News for 06 January 2012

All the news for Friday 6 January 2012

Hockeyroos Tour of USA and Argentina

The Hockeyroos begin their preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games with an upcoming tour of the USA and Argentina.

The Hockeyroos kick start 2012 with a four match test series against the USA and four individual test matches against the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.

For all match results, please 'Like' the Hockeyroos on Facebook and 'Follow' the Hockeyroos on Twitter. Match Reports will also be provided on our website following the match.

Hockeyroos Squad for USA and Argentina Tour


Teneal Attard QLD
Madonna Blyth QLD
Fiona Boyce WA
Jade Close NSW
Toni Cronk NSW
Casey Eastham NSW
Anna Flanagan ACT
Bianca Greenshields SA
Emily Hurtz NSW
Kate Jenner NSW
Kobie McGurk WA
Claire Messent VIC
Georgia Nanscawen VIC
Megan Rivers NSW
Jodie Schulz QLD
Emily Smith NSW
Jayde Taylor WA
Jade Warrender NSW
Ashlee Wells VIC
Kellie White NSW

Match Schedule

Date Match Venue
January 14 Hockeyroos vs USA San Diego, USA
January 15 Hockeyroos vs USA San Diego, USA
January 17 Hockeyroos vs USA San Diego, USA
January 18 Hockeyroos vs USA San Diego, USA
January 22 Hockeyroos vs Netherlands Buenos Aires, Argentina
January 23 Hockeyroos vs Netherlands Buenos Aires, Argentina
January 25 Hockeyroos vs Germany Rosario, Argentina
January 26 Hockeyroos vs Japan Rosario, Argentina

Hockey Australia media release

Men's National Program announces 2012 Squad

Blend of core leadership and fresh enthusiasm

Men’s National Team Head Coach Robin D’Abreo has announced the Men’s National Squad for 2012.  For each competition 16 to 18 athletes are selected from the Squad to represent Team Canada.  The 2012 squad represents a blend of rookies and veterans like Rob Short and Ken Pereira.  Five new faces on the team include Brandon Barber, Stephen Bissett, Spencer Curran, Jannu Mahal, John Smythe and Paul Wharton.

“The 2012 Squad blends an experienced core group of players with developing youth whose future with our team is very bright,” says D’Abreo.  “It is a testament to the developing strength of our Junior pathways. I will be relying on the seniors for stability and leadership and look forward to an injection of energy and enthusiasm from our new recruits.”

Click here to view the 2012 Squad

Field Hockey Canada media release

To prepare for Olympic qualifiers, Indian women play Azerbaijan

NEW DELHI: The women's preparatory camp for the 2012 Olympic qualifiers went full strength on Thursday when the 18 players, who had recently participated in the four-nation tournaments in Argentina, joined the other 30 core probables in the national camp.

Before the qualifiers, to be held next month, India will play a four-match Test series against Azerbaijan at the National Stadium between January 15 and 19.

The matches are aimed at providing experience to players as they try to earn a berth in the London Olympics, Hockey India (HI) said in a statement.

Spectator entry for the Azerbaijan and India series will be free and further details will be available on the Hockey India website, the statement added.

The Times of India

Indian hockey eves to play 4 Tests against Azerbaijan

NEW DELHI: The Indian women's hockey team will play four Tests against Azerbaijan at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium from January 15 in a bid to prepare for next month's Olympic Qualifier.

The first Test between India and Azerbaijan is scheduled for January 15, followed by the second match on January 16, third on January 18 and the final on January 19.

According to a Hockey India statement, the four-match Test series will not only provide invaluable experience to the Indian eves but also give the national selectors an opportunity to identify the team for the Olympic Qualifier to be held here from February 18 to 25.

In a bid to attract spectators to the stadium, the HI has decided to keep free entry for the series.

Meanwhile, the ongoing women's preparatory camp for the Olympic Qualifier gained pace today as the 18 players, who had recently participated in the four-nation tournament at Argentina, joined the other 30 core probables.

