News for 20 February 2013

All the news for Wednesday 20 February 2013   
Japan and India maintain perfect records

Hosts see off Malaysia while Japan continue free-scoring ways

Stephen Findlater

Ekka Deep Grace and Norbaini Hashim tussle for the ball (Photo: Cameraworx)

Hero Hockey World League Round 2 2013 – day two round-up

India – Malaysia 3-0 (half-time: 1-0)

India’s cutting edge helped them see off Malaysia in the key game of day two of the Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi, moving into a share of top spot with Japan.

Vandana Katariya gave India the lead in just the eighth minutes into the tie when she got a great touch in front of the goalkeeper and post-woman to ramp up Joydeep Kaur’s swept penalty corner. Her side enjoyed the better of possession and territory from there but it was Malaysia who created the clearer openings.

Nor Azlin Sumantri broke free from the halfway to go one-on-one with Yogita Bali but the goalkeeper did not fall for her dummy and the striker slipped the ball wide. A sliding Nurul Nabihah Mansor could not redirect a first time shot on target while Sumantri was clean through again only for the half time hooter to end her run forward.

India, by contrast, were more clinical. They conceded a corner 50 seconds into the second half but Bali saved well, helping to launch a swift counter-attack which ended with Anupa Barla laying on a perfectly weighted pass for player of the match Katariya to dive onto, artfully chipping over the grounded Farah Ayuni Yahya. Another corner effort was deflected into side-netting, many of the crowd deceived by the ripple of the net, believing it to be 3-0.

Again, Malaysia had a clear sight of goal when Rabiatil Adawiyah Mohamed was left unmarked but Bali saved and Fazilla Sylvester Silin fizzed across the face of goal with the follow-up. But, again, India made their pressure tell when Rani rounded on a chance six yards out and duly smashed home.

Japan – Kazakhstan 11-0 (half-time: 6-0)

Japan cruised to a second big win to sit at the head of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round 2 2013 table, making it 25 goals scored and none conceded from two outings. They played at an intensity that was a cut above Kazakhstan, indicative of their world ranking of ninth in the world as opposed to the Kazakhs who are 33rd.

Mazuki Arai broke the deadlock just five minutes in from close range before Shiho Sakai added to her tournament tally with a vicious low drag-flick. Further goals from Miyuki Nakagawa and Yuri Nagai made it 4-0, the latter with a super finish from a fine team move and it was 6-0 at half-time, Arai with her second while Kumi Banda also got in on the act.

Arai completed her hat trick two minutes into the second half while an own goal and strikes from Ayaka Nishimura, Akiko Ota and captain Rika Komazawa saw the rest of the goals shared around.

Fiji – Russia 0-9 (half-time: 0-4)

Russia recorded their first win of the women’s Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 when they saw off Fiji, bouncing back from their defeat to Malaysia a day earlier. The Oceania side endured a double blow in the ninth minute when Soko Salaniqiqi – a dual international sports star having also represented her country at athletics – was forced off injured on a stretcher.

From the ensuing penalty corner, Alina Krasnoperova scrambled in at the third attempt for the game’s opening goal. And the Russians were to move four clear by the interval as Yana Doronina netted once while Ekaterina Shaburova was on the mark twice.

Their control continued into the second half with Krasnoperova completing a hat-trick and Doronina netting the pick of the goals on her backhand from the top of the circle. It extended the lead to nine despite the excellent work of Susana Mudunatagi between the posts as Russia shook of their loss to Malaysia.

FIH site

Title contender Japan women consolidates their position

Top seeded Japan demolished Kazakhstan 11-0 after leading 6-0 at half time today on the second day of the Hockey World Series Round 2 in New Delhi.

Japan yesterday defeated Fiji 14-0.

Mazuki Arai started the goal spree in the fifth minute and then added a brace in the 29th and 37th minutes.

Shiho Sakai, who struck three goals yesterday followed Mazuki five minutes later, leaving Miyuki Nakagawa add another three minutes later.

Kazak girls offered some resistance but were not threatening or purposeful.

In the 16th minute Japan went up 4-0 with a goal from Yuri Nagai, and after that no stopping of the Japanese wagon.

Kumi Banda fructifified a penalty corner a minute before the lemon time.

On resumption, and after Mazuki added her second goal Japan had the benefit of own goal.

Ayaka, Akiko Ota and captain Rika Komazawa added a goal apiece to end the day with a 11-0 score.

Despite porous defence, India 3-0 over Malaysia

s2h team

Indian won posted their second successive victory in as many as matches today, defeating fighting Malaysia 3-0 on Day Two of Round Two in the Hockey World League on Tuesday.

Winger Vandana Kataria, who was later declared as Player of the Match, struck first two goals before comeback kid Rani Ramphal came out with her characteristic goal late in the second half. Vandana Kataria deflected a penalty corner push for her first goal in the ninth minute and then came on her own shortly after second half commenced to add to her tally.

Rani latched on to a back pass by hardworking Saundarya Yandala to stamp a forehand that bemused Malaysian goalie and the half dozen defenders.

However, despite the scoreline, Indian women have nothing much to celebrate.

Malaysia played well all through and gave torrid times to the porous Indian defenece. Malaysia had their chance when Jaspreet Kaur fumbled to trap a back pass, and Nor Azlin Sumanatri stole it to enter the circle. With facing only goalie Yogita Bali, she harried her push, which went wide to the right of the net.

It was close call for India.

