News for 30 March 2010

All the news for Tuesday 30 March 2010


AtaHolding World Cup Qualifier - San Diego 2010

 

Today is a rest day

Rank Teams Played Wins Draw Lost GF - GA GD Points
1 Korea 3 3 0 0 21 - 0 21 9
2 USA 3 3 0 0 13 - 0 13 9
3 Belgium 3 2 0 1 8 - 3 5 6
4 Canada 3 1 0 2 2 - 8 -6 3
5 France 3 0 0 3 0 - 9 -9 0
6 Mexico 3 0 0 3 0 - 24 -24 0

 



Korea and host USA affirm top spots in ATAHolding Qualifier

Day three of the ATAHolding Women’s Hockey World Cup Qualifier saw all six teams battling for a victory and to move up in the standings. It also saw three more shutouts (or ___ to nill scores). With its dominating win over Mexico, Korea affirmed its spot at the top, while Mexico has yet to win a match. Host USA also prevailed over Belgium to stand at the top with Korea; both, now, with nine points a piece, as neither have lost a match.

Amidst the hot San Diego sun, Korea and Mexico started off day three. A staunch Mexican defense, behind the solid play of Mexico’s keeper Sandra Contreras Tierrablanca, held Korea to only two goals until the final minutes of the first half; where back-to-back field goals by Mihyun Park and Jongeun Kim gave Korea a 4-0 lead at halftime. Korea’s blistering attack continued in the second half where they scored seven goals; including one more each from Park and Kim, respectively, and two consecutive penalty corner goals from Sookyung Lee. Korea topped Mexico 11-nill for the largest margin of victory in the tournament, thus far.

In the second match-up on day three, both Canada and France were looking not just for their first tournament win, but also to score their first goals. The beginning of the match reflected these desires as both Canada and France fought for possession and struggled to score. Canada’s Robyn Pendleton gave Canada their first tournament goal and lead in the match with a field goal in the 26th minute. Six minutes later, Canada took a two-nill lead off a Stephanie Jameson penalty corner shot. Little did either team know that this would remain the final score. While Canada appeared to have more possession in the second half, France’s keeper, Anabelle Got, did not let anything past. At the end of the match, with France unable to generate a sound offensive opportunity or capitalize off a Canadian yellow card, Canada came away with the 2-nill win.

The final match of the day pitted host USA against Belgium. Both teams came out battling, but for much of the first half play was on the USA’s attacking side. Belgium’s keeper, Elizabeth Achten, helped prevent the USA from scoring until the 23rd minute off a Rachel Dawson penalty corner shot. Seven minutes later the USA’s Katie O’Donnell scored a field goal to give the USA a two goal advantage, going into the half, over Belgium. In the second half, Belgium emerged with a renewed energy. This energy frustrated the USA’s efforts, but did not end up leading to a goal for Belgium. A third score by the USA in the 67th minute sealed their 3-nill win; and handed Belgium its first loss of the ATAHolding Qualifier.

Thus, day three of the ATAHolding Qualifier ended exactly like the first two, with all three matches of the day ending in nill scores; with both sides in a match unable to both score goals. Korea and host USA now sit atop the standings with three wins each, and right below is Belgium with two wins. After a rest day, play continues in the ATAHolding Qualifier on Wednesday 31st March.

Only the winner of this event will earn a spot for the BDO FIH World Cup, to be played in Rosario, Argentina early September 2010.

Please click here for direct access to the micro site of the AtaHolding World Cup Qualifier.

WorldHockey



USA in third win out of three

CHULA VISTA, CA - The USA Field Hockey Women's National Team defeated Belgium today, 3-0, in their third game of competition at the AtaHolding Women's World Cup Qualifier at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. The winner of the Qualifier receives a berth in the Women's World Cup in Rosario, Argentina this September.

Katie O'Donnell scored one goal and assisted another as the USA faced their first major challenge in the tournament. Belgium, previously undefeated in Qualifier play, held the USA offense at bay for times and pressured hard in the second half.

"It was a tough match," said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. "We were up against a quality opponent today. We're pleased to get the win."

The USA was aggressive early, pushing into the French backfield and forcing penalty corners. On several occasions, USA shots were blocked, but Belgium failed to clear the ball from their own end. The USA players intercepted the attempts to clears and went right back in for another try.

The USA finally broke through in the 23rd minute, when Rachel Dawson fired a penalty corner blast for the first goal.

"At that moment it was 0-0, and I knew we needed a goal," said Dawson. "Lee gave me the first one [to strike] and it hit a Belgian foot, so we got another and he went with me again. He showed a lot of confidence in me. From there we controlled the first half."

Katie O'Donnell added a second goal in the 30th minute.

"It didn’t come easily," said O'Donnell. "There was some great passing by Carrie Lingo, and then Sara Silvetti seemed to tee it up for me and I hit it out the air."

"We wanted to get ahead early because we knew they would come at us in the second half," said Bodimeade.

Indeed, the balance of play shifted to Belgium in the second half. The second half began as a mirror image of the first, as Belgium forced play into the USA backfield. Belgium pressured the American defense and had opportunities to score. 

"Belgium brought more pressure in the second half," said Bodimeade. "They had periods of ascendancy. There's no doubt about that."

"Belgium really had a go at us in the second half," said goalkeeper Amy Tran. "They really came out firing. But it was great to be challenged. I think our whole team stepped up."

The USA weathered the assault and did not allow a Belgium to get back into the game.

"I felt we were under control," said Bodimeade. "The shots they were getting were from wide angles and from deep in the circle. They created opportunities. But the best way to stop that is to go down and hit another goal."

In the 67th minute, Belgium's press resulted in a breakaway for Katie O'Donnell. Streaking past a defender, she spotted Katie Evans on the far side of the field. O'Donnell dumped the ball to Evans, and Evans scored the goal.

"I passed the defender running as fast as I could," said O'Donnell, "and then I saw Katie standing there, and I didn't know if I should shoot it or pass it but Katie was absolutely wide open, so I passed it."

Evans' goal shut the door on Belgium's attempted comeback.

"We put one away on them in their strongest press against us," said Tran.

"To be able to withstand the pressure they brought and then score a goal under that pressure relieved a lot of the tension," said Bodimeade. "That was fantastic."

"We threw everything we had at them today," said Belgium coach Murray Richards. "It wasn't enough. It's disappointing."

"In the second half we were playing more aggressively," said Belgium's Charlotte de Vos. "If we score one there it's a whole different game. But we didn't."

Katie O'Donnell's continues to elevate her game, as she has scored a goal in all three tournament games.

"It's awesome," said O'Donnell. "We couldn't have asked for a better end than shutout victory against one of the better teams here. This tournament is getting better and better for me."

The USA will face Korea on, Wednesday March 29 at 2:30 pm Pacific in a possible preview of the tournament final. Korea sits above the USA in first place with three wins, but owns an +11 goal differential after demolishing Mexico today, 11-0.

USFHA media release



Canada blanks France in San Diego

With a contingent of Canadian fans in the background, Canada and France met in the second match of day 3 of the ATAHolding Qualifier. The battle for possession was fierce. Canada had a series of attacking opportunities midway through the first half, but France’s keeper Anabelle Got thwarted any scoring attempt. Canada persisted and in the 26th minute, Robyn Pendleton’s shot deflected off Got and into the goal for the 1-0 lead over France.

