News for 27 June 2010

All the news for Sunday 27 June 2010

Hockeyroos in box seat at 4 nations tournament

The Hockeyoos are in a great position to win the 4 nations tournament in Germany, dominating Ireland and India in their opening two match at the tournament.

With still one game remaining, to be played against Germany on Sunday 27 June, the Hockeyroos sit on top of the tournament points table, two points clear of Germany who suffered a surprise 3-3 draw to India earlier in the tournament.

Despite missing key players Kate Hollywood and Casey Eastham due to injury, the Hockeyroos have yet to be challenged during the 4 nations tournament, defeating Ireland 4-0 on Friday 25 June and overnight defeating India 6-2.

However their game against Germany in the final match of the tournament looms to be much more challenging. With the Hockeyroos having a six goal better goal difference, a win to the Hockeyroos or a draw will see Australia claim the tournament, while Germany will need to win by at least 4 goals to win the tournament.

Nicole Arrold and Madonna Blyth have been key players for the Hockeyroos throughout the tournament, while youngster Georgia Nanscawen has been impressive in the midfield, particularly during Australia’s win over India.

Veteran striker Megan Rivers has also been in good form, scoring four goals against India.

Friday 25 June
Hockeyroos 4 Ireland 0 (2-0 half time)

Goals – Nicole Arrold 27m PC/ 56m PC/ 64m PC, Ashleigh Nelson 31m FG

Saturday 26 June
Hockeyroos 6 India 2 (3-1 half time)

Goals – Aus Nicole Arrold 7m PC, Ind 17m PC, Aus Megan Rivers 20m PC/ 22m FG/ 37m FG/ 51m FG, Ind 45m FG, Madonna Blyth 51m FG

Hockey Australia media release

Ireland lose to Germany

Ireland lost 3-1 today against the World Number 4's Germany, after putting on a great display of hockey, in their second of three matches being played in Essen, Germany this weekend.

The game started at the rate of knots today and inside 30 seconds Michelle Harvey put a great ball through to Speers who put the ball on to O'Halloran on her 50th cap with just the goalie to beat she miscued her shot.

A minute later Germany showed the Irish how to finish with a great aerial over Sargent to drive in along the back line to be rolled in for a touch just four yards off the line to go 1-0 ahead with thanks to Lina Geyer.

Ireland's midfield were well able to match the strength of the German midfield, in particular Emma Clarke provided great structure to the side.

While Germany were strong in their attack Ireland dealt well with all that was thrown at them.

Ireland had a great chance when Speers won a penalty corner for her side, the low drag flick met Emma Smyth on the left post to touch in to level the sides.

Ireland withstood a green card from McCay and kept possession forcing another penalty corner but the switch was well blocked by the German defence.

Ireland continued to create attacks but the finishing touch managed to evade them.

Towards the end of the second half the German's secured a penalty corner which was initially saved and on the reset a world class drag flick proved unstoppable for the girls in green.

Mary Goode in goals was called into action early in the second half, but Ireland stood strong.

The teams continued to exchange penalty corners early in the second half with one of Ireland's just skimming the post but it was Germany who capatilised on their set piece on the 50th minute to score the final goal of the match.

For the remainder of the match, despite playing with 10 as Emma Smyth saw yellow, Ireland stood strong and Mary Goode deservedly won man of the match.

Ireland will no doubt be pleased with what was a confident performance with some great play on display and had the umpires been a little kinder they could have enjoyed a closer scoreline.

Ireland will also no doubt target the match tomorrow against India.

Commenting after the game Gene Muller said "We performed well today and progressed since yesterday we are creating more chances in this series than in the past against these teams and our players are playing with confidence and real committment."