India fights off Malaysia

Vandana Katariya is on cloud nine after scoring her second goal. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

After an easy outing against Kazakhstan in the opening game, the Indian women’s team knew it would only get tougher in the second round of the Hockey World League here. So, it was against a gritty Malaysia, ranked 10 places below World No. 12 India. The host won 3-0, but the score line hardly reflected the close contest.

India got its first goal through a deflection from Vandana Katariya off the first penalty corner in the seventh minute. The host wasted two penalty corners before Vandana’s second goal in the second minute of the second half doubled the lead.

Counter-attacking after a failed Malaysian penalty corner in the very first minute post break, Sushila Chanu’s precise cross from just inside the circle was converted by Vandana. Rani Rampal put the issue beyond doubt in the 29th minute in a goalmouth melee.

India coach Neil Hawgood had expressed concern about giving away possession inside the opposition 25-yard line, and the problem persisted against Malaysia.

India was saved only by the inexperience of the Malaysian forwards.

In the 25th minute, Nor Azlin Sumantri hit wide from in front of an open goal with the Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali drawn forward. Soon, Fazilla Silin Sylvester’s pass from the right went waste. Sylvester was again unlucky when her shot hit the post.

Japan continued to fire, slamming in 11 goals against Kazakhstan for its second win on the trot.

In another match, Russia bounced back from its shock defeat to Malaysia on the first day and pummelled Fiji 9-0.

The results:

India 3 (Vandana Katariya 2, Rani Rampal) bt Malaysia 0; Russia 9 (Alina Krasnoperova 3, Yana Doronina 2, Ekaterina Shaburova 2, Ksenia Svezhentseva, Margarita Drepenkina) bt Fiji 0; Japan 11 (Mazuki Arai 3, Shiho Sakai, Miyuki Nakagawa, Yuri Nagai, Kumi Banda, Akiko Ota, Ayaka Nishimura, Rika Komazawa) bt Kazakhstan 0.

The Hindu

Indian eves record second win

Indian women scored their second consecutive victory when they took full points off Malaysia with a hard fought 3-0 victory on the second day of the World Hockey League Round 2.

Though the Malaysian girls ran the hosts close, their inability to translate chances into goals enabled India to race to victory. After Malaysia muffed a penalty corner in the second minute when Norbini Hashmi’s hard strike went wide, India pressed hard, and earned their first penalty corner in the ninth minute which was cleanly swept by the tall Joydeep Kaur before Vandana Kataria deflected it in.

After the goal, India were lucky to survive the Malaysian assaults twice when Nor Azlin Sumantri drove out with goalkeeper Yogita Bali out of position. A minute later, Nurul Nabihan Mansor worked her way into the dee, only to slam wide.

Joydeep’s sweep off the second penalty corner in the 27th minute was blocked by rival custodian Farah Ayuni Yahya as the hosts broke for the interval with a slender one-goal lead.

The Tribune

Vandana double helps India beat Malaysia 3-0 in Hockey World League

NEW DELHI: Vandana Kataria struck twice as India beat Malaysia 3-0 to register their second consecutive win in the women's competition of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Tuesday.

Contrary to the final outcome of the game, the Indians were far from impressive against Malaysia today as they were expected to win big against a side which is ranked 10 places below them in the world rankings.

The Indian eves looked tired and jaded today and their performance against Malaysia was nowhere near to their 8-0 drubbing of Kazakhstan last night.

Malaysia might have started the match as underdogs but they gave the 12th ranked Indians a run for their money by dominating the early share of exchanges, at least for the first eight minutes of the game.

After sitting back for a brief period in the initial stages of the match, it was India who drew the first blood in the ninth minute when Vandana deflected in Jaspreet Kaur's hit from the hosts' first penalty corner.

The Malaysians made some promising forays into the Indian 'D' thereafter but their forwards lacked vision and purpose.

Malaysia got a golden opportunity to equalise in the 25th minute but Azlin Nor Sumantri missed a sitter as she had Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali in a one-on-one situation.

Sprinting down the flank after intercepting Joydeep in the midfield, Sumantri just had to beat an onrushing Yogita but the Malaysian forward misdirected her gentle push even after getting the better of the Indian custodian to trail by a goal at the half-way stage.

The Malaysians started on a bright note after the change of ends and earned their second penalty corner but an alert Yogita at the Indian goal averted that threat.

The Indians added salt to Malaysia's wound when an unmarked Vandana scored her second goal of the match in the 38th minute from the ensuing attack after receiving a measured pass from Anupa Barla.

Thereafter, it was all about keeping ball possession for the Indians, while the Malaysians had no other option but to go for attack.

But India took the match beyond Malaysia's grip when Rani Rampal scored from goal-mouth melee in the 65th minute after cashing on a miss pass.

After a rest day, the Indians will next play minnows Fiji on Thursday.

Malaysia, who defeated Russia 3-1 in their tournament opener, will have to get over the defeat quickly as they take on Kazakhstan in their next match the same day.

Meanwhile, in earlier matches of the day in the women's competition, Russia spanked Fiji 9-0, while top-ranked Japan demolished Kazakhstan 11-0.

Even though India got three points from the game, but chief coach Neil Hawgood wasn't satisfied with his wards performance today.

"We got three points from the game but I am very disappointed with our performance. We didn't play well at well. We played our worst hockey in the last six months," Hawgood said after the match.

"Malaysia is a good team so it was important to win against them today in the context of the tournament. There are a plenty of areas to work on ahead of the remaining matches of the tournament," he added.

