News for 05 January 2012

All the news for Thursday 5 January 2012

Netherlands women announce squad for Euro Indoors

Dutch to meet Austria, Belarus & reigning champs Ukraine in Leipzig

Netherlands women’s Indoor coach Joost van Geel has announced his squad for the forthcoming EuroHockey Indoor Championships.

The twelve person squad will take part in the competition which takes place in the German city of Leipzig from Friday 13th to Sunday 15th January 2012.

The complete squad can be found below.

Netherlands women

Name                                         Indoor Club

Adinda Boeren (GK)                Wageningen
Maartje Cox (GK)                     S.V. Kampong
Marianne van Dijk                   S.V. Kampong
Belle van Meer                         S.V. Kampong
Laurien Leurink                       S.V. Kampong
Elsemiek Groen                      Amsterdamsche H. & B.C.
Fieke Holman                          Amsterdamsche H. & B.C
Lieke Hulsen                           H.C. ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Karin den Ouden                    H.C. ’s-Hertogenbosch
Vera Vorstenbosch                H.C. ’s-Hertogenbosch
Mignonne Meekels                S.C.H.C.
Mila Muyselaar                       H.C. Klein Zwitserland

The Netherlands women have been drawn into pool A of the competition, where they will face Austria, Belarus and reigning champions Ukraine. Pool B will feature Spain, Poland, Czech Republic and home favourites Germany.  On the men’s side, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and holders Austria will do battle in Pool A, while Russia, England, Czech Republic and The Netherlands will clash in Pool B. The top two nations in each Pool will qualify for the tournament Semi Finals which take place in the afternoon of Saturday 14th January, with the Finals and Classification matches taking place on Sunday 15th January. 

More information about the Men’s and Women’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships, including squadlists and match schedule can be found on the event website:

KNHB Media Release

Richard`s occasion

The inaugural Richard Docherty Indoor Cup, to be held at the Engage Sports Centre at Edinburgh`s Napier University over this weekend, takes on an all-embracing role, but most importantly it is a chance for Richard`s family, the Inverleith club and the hockey community within Scotland to pay tribute to the 27-year-old who tragically passed away on 27 June 2010. 

It is also a chance for the Scotland squad and Subway indoor national league champions Inverleith to hone their preparations for their respective European nations and club tournaments over the next couple of months.  Finally, it is a chance for the Scottish public, for whom entry is free, to gaze at the skills of top level Continental opposition in the form of Dutch outfit HC RGD and Grossflottberger from the German Bundesliga, and not since the nostalgic days of the Glenfiddich International Tournament a couple of decades ago has such quality been on view in Scotland.

Inverleith, Grove Menzieshill and Grossflottbecker contest one pool while the other group is made up of the Scottish squad, under the guise of Highland Jaguars, HC RGD from the Netherlands and the Welsh side Celtic Panthers.  The top two in each pool will contest Sunday`s semi-finals, with the gala final due to start at 2pm.

Inverleith, who broke the 17 year Tayside monopoly of the indoor crown, won the championship for the first time in the club`s history last season with an undefeated record and the loss of only two points.  Now the Edinburgh side makes its European debut next month with the Club Championships being held in Edinburgh, at the same Napier venue on 17-19 February.

"I will probably be minus a couple of players to the Scotland squad, I also have a couple of players unavailable, so this provides me with another opportunity to use other players in the squad," said Stuart Neave, Inverleith`s coach.     "The Richard Docherty tournament is an excellent situation to play high quality games going into the second half of the season.  Our group games will provide two difficult games against a well organised Menzieshill side and a good German league team."

Inevitably, Neave`s objective is to reach the final, as his charges did in the recent Grove Menzieshill tournament, only to lose 5-3 to the Caledonian Cougars, masquerading as the Scotland squad.

Inverleith will open the tournament with a clash against rivals Grove Menzieshill, the winner taking a giant leap towards a semi-final place.  The Taysiders won the recent league encounter 2-1, Michael Ross from the spot and Chris Wilson on target for Dundonians, Chris Duncan replying for Inverleith.  The Edinburgh side were well on top at Menzieshill`s own event with a comfortable 11-2 victory, but the latter were short of eight squad players that day.