Ireland 4 Nations Squad, Essen, Germany 25th - 27th June Emma Clarke (Leicester; 67 caps); Bridget Cleland (Ballymoney; 144); Lizzie Colvin (Loreto; 31); Eimear Cregan (Catholic Institute; 165); Nicci Daly (Loreto; 2); Mary Goode (Bray; 67); Michelle Harvey (Pegasus; 32); Lisa Jacob (UCD; 67); Shirley McCay (Dragons; 85); Audrey O'Flynn (UCC; 8); Julia O'Halloran (UCC; 48); Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins; 59); Niamh Small (Loreto; 27); Emma Smyth (Railway Union; 26); Alex Speers (Dragons; 72); Nikki Symmons (Loreto; 136) Not Used; Emma Gray / Nikki Evans

Match Schedule: Local Time
27th Ireland v India 12.00

SENIOR WOMEN 4 NATIONS: Saturday 26th June 2010
Ireland 1(1) Emma Smyth
Germany 3(2) Lina Geyer; Tina Bachmann x 2

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland win second Celtic Cup match

Ireland started their second match today with a high tempo pace and were rewarded just a mere 8 minutes in when Timmy Cockram's shot on goal was stopped illegally providing captain Ronan Gormley with the chance to put his country ahead, which he duly did with his penalty stroke.

It was only nine minutes later when Ireland doubled their lead when Mitch Darling swiveled on the ball at the edge of the circle and crossed in for a sliding deflection by Gormley to score his brace.

Wales came across their first scoring opportunity in the 32nd minute when they won a penalty corner which produced an outstanding save from Iain Walker in goals.

After half time Ireland only waited 30 seconds to extend their lead when Paul Gleghorne showed his attacking prowess shooting home from close range making it 3-0 to Ireland.

Ireland copper fastened their victory in the 68th minute when Peter Caruth shot home from a narrow angle after a second phase of a penalty corner.

Ireland only need a draw tomorrow against hosts to ensure they reclaim the Celtic Cup title.

Commenting after the game Manager Peter Jackson said "This was another good team performance in extremely hot weather and it was pleasing that the defence held strong conceding no goals."

Ireland Celtic Cup Squad 25th - 27th June, Le Touquet, France Iain Walker (YMCA; 20) GK; Ronan Gormley (Pembroke W; 97) Captain; John Jackson (Mossley; 42); Conor Harte (Pembroke W; 40); Paul Gleghorne (Loughborough; 11); Geoff McCabe (Dragons; 62); David Ames (Cookstown; 14); Andy McConnell (Pembroke W; 13); Eugene Magee (Dragons; 103); Timmy Cockram (Lisnagarvey; 95); Mitch Darling (Leuven; 41); Subs: Joe Brennan (Glenanne; 33); Chris Cargo (Reading; 5); Alan Sothern (Pembroke W; 37); Peter Caruth (Annadale; 16); Phelie Maguire (Leuven; 77) Not Used: Match Schedule:David Fitzgerald (Monkstown; 0) GK; Alan Giles (Pembroke W; 7); Local Time 27th Ireland v France 14.00

HOCKEY: MEN: CELTIC CUP DAY 2: Saturday 26th June 2010 Ireland 4(2) Wales 0(0)

Irish Hockey Association media release

PHF to consider coach’s supporting staff request

By Shazia Hasan

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Asif Bajwa has said that the federation will consider Chief Coach Michel van den Heuvel’s request for a supporting staff of experts.

Speaking to Dawn on Saturday, Bajwa said the coach has already spoken to them regarding the matter and that they have no problems with the request.

“He is planning to call physical trainers, weight training and mental training experts apart from a goalkeeping coach, who will be visiting here from time to time to assist him in training the players,” said the Olympian fullback.

He was referring to Michel mentioning the need for a supporting staff of experts for the team during the press conference in Karachi here a day earlier.

The Dutch coach, while citing the example of World champions Australia, had said on the occasion: “There they have entire institutions working for the promotion of the game. There are as many as 50 people working for the development of a single team so if we think we can achieve miracles with one coach, we are not smart.

“Whatever input I may bring with me will not just be for the national team but the juniors, Whites and the academy players, too.”

Asked if the coach wasn’t happy with the goalkeeping coach Olympian Ahmad Alam, provided to him already, Bajwa explained: “There is a difference between a goalkeeping coach and a trainer. Our former goalkeepers fit the latter category.”

