News for 11 January 2012

All the news for Wednesday 11 January 2012

International Hockey returns to Randburg to start 2012

After successfully hosting the Men's Champions Challenge 1 at the end of November, beginning of December, International hockey returns to Randburg this weekend, but this time it is the turn of the Ladies taking part in the Investec Series 2012.

Investec South Africa Women will be taking on European giants Spain in a 5 match series beginning on 15 January and continuing on 17, 19 21 and 22 January.

Immediately after that series there follows a triangular with Investec SA Women against Belgium and Ireland.

Prior to the Spain games the South African U21 squad will be taking on the SA A team (National squad players not taking part in the Test Match).

Tickets are available at the gate and will cost R20 for the day.

Match Schedule against Spain


RSA ESP Sunday, 15/01/2012 14:00
RSA ESP Tuesday, 17/01/2012 19:00
RSA ESP Thursday, 19/01/2012 19:00
RSA ESP Saturday, 21/01/2012 14:00
RSA ESP Sunday, 22/01/2012 14:00

Match Scedule for the Triangular Series.

RSA IRL Wednesday, 25/01/2012 19:00
RSA BEL Thursday, 26/01/2012 19:00
BEL IRL Friday, 27/01/2012 19:00
RSA IRL Saturday, 28/01/2012 14:00
RSA BEL Sunday, 29/01/2012 14:00
BEL IRL Monday, 30/01/2012 19:00
RSA IRL Tuesday, 31/01/2012 19:00
RSA BEL Wednesday, 01/02/2012 19:00
BEL IRL Thursday, 02/02/2012 19:00
RSA IRL Friday, 03/02/2012 19:00
RSA BEL Sunday, 04/02/2012 14:00
RSA IRL Sunday, 05/02/2012 14:00
RSA BEL Monday, 06/02/2012 19:00

Southern Gauteng Hockey Association website

England Women confirm Euro Indoors squad

New look team heads to Slagelse, Denmark

The England Hockey Board has announced the England women’s indoor squad to compete at the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II in Slagelse, Denmark, from 20-22 January.

The squad contains a number of less familiar faces with the competition coinciding with the Great Britain women’s squad trip to Argentina for the Cordoba Four Nations Tournament and the FIH Champions Trophy.

None of the 12 athlete squad for Slagelse were present in Rouen two years ago as England swept into European hockey’s second tier on the back of four wins in their five matches, scoring an impressive 32 times and conceding just three in the course.

Five of the squad – Leicester goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, Reading pair Emma Thomas and Sam Quek, Olton & West Warkwicks’ Denise Marston-Smith and Beeston’s Hollie Webb – have previously played indoor international hockey while the remaining seven will make their indoor international debuts in Denmark, With a wealth of experience in the outdoor format as well, having been capped 116 times for England and Great Britain,  Denise Marston-Smith will captain the squad at the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II.

In addition, Nicky O’Donnell and Abi Harper bring international experience from the outdoor stage as well as indoor experience with their clubs, Bowdon Hightown and Reading.

Before heading to Denmark, up to eight of the squad may be involved for their club sides in this weekend’s Maxifuel Super Sixes semi finals at Loughborough University.  Nicky O’Donnell, who captained Bowdon Hightown to the title last season, led her side to the top of the Maxifuel Super Sixes Championships Women’s Premier Division at the weekend and she faces the prospect of coming face-to-face with England’s Reading quartet Abi Walker, Sam Quek, Sarah Ellis and Emma Thomas in Saturday’s first semi final.  Leicester trio Maddie Hinch, Katie Long and Hannah Smith are also likely to be involved on Saturday as Leicester look to overcome Sutton Coldfield and win a place in the showpiece Maxifuel Super Sixes Finals at Wembley Arena on Sunday 29 January.

Speaking about his selection, Nick Clark, Head Coach of the England women’s indoor squad, explained, “The squad is a mixture of experience and youth.  With the centralised Great Britain athletes largely unavailable due to the clash with the Cordoba Four Nations Tournament and the Champions Trophy, Denise Marston Smith and Nicky O’Donnell were called into the squad in December to provide the team with some valuable indoor experience. Both have proved to be useful assets at our training sessions and during the training camp in Poland before Christmas.

“Some of the players are what you might call ‘indoor specialists’ while some have also previously played international hockey, either at senior level or for the Under 21 team.  Alice Sharp's performance at the training camp means that she thoroughly deserves her selection.  I’m delighted to be able to call upon the services of Katie Long, Maddie Hinch and Sam Quek, all of whom narrowly missed out on Great Britain selection.  And a late bid for selection by Leicester’s Hannah Smith’s provides us with further experience.”

Speaking about his expectations for the tournament, Clark said, “We expect the tournament to be very tight with some experienced indoor countries present, including  Russia, Scotland and Lithuania.  They have more experience playing at this level but we go with a positive mindset.  Our aspiration is to achieve promotion from the division and the experience of playing against Poland, who compete in the division above, during our training camp was incredibly useful. The improvements we saw in the squad over that time were encouraging. ”

In Slagelse, England’s women will compete against Lithuania, Slovakia and Russia, with whom they are grouped in Pool B.  Pool A features hosts Denmark, Scotland, Switzerland and France, who were promoted alongside England from the third tier two years ago.