Tayside legend Bruce Cuthill again leads the 17 times Scottish champions Menzieshill, but the prior claims of the Scotland call have again ravaged his squad.   "With so many in the Scotland squad, we have not set any targets but will use this tournament as experience for the younger players.  The opposition will be hard to beat, but our team is improving with each game they play."

It is generally assumed that Grossflottbecker, a side sprinkled with gold medallists from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will be too much for both Scottish sides and the team from Hamburg will cruise into the semi-finals.

The class act in the other pool should be the Dutch side HC RGD, a side specially raised for the occasion by Laurence Docherty, Richard`s older brother, who now lives and plays in the Netherlands.  This side is awash with international talent, but pride of place must go to the legendary Taco Van der Hornet and Floris Jan Bovelander, between them they have 456 international caps and three Olympic Games with a gold and bronze medal to show for their efforts.

The game of this pool is certain to be RGD`s encounter with the Highland Jaguars, the Scotland squad in build-up mode for the European Nations Championships in Lignano (Italy) at the end of next week. 

Billy McPherson, Scotland head coach, said:  "The Richard Docherty tournament is very important, we made progress last week at the Menzieshill event and we would like to do the same this weekend.  We would like to win the tournament, this would help for Europe, but all the players and teams are of the highest quality."

The Welsh side Celtic Panthers are also preparing for the European Nations Championships, but they will have to show considerable improvement from the Menzieshill tournament where they finished last, without gaining a single point.

Play starts at 10 am on Saturday at Napier University`s Engage Sports Centre in Sighthill with the six pool matches during the course of the day, the semi-finals are on Sunday again starting at 10am and the final is scheduled to commence at 2 pm.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Wanderers still on course

VWS Dundee Wanderers demonstrated that their leadership of the Scottish Subway indoor national league is no flash in the pan by winning the Grove Menzieshill tournament last week, beating the Scotland squad in the final, albeit after a penalty shoot-out following a 5-5 draw in normal time. 

The Taysiders start the second half of the league campaign with fixtures against CALA Edinburgh and Granite City Wanderers, and even without the services of Olympic hopeful Vikki Bunce, Wanderers would hardly contemplate anything other than another six points.

Wanderers, Scottish champions for the last two years, lead this year`s campaign with a perfect record to date and three points ahead of nearest rivals Grove.  If earlier results are a guide, Wanderers beat CALA 4-0 then Granite City 9-1 with hat-tricks from Becky Ward and Louise Sherriffs along the way, their leadership of the division should be in no real doubt.

Grove will almost certainly retain second spot as they are up against their second string and Clydesdale, both at the bottom of the table.  Milne Craig Western are a further three points adrift at the top, but will have international defender Catriona Ralph back in action after missing the first half of the indoor season through a hand injury.

At the moment Reid Kerr College Kelburne are a side in mid table, but if they can take six points from their encounter with the second sides of Grove and Western, then the Paisley outfit can make fourth spot their own, but unlikey to make up ground on Milne Craig Western who are almost certain to take the points from Granite City and CALA.

With the teams in the lower end of the table pitched against those at the top, it is difficult to see Grove A, Clydesdale, CALA or Granite City Wanderers picking up any crucial points at the weekend.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Ventures, Army pay tribute to Froix as invitational indoor flicks off

New women’s champions will be crowned when the ninth annual Ventures invitational indoor hockey tournament flicks off today at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, O’Connor Street, Woodbrook, from 4 pm. Goan Overseas Association (GOA), who won the women’s competition last year, are not defending their title. GOA, who have won the title on two occasions, cancelled their trip following the announcement of the State of Emergency in August.

However, captain Jo Fernandes, said her girls will be here to reclaim the title next year. In the men’s, as well as the veteran’s division, Defence Force are raring to go and successfully defend. Defence copped the double crown in the eighth edition of the tournament last year. Ventures, in collaboration with Defence Force, are paying tribute to former national player Sgt George Sheldon Froix. Froix, an ardent hockey player, was shot and killed during a crossfire at a bar in Valencia on Christmas Eve. He was a member of the Open as well as the Veteran’s  Defence Force teams which successfully competed at the Ventures tournament last year.