He also added that the coaches and other training staff coming here would also be training the local experts.

Asked if the extra staff would cause the federation extra money as they are already paying Michel Rs1.1 million a month, the secretary said: “We will manage it somehow for it is for the betterment of hockey. Besides, we have already promised Michel maximum facilities in his quest for the build-up of the game here.”


Training session becomes farce after new coach skips

By Shazad Ali

KARACHI: Pakistan's hockey coach Michel van den Heuvel, who is believed to be hired on a lucrative package, on Saturday skipped the team’s evening training sessions for its tour to Europe, leaving a “physiotherapist” to supervise while the Dutchman flew for discussions with officials in Lahore.

Although team manager, Manzoor Hussain, who also left for Lahore on Saturday, said he was unaware of the reason for Heuvel’s visit to Lahore, there are reports that the Dutchman might have went to discuss the issue of team selection or to deliberate on bringing in a goalkeeping coach and doctor of his choice for the team.

Whatever the reasons for Heuvel’s mysterious dash to Lahore, it certainly indicates there are things that were not discussed before hiring the Dutchman. This situation also belies tall claims made by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) that the coach has been engaged after discussing all the terms and conditions.

Sources said Heuvel had expressed to PHF secretary Asif Bajwa that he wanted to hold discussion only in Lahore when the official was in Karachi on Thursday.

Manzoor, however, claimed Heuvel’s visit to Lahore was on schedule when he joined the Pakistan squad on Monday.

It remains unclear, however, what the pressing issue was which forced the coach to leave the training camp and that too with physiotherapist Faizur Rahman as in-charge.

Although he was not aware who conducted the training sessions in the evening, Manzoor confirmed Faiz was serving as physiotherapist at the camp.

Heuvel’s absence from the camp was unprofessional indeed, especially if one takes into consideration the lucrative package he has been reported to be receiving. The Dutchman will reportedly be getting somewhere in between Rs1 and 1.6million per month.

A visit to the camp by reminded one the phrase “when the cat’s away, the mice will play”. The camp has no less than five former Pakistan captains and several veterans having played hockey for some 10 years or more. It was obvious that players seemed not only “relaxed” but in a “jovial and carefree” mood, cracking jokes and hardly giving any importance to the “physiotherapist” who conducted the sprinting and running sessions for endurance.

Interestingly, while Faiz was at the helm in the field acting as the coach, assistant coaches Ahmad Alam and Muhammad Ajmal watched the sessions mostly from the VIP sofas up in the stadium.

Even at one stage of the laps around the field after the sprint sessions, Abdul Qayyum Dogar tried to slip behind the pack of trainees during the long run and almost stopped to take “some rest”, while Rehan Butt evaded 25 push-ups ordered by the “physio.”

Salman Akbar, who skipped Azlan Shah Cup last month, to play in a league abroad, threw his weight behind Heuvel, saying the training by the Dutchman was certainly better than what he had in the previous training camps.

Salman last played under Shahid Ali Khan and Asif Bajwa, who also acted as the team manager at the World Cup in New Delhi where team finished as woondenspoonists.

“I am sure that training by him (Heuvel) is much better than to what we used to have in the previous camps. Now there are three sessions instead of two and we are having good training,” Salman told after the sessions.

The burly goalkeeper also gave thumbs up to the idea of hiring a foreign goalkeeping coach of Heuvel’s choice.

“Now in modern day hockey we need a good goalkeeping coach. If we have a foreign coach, why can’t we have a goalkeeping coach? But he must be good. Ahmad (Alam) is now training us (the goalkeepers), but it will be good if we have a foreign goalkeeping coach,” said the goalie.

Ahmad is a controversial figure and recently barely avoided a red card when he used profanity to protest an umpiring decision during a local tournament while acting as the coach of Karachi.

According to Pakistan’s manager, Heuvel is expected to return on Sunday, while team manager returns on Monday. Sunday will be rest day.