The Times of India

Women’s Olympic camp at full strength

New Delhi: The line-up for the women’s preparatory camp for the 2012 Olympic qualifiers was completed today as 18 players who had recently participated in the four-nation tournaments in Argentina, joined the other 30 core probables undergoing training at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

India will play a four-match Test series against Azerbaijan at the National Stadium between January 15 and 19, as trials for the qualifiers to be conducted at the same venue from February 18-25, a Hockey India release said here today. Spectator entry is free for the Test series.

The probables: Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Sanarik Chanu Ningombam, Sukhmani Virk; Defenders: Joydeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Th. Pinky Devi, Preety Sunila Kiro, Basanti Kachhap, Reena Rathaur, Sandeep Kaur (Haryana), Subhadra Pradhan, Apoorva Vishwakarma; Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Asunta Lakra, Kirandeep Kaur, Mukta Prava Barla, Deepika, Kiran Dahiya, M.N. Ponnamma, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Deep Grace Ekka, Sandeep Kaur (Punjab), Monika Malik, Namita Toppo, Anju Dhiman, Balwinder Kaur Mehra; Forwards: Jasjeet Kaur Handa, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Saba Anjum, Rani, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Soundarya Yendala, Rosalin Dungdung, Lilima Minz, Rashmi Singh, M. Lily Chanu, Preeti Singh, Kavita Vidyarthi, Ramandeep Kaur, Anupa Barla, Kulsumbi, Chanchan Devi, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Neha Goel.

The Tribune

Malaysia to set up camp in Cardiff ahead of Olympic qualifiers


KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team will set up camp in Cardiff from Feb 28-March 5 prior to the Olympic qualifier in Dublin.

The Cardiff camp is to allow the players to acclimatise to the weather and to play matches against Wales ahead of the Dublin qualifiers, which will begin on March 10.

The national team hope to play at least three matches against the Welsh national side between March 1-4.

The national team have also finalised their programme for this month and are just waiting to confirm the series against Japan next month.

Malaysia’s programme will start with the six-match series against China from Jan 10-20 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

This will be followed by a tour of Australia from Jan 28-Feb 4. They hope to play four to six matches against the Australian Development team in Perth.

Malaysia Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary Maninderjit Singh said yesterday that the team should have around 20 matches under their belt prior to the qualifiers.

Malaysia’s main threat in the Olympic qualifier, from March 10-18, are world No. 6 South Korea.

The other teams in the fray are Ireland, Chile, Russia and Ukraine. Only the winner will make the cut for the London Olympics.

The national team had earlier been offered the University of Bath as a possible camp site before to qualifiers.

But they decided against it after arranging the matches with Wales, who wanted to play in Cardiff.

The Malaysians will move to Dublin on March 5 and their opening match will be against Chile (March 10).

The MHC have also arranged for a three-day motivational camp, run by the National Sports Institute (NSI), for the team in Port Dickson from Feb 17-19.

The Star of Malaysia

Why this "kolaveri di"?

That is the hit song of late and it equates to an incident in the national team.

But before we start one ought to know the meaning of "kolaveri" which when translated means murderous rage.

And the incident in the national team is about a player, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin walking out of the team after being told off by one of the coaches.

The player with his teammates were going through their paces when a remarked was passed by a coach who literally said that if players were not interested then they were free to leave.

And it seems that is what precisely Tajuddin did and he has been absent from training for the last two days, despite efforts by the coaches to get in touch with him.

Before we accuse Tajuddin of ditching national interest, one has to understand that he, together with some other players studying at UPM are undergoing exams at the moment.

And the particular coach who passed the remark ought to know better as he too was given leeway in training for the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Players have to look after their future and studies are also important. The Olympic Qualifiers are two months away so letting those undergoing exam have some break is something coaches with common sense should practice.

It is left to be seen if Tajuddin will be coaxed to return by manager George Koshy, the ever diplomatic person and one who understands the players best, and he will most likely be able to persuade Tajuddin to return.

But the damage has been done, and what three players told me after getting the RM4500 upon the Champions Challenge 1 fifth place finish will surely shock hockey fans, for money is far from their mind.