Canada’s Stephanie Jameson made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute off a penalty corner shot, which also deflected off Got during a diving save; the 2-0 score stood at halftime.

In the second, both teams again came out battling for possession and a chance to attack; and both missed sound opportunities to score off penalty corners. Like much of the first half, Canada appeared to be in control of the match.

France’s Got made big saves in the second half, as Canada was also unable capitalize off their penalty corners during the half. France gained more possession of the ball late in the second half. With under two minutes remaining, Canada’s Katherine Gillis received a yellow card for pushing near her own goal. Yet, France could not capitalize and Canada won the match two-nill against France.

Field Hockey Canada media release



Senior Women’s squad announced for Chile

Milne Craig Western defender Catriona Forrest is included in the squad of seventeen announced today by Scotland coach Gordon Shepherd for the World Cup Qualifier to be held in Santiago (Chile), starting on April 24.  Forrest, who has been sidelined with a hip injury for several months, has proved her fitness and is the only addition to the team which won the Celtic Cup in Nice at the beginning of this month.

Unfortunately that means there is no place for Grove`s Becky Merchant and CALA Edinburgh`s Amy Brodie, or indeed for Grove striker Nikki Kidd who has also been troubled with injury over the recent months.

“It was a very difficult task to make the final selection and it`s hard to leave players out, but I`ve picked a squad of players who have showed well in training and I believe can perform successfully as a unit in the World Cup Qualifier,” Shepherd said.  “There`s good experience in the squad and the confidence level is high, it`ll be a tough ask to get a medal but one I know the players can achieve.”

In fact all but three of the squad have over thirty caps for Scotland while Vikki Bunce, Sam Judge and captain Linda Clement are all centurions.

Shepherd also said: “There`s a lot of pace in the team as the fitness level is good, but a real strength of the squad is the amount of players capable of scoring goals.”  By that Shepherd means the likes of Western strikers Sam Judge and Holly Cram, the Grove trio of Aimee Clark, Ailsa Robertson and Ali Bell as well as Linda Clement and Vikki Bunce from the midfield.

Shepherd is also happy with the match schedule just announced by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).   The Scots open against Ireland on April 24, a tough local derby, but Shepherd`s charges came out on top 2-1 in the recent Celtic Cup, the goals coming from Ali Bell and Sam Judge from a late set piece.  Australia, favourites for the single qualifying place, are next up followed by Malaysia, hosts Chile and originally Ukraine.

But Ukraine, a replacement for Trinidad & Tobago, have themselves withdrawn from the tournament and the FIH are in the process of contacting the three reserve countries, Netherlands Antilles, Lithuania and Ghana, to fill the vacant slot.

Shepherd said: “The match schedule is fine and if no other country replaces Ukraine the programme stays the same so we will get an extra day`s rest before the final matches on May 2.”

To return with a medal is Shepherd`s target, but it would be a real feather in his cap if his charges were to face Australia again, this time in the final.

Tomorrow Scotland`s under 21 men open their four nations tournament in Berlin with host Germany as the opposition.

“Germany are the current junior European champions and will be an excellent test for us to assess our current standing,” said Derek Forsyth, Scotland`s coach.

Forsyth has some grounds for optimism as the Scots youngsters fought out a courageous 2-2 with the Germans in the European Nations Championships two years ago in San Sebastian, but unfortunately they failed to maintain the momentum and were relegated at the end of the tournament.

Senior Women’s Squad Details:

 

Surname

Forename

Club

Position

Caps

Walker

Abi

Canterbury Ladies

GK

38

Dow

Carmin

Dundee Wanderers

GK

33

Maguire

Emily

Reading HC

40

Fawcett

Leigh

Grove HC

20

Forrest

Cat

Milne Craig Western HC

67

Marshall

Kaz

Giffnock HC

3

Cameron

Kat

Grove HC

35

Bartlett

Laura

Reading HC

37

Baxter

Louise

Grove HC

83

Bunce

Vikki

Dundee Wanderers

101

Wrightson

Laura

Kelburne HC

45

Clement

Linda

Grove HC

Capt.

143

Judge

Sam

Milne Craig Western HC

128

Cram

Holly

Milne Craig Western HC

73

Clark

Aimee

Grove HC

18

Robertson

Alisa

Grove HC

54

Bell

Ali

Grove HC

38

Officials:

Position

Surname

Forename

Manager

Dick

Lynne

Coach

Shepherd

Gordon

Ass. Coach

Menzies

Neil

Ass. Coach

Carnie

Murray

Physio

Thomson

Lindsay

SH

McLeod

Callum

Match and Training Schedule (Note Black is confirmed, Red is unconfirmed):

Date

Time

Opposition / Training

Venue

19th April

16.00

Training

Manquehue Club

20th April

11.30

Training

Manquehue Club

21st April

11.30

Training

Manquehue Club

21st April

20.00

Friendly v Chile

Manquehue Club

22nd April

11.30

Training

Manquehue Club

23rd April

11.30

Training

Manquehue Club

24th April

11.30

Scotland v Ireland

Manquehue Club

25th April

11.30

Scotland v Australia

Manquehue Club

26th April

Rest Day

Manquehue Club

27th Aapril

13.45

Scotland v Malaysia

Manquehue Club

28th April

Rest Day

Manquehue Club

29th April

15.45

Scotland v Chile

Manquehue Club

30thApril

Rest Day

Manquehue Club

1st May

13.30

Match TBC as Ukraine have pulled out/or rest day

Manquehue Club

2nd May

Play offs if no team to replace Ukraine no 5-6 play off

Manquehue Club

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Black Sticks suffer blow ahead of Argentina series

Injuries have weakened New Zealand further ahead of their three-test hockey series against Argentina although there is relief they won't have to face a woman regarded as the sport's finest.

Teenagers Stacey Michelsen and Sam Harrison were today ruled out of the series which begins in Hamilton tomorrow night and concludes with matches in Tauranga on Friday and Saturday.

North Harbour midfielder Stacey Michelsen has a bulging disc in her back while Auckland striker Harrison suffered a hamstring tear.

Coach Mark Hager opted against bringing in replacements although Harrison's older sister Charlotte will come into the squad a game earlier than planned, having originally been selected for the Tauranga games only.

Auckland defender Stacey Brannigan will join the squad for Tauranga matches, lifting the squad to 17.

World No 9 New Zealand already had a raw look -- four senior players are on club duty in Europe while Stacey Carr is still recovering from a knee injury -- ahead of what shapes as a challenging series against the world's second-ranked side.

Coming off a 3-0 loss to Australia in Perth, New Zealand will do well to avoid the same result against opponents who they haven't beaten since 1988. Argentina swept the three-match series in New Zealand last year, scoring 16 goals in the process.

This time, however, they will be without superstar striker Luciana Aymar, who was injured in their series defeat of Australia this month.

Aymar, 32, has been named world player of the year a record six times, including each of the past three years. Nicknamed La Maga (The Magician) her dribbling skills have her constantly compared with Argentine men's soccer great Diego Maradona.

"Our girls were looking forward to playing against her so there's some disappointment she's not coming," Hager told NZPA.

"They're still a quality side, and I actually think they're better without Aymar because they don't rely on the one player.

"Whereas when she's playing and they get into trouble they just give her the ball and she can create something for them.

