was enough to see them take their first win of the tournament with Muhammad Maziz Mohd Jalil scoring through a penalty corner to put his side ahead in the 11th minute.

Johor were able to level the score in the 23rd minute through a field goal from Mohd Taufik Kamjai, only to see Negri score one more just three minutes later via Norhafizi Aris’ field goal.

Negri continued to dominate with Norhafizi nabbing his second goal via a penalty corner in the 30th minute before Mohammad Fakrul Razi Kunyapu made it 4-1 at the stroke of half-time.

Johor did not throw in the towel and in fact returned resurgent from the break, grabbing a quick field goal courtesy of Mohammad Ain A. Rahman in the 36th minute. The game was then mostly played in one half of the field as Johor toiled for one more goal. Their efforts finally paid off in the 64th minute when Mohammad Faizul Syafiq Salleh scored from a field goal.

But their happiness was shorlived as Norhafizi made it a hat-trick in stoppage time.

“After losing to Selangor, we really needed to win this one to give ourselves a fighting chance. The boys played well, but they took it a little easy, got too comfortable and allowed Johor to come back in the second half,” said Negri coach M. Vivekananda.

“We have a good mix of seniors who were able to anchor the team today. Playing under this sort of pressure, especially in the second half is a good thing. They need to experience this as we have two days’ rest before we meet Kedah, Perlis and Kuala Lumpur,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Perak thrashed Penang 6-2 as Rauf Abdul Mohd Nazri (11th and 25th), Muhammad Husaini Mohd Husin (20th), Muhammad Akmal Mohd Tajuddin (31st), Azril Misron (33rd) and Deveandren Selvanayagam (52nd) got on the score sheet to give Perak their second consecutive win.

Penang’s goals came courtesy of Mohd Rahimi Iskandar (52nd) and Muhammad Hafizuddin Zaidi (53rd).  

The Star of Malaysia



East Rand Quaggas U16 boys climbing the ladder at Nolands PSI Nationals

JONATHAN COOK in Cape Town


The quality of junior indoor hockey on display in Thursday’s second stanza of the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals U16 and U18 sections reached even greater heights on the courts at the Good Hope Centre (GHC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Bishops and the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Given that Nolands PSI Nationals is the biggest hockey tournament in the country, be it adults or children, once again it wasn’t easy to pinpoint who should be mentioned as there are so many individual and team stories unfolding on a daily basis, but one section that is really standing out is the Boys’ U16A section, while the Girls’ U16B section also produced some stirring performances.

The East Rand Quaggas U16 boys’ team is a story of triumph over humble beginnings. Coach Jason Voigt said the group started together at PSI 2011 when mostly U15 boys played in his ERQ U15 team, as PSI then had an U15 section.

“We took double figures from the Gryphons, Seals and Foxes, and snuck in a couple of wins,” said the Quaggas mentor. “The boys made a promise to themselves that never again would they take drubbings like that and put in an amazing amount of work on their own and at team trainings and the result was that at PSI 2012 in Durban we won bronze in the U15A section.”

This year, with the advent of the age-group change from U15s to U16s the Quaggas could remain as a team and although they lost an absolute cracker 2-1 against the efficient Boland Foxes at GHC Thursday, the lads are still on course for the final and can also safely say they are the most improved unit at PSI Nationals over the past three years.

“The boys are from St Benedicts, Boksburg CBC and Springs High and I am very proud of the way they are developing, which is largely due to the challenge that PSI provides,” Voigt added.

Another top match was played out in the Girls’ U16 B section, between PSI debutants the Southern Cape Sables and the more seasoned Namibian Eagles.

Buoyed by passionate support, the Sables took a 5-3 lead with seven minutes left, but the Eagles pulled the scoreline back to 4-5 with two minutes still on the clock. The remainder of the match was played out in high drama as play swung from goalmouth to goalmouth, but newcomers the Sables hung on for a memorable 5-4 victory.