The Times of India

Indian eves beat Malaysia 3-0

The Indian women's team continued their winning journey by beating team Malaysia 3-0 on the second day of the Hero Hockey World League Round 2 Delhi 2013 played at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.

India converted an early penalty corner into a goal in the 9th minute of the game through Vandana Katariya. In the 38th minute of the game Vandana struck again by beating the Malaysian players and scooped the ball into the goal post to convert the second goal for her team. Rani scored the third goal for India in the 65th minute of the game.

Vandana Katariya, was declared Player-of-the-Match for scoring brilliant two goals.

Earlier during the day, Russia defeated Fiji 9-0 and Japan beat Kazakhstan 11-0 in a one sided game. India will now face Fiji on Thursday, 21 February 2013 and Malaysia will play against Kazakhstan on 21st February 2013.

NDTV Sports

India made to struggle by Malaysia

India’s cutting edge helped them see off Malaysia in the key game of day two of the Hero Hockey World League Round Two 2013 in Delhi, moving into a share of top spot with Japan.

Vandana Katariya gave India the lead in just the eighth minutes into the tie when she got a great touch in front of the goalkeeper and post-woman to ramp up Joydeep Kaur’s swept penalty corner. Her side enjoyed the better of possession and territory from there but it was Malaysia who created the clearer openings.

Nor Azlin Sumantri broke free from the halfway to go one-on-one with Yogita Bali but the goalkeeper did not fall for her dummy and the striker slipped the ball wide. A sliding Nurul Nabihah Mansor could not redirect a first time shot on target while Sumantri was clean through again only for the half time hooter to end her run forward.

India, by contrast, were more clinical. They conceded a corner 50 seconds into the second half but Bali saved well, helping to launch a swift counter-attack which ended with Anupa Barla laying on a perfectly weighted pass for player of the match Katariya to dive onto, artfully chipping over the grounded Farah Ayuni Yahya. Another corner effort was deflected into side-netting, many of the crowd deceived by the ripple of the net, believing it to be 3-0.

Again, Malaysia had a clear sight of goal when Rabiatil Adawiyah Mohamed was left unmarked but Bali saved and Fazilla Sylvester Silin fizzed across the face of goal with the follow-up. But, again, India made their pressure tell when Rani rounded on a chance six yards out and duly smashed home.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

M'sia lost 0-3 India in women's hockey world league

THE national women's hockey squad suffered their first defeat in the second round of the Women's World League after they went down 0-3 to India in the second encounter at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi today.

Vandana Katariya put Neil Hawgood's side in front as early as the ninth minute after she converted a penalty corner, the tournament website, reported.

Katariya's bagged her second goal after she found the net in the 38th minute before Rani Ritu completed the rout with the third goal in the 65th minute through a field goal.

The win saw India clinched the second place, sharing six points with leaders Japan but were differentiated by a goal margin.

On the other hand, the national side under tutelage of former national goalkeeper Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim are lying in fourth place with three points.

Earlier, Japan recorded their second biggest win of the tournament after they whipped Kazakhstan 11-0 while Russia, who lost against the national side in the opening encounter yesterday, bounced back by thrashing minnows Fiji 9-0.

Mohd Nasihin Nubli's girls will take on Kazakhstan in their third match on Thursday.

The two top teams from the league will automatically qualify for the semi-final stage, scheduled to take place in June and the venues have yet to be decided by the FIH.

Malay Mail

Coach Hawgood unhappy with India's 3-0 win over Malaysia

By Ritu Sejwal

NEW DELHI: India played an aggressive game but were made to work hard by a fighting Malaysia for their 3-0 win in their Hero Hockey World League Round 2 match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.

This was Indian women's second win on the trot, coming a day after they blanked Kazakhstan 8-0 in their opening encounter.

India, who were ahead by a solitary goal at half time, raised their game in the second half and earned full points but the act was far from impressive. They must improve against the likes of Japan to keep alive their hopes of finishing at the top of the table.

Vandana Katariya, who was declared the player of the match for her strikes in the 9th and 38th minute, admitted the performance could have been much better. "We won the match but I am not happy with the performance. We could have scored more," the 20-year-old said. Rani Rampal's strike in the 65th minute added to India's tally.

Coach Neil Hawgood panned the team's performance. "We got three points but the girls played their worst hockey in six months," Hawgood said. "Malaysia are a good team and the win is important but a lot of work needs to be done before our next match," he added. For starters, they need to convert more chances.

A foul by Kirandeep in just the second minute gave the visitors an open chance to take lead but they failed to breach the Indian defence. The hosts counter-attacked and tasted success in the ninth minute when Vandana gave the final touch to Jaspreet Kaur's attempt from a penalty corner.

Malaysia had a chance in the 25th minute when an Indian pass was intercepted by Azlin Nor Sumantri. However, nerves got the better of Azlin as she hit it past the side bar.

India increased the lead just three minutes in the second half when Rani Rampal and Anupa Barla exposed the chinks in the Malaysian defence with some fine display, setting up Vandana to complete the formality.

Malaysia came close to opening their tally when Adawaiyah Mohamed tried to make the most of her position in the Indian circle. But the alert Indian goalkeeper Yogita Bali denied her. India suffered a minor setback minutes later as Chanchan Devi was taken out of the field on a stretcher after suffering cramps.

With time running out, the Indians pressed hard to extend their lead and it came in the 65th minute when Rani Rampal scored.