Froix was also a member of the team which lost to Ontario United in the men’s final of the tournament in 2010.

Also among the men’ teams competing in this year’s tournament are former champions Queen’s Park, Petrotrin, Paragon and Notre Dame. Only Paragon, Notre Dame and the host Ventures will vie for the women’s  title. The winning teams in the Open Divisions will walk away with a cash prize of US$1,000 as well as a trophy. Runners up will take home US$500 and third place finishers receive US$200. There will also be prizes  for the Most Valuable Player, the Best Goalkeeper and the player scoring the most goals in each division, Open Men, Open  Women and Veterans.

The Trinidad Guardian

Horgan hired as National Umpire Director

Ashley Meunier

COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O.- USA Field Hockey is delighted to announce Steve Horgan (Wilmington, DE) has accepted a full-time position as National Umpire Director, effective immediately. In January 2011, Horgan assumed a part-time position with USA Field Hockey as the National Umpire and Technical Manager.  In the last year, Horgan has worked to create umpiring consistency through all levels of play and increase the quantity of umpires for both outdoor and indoor field hockey.

“Steve’s role will be considerably more involved than in the past and he will supervise all functions of umpiring from recruiting, education, critique, and over-all administration,” says Executive Director, Steve Locke. “Steve brings years of experience ranging from umpiring at the Olympic level to having the most precise mind of understanding rules within the USA.”

In 2012, USA Field Hockey has placed umpiring a top priority program and is committed to creating initiatives that will increase professionalism, quantity and quality of umpires across the United States.

“Steve’s employment will be step one in that process,” says Locke. “He brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the table and will without a doubt be successful in his new role.”

Horgan’s main responsibilities will include expanding the education process and growing the number of USA Field Hockey umpire members to 1,000 by 2013. He will reorganize the Regional Umpire Coordinator system and restore the evaluation process for better ratings and assessments of umpires. In addition, Horgan will be the leader in creating umpire academies throughout the United States that will hopefully introduce new and young umpires to the game.

“I am very excited and honored to be afforded the opportunity to work within the umpire community at this capacity,” says Horgan. “I look to continue my passion, commitment and support of hockey umpires and will work with every division of USA Field Hockey to continue to improve the quality and quantity of umpires across the country.”

Horgan has extensive umpire and technical experience, including involvement in two Olympic Games and two International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Cups, along with 85 International matches. Prior to joining the international ranks, Horgan umpired NCAA, scholastic and club matches. Currently Horgan serves as the Rules Interpreter for both USA Field Hockey and the NCAA.

USFHA media release

Project squad to play 25 matches as they prepare for Asia Cup qualifiers

KUALA LUMPUR: The Project 2013 squad expect to play 25 matches in preparation for the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca in May.

The tournament, which serves as a qualifier for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in 2013, was supposed to be held at the Bukit Serendit Hockey Stadium from May 11-22. But it has been brought forward by a week from May 3-12.

Last month, the Project 2013 squad played five matches against the South Korean National University team in Bukit Jalil, winning two and losing three.

The Project squad will play one match against the China national team on Jan 15, who will be here on Tuesday for a playing tour.

Coach K. Dharmaraj described the Ju­­­­nior Asia Cup as an important assignment, thus the need to play as many matches as possible to prepare for it.

“We need to play at least 25 matches. Expectations are high after we won the Sultan of Johor Cup (in Johor Baru in November) and we want to finish as high as possible in the Junior Asia Cup,” said Dharmaraj.

The teams who finish in the top three in the Junior Asia Cup will gain au­tomatic berths to the Finals in India.

Dharmaraj also said that although the Project players would be released to play in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL), which begins on Jan 19, he still planned to take them for a playing tour of either South Korea or India in early March.

“I hope the clubs will release the Project squad players for the playing tour as the national assignments are the top priority,” he said.

“We are hoping to play seven or eight matches in either South Korea or India. We also plan to go on a playing tour of Australia late March for another eight matches.”

The Project squad are also expected to play one or two matches against Poland and Japan, who will be here in April on a playing tour.

“Our last five warm-up matches before the Junior Asia Cup will be against an Australian county team who will be in Malacca in April,” said Dharmaraj.