Meanwhile, the Midlands Stallions (from Pietermaritzburg and districts) under coach Brandon Swart, and mentor Jacques Grobler’s Highland Scorpions from the Boland, had a good day Thursday and look well set to make the Boys’ U16B final, which will determine who gets to the 2014 Boys’ U16A section.

The two sides meet at 10.30 am Friday in the round-robin section (top two straight into final) at UCT Court 2 and while the bragging rights will go to the winners - and with it a psychological advantage ahead of Saturday’s likely gold medal showdown - you can be sure that both coaches won’t be revealing all their cards.

Mentalist Larry Soffer, who has kept the players spellbound in two evening appearances at the 7th Nolands PSI Nationals, might be worth consulting on how to win gold come Saturday.

Check out this You Tube piece on Wednesday’s thrilling action on and off the court.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FEhDjkhC6o

For the record, the teams taking part include new franchises the Pretoria Pitbulls, Bloem Bears (Bloemfontein), Midlands Stallions from KZN and the Southern Cape Sables, as well as regulars the Boland Foxes, Highland Scorpions (Boland), Cape Town Seals, Peninsula Sharks, Cape Sunbirds, Durban Panthers, Durban Tigers, East London Jaguars, East Rand Quaggas, Namibia Hawks, Namibia Eagles, PE Vipers (Port Elizabeth), Johannesburg Gryphons, West Coast Barracudas and the West Coast Stingrays.

The PSI Nationals U13 and U14 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which took place from last Saturday to Tuesday this week, had 77 teams and more than 750 participants playing 336 games of indoor hockey in four days, while the PSI Nationals U16 and U18 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which includes 65 teams and more than 630 participants playing 290 indoor matches, saw the on-court action explode on Wednesday - with the gold medal finals day on Saturday morning.

There is also a Men’s and Women’s Princess PSI Senior Tournament event running in the evenings at Good Hope Centre with the finals being played on Saturday, December 14 at 10am as curtain-raisers to the marquee age-group gold medal showdowns. The U18 boys’ and girls’ championship finals are played directly after, at 10.45am, with the final prize-giving at 11.45am at the GHC.

Everything you require regarding the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals - from results to logs to fixtures and much, much more - can be found at www.psihockey.co.za and with videos and images part of the picture, it’s well worth a look.

PSI Media release



Scotland striker Holly Cram named ambassador for Game on Scotland


Holly Cram

Scotland International hockey player Holly Cram has been confirmed as the first ambassador for Game on Scotland – the national education programme for Glasgow 2014.

Flagship legacy programme Game on Scotland uses the Commonwealth Games to inspire young people by providing a rich variety of learning opportunities across the curriculum, including a focus on global citizenship and health and wellbeing.

As Game on Scotland ambassador, Holly will be involved in engaging directly with pupils across Scotland, as a positive role model she will talk at and attend various events such as school assemblies, award ceremonies and prize-givings, as well as Games themed learning events.

The education programme is a partnership between Education Scotland, Scottish Government, Glasgow 2014, and Glasgow City Council. Since it launched six months ago, it has had over 35,000 visitors to the site, and an estimated 250,000 young people have benefitted from its online resources, information and opportunities.

Speaking at Comely Park Primary School, Falkirk, where pupils today enjoyed a hockey taster session led by Holly Cram, Commonwealth Games and Sport Minister Shona Robison said,

“We are working hard to ensure that we grasp the unique opportunity that the Commonwealth Games will present in 2014 to inspire children and young people. One clear legacy of the Games is the chance to encourage young people to be the best they can be and the Game on Scotland programme offers a broad range of resources, information and opportunities to assist in learning.

“I’m delighted that Holly will join the programme as Ambassador, her drive and commitment as an athlete, makes her a great role model to inspire pupils and teachers alike. As well as her outstanding sporting achievements, she can talk knowledgably and credibly about achievement and attainment to inspire our young people.”

Game on Scotland Ambassador, Holly Cram, said

“Representing Team Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games is one of the highlights of my hockey career and to compete again at a home Games in Glasgow is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m already seeing the effect and legacy impact the Games is having on my home city, as well as across the whole of Scotland, and the organisers have done an incredible job so far.