"Without her they tend to play more of a team passing game."

Argentina are also without some European-based players, matching Hager's loss of key figures Kayla Sharland, Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson and Katie Glynn. Midfielder Gemma Flynn will also leave for Germany after this series.

Hager is uncertain how many of those players will be back for May's home series against India but was happy to introduce new blood looking ahead to their three main targets this year -- the Champions Trophy in England in July, the World Cup in Argentina in September and the Commonwealth Games in India a month later.

"We want to increase our depth heading into the three majors later this year," Hager said.

"Some of it is partly uncontrollable because of the girls in Europe but it gives players a taste of international hockey they wouldn't have got previously."

Squads:

New Zealand: Kate Saunders, Piki Hamahona, Sally Rutherford, Ella Gunson, Beth Jurgeleit, Clarissa Eshuis, Lucy Talbot, Cathryn Finlayson, Gemma Flynn, Anna Thorpe, Laura Douglas, Kate Mahon, Charlotte Harrison, Natasha Fitzsimmons, Jasmin McQuinn, Anita Punt, Stacey Brannigan

Argentina: Maria Succi, Mariana Ross, Rosario Luchetti, Macarena Rodriguez, Florenica Saravia, Alejandra Gulla, Carla Dupuy, Delfina Merino, Romina Vatteone, Macarena Abente, Daniela Sruoga, Sofia Maccari, Mariela Scarone, Maria D'Elia, Giselle Kanevsky, Maria Barrionuevo, Josefina Sruoga, Marcela Casale

Stuff



Canterbury title tale

Four champions were crowned in what proved to be one of the tightest and most exciting climaxes to an EHL season in history.

Reading rounded of the season, in Men’s Premier Division with a 2-2 draw at Hampstead & Westminster who missed out on a Championship play-off place by an inferior goal difference of four. Loughborough Students’ were the beneficiaries following their 1-1 draw at Beeston, which meant they secured the 5th and final place in the EHL Championship lay-offs. They will replay Beeston, who finished in fourth, in the first game of those play-off games on 24 April. Surbiton’s goal laden 7-3 victory over Bowdon on Sunday meant that they qualified in 3rd place and must face East Grinstead on 25 April. Reading faces the winner of Loughborough Students and Beeston on 25 April. University of Exeter finished their relegation season on a high with a 3-2 victory over Brooklands MU, that win meant they finished just 3 points adrift at the bottom of the table. Brooklands MU, meanwhile, will participate in the Promotion Tournament against the top three Conference sides, over the May Bank Holiday (1st-3rd) weekend in Cannock.

Leicester’s incredible defence was breached for just the ninth time this season on Saturday during their 2-1 win at Canterbury in Women’s Premier Division. All nine of the goals were conceded during away games, and means a round average of conceding, on average, a goal per away game, keeping clean sheets in each of their nine home games deserves recognition. Slough equalised Reading’s 2nd minute opener in the 5th minute through Jane Smith to earn a draw against their local rivals. No further goals were scored in the game and that means the two will face each other again on 25 April in the EHL Championship Play-offs, at the same venue. University of Birmingham’s 3-2 win at Brooklands Poynton, coupled with other results, ensured not only a place in the play-offs but a home draw for the first game. Despite their loss, Canterbury will face University of Birmingham in the play-offs thanks to a surprising 2-0 win for relegated Trojans – their first of the season – over Olton & WW, allowing the Kent side to qualify in 5th with a superior goal difference.

The crunch relegation game of the division came between Bowdon Hightown and Clifton. Hightown, who dropped just three points last season on their way to picking up the Premier Division title, were in unfamiliar territory, needing a win at home to ensure survival. Sally Walton opened the scoring for the home side in the 21st minute to give her side a 1-0 lead at half time. Shortly after the restart Carys Hopkins levelled the score, but it was Walton who reclaimed the lead for Bowdon Hightown, capped off by a further goal in the 58th minute by Kate Perry. Clifton now faces the Conference Champions in the Promotion Tournament in Cannock.

Men’s Conference East Champions, Canterbury, were made to sweat for their division title, to the very last second. Holcombe, who had thrown a spanner in the works of Old Loughtonians title hopes with a 0-0 draw recently, affected the title race again by upsetting Canterbury 5-3 at home. Desperate for a result Canterbury searched for goals knowing that over at Oxted, Old Loughtonians were holding on to a 2-1 lead. In the final seconds, Oxted were awarded a penalty corner from an upgraded foul, as the tension mounted. Andrew Baggs stepped up and promptly broke Old Loughtonians hearts with a 70th minute equaliser which saw the whistle blown almost immediately after Old Loughtonians restarted the game. The news, filtering over to Canterbury, changed the mood of despondency to elation as Canterbury claimed the title by one point despite their loss.

Chelmsford finished their season with a 3-0 win over Bromley & Beckenham but was still relegated, and Indian Gymkhana’s loss at Southgate means they enter the Relegation Play-offs in April/May.

Ipswich and Sevenoaks have spent the majority of the season level pegging in Women’s Conference East, and it proved just as tight on the final day of the season. Both sides were looking for a win and the other to slip up in order to secure the title. It proved that there were slip ups, but as ever, they were equal. Sevenoaks were forced to rally back from a two goal deficit, doing so in a two minute period in the second half, however, the final goal proved elusive in their quest for victory. Meanwhile, in Essex, Old Loughtonians took an early lead against Ipswich through Jenny Farrow, equalised sixteen minutes later by Emma Millar. Old Loughtonians looked to have dashed their Suffolk opponents’ hopes when Miranda Weeks struck with just three minutes remaining on the clock. The title looked to be heading to Sevenoaks, but a determined Ipswich side refused to concede defeat and Annika Broster’s 68th minute equaliser proved to be enough for them to claim the title – in spite of the draw.

Southgate and St Albans were pitted in a grudge match, both sides needing the win to avoid the relegation play-offs. It was St Albans that claimed the victory with a last gasp winner through Tasha Dyson, condemning Southgate to the play-offs.

In Men’s Conference North Sheffield University Bankers’ 2-1 win over Doncaster was not enough to escape the relegation play-offs as Barford Tigers, in 8th, also managed a win, 3-2 over Belper, despite having Jasmall Macharu sent off in the 54th minute. Deeside Ramblers finished the regular season with a 4-3 win over Formby, Joe Wright scoring a 68th minute winner. Deeside are pitted against Canterbury in their first game of the Promotion Tournament on 1st May.

Durham University secured their second straight Women’s Conference North title on Saturday thanks to a 4-1 away win over local rivals Sunderland. Sutton Coldfield, who had hoped their North East counterparts would drop points, recorded a 6-2 victory at Loughborough Students that proved insufficient. Sheffield Hallam enters the relegation play-offs in winning ways thanks to a 1-0 win over Bradford Wakefield. That result, and Liverpool Sefton’s 2-1 loss at Doncaster meant that Liverpool were condemned to automatic relegation.