Await that disclosure next

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Lokman promoted to handle BJSS U-19 squad


KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Lokman Yahaya’s good work with the Bukit Jalil Sports School’s (BJSS) Under-16 team has not gone unnoticed.

He has been promoted to handle the school’s Under-19 team, who have won the double five times, in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL), which begins on Jan 19.

The former Setapak High School teacher certainly deserves the promotion after guiding the Under-16 BJSS side to a creditable third overall placing last year while the Under-19 team, under coach S. Prakash, were knocked out in the quarter-finals.

Lokman, who has been in charge of the Under-16 team for two years, also guided them to a fourth placing in Division One last season – making it the team’s best-ever performance in the MJHL since making their debut a decade ago.

The Under-19 team went one better, finishing third in Division One.

While Lokman will be in charge of the Under-19 team, Prakash will handle the Under-16 side.

Lokman said it was an honour to swap roles with Prakash, who was responsible for guiding the BJSS Under-19 team to the double five times – in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Lokman said that the BJSS Under-19 team used to be a dominant force in the MJHL.

“And I intend to restore their fortunes in the next few years,” he said.

“For this year, I am looking at finishing one better than last season because I only have five players from last year’s squad still eligible to play for the team.

“They are Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Fitri Ismail, Mohd Redzhwan Jaafar, Mohd Shahiram Zali and Mohd Azrul Hasbullah.

“We finished third in the league last year. So, this season, I am eyeing the runner-up spot.

“But we face a strong challenge from two clubs – defending league champions UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur) and overall champions SSTMI (Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School)-Thunderbolt – to finish in the top two in Division One.”

Lokman said that 15 players who featured in the Under-16 team last year had been roped into the Under-19 side.

“We have a team with an average age of 17 and we hope to make an impact in the league in two years’ time,” he said.

The Star of Malaysia

Why 1MAS not the answer to our woes

"One Olympian, Nadeem, lived on my street," he tells us. "Watching him inspired me to play, now I think of hockey the first thing in the morning and I think about it when I lay in bed at night."

The little town of Gojra in central Punjab is far from affluent. It once hit the headlines in recent years, but only for the religious tensions that boiled over there.

Its biggest secondary school is shabby, and its pupils often have lessons sitting on the ground outside because there is not enough room inside the classrooms.

But if, like Abu Bakr, they have ambitions of one day representing Pakistan at the Olympics, the pupils could not be growing up in a better town and they are certainly going to the right school.

MC High School has a remarkable record when it comes to Pakistan's most important Olympic sport, hockey.

Over the last 40 years, it has produced no less than 57 international hockey players, including the stars Tahir Zaman, Rashid-ul-Hassan and Shahbaz Jr.

Former pupils have won World Cups, Champions Trophies and Olympic gold medals.

When the Pakistan hockey squad travels to London, it is likely to include four players from this one school.

"We were nothing before we went to MC High School," says Pakistan defender, Muhammad Irfan.

"Now I am playing for my country and it is all because of the start that I got. As pupils we felt everything was possible when it came to playing hockey."

But MC High is not a sporting academy, just a regular government-run school. So why the incredible record?

And why, on a bumpy pitch behind the school during break time, are all the pupils playing hockey instead of cricket like most Pakistani boys?

A lot of it has to do with Aslam Rodha, now nearly 70-years-old.

He was a pupil at MC High in the 1950s and 1960s, when Gojra was little more than an agricultural village.

"I was a good athlete and thought I would give hockey a try," says Mr Rodha. "Our team was terrible and we were always losing, but me and a few others turned things around and we started winning."

It was not long before Aslam Rodha got noticed and was picked to represent Pakistan. While he was still playing, he decided it was time for a sporting revolution in Gojra.

"There was no industry here, Gojra was not famous for anything," he says. "I made the decision that I wanted to produce world class hockey players from here. I started training them, and they started being selected, and it carried on to this day."

Outside the headmaster's office is a tribute to Aslam Rodha's tremendous success. There are boards showing the names of all the former pupils who have gone on to play hockey for their country. There are now three panels full of names and they will soon need a fourth.