In an earlier match, Russia thrashed Fiji 9-0. Top-ranked Japan blanked Kasakhstan 11-0 in the other match of the day.

The Times of India

Indians outstanding

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi

Fiji men's hockey defend against India in New Delhi. Picture: PENI TOTOKA

WHILE nearly everyone predicted what the outcome would be from the India versus Fiji match of the World Hockey League, what most didn't foretell was that Fiji would play a strong game against the hosts.

Even the Indian coach Australian Michael Nobbs was not happy with a local newspaper for writing the game against Fiji would be easy.

Even though the young and determined Fiji side lost 16-0 to the team that is made up of boys who breathe, eat and live hockey, national coach Hector Smith Sr said he was proud of his boys.

The boys' high spirits were evident right from when they performed the traditional cibi before the match.

A 16-0 score to India was not bad when comparing the two teams and the kind of facilities, preparation and support they get.

Smith said they were prepared to put up a good game and they did exactly as that.

"We came here to play, if there were no penalty corners India wouldn't have had that score," he said.

India's first three goals came in quick succession through penalty corners.

India scored from five penalty corners and the rest were field goals.

"It's the field goals that matters," said Smith.

Smith said they were able to get inside India's net but that was disallowed.

"We were inside their circle and we allowed some soft goals go."

Smith said the boys most of whom were schoolboys played the full field and did not bow down to the Indians half way.

Indian captain Sardar Singh agreed saying the Fijians played a very good game.

"Your team played very well and I hope they will improve in their other matches." he said.

Nobbs shared the same sentiments saying the Fijians' basics were good and their structure was not bad.

"I'm very impressed by some of the players, they are very good and you have a very talented team," he said.

Smith said they would analyse their game and hoped for improved performance in their remaining matches.

The Fiji Times

'For my country and my children'

Mereseini Marau, In New Delhi

Losana Tadu, left, with younger sister Soko Salaniqiqi. Picture: PENI TOTOKA

NATIONAL rep Losana Tadu has been playing hockey for more than 20 years.

This is just her second chance to represent Fiji overseas, the first one was way back in 1997 when she went with the U21 team to Sydney, Australia.

Married with five kids, Tadu left Fiji for the Hockey World League in India without a single cent in her pocket.

The release from home didn't come that easy

Her children were the ones who convinced their dad to let her go and represent her country.

Reliving the challenges she faced, Tadu said that she was humbled that the team management gave her the opportunity to come even though she hasn't paid her $3500 levy.

"Play your best mummy," was the sentence that keep ringing in her ears, the words of her children when they farewelled her to come to New Delhi.

"I'm here to play for my country and for my children."

"It's my children who push me to play."

Unlike the rest of the team who were able to do their own personal fundraising, it was the circumstance at home that made it impossible for her to go the extra mile collecting funds.

After 20 years of marriage, this was the first time she got separated from her kids, her eldest (daughter) is 20 and her youngest (son) is 5.

"I have to be home right after training," she said.

Coming home late would have its consequences on the family.

For a goalkeeper, Tadu doesn't even have her own playing gear.

"This is the team gear that I'm using," she said.

It was her younger sister and dual international Soko Salaniqiqi who helped support her back home.

"She's the one supporting me and my children," said Tadu.

"I'm really grateful to be given the opportunity to come and represent my country," she said.

The two sisters love for hockey began when they were growing up in Levuka.

They are originally from Lomaloma in Vanuabalavu but were born and bred in their mum's village in Lovoni, Ovalau.

Salaniqiqi, a pool attendant at the Fiji Sports Council said her employers had paid for her levy and it would be deducted from her pay.

While they might not be enjoying the support that they wished to have, it was their love for hockey that enabled them to come this far.

The Fiji Times

Russian women blank Fiji in Hockey World League

NEW DELHI: Russian women's team beat Fiji 9-0 on the second day of the Hockey World League Round 2 at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.

Russia scored through Alina Krasnoperova (ninth minute, 39th, 47th); Yana Doronina (20th, 57th minute); Ekaterina Shaburova (26th, 28th); Ksenia Svezhentseva (65th) and Margarita Drepenkina (68th).

Krasnoperova was adjudged Player-of-the-Match.

Russia will now face Japan Thursday while Fiji play against China.

The Times of India

India to meet Oman in HWL

A lot has changed since German Gerhard Rach and his assistant Oliver Kurtz coached the Indian hockey team in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Nevertheless, Kurtz, who took over as the Oman coach two weeks ago, will bank on his experience of working with the Indian side to help the 36th-ranked Gulf country in its Hockey World League (HWL) clash against the home team at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

Oman, which was earlier coached by former India international K.K. Poonacha, had lost 11-0 to India in the Asian Champions Trophy in December and would know what to expect from its date with the tournament favourite.

“We had played well in Asian Champions Trophy, where we had defeated Japan and scored against every team except India. Four of our best players could not come here as they did not get leave from their duty with the Army,” said Oman captain Abdul Jabar Al Balushi after his team’s 4-0 loss to China.

Kurtz said he would want the Oman team, placed 25 places below India, to learn and improve in the HWL.

The Indian team was high on confidence after its 16-0 win over Fiji. Chief coach Michael Nobbs was happy with the performance of the three debutants, Gurjinder Singh, Malak Singh and Mandeep Singh.

“It was a good match for the youngsters and it is a welcome sign that there is healthy competition among drag-flickers,” said Nobbs.

Gurjinder and Malak received Rs. 1 lakh from Hockey India for scoring in their debut match against Fiji.