Men’s Conference West, the tightest of all the conferences for the relegation play-off place, went down to two fixtures, Bournville v Team Bath Buccaneers and University of Birmingham v Old Georgians. Bournville, occupying the relegation play-off spot, hosted division champions Team Bath and with five minutes remaining on the clock looked destined for a point, a result that would have seen them enter the play-offs. Instead, Tom Rowland netted his second of the game and turned around his side’s fortunes, earning three points and usurping Old Georgians in 8th. University of Birmingham, needing the win more than Old Georgians produced a three goal victory fuelled by a three goal lead at half time. That result meant that Old Georgians dropped into 9th place, just a point behind Bournville and Stourport, and enters the relegation play-offs. Guildford’s 8-2 win moved them into second place on goal difference, just six points above the relegation play-off place!

The final weekend in Women’s Conference West saw Cannock and Barnes HE on equal points with home fixtures against Firebrands and Staines respectively. Both sides delivered convincing home victories, as Barnes HE rounded off a 5-2 victory in the 64th minute through Triona Doyle. Not to be outdone, Cannock registered a 9-1 win over Firebrands, Linda Royston netting four times during the win. At the bottom Aldridge’s 3-2 win over Team Bath Buccaneers saw them jump two places into seventh place and out of the relegation play-off spot. Swansea’s 3-1 loss at Buckingham, coupled with Aldridge’s win, dropped the Welsh side into the relegation play-off spot.

The EHL welcomes ten new sides into the league for the 2010-11 season, in the men’s we see: St Albans, Olton & WW, Ben Rhydding, Wimbledon and Cheltenham, whilst in the women’s: Dereham, Worcester, Springfields UCLAN, Surbiton and Isca all make the step up.

England Hockey Board Media release



Leicester Women's hockey team favourite for the Double

By Daily Express Reporter



Canterbury's Jenny Hall (right) challenges with Leicester's Chloe Rogers

SUCH has been Leicester’s dominance this season they wrapped up their Women’s Cup semi-final against the University of Birmingham in the first half on Sunday and look out-and-out-favourites for the Double this season.

Leicester maintained their unbeaten record in the league with a 2-1 victory over Canterbury the previous day and nothing was going to upset their ambitions against Birmingham.

Hannah MacLeod scored a brace, having started the ball rolling in the 14th minute and Chloe Rogers and Katie Long also struck before the interval to complete a 4-0 win.

Reading will see them in the final on May 15 at Beeston having seen off the threat of Trojans 4-1.

Reading’s men showed why they are still top of the table, managing to snatch a 2-2 draw to deny Hampstead & Westminster a league play-off place, while Loughborough Students crept in to secure fifth spot with a 1-1 draw against Beeston. It is all happening at Beeston, they meet Leuven of Belgium on Friday in Rotterdam in the last 16 of the Euro League and will play the winners of East Grinstead or Amsterdam on Sunday.

They are also staging the Samsung Women’s Champions Trophy from July 10 to 18 and a Great Britain men’s event at the same time. Manager Graham Griffiths said: “This event will put Nottingham on the map again as a centre for hockey in England.”

The Champions Trophy sees England against the top five countries in the world – Argentina, Germany, China, New Zealand, and Holland.

Great Britain’s men are in a four-team tournament alongside Olympic champions Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

Call 08444 77 5678 for tickets.

Daily Express



German Hockey Federation celebrates 100th anniversary

The ‘Grossen Festsaal’ of the City Hall of Hamburg, Germany hosted the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the German Hockey Federation, the Deutsche Hockey-Bund (DHB). The festivities took place an exactly the same day as DHB was founded 100 years ago: 26 March.

FIH President Leandro Negre, IOC Vice-President and German Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, German Minister Thomas de Maiziere and EHF President Martin Gotheridge were part of the 300 invited guests.

‘Hockey is one of the jewels in the Olympic Program’, Thomas Bach stated. ‘And the DHB is a key Federation for German sport.’

FIH President Leandro Negre congratulated the DHB and his President Stephan Abel. He also stated the importance of Germany for the FIH. ‘I cannot imagine hockey without Germany’, the FIH President said in his speech.

WorldHockey



KL survive Negri scare

By Jugjet Singh


KUALA Lumpur were made to sweat before they beat Negri Sembilan 2-1 in Division One of the Razak Cup in Kuantan yesterday.

Shahrun Nabil gave KL the lead in the 15th minute, only to see S. Kuhan equalise for Negri in the 36th minute.

The score remained until the 63rd minute, but Amin Rahim delivered the three points for 19-times champions KL off a penalty corner attempt to take them to the top of the standings.

Meanwhile, in another Division One match Penang shocked Johor 4-2 with hat-trick hero Izwan Firdaus scoring in the 25th, 59th and 65th minutes. The other goal was scored by Ahmad Termizi in the 58th minute.

Baljit Singh Sarjab scored both Johor’s goals in the 40th and 43rd minutes.

Penang coach Bob Rajendran feels his charges have placed themselves for a place in the final, again, after their initial defeat to KL.

“My players made a concerted effort in the second half which paid off and now we will be looking forward to winning our match against Negri tomorrow (today) and then Perak the next day to keep the fire burning,” said Bob.

RESULTS: Division One -- Armed Forces 0 Malacca 2, Penang 4 Johor 2, Negri 1 Kuala Lumpur 2; Division Two: Group A: Police 2 Kedah 0, Sabah 1 Singapore 7.

TODAY: Division One: Penang v Negri (3pm), Johor v Malacca (5pm), Perak v Armed Forces (7pm); division Two: Perlis v Brunei (3pm), Terengganu v Selangor (5pm).

All matches at Pitch I and II of the Kuantan Stadium.

STANDINGS

DIVISION ONE
P W D L F A Pt
K LUMPUR 4 3 1 0 11 3 10
PERAK 3 3 0 0 7 1 9
PENANG 3 2 0 1 8 10 6
MALACCA 4 1 1 2 2 4 4
JOHOR 4 1 1 2 6 9 4
NEGRI 3 0 1 2 2 5 1
FORCES 3 0 0 3 4 8 0

DIVISION TWO
GROUP A
P W D L F A Pt
SINGAPORE 3 3 0 0 14 2 9
KELANTAN 2 2 0 0 6 3 6
POLICE 2 1 0 1 3 4 3
SABAH 2 0 0 2 1 10 0
KEDAH 3 0 0 3 1 8 0

GROUP B

P W D L F A Pt
PAHANG 2 2 0 0 14 3 6
SELANGOR 2 2 0 0 10 1 6
PERLIS 1 0 0 1 1 3 0
TERENGGANU 1 0 0 1 3 5 0
BRUNEI 2 0 0 2 0 16 0

New Straits Times



KL closer to final

By AFTAR SINGH


KUANTAN: Kuala Lumpur took a step closer to reaching the Division One final of the Razak Cup hockey tournament with a hard fought 2-1 win over Negri Sembilan at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

They have 10 points from three wins and a draw. And a win over Armed Forces tomorrow will give them a place in the final.

KL, who have six national players in their ranks, struggled against a Negri side led by a number of veterans.

National midfielder Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah gave KL the lead in the 10th minute, blasting the ball into goal off a cross by Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor.

Negri fought back and equalised in the 33rd minute with a penalty corner goal by former national skipper S. Kuhan.

National defender Mohd Amin Rahim scored a penalty corner goal in the 63rd minute to regain the lead for KL.

Negri had the ball in goal in the last minute of the match but it was disallowed because Kuhan’s direct hit from the top of the D did not sound the board.

Skipper Mohd Amin conceded that they were lucky to collect full points.