The intensive three day tournament will see England play two matches on each of the opening two days and one on the final day, Sunday.  England’s campaign begins on Friday morning against Slovakia before playing Russia in the afternoon and Lithuania on Saturday morning.  Depending on whether England finish in the top two of Pool B, they will progress to either Pool C, the promotion Pool, or Pool D, the relegation Pool.  There they will play the two teams from Pool A, the first on Saturday afternoon and the second on Sunday.  They must finish in the top two in Pool C to secure promotion to the Championship I tier for 2014.

England squad for EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II

Name (Club) England Indoor Caps/England Indoor Goals - Age

Sarah Ellis (GK) (Reading) 0/0 - 28
Takara Haines (Oxford Hawks) 0/0 - 21
Abi Harper (Reading) 0/0 - 22
Maddie Hinch (GK) (Leicester) 5/0 - 23
Katie Long (Leicester) 0/0 - 23
Denise Marston-Smith (Olton and West Warwicks) 5/0 - 34
Nicky O’Donnell (Bowdon Hightown) 0/0 - 30
Sam Quek (Reading) 9/2 - 23
Alice Sharp (University of Birmingham) 0/0 - 19
Hannah Smith (Leicester) 0/0 - 28
Emma Thomas (Reading) 7/8 - 28
Hollie Webb (Beeston) 2/0 – 21

England’s Fixtures

Friday 20 January – 10:40 UK time – 11:40 local time – England v Slovakia
Friday 20 January – 14:30 UK time – 15:30 local time – England v Russia
Saturday 21 January – 08:00 UK time – 09:00 local time – England v Lithuania
Saturday 21 January – tbc – tbc – Pool C or Pool D
Sunday 22 January – tbc – tbc – Pool C or Pool

England Hockey Board Media release

Gordon Shepherd names Scotland Women's squad for European competition

Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd has named his senior women's squad for Scotland's participation in the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II from 20-22 January.

The tournament takes place in Slagelse, Denmark and the Scots will face hosts Denmark, France and Switzerland in Pool A of the competition. In Pool B, England, Lithuania, Russia and Slovakia will play a round robin to determine progress to the cross-over stage.

The Scots were relegated from the top European division in 2010, narrowly missing out on retaining their place in Championship after the team lost out on goal difference to Poland in the final Pool C standings.

As Shepherd is keen to emphasise, the European competition presents an opportunity to assess players on the fringes of his outdoor Scotland squad as well as the established internationals:

"Our focus at this tournament is to look at players who didn't play for Scotland during the outdoor international season in the summer. We want to progress these players' development within the set-up of the senior squad and the indoor Europeans allows these individuals to experience the intensity of international competition.

"Therefore, we won't be taking any indoor specialists as such, but we won't be there just to make up the numbers either; promotion is a realistic and achievable target."

Scotland international Kat Cameron will captain the side, with Grove Menzieshill team-mate Leigh Fawcett her deputy as a vice-captain.  Morag McLellan and Amy Brodie step up from the Scotland U21 side that competed at the Junior Nations Championship last year, whilst Susan McGilveray and Nikki Lloyd are also included.

For more information about the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Championship II, please visit the EuroHockey website

Scotland Senior Women: Amy Gibson, Susan McGilveray, Morag McLennan, Kareena Marshall, Nikki Lloyd (all Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Kat Cameron, Leigh Fawcett, Nicki Cochrane, Becky Merchant (all Grove Menzieshill), Becky Ward (VWS Dundee Wanderers), Nikki Kidd (Manheimmer HC), Amy Brodie (CALA Edinburgh) Reserves: Ali Howie (Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Nicola Skrastin (Milne Craig Clydesdale Western), Mairi Drummond (CALA Edinburgh).


Friday 20th January

10:30 B Lithuania v Russia
11:40 B Slovak Republic v England
12:50 A Scotland v Denmark
14:00 A Switzerland v France
15:30 B Russia v England
16:40 B Slovak Republic v Lithuania
17:50 A Switzerland v Scotland
19:00 A Denmark v France

Saturday 21st January

09:00 B Lithuania v England
10:10 B Russia v Slovak Republic
11:20 A Denmark v Switzerland
12:30 A Scotland v France
15:30 D 4A v 4B
16:40 D 3A v 3B
17:50 C 2A v 2B
19:00 C 1A v 1B

Sunday 22nd January

10:30 D 4A v 3B
11:40 D 3A v 4B
13:00 C 2A v 1B
14:10 C 1A v 2B

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Malaysia get test matches against world champions Australia


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia hockey team have surprisingly landed six high quality matches for their final phase of training for the March Olympic qualifier in Dublin.

The team will play the six matches against reigning world champions Australia and Holland in Perth.

Earlier, it was thought that the matches in Australia would be against their development side as their national team are involved in a Tri-Nation meet.

However, their senior team have agreed to play four matches from Jan 29 to Feb 2, after which Malaysia will take on Holland in another two matches on Feb 4 and 5.