Nobbs hoped that the team would improve with every match. “These boys cannot be complacent,” he said.

After meeting Oman, India will take on 15th-ranked Ireland on Thursday. Ireland, which rallied to beat Bangladesh 5-2, will face Fiji on Wednesday.

The Hindu

India look for another big win in HWL

NEW DELHI: Their tails up after the big win in the opening match, India would eye another huge victory when they take on minnows Oman in their second round-robin match of the men's Hero Hockey World League Round 2 on Wednesday.

India spanked lowest-ranked Fiji 16-0 in their tournament opener on Monday, and come on Wednesday, the Sardar Singh-led side will be eyeing an encore against the 36-ranked Omanese at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

Such was India's domination against Fiji that as many as 10 players registered their names in the scoresheet, including two hat-tricks from vice-captain V R Raghunath and Danish Mujtaba.

Apart from the goalkeeper, skipper Sardar Singh is the lone player to have missed out on a scoring chance and the inspirational midfielder will be hoping to make up for that against Oman.

Just like in their match against 70th ranked Fiji, the Indians are expected to toy with the Omanese.

Considering the opponents' lack of quality, India's chief coach Michael Nobbs is sure to test his reserves and combinations against Oman.

After the Oman encounter, India will play Ireland on Thursday, China on Saturday and Bangladesh on Sunday.

Notwithstanding the quality of oppositions in the tournament, the Indians cannot afford to take the event lightly as just one off day at office will be enough to spoil their 2014 World Cup dreams, to be held at Hague in The Netherlands.

Nobbs too knows the importance of the tournament. "We cannot afford to relax at anytime as it is a qualifying tournament for next year's World Cup. We cannot take any side lightly," he had said.

"These boys will never be complacent. We need to keep the winning trend going as tough matches against China and Ireland awaits us in the tournament," Nobbs said.

For Oman the tournament is more of an exposure trip as even before their arrival here, they very well knew that they are no match for sides like India, Ireland and China.

The main target for Oman on Wednesday would be to concede less goals unlike the Fijians.

Having already lost their tournament opener 0-4 against China, Oman would be aiming for respectable scoreline.

Oman's best chances to taste success in the tournament are against 40th ranked Bangladesh and Fiji.

The Times of India

Clements names World League Round 2 Team

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Chris Clements, head coach of the U.S. Men’s Field Hockey Team, today announced the 18-player roster for the upcoming International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, February 27-March 5. Team USA arrives in Rio de Janeiro tomorrow for a brief preparation period prior to the start competition. Three athletes, Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Cali.), Spencer Reed (Ventura, Cali.) and Kanwarpreet Sidhu (San Jose, Cali.), will look to record their first cap with the national team while in Brazil.

“We are excited to continue to expose young players in the men’s program to international competition,” said Clements. “Five new players were a part of the World League Round 1 Team and we will have three uncapped athletes joining our core group of players for World League Round 2. We will look to improve upon our performances from World League Round 1, implement tactical and mental elements within our play and improve overall throughout the tournament.”

Selections were determined based on past performances over the last several months, including World League Round 1, training sessions as well as performances within the centralized training program. Patrick Harris (Moorpark, CA) will captain the team in Brazil and be supported by a leadership group involving Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, Cali.), Kevin Barber (Camarillo, Cali.) and Ian Scally (Thousand Oaks, Cali.).

The pool of participating teams in made up No. 10 Argentina, No. 12 South Africa, No. 25 Chile, No. 33 Brazil and No. 34 Trinidad and Tobago. The U.S. sits in the middle, ranked fourth amongst all the teams. The U.S. will open the tournament against Chile on February 27, followed by South Africa the next day. From there, the U.S. will face Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago and will close out the tournament against Argentina on March 5. The top two teams will automatically advance to World League Round 3 to be held in the summer of 2013.

“Argentina and South Africa competed in the 2012 Olympic Games and are ranked in the top twelve in the world,” Clements said. “Chile played very well in a recent South American championship, losing to Argentina in the final and Trinidad and Tobago and Brazil are both performing extremely well at the moment. All of the teams are very strong and it is fair to say this will be a challenging tournament.”

Following World League Round 2, Clements will select a new squad for 2013-14 at the California Cup in Moorpark, Cali. The newly selected squad will begin preparations for the 2013 Pan American Cup in Brampton, Canada, August 10-17. The winner of the Pan American Cup qualifies for the 2014 Men's World Cup in The Hague.

U.S. Men’s World League Round 2 Team: Kevin Barber (Camarillo, Cali.), Michael Barminski (Ventura, Cali.) Ajai Dhadwal (Agoura Hills, Cali.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Cali.), Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, Cali), Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.), Will Holt (Camarillo, Cali.), Aki Kaeppeler (Ventura, Cali.), Steve Mann (New York N.Y.), Manny Martinez (San Diego, Cali.), Johnny Oroczo (Ventura, Cali.), Chris Rea (San Diego, Cali.), Arjan Reyatt (Brea, Cali.) , Ian Scally (Thousand Oaks, Cali.), Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Cali.), Spencer Reed (Ventura, Cali.), Kanwarpreet Sidhu (San Jose, Cali.), Asavir Kalla (Cupertino, Cali.)

USFHA media release

Scotland win series against Italy

Nikki Kidd

Scotland Women twice recovered from being behind against Italy today to record a 3-3 draw and win the three match friendly series 1-0.