“We did not play well and wasted a number of chances. We have a one-day break before we take on Armed Forces and we need full points to seal a place in the final,” he said.

Penang, meanwhile, kept their hopes of reaching the final alive with a convincing 4-2 win over Johor.

Penang have six points from two wins and a defeat and they have three more matches to play against Negri (today), Perak (Wednesday) and Malacca (Friday).

Former national junior forward Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin scored a hat-trick for Penang in the 25th, 59th and 65th minutes and Ahmad Termidzi Ismail netted the other goal in the 59th minute.

The two goals for Johor were scored by Baljit Singh Sarjab in the 40th and 43rd minutes.

Penang coach Bob Rajendran said that he was glad his boys gave a strong performance in the second half.

“They made use of the chances well and we are back in contention for a place in the final. I hope that my boys can maintain their good form against Negri to collect full points tomorrow,” he said.

Defending champions Malacca chalked up their first win in the tournament, beating Armed Forces 2-0 with goals by Azrul Effendy Bistaman (62nd) and Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar (68th).

The Star of Malaysia



I am worried, says Tengku Abdullah

Not one to mince his words, Malaysian Hockey Federation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was being honest when he said that the performances of the national players in the ongoing Tun Razak Cup was alarming.

Having watched the Kuala Lumpur against Negri Sembilan match at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Tengku Abdullah said that he was concerned with the performances of the national players, after this Blogger posed him a question with regards to the lack of international matches for the national team since the World Cup Qualifiers last November in Invercargill.

" Honestly I am not too happy with the performances of the national players," said Tengku Abdullah after witnessing KL, with six national players in their ranks, struggle against a Negri side that fielded mostly veterans with only three national players.

"It is cause for concern as the players seem to be struggling and not playing to their ability. As for the lack of international matches after the qualifiers, this is something that I have told the team to address and I will announce the plans after the Council meeting on Saturday," said Tengku Abdullah.

KL, with six national players in their lineup struggled to stamp their class over Negri, where veterans Suhaimi Ibrahim, Chairil Anwar Abd Aziz and S.Kuhan were in their element throughout the match.

The MHF President was also honest enough to admit that the team will have it tough in the Asian Games to book an automatic spot in the 2012 London Olympics.

"I know that it will be tough and admit that an automatic spot will be difficult to come by," said Tengku Abdullah.

Asked if MHF was going to have a contingency plan, by requesting to host one of the Olympic Qualifiers scheduled for early 2012, Tengku Abdullah was coy about it, preferring to reveal any such plan after the meeting on Saturday.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Royal Intervention

The MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah knows more about hockey then some of his officials.

For teams in the Razak Cup had complained about playing matches at the unearthly hour of 3.00pm.

The MHF officials did nothing about it, as usual, and the Tournament Director T. Paramalingam said he had no powers to change the fixtures.

But all that changed on Sunday night at the official dinner and Tengku Mahkota instructed that the matches from Tuesday be scheduled for 4.00pm, 6.00pm and 8.00pm with Division Two to start at 3.30 and 5.30.

Now that was not difficult to do right, all it took was commonsense, but sadly that is lacking these days.

Maybe now TM has to re-look the idea of playing the Razak Cup in a zonal format next year, but we will dwell on this later.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



JHL to feature 19 teams

EIGHTEEN boys' teams and one women's team will compete in the Junior Hockey League (JHL) which starts on April 9.

The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) has accommodated a request from the national women's hockey squad for the first time since the inception of the JHL to allow the women to be part of the league.

Nine teams, including the women, are in Division One while 10 are in Division Two.

The women are preparing for the World Cup Qualifier in Santiago, Chile where they will be up against the hosts, Australia, Ireland and Scotland for the single ticket to the World Cup in Rosario, Argentina on Aug 29-Sept 11.

DIVISION ONE: Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS), Bukit Jalil Sports School Juniors (BJSS JR), Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (PJMC), Kelantan, Bandar Penawar Juniors, Anderson, Bandar Penawar Thunderbolt, UniKL, Malaysian Women's Hockey Association (MWHA).

DIVISION TWO: Matri, Datuk Taha Juniors, Tunku Besar Juniors, Kuala Selangor, Penang Free School, Sabah, Teknik Klang, Pahang, Johor, Ipoh City Council.

New Straits Times



More synthetic turfs in the pipeline for Penang

By K. Kandiah


DATUK Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad said he will make it his priority to build two synthetic hockey pitches in Penang -- one on the island and the other on the mainland.

At present the state has three pitches, one at Universiti Sains Malaysia which comes under the Ministry of Higher Education, the other was built by the Seberang Perai Municipal Council in Kepala Batas which is in a deplorable state, and the third is the one recently built by the Education Ministry at the Mutiara Impian Sports School which was not t according to FIH specifications and is also undersized.

"I assure the hockey fraternity that I will make a concerted effort to build the two pitches.

"The Penang State Hockey Association will not allow the sport to be stagnant. We will move forward, especially after the lapse due to the constitutional amendments," Ibrahim said after being re-elected as president of the Penang State Hockey Association (PSHA).

Newly elected deputy president S. Sanjilatheeban said PSHA will organise the state Under-18 league and will invite the state Malaysia Games women's squad to participate.

The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) treasurer said PSHA will also invite teams bordering the state, especially Kulim, Sungai Petani, Parit Buntar and Taiping.

MHF secretary Hashim Mohd Yusof, who was present at the BGM, urged PSHA to revive the Penang League which was the best in the country during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Meanwhile, Ranjit Singh, 55, who did not seek re-election for the secretary's post to make way for a younger candidate, was elected as one of the vice presidents while V. Jayanandhan is the new secretary.

Office bearers -- President: Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad; deputy presidents: Datuk Mary Ritchie and S. Sanjilatheeban; vice presidents: Ranjit Singh, V. Vangamani and Zailalah Md Tahir; honorary secretary: V. Jayanandhan; honorary treasurer: A. Raman, committee members: Suhaimi Abu Bakar, Azif Saad, M. Ragunathan, Hasnida Omar.

New Straits Times



PHF picks chief selector, mulls foreign coach

By Our Sports Reporter


LAHORE: In a bid to revamp national hockey once again after the World Cup debacle, Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) newly-formed Executive Board announced a four-member national selection committee, headed by Olympian Hanif Khan, while pending the decision about hiring a foreign coach for the national team.

The Executive Board meeting was held at the PHF offices here on Monday.

Hanif will have the assistance of three other Olympians, namely, Mohammad Usman, Musaddaq Hussain and Arshad Chaudhary as members.

Though the PHF decided to have Hanif Khan at the helm, the Board set aside his proposal to appoint a foreign coach only for the Under-23 and Junior strings instead for the national side.

“The Executive Board has decided in principle to hire the services of any qualified foreign coach for the Pakistan team,” PHF President Qasim Zia said while addressing a press conference after presiding over the meeting.

Qasim, when reminded of Hanif’s proposal, said: “That is Hanif’s personal opinion, I am only telling you what the Board has decided.”

Hanif, in an exclusive interview with Dawn earlier (March 24), had said that no foreign coach could bring improvement in the techniques of the senior players and it would be better to hire him for the Under-23 boys in order to prepare them for the 2012 Olympics.

Saying that, he had also pointed out that the current senior players were a better lot to win the forthcoming 2010 Asian Games.