The Star of Malaysia

At least 22 teams expected for MJHL

Vijhay Vick

ONLY one team have so far entered the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) – which starts in a forthnight.

However, the national hockey body are not fretting as the closing date is Jan 6. The team that submitted the entry are Bandar Penawar Sports School (BPSS).

“The unofficial response has been encouraging. We know several teams are still selecting their players,” said competitions committee secretary Hashim Mohd Yusoff.

“Some schools will also be entering. School resume tomorrow (today) and they will be able to submit their entries and then have two weeks to prepare.”

He added that considering that this was also Sukma year, more teams would compete. Hashim expects at least 22 teams – split into Div 1 and 2.

When a briefing was held on Dec 20, 18 teams were represented.

The committee also decided against a zonal format as only two teams were for it.

The zonal format idea was heavily criticised. The format was also a flop during last year’s Razak Cup.

“There were too many complications,” he added.

The MJHL will start on Jan 19 and end late in March. This is to allow the National Juniors enough time to prepare for the Asia Junior Cup in May.

Malay Mail

Cat & Mouse game

The women hockey officials deserve more credit than what is often given to them. For upon the dawning of the new year 2012, they now stand on equal terms with their colleagues from the men's hockey fraternity, thanks to the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) insistence of a merged body to run hockey in Malaysia.

There was a joint body, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, formed some six years ago to administer hockey internationally. But somehow some officials in MHF blundered and the cat was out of the bag, and FIH was all over MHF. But that is now history.

So the two bodies, MHF and MWHA decided to dissolve and press ahead with having a single body to administer the sport in Malaysia.

Various types of meetings were held, utmost of it was the desire of some office bearers to ensure that their positions in the merged body, be it elected or appointed, were not affected by this merger.

That is how the absurd figure of 12 Vice Presidents came about, 2 Senior Vice Presidents and 1o other Vice Presidents, with the MHF President taking over the reigns as the MHC President and the MWHA President being the sole Deputy President.

With the merger, the women thus hold 50% of the power base within MHC and they will also get two appointed independent members plus either the Secretary/Assistant Secretary as well as the Treasurer/Assistant Treasurer position.

Knowing that there was no way on earth that the current MHF Secretary will give up his position and allow a women candidate as the MHC Secretary, the MWHA went on to their next set of plans, that was to ensure that Prof Dr. Shamala Subramaniam, the iron lady of MWHA retains some significant influence on MHC.

Thus instead of allowing Shamala, who by the way is highly qualified but educationally, and is an elected member of the Asian Hockey Federation Council, to be reduced to a mere spectator, MWHA has nominated her as the Senior Vice President of MHC, on par with MHF Deputy President Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad.

And they have now decided that their current Executive Secretary will be the appointed person for the Secretary/Assistant Secretary post.

Now that is what one calls forward planning.

Mind you, I have nothing against how MWHA conducted themselves and infact admire the fact that they planned this whole thing to their advantage, who wouldn't in the first place. After all the current MHF officials wanted to safeguard their posts, so they sacrificed hockey for personal interests, and why blame the women for thinking out of the box?

So now instead of Shamala, who was vocal during the merger talks, taking orders from the incoming Secretary, she will be in a position to dictate terms, by virtue of her position as Senior Vice President.

With 13 key office bearers, and the fact that there are 13 sub committees in the new MHC set up, it will be interesting to see who will run which committee and with 4 years on their hands, god knows what good or bad will come out of it.

Suffice to say that the forward planning to safe guard the interest of some key officials within the MHF old set up is ongoing and if the women were follow in that direction, at times one step ahead, then who are we to complain.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

What's up doc?


B.K. Nayak, team doctor to the Indian hockey team, ensures that injuries are kept out of the dressing room

They may not receive medals or find much mention in news reports, but few insiders will question the importance of ‘support staff' in sport. Where earlier it may have meant only the physiotherapist, the term has now come to include video analysts, masseurs, dieticians, and even ‘mental-conditioning coaches' under its ambit.

The itinerant life, the long months spent away from home at tournaments and camps, in hotels and hostels, can often be frustrating. It may not be every qualified physician's idea of a career but in Lt. Col. B.K. Nayak's case, it was preferable to “confining oneself to a hospital.”