Scotland Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “I’m delighted to win the series [1-0]. Today's game was a mixed bag but the squad showed character with key players missing and their performance in the second half was outstanding.”

The Scots found themselves 2-0 down at half-time following goals from Alessiora Padalino (12’) and an Italian striker (17’) in a disappointing first half display from Shepherd’s side.

Holly Cram

However, Milne Craig Clydesdale Western striker Holly Cram pulled one back for Scotland two minutes into the second half when she found space inside the circle to pick her spot and finish past the Italian goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Scotland piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but it was the Italians who restored their two goal advantage from a penalty corner set-play in the 49th minute.

With the Italians content to sit back and let Scotland come onto them, a number of chances were created but a lack of clinical finishing in front of goal didn't help their cause.

Nevertheless, they finally made a breakthrough in the 64th minute, when Edinburgh University’s Nikki Kidd powered a precise drag flick low into the right hand corner of the net.

With the clock running down and Scotland piling on severe pressure, they were awarded a penalty corner with two minutes to go. A well-worked set piece resulted in the Italian goalkeeper making two impressive stops, but it was third time lucky as Scotland Captain Linda Clement drove an unstoppable shot past the goalkeeper to grab a last minue equaliser for her side and leave the final score 3-3.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Punt looking to carry momentum into Argentina tour

Black Sticks midfielder Anita Punt is looking to carry the team’s recent momentum into the upcoming tour against Argentina.

The five match test series will be played in Rosario and pits the Black Sticks Women (currently ranked third in the world) against the world number two Argentina.

The team features eight players who also played at the 2012 London Olympics, while head coach Mark Hager continues to blood several young athletes in a new cycle now leading up to the Rio Games.

In December last year the Black Sticks Women won a home test series against India, but this series will certainly be a step up.

While the average age of the team to play Argentina is just 22, Punt is confident the New Zealand side is up for the challenge.  Argentina won silver in London and while they have a new coach, no players have retired since the Olympics.

“It’s going to be really tough and just standard Argentina – they’ve got awesome skills, heaps of flair and speed. We have to put everything out there and play well,” she said.

“There are a lot of new girls in the team so hopefully we’ll get a lot of experience, get some combinations together and continue to teach the new girls the team structure.

“We’ve got a great group of girls and the support has been awesome. There are a few young girls coming through that are definitely nipping at our heels so we want to put in a good performance against Argentina and help them along as well become a better team together.”

Following this series, the two sides will meet again when Argentina travel to New Zealand to play in the Four Nations Tournament being held in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga this April.

The other two teams in the tournament are USA and Korea.

Match Schedule – NZ vs Argentina, Rosario
(NZ time)

24th February 12.30pm
25th February Midday
27th February 1pm
1st March 1pm
2nd March 10.30am

CLICK HERE for the full Black Sticks Women’s squad

Hockey New Zealand Media release

PHF wants to enter into an agreement with HI

KARACHI: With a bilateral test series planned for March-April, the Pakistan Hockey Federation wants to enter into an agreement with Hockey India under which the party found to be defaulting will be liable to pay the other federation a compensation of $200,000 dollars.

Sources in the PHF have said that the federation has sent a draft copy of the agreement to Hockey India for the series.

The PHF has proposed that the Indian hockey team first tour Pakistan, before they pay a return visit in April.

The PHF has, apparently, indicated that while it has confidence in HI, the same does not apply for the Indian government.

"Basically, the PHF has said that while it has confidence in any agreement with Hockey India, which wants Pakistan to first play in India, it does not feel the same way about the government. It feels the Indian government could well come up with any reason for not permitting its team to go to Pakistan," a source said.

He said the PHF now wanted the International Hockey Federation to be a third party in the agreement between the two federations to ensure all clauses were met.

"The PHF has proposed a clause that in case any party fails to fulfill its commitment for any reason it will pay the other party a compensation of $200,000 (around two crore rupees)," the source said.

Hockey India secretary general, Narender Batra, visited Lahore last December and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the PHF for the bilateral series, to be played on home and away basis in March-April.

The source said Batra had informed the PHF that it would like the series to be held on schedule despite the recent tensions between the two countries.

The PHF is desperate to play the bilateral series in March-April as it believes this could allow it to earn handsome revenues and boost its dwindling coffers.

The Times of India

The Kookaburras Take Aim at Creating History in Malaysia

2013 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Squad Announced

The 2013 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup takes place at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia from March 9-17. The tournament is named after the ninth King of Malaysia, Sultan Azlan Shah, who was an avid hockey fan.

The longest serving invitational tournament in the world will showcase six of the world’s best teams in a Round-Robin fixture.

Australia is the most successful team in history having won 6 titles, their most recent being in 2011.

Four nations from the 2012 Melbourne Champions Trophy will again meet, alongside two additional Asian nations.

A resurgent force in world hockey, India (world ranking 11) will meet the Kookaburras in their opening match. India will attempt to capture an equal record holding 6th title off the back of a successful Hockey India League in India where the best 70 Indian players were exposed to the highest level of hockey in the world.

The world number two Kookaburras will face 2012 Champions Trophy bronze medallist and Asian Champions Trophy winner, Pakistan (world ranking 5) in their second round match.

Reigning 2012 Champions New Zealand (world ranking 6) will hope to continue to progress under Australian Coach, Colin Batch after finishing seventh at the 2012 Melbourne Champions Trophy.

Eighth ranked nation in the world Korea will join hosts Malaysia (13) to round out the six nation’s tournament.