The PHF president also mentioned hiring a psychologist for the national team.

To a question about a new manager for the team, Qasim said that his name would be announced after the hiring of a foreign coach.

Qasim said the PHF was in contact with a couple of foreign coaches but there were still certain points to be discussed with them and it would be rather premature to be divulging into details about it at this stage.

He said the Executive Board has put its weight behind the foreign coach proposal in order to resurrect national hockey as there was no other highly-qualified coach available in Pakistan.

Qasim had dissolved the entire selection committee headed by Hasan Sardar along with the team management comprising Shahid Ali Khan (chief coach) and Asif Bajwa (manager) after Pakistan finished at the bottom in the World Cup, held in New Delhi, India. The entire national team also tendered resignation at the time.

He also reiterated that he has invited the Olympians who have been so critical of the federation to submit their suggestions for the betterment of the game within the next 15 days.

“I will be in a better position to invite them to discuss their proposals for implantation after receiving their suggestions,” Qasim said.

The Olympians launched a campaign against the PHF to sack PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa after the dismal performance in the World Cup. But the PHF president backed his secretary, saying that he can only be removed by the Congress and that, too, through a no-confidence motion.

He claimed that the Executive Board has also passed a resolution that the PHF will take no unconstitutional decisions.

The Board, according to him, has also asked the National Assembly and the Senate to raise the issue of providing employment to the national players. They also gave responsibility in this connection to Nawab Lashkari Raisani and Khushbakht Shujaat to take steps for implementing the orders of the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The Executive Board also constituted the Competition Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary NWFP Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah to prepare the annual activity calendar.

Meanwhile, former coach Shahid Ali Khan also presented his report on the World Cup fiasco. Qasim said Shahid, in his report, gave the reasons behind the World Cup defeat, saying Pakistan continuously played important tournaments throughout the past year while setting a target for each and causing fatigue to itself.

“We played the World Cup and Champions Trophy qualifiers as well as the Asia Cup in one year. We hit one target [World Cup qualifiers] and played in the finals of the two other events,” he said.

In addition, he said that Pakistan could not play a good number of matches against the strong teams of the World, especially those from Europe.

Qasim Zia said that after appointing a foreign coach, PHF will review renewing foreign consultant Wouter Tazelaar’s contract. He also said that the Customs department had announced forming their team soon and have also laid Astroturf at their ground in Karachi, which is a good sign for the promotion of the sport as well as the players.

The Executive Board meeting was attended by PHF President Qasim Zia, Vice Presidents Nawab Lashkari Raisani, Saeed Khan, Barrister Shahida Jamil, Secretary Asif Bajwa, Associate Secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, Treasurer Khalid Rasool, Provincial Secretaries Rana Mujahid (Punjab), Syed Zahir Shah (NWFP), Rao Saleem (Sindh), Farooq Ahmad (Balochistan), President PHF Women’s Wing Khushbakht Shujaat, Technocrats/experts Olympian Manzoor Jr., Asad Malik and Col Zafar Ahmad Zafri, Collector Customs representatives Fateh Mohammad and Director Army Sports Brig Iqtidar Tasneem.

Dawn



Hanif named new hockey chief selector

By our correspondent


KARACHI: Pakistan’s hockey chiefs on Monday appointed former Olympian Hanif Khan as the new chief selector as they continue making changes in the aftermath of the national team’s humiliating last-place finish in the World Cup in New Delhi earlier this month.

Hanif, who was once a leading critic of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), replaces another former stalwart Hassan Sardar, who had resigned from the post immediately after the World Cup debacle.

After the inaugural meeting of a reshaped PHF Executive Board, Qasim Zia, the PHF president, announced that former Olympian Muhammad Usman, Arshad Chaudhry and Musadaq Hussain will be the new members of the national selection committee.

The PHF chief also said that the federation will soon hire a foreign coach and a sports psychologist for the national team in a bid to put it on the right track. “The Executive Board has given its approval to hire a psychologist for the national team,” said Qasim, a former Olympian.

He also invited former Olympians to submit their suggestions for the betterment of the game within the next 15 days. “PHF will review their suggestions and will take decisions if necessary,” he said.

A big group of former greats has been pressing for sweeping changes within the national hockey set following Pakistan’s World Cup disaster. The Olympians including former captain Islahuddin Siddiqui, Shahnaz Sheikh, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ayaz Mehmood and several others have urged Qasim to replace PHF secretary Asif Bajwa, saying that he is the main culprit behind Pakistan’s horrific World Cup showing.

However, Qasim once again ruled out the possibility of sacking Bajwa.

“PHF will not take any step unconstitutionally,” he stressed. The PHF chief said that he will raise the issue of the provision of permanent jobs for national hockey players in the National Assembly as well as the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Executive Board gave the responsibility to Nawab Lashkari Raisani and Khushbakht Shujat for the implementation of the orders from the Prime Minister Secretariat. The Board also constituted a competitions uommittee under the Chairmanship of Secretary NWFP Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah and asked the committee to prepare the annual calendar for the various national teams.

Qasim said that Shahid Ali Khan, who was coach of the national team that crashed to the 12th place in the World Cup, has submitted his report on his players’ showing in the quadrennial spectacle. According to Shahid’s report, Pakistan played too many international tournaments during the past one year which left the players fatigued. The coach has also blamed his team’s lack of match practice against top teams like Germany and Australia in recent times as one of their biggest problems.

Qasim said that after the appointment of foreign coach, PHF will decide whether to renew the contract of its foreign consultant Wouter Tazelaar.

The members of the Executive Board who attended the meeting included Vice Presidents Nawab Lashkari Raisani, Saeed Khan, Barrister Shahida Jamil, Secretary General Asif Bajwa, Associate Secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, Treasurer Khalid Rasool, prrovincial secretaries Syed Zahir Shah (NWFP), Rao Saleem (Sindh), Farooq Ahmad (Balochistan), President PHF Women’s Wing Khushbakht Shujat, Technocrats/experts Manzoor Jr., Asad Malik and Col (retd) Zafar Ahmad Zafri, Collector Customs Preventive Fateh Muhammad and Director Army Sports.

The News International



PHF to hire sports psychologist and foreign coach

Hanif Khan is new chief selector of Pakistan hockey

By Muhammad Ali


LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Monday named a new selection committee with former Olympian Hanif Khan as the new chief selector of Pakistan hockey. The previous selection committee was dissolved following the national team’s disastrous performance in the World Cup in India. The green shirts finished poor 12th in the 12-nation competition in New Delhi after losing 3-2 to Canada in the playoff for the final two positions. Hanif has replaced Hasan Sardar. “Mohammad Usman, Arshad Chaudhry and Musadaq Hussain will be the new members of the national selection committee,” PHF president Qasim Zia told reporters after a meeting of the executive board at the National Hockey Stadium here. “These are the few steps which we have taken to streamline our hockey in the aftermath of our poor show in the World Cup,” added Qasim.

Qasim said the executive board had given the approval to hire a foreign coach and a sports psychologist for the national team. He refused to give out more details regarding foreign coach. “At the moment the federation is in a process of negotiations with three to four foreign coaches and the most suitable candidate will be selected keeping in view our requirements.” But according to sources, the PHF is contemplating to hire German Paul Lissek who is presently working as consultant with Hockey Australia and was with the Kookaburras during their triumphant World Cup campaign. Qasim said after the appointment of a foreign coach the PHF would review to renew the contract of Dutch consultant Wouter Tazelaar.