Team manager George Koshy was delighted to have secured the six matches.

“We will get some very high quality games and playing the best in the world is always a welcome addition to our preparations.

“Australia, Holland and Argentina are playing in a Tri-Nation meet and we are grateful to Australia and Holland for arranging the matches for us,” said George.

The squad leave for Perth on Jan 28 and return on Feb 6.

The training programme from Feb 6-28 is still not finalised. Japan were supposed to come for some matches but they have yet to make a decision.

Malaysia start their preparation for the Dublin meet with five matches against China starting tomorrow until Jan 20 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The team leave for Europe on Feb 28. They will go to Cardiff for acclimatisation and also play matches against Wales. They are expected to reach Dublin on Mar 5. The qualifier is from Mar 10-18.

Six teams play in the qualifier with only the winner getting the ticket to the London Olympics. The other teams in the fray are South Korea, Ireland, Ukraine, Chile and Russia.

George said they are happy with the matches that have been fixed.

“In the event Japan do not come we will not be unduly worried as we have the matches we need for the final phase of training. Between Feb 6-28 we can always play with the Project 2013 team to fine tune our moves.”

The Star of Malaysia

90-95% chances to qualify: Nobbs

Attack, Flexibility, Tight. The Indian hockey squad was divided into three groups on the first day of the second phase camp for the Olympic qualifiers at the Major Dhyan Chand stadium here on Monday, head coach Michael Nobbs, who had to switch group every alternate minute, has one word mantra for each group.

The plan is simple. Forwards should attack, midfielders should be flexible enough to adjust to the role of attacker as well as defender and the defense should be tight (no gaps).

Every time he walks up to a group, Nobbs utters a word and then repeats it to make it clear to all the players what their role is ahead of the upcoming Test series against South Africa, which he sees as ‘team trial’ before the Olympic qualifiers.

“It is a good chance for youngsters. They are a good team. We see this as a tournament of team trials. We will give our bench strength a good chance so that if we select them after we qualify, they should have at least 25-30 match under their belt,” Nobbs told The Pioneer after team’s practice session.

“We have got a healthy competition in the team. We have got 40-45 players who we can play anytime. These players just need opportunities,” he said.

The coach is happy with the progress of the team as the players, who were known to squander lead in the crucial moments, are now putting up fight. “Fitness used to be an issue with us. But, now we have improved our fitness. Although we are 7 to 8 kilos lighter than the other teams, we are stronger than before. Guys need to put some more weight. Oppositions should be afraid of us.

“We have won matches after coming from behind. That’s a good sign because that means that their mental toughness is improving. In the last few tournaments, we have converted 90 per cent of our penalty corners. Same is with our defence and we need to be tighter and should take care of ball possession,” Nobbs said.

The Australian was happy with the fitness of the team and credited the team physiologist for it.

“The fitness of the team has improved by leaps and bounds. In Champions Challenge I tournament we were the fittest side. We are slowly getting the benefit of sports science. We have one of the best exercise physiologists in the world David John working for us,” he said.

“When I came, I didn’t have that much of expectations. We wanted to do something that India have not done since 1970s. In this phase, other teams have improved tremendously. We are trying to catch up with them. We have great talent, no doubt about that. We need to counter-attack a bit more. Our style should be attacking. I got good response from players and fitness is no longer a problem,” he added.

Having witnessed good improvement in the team, Nobbs is confident that India have a 90-95 percent chance of qualifying for the London Olympic (the qualifiers begin here from February 18 to 26).

“It is an advantage for all of us, but of course we will feel the pressure. All we are now focussing on is to qualify and I am 90-95 per cent confident we will qualify. If something doesn’t go awfully wrong or we don’t have a really bad game or bad umpiring decisions, we should qualify.

“Our destiny is in our own hands. Potentially, we should qualify. Home conditions will be beneficial to us. We are in a pool that is neither easy nor difficult. I can’t wait for qualifiers to begin,” he said.

Talking about the fitness worries for Yuvraj Walmiki and Rupinder Pal Singh, Nobbs said that they have been ruled out of first two Tests and could be considered for last two Tests. Rupinder has a hairline fracture in the right femur bone, while Yuvraj is suffering from a hip injury.

Nobbs picked up Yuvraj for special praise, saying the Mumbai lad has great future ahead of him but needs to work hard on his fitness.

The Pioneer

Baba Bachan Club wins hockey tourney

Lalit Mohan

Sant Baba Bachan Dass Club won the district level hockey tournament organized by Himachal Hockey Association at Indira Ground here on Tuesday. In the final match of the tournament played here today, Sant Baba Bachan Dass Club defeated Guru Nanak Club 3-2.

In the three-day tournament nine teams participated. The Chief Patron of Himachal Hockey Association, Ram Lal Thakur, gave away prizes to the winners. The vice-president of Una Hockey Association, Kushal Singh Raini said Una has produced a few international hockey players despite limited infrastructure available for the sport here. Padam Shree Awardee Charanjit Singh and Deepak Thakur belong to Una.

The Tribune