After school, boys who are interested come to hockey practice.

Analysis from the Open University

Clusters of excellence occur in other sports like boxing, tennis and golf but this modest state school example is remarkable. The catalyst is a passionate skilled coach with very high expectations; this inspires young athletes to the sport and once someone succeeds at the top level a role model and route to success is clear for all. Success therefore helps sustain further success especially when a strong work ethic is promoted alongside challenging training drills and an understanding of the science and strategy of the sport: which brings us back to the all important coach and the environment they create.

Ben Oakley,

"When we sit at our desks and think of the former players that must have sat there before, it feels so good," says 13-year-old Muhammad Naqqash, taking a break from cracking balls past a goalkeeper.

"I want to play hockey forever, and with the help of my school I'll one day play for Pakistan."

And 16-year-old Mubashir Ali gives us an insight into how hockey and MC High's focus on it has given pupils here a route out of poverty and the chance to see the world.

"We will get our respect through working hard and playing hockey," he says. "It is my dream to make my parents and teachers proud and make a name for my school and my country on the hockey field."

It is through the support of donations and help from former pupils that coach Aslam Rodha has been able to sustain his vision.

"Ninety percent of the pupils here come from very poor backgrounds," Mr Rodha says. "They don't even get proper nutrition at home."

"But thanks to the donations, if a poor boy lives too far away to come to train we buy him a bike. We buy poor children milk and food and we buy them their hockey sticks and balls."

"People give us shorts and shirts and trainers that we can distribute, that's why you see them all wearing different kit," he says.

That some of these pupils will go on to compete against the best players from Europe, Australia and the world may seem like achievement enough, but do not underestimate the hunger for Olympic medals inside the boys from MC High.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Host sites for Regional Club Championships announced

Ashley Meunier

COLORADO SPRINGS, C.O. – USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce the host sites for the inaugural Regional Club Championships, presented by Harrow Sports. The Regional Club Championships will serve as a qualifying mechanism for the prestigious 2012 National Club Championships, to be held at the National Training Center in Virginia Beach, VA in late July.

The first annual National Club Championship was launched last year and acceptance into the event was based on a first come, first serve basis. For the 2012 event and onward, club teams will need to compete in a Regional Championship in order to earn a spot at the National Club Championship. Regional qualifiers will identify the best Club teams in the country to compete at the premier National Championship event for honors and bragging rights of being the top  U19 and U16 club field hockey team in the nation. 

Eleven regions will host Regional Club Championships, from April-June 2012. In addition, five qualifiers will be merited to the regions of the clubs who finished highest in placing in the 2011 National Club Championship. There is a maximum of three merit spots per region. The goal of the Regional Club Championships is to enable every club from the eleven regions to have an opportunity to advance to the National Club Championship as well as create a highly competitive atmosphere for athletes and teams to compete.

Only the top sixteen U16 and U19 qualifiers from the Regional Club Championships will earn a ticket to the National Club Championship in 2012. One club team in each division will claim the highly coveted title of National Club Champions and receive the gold Harrow Sports field hockey stick. The U16 division will compete July 14-16, with the U19 division immediately following, July 17-19. In 2012, we will also be adding a U14 division that will compete July 11-13. 

The National Club Championship is an ideal opportunity for clubs to compete against each other at a highly competitive event and coincides with USA Field Hockey’s mission of growing playing opportunities and the game of field hockey in the United States. 

"In coming years, the National Club Championship will evolve into an extremely dynamic program for hockey,” said Terry Walsh, USA Field Hockey Technical Director of High Performance. “Seeing the best club teams vying for National honors will provide further training, outside of the school setting, for young athletes to advance their game. Part of our obligation in being part of the Olympic hockey family is to maximize our players' opportunities to perform on premium surfaces. Without a doubt, the National Training Center in Virginia Beach is one of the best playing facilities in the country with two excellent artificial surfaces."

To view a list of the Regional Club Championships host sites, click here. To register to participate in a Regional Club Championship a club must apply to their region’s Regional Club Championship host site.

USFHA media release