Four times world champions Pakistan, also winners of three Olympic gold medals, remained up in the clouds for more than three decades and have been striving hard for a big title since winning the 1994 World Cup in Australia. They have not won any Asian title since winning the Asian Games in China 19 years ago. Pakistan finished a poor eighth at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 – their worst ever showing in the Olympics. They have also missed out on the elite six-nation Champions Trophy in 2008 and 2009. The PHF chief urged former Olympians to lend their support, instead of destructive criticism, for the revival and betterment of the game. “I invite former Olympians to submit their suggestions for the betterment of the game within 15 days. The PHF will review their suggestions and take decisions if necessary,” he concluded.

The Daily Times



Hanif named new Pakistan hockey chief selector

KARACHI: Pakistan on Monday appointed Olympian Hanif Khan as the new chief selector, replacing Hasan Sardar, in the aftermath of the national team's disastrous 12th position in the Hockey World Cup in New Delhi earlier this month.

Qasim Zia, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president, announced that Muhammad Usman, Arshad Chaudhry and Musadaq Hussain will be the new members of the national selection committee.

Qasim dissolved the national selection committee after Pakistan lost the 11th position match to minnows Canada for their worst-ever World Cup defeat.

The PHF chief also said the federation will soon hire a foreign coach and a sports psychologist for the national team.

The Times of India



Major changes unlikely: Hockey chief selector

By Shazia Hasan


KARACHI: Olympian Hanif Khan has said that he is always available to serve Pakistan hockey and is glad that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) considered him worthy of taking over the position of chief selector.

Speaking to Dawn on Monday, he said: “I feel happy that the federation entrusted me with the chief selector’s job. I only wanted to serve hockey in whatever way I could and PHF’s decision will allow me to do that.”

Asked how he intended doing that and if he thought that his predecessor Hasan Sardar had not been doing his job properly.

Hanif said: “I am sure Hasan did his duty to the best of his ability. He was a very good selector in my opinion. But I have my own style. I watch any hockey match be it in a school event, a regional championship, departmental affair or a national tournament. And if I see a talented player in any of these events now, I will definitely pick him for even the national camp. It doesn’t matter how young he may be. Anyone who deserves it will get a chance to play according to his abilities.”

Asked if he intended making major changes in the current national side that finished last in the World Cup, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist was of the opinion that it was not necessary to make drastic changes to the side. “We have three major events coming up this year. First there is the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, then the Commonwealth event followed by the Asian Games. I think the current team has the potential to do well in all of these events so making major changes might backfire. Therefore I don’t intend to do it right away,” he explained.

But when reminded of the team’s recent disgraceful performance, he said: “I believe the team has potential but the rest depends on the coaching they will receive. If the federation manages to find someone who can guide them well and who understands the players, this same outfit that lost so badly in the World Cup will rise again to win matches,” he said.

Speaking about his son Azlan and nephew Haseem Khan’s future in view of his newly-acquired post, Hanif said: “They will play or not play on their own merit. Like anyone else, their fitness and game will decide their fate. My being related to them will not effect team selection. I have no desire to favour any player unnecessarily.”

Dawn



Pakistan to hire foreign coach

The Executive Board of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has approved the new selection committee and the appointment of foreign coach for the National team. Olympian Hanif Khan named Chairman Selection Committee and Olympian Muhammad Usman, Arshad Chaudhry and Musadaq Hussain will be the members. President PHF Qasim Zia was addressing a press conference after the Executive Board meeting at National Hockey Stadium Lahore.

Qasim Zia said that Executive Board also given the approval to hire a psychologist with the National team. He also invites the former Olympians to submit their suggestions for the betterment of the game within 15 days. PHF will review their suggestions and will take decisions if necessary. PHF will not take any step unconstitutionally on the will of anybody. Qasim Zia said that we will raise the issue of permanent employments of the National players in the National Assembly and Senate, while Executive Board also gave the responsibility to Nawab Lashkari Raisani and Khushbakht Shujat for the implementation of the orders from Prime Minister Secretariat. Executive Board also constitutes the Competition Committee under the Chairmanship of Secretary NWFP Hockey Association Syed Zahir Shah to prepare the annual calendar of the National teams. 

Qasim Zia said that Coach Pakistan Hockey Team Shahid Ali Khan also presented his report of World Cup. According to the report in one year Pakistan team played important tournaments continuously and Pakistan team took every tournament as a target. The team felled in to fatigue and also unluckily we didn’t play any matches against European and World ranking teams.

Qasim Zia said that after the appointment of foreign coach PHF will review to renew the contract of foreign consultant Wouter Tazelaar. He said that Customs have announced to form their team soon and also laid the Astor Turf in Karachi, which is the good sign for promotion of hockey and players.

The members of the Executive Board who attended the meeting were President PHF Qasim Zia, Vice Presidents Nawab Lashkari Raisani, Saeed Khan, lady Vice President Barrister Shahida Jamil, Secretary General Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Associate Secretary Rana Mujahid Ali, Treasurer Khalid Rasool, Provincial Secretaries Rana Mujahid (Punjab), Syed Zahir Shah (NWFP), Rao Saleem (Sindh), Farooq Ahmad (Balochistan), President PHF Women’s Wing Khushbakht Shujat, Technocrats/experts Olympian Manzoor Jr., Asad Malik and Col. ® Zafar Ahmad Zafri, Collector Customs Preventive Fateh Muhammad and Director Army Sports Brig. Iqtidar Tasneem.

PHF media release



Eleven Stars clinches DCO Swat Inter-Club Hockey title

PESHAWAR: Eleven Stars Mingora clinched the trophy after defeating National Club Kabal in the final of the DCO Swat Inter-Club Hockey Tournament played at Makanbagh ground on Monday.

DCO Swat Atif-ur-Rehman was the chief guest on this occasion.  Organizing Secretary Qasim Khan, Member of  NWFP Hockey Association Executive Board Malik Wadan, Sabz Ali, AC Kabal Tehsil and large number of hockey spectators witnessed the thrilling final.

Both Eleven Stars Mingora and National Club Kabal presented excellent display in the 70-minute battle fought on rattling pace. They raided on each other territory time and again with some fine moves were also witnessed.

This was Barkat Ali who first opened the account for Eleven Stars on the field attempt. Barkat Ali dodged three defenders in a row before receiving a fine ball from his center-half Inayatullah and did nothing wrong in dispatching it into the net.

The lead of Eleven Stars was not prolonged as National Club was succeeded in level the tally, five minute later. This was Muhammad Aurangzeb who netted a fine goal to make the tally 1-1.

In the 18th minute Barkat Ali scored another goal on the field attempt but this time he along with inner trio Irfan, Tahir and Yousaf Khan made a beautiful combine move as a result Barkat Ali got a free ball from Irfan and netted it nicely.

At half-time Eleven Stars Mingora was leading by 2-1. After the resumption of the second-half Eleven Stars kept up pressure as result Hazrat Ali scored team’s third goal to make the tally 3-1. On the other hands, National club Kabal also managed their position and in the 65th minute scored a superb goal from the top of the circle to make the tally 3-2.