US National Futures Championships

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The National Futures Championships kicked off Tuesday in Virginia Beach, Va. and young field hockey standouts from all over the country have settled at the National Training Center to compete over the next six days.

Despite a brief lightning delay in the early evening, 11 total games were played today in the U14 and U16 divisions. By weeks end 646 athletes will have competed in the 2010 National Futures Championships.

The U14 and U16 athletes will take center stage Tuesday and Wednesday, while the U19 competitors begin their games on Thursday.

The Futures Elite Program will select 150 players from this player pool and over 100 college coaches will be in attendance throughout the week.

[ED: An article about the umpires officiating the National Futures Championships, who have also come from all over the country, is available here.]

After resting on Tuesday, the Senior and Junior Women's National Championships will return to the pitch on Wednesday. Pennsylvania will take on North at 9 a.m. in WNC action, while the juniors will begin play at 4:30 p.m. with New England taking on Mid Atlantic.

Come back to throughout the week for updates on the games and players!

USFHA media release

US National Futures Championships - Family Impressions

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The National Futures Championships is largely about the 646 athletes competing have traveled from all over the country for a chance to showcase their talents.

Although many families have to trek great distances to make it to Virginia Beach, for nearly all, the experience is worth it!

Elizabeth Egan and her daughter Katharine, who plays on the San Jose U16 team, perhaps made one of the longest trips. Their journey started off with a five hour flight to Charlotte, N.C., followed by a one-hour layover and another short flight into Virginia. Elizabeth estimated that they were in the air for about six hours, but that doesn't include all of the waiting time in the airport.

The chance to get her daughter the experience and exposure she needs though is why they do it.

"The opportunity to play in the National Futures Championship is great for the kids," said Elizabeth. "There's a lot of hassle to get here, but we're thinking long-term. The chance to play a lot of hockey in just a few days in front of a lot of coaches makes it appealing."

Elizabeth also stressed the importance of allowing Katharine to compete against some of the best players from around the country. Katharine plays in tournaments throughout the state of California, sometimes even relying on her mom to drive her 10 hours in one day to play in just a single game, but the chance to see the best youth players from every state is what makes the National Futures Championships so special to the family.

"Field Hockey is still growing in California so getting her to this event allows her to see a variety of opponents from all over the country," said Elizabeth. "If you can compete here, you can compete anywhere."

Although the Egan's treat their cross country jaunt as a business trip, they still were able to make a quick pit stop at the beach.

"Katharine was able to jump into the ocean and now we can say she's been in both the Atlantic and Pacific," said Elizabeth with a smile. "But what we were most excited about was seeing the lightning. We don't get it at all in California so I'd say it was the highlight of the trip."

When speaking with Katharine though, neither the beach nor the lightning came up. She just wanted to be out on the pitch with her teammates.

"I'm here for the experience out on the field," said Katharine. "I love playing 24/7!"

Bill Rinehart and daughter Andrea, a U16 goalkeeper from Yorktown, Va., didn't make nearly as far a trip, but they are still just as ecstatic to be here.

"I was expecting there to be a high level of play out here this week and that is certainly what we got," said Bill. "This is a great event, with a great atmosphere."

While sitting with his daughter and watching one of the evenings Women's National Championship games, Bill had to wonder if one day it could be his daughter out there.

"Being out there fighting for one of these coveted spots is part of the dream that both she and I have," said Bill.

"I just hope that she and her teammates are looking at these women and learning a lot about how to play the game right. There is so much that they can duplicate and then put into their practices."

USFHA media release

MSC thump Azad

Sports Reporter

Mamunur Rahman Chayan converted four penalty corners to give Mohammedan Sporting Club a tumping 9-1 win over Azad Sporting Club in the lone match of the Green Delta Insurance Bangladesh Premier Division Hockey League at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

The other goals were scored by Sabbir, Kamruz-zaman, Jahidul Islam, Sazzad John and Rasel Mahmud. Shafiqul Islam scored a consolation goal for the losing side one minute from time. The winners led the first half 3-0.

The Daily Star