“I’m thrilled to be coming on board also as an Ambassador for Game on Scotland, to help  spread learnings around the Games, and the impact they will have on our young people will be invaluable. Youngsters will be able to see first-hand how hard work and a little self-belief can make anyone successful.”

Alison Drever, Senior Education Officer at Education Scotland said,

“We are delighted to welcome Holly to the programme, especially today when we are awarding the second Game on Scotland plaque.

“The school has whole-heartedly embraced the Games to develop the understanding of what it means to be a global citizen, and is creating unique learning opportunities for their young people.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Top hockey coach returns to help Fiji

Arin Kumar



Dr Bert Bunnik, second from right, with national men's hockey coach Hector Smith, left, Laijipa Naulivou and Dr Robin Mitchell. Picture: FIJI HOCKEY


THE Fiji Hockey Federation is delighted to be working with International Master coach Dr Burt Bunnik again.

The former Netherlands national coach was last in Fiji in October, and worked with the national coaches and also conducted clinics for other coaches and even the national teams.

FHF development officer Tai Smith said Dr Bunnik arrives into the country today and would give more insight on coaching techniques.

"Dr Bunnik promised us he would be back in December and he is coming at the end of the week," she said.

"He will get straight to work the day after he arrives by conducting clinics and training sessions early on Saturday morning."

She said FHF were keen on learning more from Dr Bunnik to boost their chances in international competitions.

"The Australian Country side will also be in arriving today and they will play matches against the Suva Selection side, the HPU side, the national sides and the under-18 side which we are preparing for the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers next year.

"So his (Dr Bunnik's) expertise will be a huge boost to us for that competition and it will also assist our national side and HPU side improve on their game.

"Our national coaches and other coaches will be involved with him and they will also learn a lot from him in terms of coaching and training techniques and will be given updates on the recent developments in international hockey."

The Fiji Times



Parents react angrily to costs of playing in Irish under-18 hockey trials

IHA say contributions are an essential part of international programmes sustainability

Johnny Watterson


Serious misgivings have been expressed over the Irish under-18 trials that are taking place this weekend following a letter from the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) to the parents of teenagers who have been asked to take part.

The letter congratulates the teenage boys on being invited to the Irish trial, which takes place at Suttonians School on Sunday, as well as subsequent training camps next year and goes on to outline how the young players can pay for the sessions.

To take part in his weekend’s trial will cost each participant €40, which the letter states is “to be paid on first Trial December 15th”.

Subsequent payments

Subsequent payments will cost each player between €100 and €150 if they are selected to participate. Some players will not get past the first trial, others could make it to July but miss out on Irish selection.

At each phase the teenagers are being asked to pay the cost on the day. The first session in February costs €100, the second in March/April €150, the third June phase €150 and the tournament in July €100.

In total the teenagers who are chosen to go through from the trial to the tournament are being charged €540 to take part. Included in the schedule are camps, some of which are being run over three days at Easter and during the school’s mid-term break in February.

The cost is drawing anger from parents, who yesterday complained that the principle of charging children €40 for an Irish trial and subsequently participating in Irish training camps with an aspiration to play for Ireland is misjudged.

If only 20 players take part and follow through to July over €10,000 will be handed over to the IHA. It is believed that the girls’ under-18 trials and national sessions are proceeding along the same lines and costs.

“It’s outrageous. That’s a lot of money. Imagine having to rock up for an Irish trial and then having to hand over €40,” said the father of one teenager, who was invited to take part.

Being elitist

“Unless you have money, kids are being disadvantaged. It’s a totally wrong principle,” said the mother of another player adding that it is inviting charges against the sport of being elitist. The parent added the costs of two hockey sticks is €150 per stick as kids at that level want the best equipment, good astro turf shoes come in at over €100 and there is further cost for mandatory gum shields and handguards.

The IHA were yesterday asked to comment on the costs and issued a short statement confirming “that player contributions in hockey, which are structured on a phased basis and ring fenced for each squad, are not a new occurrence and in common with other NGBs and sports are an essential part of the international programmes sustainability”.

The Irish Times