Kookaburras Coach Ric Charlesworth will send over a strong team to claim its seventh title, including seven 2012 Champions Trophy gold medallists’ George Bazeley, Joel Carroll,  Andrew Charter, Trent Mitton, Glenn Simpson, Jacob Whetton and Tristan White.

“With 5 debutants and a handful of players with only a few caps each, it’s a great opportunity to develop the depth as part of the refreshment and renewal of our list.”

“We have 3 players from our 2012 Olympic team and we are looking to achieve the high results that this group has been accustomed too over the last 5 years,” Charlesworth said.

Lightning quick striker Jacob Whetton is still on a high after the 2012 Melbourne Champions Trophy gold medal.

“It’s always a proud moment being selected for the Kookaburras and I’ve got the opportunity to add a second gold medal to the cabinet in the space of 3 months.”

“We’ve got an exciting group of new players debuting in the green and gold and it shows how solid our squad depth is when you can debut 5 players at such a prestigious international tournament,” Whetton said.

The tournament offers 2013 National Squad debutant Josh Miller a taste of the big time after being ruled out of the 2012 Champions Trophy with a calf tear.

27 year old Miller says “it’s a sign of relief being selected to play my first game after missing out last year.”

“It’s a special feeling getting picked to represent your country. I’ll be playing alongside guys like Daniel Mirecki who I’ve been playing against for many years and we get to debut together on the world stage,” Miller said.

2004 Olympic gold medallist Rob Hammond will play a key leadership role for the Kookaburras as the most experienced player in the team.

“I’m excited to be heading over to Malaysia for the Azlan Shah Cup, it’s a great tournament with strong international competition, and the group are looking forward to the challenge.”

“The tournament is a great proving ground for senior and young players under trying conditions in Malaysia,” Hammond said.

Kookaburras Squad - Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Name State Games Goals
Tim BATES WA 4 1
Chris BAUSOR WA 4 0
George BAZELEY VIC 58 0
Daniel BEALE QLD 0 0
Craig BOYNE WA 0 0
Joel CARROLL NT 73 2
Andrew CHARTER ACT 32 0
Matt GOHDES QLD 61 16
Rob HAMMOND QLD 215 26
Daniel MIRECKI VIC 0 0
Trent MITTON WA 30 6
Glenn SIMPSON VIC 75 13
Jacob WHETTON QLD 22 5
Tristan WHITE NSW 9 0

Hockey Australia media release

Financial crunch could keep Pakistan out of Azlan Shah Cup

Pakistan’s participation in the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia next month remains doubtful after the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) said it was facing a financial crunch.

The junior team’s tour to Singapore may also be scrapped unless the government releases the promised funds, PHF’s secretary Asif Bajwa told PTI.

According to Bajwa, the federation was promised 100 million rupees in funds by the federal government which were yet to be released, adding that the national body was surviving mainly on grants.

“The Punjab government had also promised us 30 million rupees which is yet to reach us,” Bajwa said.

The secretary added that the President of the PHF, Qasim Zia, a former Olympian and a sitting member of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party government, had used his political clout to get around 850 million rupees by way of grants in the last five years.

“We have also supplemented our revenues by getting sponsorship but it is an expensive sport and we spend millions on one foreign trip. We are also not able to make more money because of the refusal of foreign teams to visit Pakistan because of security reasons,” the former Olympian said.

Bajwa made it clear that Pakistan was facing a race against time and that the national team faced the possibility of sitting out the upcoming tournament

“We are expecting the grant from the Punjab government in two or three days while we have written several times for the grant from the federal government.”

The shortage of funds had also left the players uneasy who, according to Bajwa, were already anxious because the cash prizes promised to them by the Prime Minister after winning the Asian Champions Trophy were yet to be given to them.


Pakistan U-16 hockey trials begin

LAHORE – As many as 157 U-16 hockey players participated in the hockey trials for selecting probables for the team for taking part in the U-16 Asia Cup being played from April 4 to 7 in Singapore.

Talking to the reporters here at the National Hockey Stadium on Tuesday after a trial session, national junior coach and former Olympian Danish Kaleem said: “It is a very positive sign that a large number of players participated in the trials in which eight sessions were held to judge the individual talent of players.”

Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) hockey consultant Tahir Zaman and national coaches Ajmal Khan and Rehan Butt watched the players in action. PHF secretary Asif Bajwa and manager of Pakistan junior team Rana Mujahid were also present. He said trials at Peshawar had been completed and trials at Karachi were postponed owing to unavoidable circumstances and now they would be held from February 22 to 23.

Danish said the national coaches, keeping in view the large participation of players, had decided to extend the trials for another two days. “We are extending the trials as a number of junior players are approaching to feature in the trials,” he stated. He said national coaches were shortlisting the promising players for attending a training camp for the build-up of the team for the Asia Cup. Tahir Zaman said: “Around 40 players will be selected to attend the camp as the selectors are minutely observing the players and the best available talent will be selected for finalising the national junior team.”

He said no compromise would be made on age of the players and only under age players would be selected. “It is the base of our game and we want to make sure that only deserving players are selected because we will be grooming them under a long term plan to fill the void in national junior team.”

The Nation

3 BMP-trained boys to play for India U-15 hockey team

By Gyan Prakash

PATNA: Three boys from humble background and trained on the BMP campus here have been selected by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to represent India under-15 hockey team in a match to be played in Malaysia soon.