At the end, DCO Atif-ur-Rehman gave away trophies and cash prizes. He also announced Rs. 15000 cash for the organizing committee besides Rs. 3000 for the winners and Rs. 2000 for the runner-up. A total of 16 teams took part in the tournament.

Associated Press of Pakistan



Air India annexes the Obaidullah Cup in style

K. Arumugam


Evoking the vintage memories, Air India shone thoroughout the seventy minutes of play in the final to annex the prestigious Obaidullah Cup in Bhopal on Monday.

Veterans Dhanraj Pillay and Samir Dad combined so beautifully that they not only mesmerized the packed stands but also helped the team steamroll Bharat Petroleum.

Air India overwhelmed BPCL 5-0 while with a goal from V. Raghunath and Deepak Thakhur Indian Oil clinched the bronze and with that Rs. 2 lac prize money. Fourth finished PSB also got Rs. 50,000.

But it was a grand boost for Air India -- it won Rs. 5 lack prize money -- which had a galaxy of contemporary stars such as Arjun Halappa, Gurbaj Singh, Shivendera Singh and Adrian D'Souza, gelled well with Dhanraj and Samir in the front and the goals were coming at regular intervals.

Poor penalty corner drills were made up by the thrust ful run downs of Shivender and Gurbaj, the beauty of the match of course was the combination of Samir Dad and Dhanraj Pillay, which evoked the memories of 1998 when the duo excelled on the same turf against Pakistan in a test match.

Bharat Petroleum, which overwhelmed India Oil with a clinical hockey in the semis, was done in by poor defence though ageing Ajay Saroha tried his best, with William Xalxo on the bench with injuries, coach Sabu Varkey was handicapped.

On the other hand, the form of Adrian D'souza, the Air India goalie, too came in the way of the oil team scoring. Lest, a couple of good shots by Amar Aiyamma and a stinching top of the circle by Tushar worth goals.

Chief Minister of the state Shivraj Singh Chauhan witnessed the whole match, and gave away the booty prizes and the Cup.

Stick2Hockey.com



Cash rains as hope rekindled in Bhopal

K. Arumugam


All of a sudden, it looks, money rains for hockey in Madhya Pradesh. At least this is the impression one gets after visiting the former hockey nursery and witnessing state government loosening its purse strings in the revived Obaidullah Cup.

Madhya Pradesh government has pledged Rs.1 crore towards Chief Minister's Hockey Players Welfare Fund, and vowed to fulfil any other demand of players in future. "This 1 crore is an initial pledge. We will do more if the situation needs", said Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the chief minister of MP state, before the final of the revived Obaidullah Cup at the historic Aisbagh hockey stadium.

The chief minister also announced a tournament for girl in Bhopal and invitation to foreign teams for the Obaidullah Cup in future. "The next year Obaiduallah Cup will be grander in all aspects", the Chief minister said.

He also unveiled a talent search program by which each district will have hockey ground facility, stipend to prospective talents, a centralized training camps.

"Money won't be a problem in reviving our national game", he added.

Before the final match, the chief minister presented a cheque for Rs.18 lac to the Indian world cup team. Local lads Shivendra Singh and Samir Dad, in addition, were given each Rs. 1 lac.

This year's Obaidullah competition, which the state government organized successfully, made many milestones.

For the first time ever in our domestic scene, Rs 10.5 lac was given away as prize money alone. yesterday, winners Air India walked away with a booty of Rs. 5 lac as Obaidullah winners, the runners up BPCL with 3 lac, bronze winners IOC 2 lac and the fourth finished team -- orgnizers termed it third runner up -- Rs. 50,000.

Besides, best player of each match got Rs.5000, and the player of the tournament with Rs.1 lac.

Considering the fact that most of the tournaments held in rest of India, especially in the northern part of India, except Nehru Cup, hardly gives the players their due. Though the tournament organizers are adept at marketing, they did not feel it worth to part the booty to players. For example, Shastri Cup in Delhi hardly gives any prize money!!

That's why the Bhopal turn around is a welcome thing.

This Bhopal booty comes as surprise as the Tournament itself was going the Aga Khan Cup way -- the presitigious Bombay event was not being held since many years -- due to factional fight in the Bhopal Hockey Association.

The factional fights are still there, but it seems both factions have given in writing in favour of the state government reviving Cup.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the state Chief Minister, turned the saviour of our Women National Team a couple of months ago, when they wore black band to protest against the gender discrimination from Hockey India. The benevolent chief minister gave Rs. 1 crore to share between 30 players who were then in a camp in Bhopal at the Sports Authority of India's Central Centre.

It is already known fact that the state is running hockey academy for both boys and girls. the government also laid turfs at Bhopal and Gwalior and two more(in Betul and Shivni) are under progress. It is expected another turf will also be laid in Bhopal for the 'new city'.

Bhopal in the past produced great teams and valuable players for the country. Though it is not the scenerio any more, the sinew of activities the state government has initiated, will see the game revived in the most important province of India.

As of now, all is well for hockey in Madhya Pradesh

Stick2Hockey.com



Vizag Steel Cup from today

VISAKHAPATNAM: Twelve teams are participating in the second Vizag Steel Cup invitation hockey tournament to be held at the Port stadium here from March 30 to April 2.

The knock-out tournament is being organised by the District Hockey Association. Visakhapatnam Steel Plant is supporting the tournament by providing the hockey field and accommodation to the players and the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has given financial support. The first edition of the tournament was conducted as a super league event and Visakhapatnam District XI was winner and Chittoor was runner-up. The other teams participating in the tournament are Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Pioneer Corps Training Centre (Bangalore), Jindal Steel Plant Power Limited (Chattisgarh), State Sports Hostel (Rourkela), RDT Hockey Academy (Anantapur), SAI Training Centre (Eluru), Bihar Regimental Centre, Vijayawada Hockey XI and Vizianagaram District XI.

The district team: K. Suresh (captain), L. Ramesh, S. David Nathan, G. Bhaskar, B. Suribabu, B. Satyanarayana, K. Chinna Appa Rao, K. Satya Maheswara Rao, V. Krishna Kishore, P. Ramesh Kumar, G. Narayana, S. Ramesh, P. Ram Kiran, K. Srinivas, P. Fredrick Dass, K. Jayaraj, M.K.S.M. Jeelani and J. Suresh. Coach: R. Raja Prabhakar. Manager: V. Venkateswara Rao .

The Hindu



Easy win for G.K. Motors

Chennai: G.K. Motors continued its good run in the SDAT State league hockey championship with a 9-1 walloping of Nehru Memorial here on Monday.

The results: Young Brother Sports bt Siva Memorial 6-1, Thanthai Ganamuthu bt Friends Hockey 2-1, G.K. Motors bt Nehru Memorial 9-1, Friends Hockey bt Siva Memorial 5-1, Best Friend bt Eleven Star 6-2, Pandians Hockey bt Eleven Thunder 2-0 .

The Hindu



Campaign launched in UP to demand Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand

BHOPAL: A signature campaign has been launched in Jhansi, demanding hockey legend Dhyan Chand be posthumously given Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour in the country.

Around one lakh signatures would be submitted to President Pratibha Patil, seeking Bharat Ratna for Dhyan Chand, Former Member of Parliament Vishwanath Sharma told reporters in Bhopal.

Dhyan Chand was born in Prayag but the family eventually settled in Jhansi.

The Times of India