As team doctor of the Indian men's hockey squad, Nayak's job is to ensure his players do not suffer injury. “Treating someone afterwards is no big deal,” he says. “So my role here is injury prevention and performance enhancement. I have to ensure that they have recovered 100 percent for the next day's training. It is not something every doctor will enjoy,” he smiles. “You live out of a suitcase. And you are out in the field most of the time. You need to have the aptitude and the interest.”

His own aptitude saw him inducted into the Army Sports Institute, after having graduated from Armed Forces Medical College in 1995. Previously a State-level boxer in Orissa, Nayak was detailed to the Indian boxing team for three years, until the 2008 Olympic Games, before joining the National hockey side. “Hockey is a very challenging team game. Boxing is an individual sport where the boxers know how to look after themselves. They know their bodies much better than anyone else. In a team sport, training, recovery, nutrition – everything needs to be addressed in one go.”

The Indian hockey team perhaps presents a greater challenge in this regard, for its members arrive from varying social environments. A few players have been reported to be underweight and have revealed low nutrition levels — issues coach Michael Nobbs has sought to address. “So you have got to know each and every one,” Nayak says. “You cannot have a generalized approach. A player's socio-economic background, the exposure he has had before coming to this place – all that matters. It could be that a player has recurring injuries for reasons connected to his background. We speak to them; we ask what kind of training or formal education they have had. We want to bring all of them onto the same nutritional platform. Only then can we think further.”

It is the team doctor, Nobbs states, that ultimately decides if a recovering player is fit to play or not. “When a player has an injury, I need to know how long it will be before he can play, how much it will affect his performance if he carries on with it etc; all this might need to answered in the space of a few minutes. The doctor is vital. I have been involved in many decisions where the coach has played doctor and it has backfired. My team (Australia) lost on a medal in the Olympic Games due to this.”

Unsurprisingly, injuries can often be understated, or worse concealed, by players. “Over a period of time, you develop a rapport with them,” Nayak says. “After some time, a player will come and tell you that he is not feeling well and things are not alright. It is a mutual thing. Obviously, if I start behaving like a Lieutenant Colonel out there, they will also be difficult. But with all the tests we do, it is not that easy to hide injury in the first place. And at this level, even players understand that by hiding injuries they cannot prolong their careers.”

This bonding with the players, Nayak laughs, sometimes takes on worrying proportions. “When I go home (the Indian Military Academy in Dehradun, where he is Chief Medical Officer of the Sports Medicine department ), I find myself talking on the phone with these guys. It is easier to talk to them than your household! They become your extended family.”

Nayak's tenure with the hockey team lasts until February's Olympic qualifiers, and should the team progress, the Games themselves. Nayak feels all the travel and the time spent away from home is worth it. “It gives a different type of satisfaction and pride that you are representing the country, no matter in what capacity,” he says. “This is a not a job with a mere exchange of work for money. It is much more.”

The Hindu

Pam Lycett Awarded MBE for Hockey

Congratulations to Pam Lycett in Staffordshire who has been awarded an MBE for Services to Hockey in Staffordshire.

Pam (pictured below on right), known to many in the hockey family as Auntie Pam, of Etchinghill, near Rugeley, has been playing hockey since her school days and joined Aldridge Hockey Club in 1953 where she played for many years before hanging her stick up for a whistle.  She is now a life member of the club, now Aldridge and Walsall Hockey Club, and during her time she has held numerous roles helping it to develop into a thriving club which has both a men's, women's and junior section.

Pam Lycett Staffordshire Awarded MBE for Hockey

As well as playing, umpiring and volunteering for Aldridge and Walsall, Pam has also made a considerable contribution to her County and Regional Hockey Associations.  During her playing years she was a member of the Staffordshire Ladies County team and since retiring she has been an active member of both the Staffordshire Women's Hockey Association, the Midlands Hockey Association and also helps with the Junior County set-up as well. 

Since taking a slightly less active role with the everyday running of hockey in the local area the Staffordshire Women’s Hockey Association have made her an honouree committee member.

Speaking after the announcement was made, Pam said: “I am very proud, it was a lovely surprise."

England Hockey Board Media release