Three years ago, the then ADG of Bihar Military Police (BMP) and now the DGP, Abhayanand, had made arrangements for training in sports activities for talented children from humble background. Now, the efforts have started yielding fruits. The three boys - Roshan Kumar, son of a roadside tea seller, Suraj Kumar, son of an autorickshaw driver, and Ravi Kumar from Nawada, who comes from almost the same background - had never thought of representing the country when they had joined the training on BMP campus.

All the three hockey players will be in the playing eleven. While Ravi would be the main goalkeeper, the other two would play from different positions. That apart, two boys, Pawan and Anand, have been selected by a top company for advanced basketball training with other facilities.

What is more important is that the BMP provides free coaching, ground facilities and sporting equipment to the trainees. "We allow all the kids from neighbouring and other areas to practise on the ground but we can't afford their lodging and food," the DGP said. The BMP provides old hockey sticks, ball for both basketball and volleyball, coaches for the respective games besides the courts and ground for athletes.

Impressed with the BMP's efforts, the SAI has agreed to lay AstroTurf on the BMP hockey ground free of cost. "The entire cost would be borne by SAI," said the DGP. With this AstroTurf, the state capital would have two AstroTurfs for hockey. The other one is already at the Danapur cantonment.

Any child willing to play on the ground has to undergo a psychological test which is jointly conducted by the SAI and BMP. The test is meant to ascertain the actual inclination of the kid concerned towards a particular game and, on the basis of the final result, they are asked to go for a particular game. It was because of this that Pawan was persuaded to take basketball even as his father Dashrath, a wrestling coach of the BMP, had asked him to take to wrestling.

The Times of India

Canadian Women’s National Program hosts Training Camps

ID camps for Senior and Under-21 athletes in March

The Senior National Camp will take place March 27 – 31, 2013 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.  The Under-21 National Camp will run March 28 – 31, 2013 at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

These camps will provide an opportunity to identify athletes for future carding and National Team selection purposes.

COST: There is a camp levy of $200 (non-carded athletes only).  All accommodation, food and travel expenses will be the responsibility of the individual athlete.

Athletes who have not received invitations, but are interested in attending the Women’s National Program Camps are invited to contact:

  • Senior National Camp: Gene Muller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • Under-21 National Camp: Rob Short at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

If admitted to the camp, athletes will receive a detailed camp schedule.

March 27 – 31
UBC in Vancouver, BC

March 28 – 31
UBC in Vancouver, BC

Field Hockey Canada media release

Team Tamanawis wins FHC COE Invitational

Quality competition at Girls 7 A-Side tournament

Photo: Donovan Whistler

On Friday evening, six field hockey teams gathered at UBC’s Wright Field to compete in the 2013 FHC Centres of Excellence Girls 7 A-Side Invitational.  There are currently three Centres of Excellence in operation for women, with sites at the University of Victoria, Tamanawis and Ambleside.  In addition to teams representing each COE, three lower mainland clubs competed in the Invitational, including the Hawks Club, West Vancouver Field Hockey Club and the Delta Falcons.

Numerous fans, friends and family attended the event on Friday evening and enjoyed a series of competitive matches.  The final match between Ambleside and Tamanawis was the most exciting. Tamanawis took an early lead, but Ambleside fought back with several goals.  In the end, Tamanawis, coached by Bubli (Paul) Chohan, held onto their lead to win the COE Invitational with a 4 – 3 close victory.

Click here to view the tournament photo album.  (All photos by Donovan Whistler)

Click here to view match results.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Locke's contract renewed through 2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. USA Field Hockey today announced the extension of Steven Locke’s contract as Executive Director for USA Field Hockey through 2016.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m pleased, as Chair, to extend Steve Locke’s contract for another term. Under his leadership as Executive Director of the organization, we saw growth in a number of areas including membership, club development, youth development (through FUNdamental Field Hockey), umpire recruitment and sponsorship," said Rene Zelkin, Chair for USA Field Hockey Board of Directors. Many of our events are at or near capacity and we’ve added some new products to the mix. We’re excited about our diversity initiatives and look forward to relocating our Women’s National Team to the new “Home of Hockey” in Lancaster, Pa., in late summer.  Securing this state-of-the-art facility in the heartland of hockey has been part of our strategic plan for some time. While the challenges going forward are many, we have confidence in Steve’s ability to manage the organization, together with our hardworking office staff in Colorado Springs."

Locke joined USA Field Hockey in January 2010 and has led numerous initiatives to grow the sport throughout the United States. Over the last three years, Locke has overseen the development of a sustainable youth program that exposed the sport to thousands of boys and girls in its first year. USA Field Hockey has seen a substantial increase in number of corporate partners and annual sponsorship revenue and most recently, Locke secured a Home of Hockey in Lancaster County, Pa., which will serve as the home base for USA Field Hockey events and home for the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2022.

“Working with the staff and Board of USA Field Hockey has been a splendid experience,” Locke said. “They are, without doubt, a group of dedicated professionals and are aggressively involved in growing the sport as we move into this next quad. It is an absolute privilege to serve this organization.”

Serving in an executive role for USA Triathlon and USA Water Ski over the last 20 years, Locke’s track record has consistently been that of financial growth and sport development. During his tenure as Executive Director of USA Water Ski, Locke directed all operations of the nine discipline sports, improved organizational profitability and instituted several new membership programs. As the Chief Executive Officer for USA Triathlon, Locke led initiatives that increased membership, grew the organization’s annual budget, initiated new sponsorship relationships and created a reserve fund through generated profits.

USFHA media release