News for 26 March 2013

All the news for Tuesday 26 March 2013


Tickets on sale for Rabobank World League

HWL Semi Finals tournament takes place in Rotterdam in June


Tickets for the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi Finals tournament – which takes place from 13th to 23rd June 2013 at Hockey Club Rotterdam in The Netherlands – are now available to purchase. The joint men’s and women’s event is a qualifier for next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which also takes place on Dutch soil in The Hague.

The line-up for the women’s tournament is impressive, with Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Belgium, Chile, Japan, India and home favourites The Netherlands preparing to do battle. It will be the first time that tournament hosts The Netherlands have played competitively on home soil since winning the Gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The men’s event is equally competitive, with the home team facing strong challenges from Australia, New Zealand and Spain. Four further qualifiers for the event will be known upon the completion of the World League Round 2 events in France and Russia in the coming months.

Tickets for the event can be purchased from Seetickets.nl, direct access to which can be found below. The site will service ticket purchases made both within The Netherlands and from around the world. The KNHB has stated that upon the purchase of tickets a confirmation notification will be sent to your email address. You should bring this confirmation email with you when you attend the event in Rotterdam.

The ticket sales site is available both in English and in Dutch. To visit the site, click here.

FIH site



Teun de Nooijer to end club career

Legendary attacker set to hang up his stick at the end of this season



Teun de Nooijer in action at Euro Hockey League's Round 1.2 East Grinstead event. (Photo: Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek)

HC Bloemendaal talisman Teun de Nooijer has announced that he will be retiring from hockey at the end of the season. The decision means that this weekend’s KO16 Amsterdam event could be the very last time that we see one of the game's greatest ever talents competing in the Euro Hockey League.

De Nooijer, who ended his record-breaking international career shortly after winning a Silver medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, made the declaration on Friday 22nd March, the day of his 37th birthday.

This brilliant, versatile attacker will be remembered not just as one of the best players of his generation but also as one of the greatest to have ever played the game. Wearing the number 14 shirt in honour of Dutch footballing icon Johan Cruyff, De Nooijer represented the Netherlands a world record 453 times and scored 219 goals in a career that lasted 18 years. His frightening speed, awesome skill, spectacular passes and stunning finishing earned him admiration throughout the world and saw him named as the FIH Player of the Year in 2003, 2005 and 2006.

De Nooijer’s international career began on 4th June 1994, making his debut in a friendly match against New Zealand at the tender age of 18. It was immediately clear that he was in possession of an extraordinary talent, but few could have predicted the sheer scale of what this young man would go on to achieve. 

De Nooijer’s first medal came at the 1994 World Cup when The Netherlands took Silver behind Pakistan after suffering an agonizing penalty shoot-out defeat. The pain of that loss was eased by the first of two Olympic Gold Medals, when he played a starring role as his team surged to victory at Atlanta 1996. Two years later, De Nooijer scored a Golden Goal winner against Spain in the 1998 World Cup Final in Utrecht, before claiming his second consecutive Olympic Gold medal at the Sydney 2000 Games. 

He was denied a third Olympic Gold medal at Athens 2004 when injury forced him out of the final against an Australia team that took victory thanks to a Golden Goal from future HC Bloemendaal team-mate and friend Jamie Dwyer.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic campaign proved to be fruitless, with The Netherlands finishing outside of the medal positions. However, his fifth and final Olympic appearance at London 2012 appearance would result in a remarkable fourth medal, adding a second Silver medal to the one he claimed in Athens eight years earlier.  Away from Olympic and World Cup events, De Nooijer also won Gold medals at four champions Trophy tournaments, and was a central figure in the Netherlands team that won the 1997 EuroHockey Nations Championship in Manchester.

At club level, De Nooijer has been and continues to be the driving force of HC Bloemendaal, helping the team to nine Dutch league titles as well as two triumphs in Europe’s elite club competition. In 2001, his team were winners of the old EuroHockey Club Champions Cup competition, a success which was followed up in 2009 when he guided Bloemendaal to a glorious 5-4 victory over UHC Hamburg to win the Euro Hockey League.  De Nooijer was named named as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player that year, and he will be determined to add one more EHL title to his collection before he finally hangs up his stick.

De Nooijer was recently named a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau, a royal honour for people who have earned special merits for society.

Although retiring from playing, he has stated that he will continue to have an active role in the development and support of emerging talents at the HC Bloemendaal, whilst also spending time overseeing the continued expansion of the Teun de Nooijer Academy, which inspires individuals, teams and organisations to reach their maximum potential.

At a glance … the achievements of Teun de Nooijer.

International


• World record 453 caps

•World Champion - 1998

•Double Olympic gold - 1996, 2000

•Double Olympic silver medallist - 2004, 2012.

•Five time Olympian – 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012.

•EuroHockey Nations Champion – 2007.

•Triple FIH Player of the Year - 2003, 2005, 2006.

•Six times Champions Trophy Gold medallist - 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006)

With HC Bloemendaal:

•Nine times national champion – 1993, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010.

•Double European Champion – 2001 (EuroHockey Club Champions Cup) & 2009 (Euro Hockey League)

•Euro Hockey League Most Valuable Player – 2009.

Euro Hockey League media release



Dharmaraj: I don’t mind losing the Charity Shield

By K. RAJAN



Tenaga National’s Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (right) and KLHC’s Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib in action during their MHL Charity Shield match. — CHAN TAK KONG/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) coach K. Dharmaraj was not too perturbed after his side lost the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Charity Shield to bitter rivals Tenaga Nasional on Sunday.

Tenaga won the match 3-2 on penalty strokes after the match remained 3-3 after extra time. The teams shared the points at the end of regulation time but play was continued to find a winner for the Charity Shield.

Dharma said that he was happy that his side managed to return with a point against their arch rivals Tenaga.

“I don’t mind losing the Charity Shield. It does not carry any weight in the MHL,” said Dharma.

“What’s important is we collected four points from our two matches. I’m happy that we achieved it despite the short preparation stint and I considered it a good weekend.

“Tenaga might have won the Charity Shield but they have dropped points in their two matches. I believe we are in a better position in the league standings.”

KLHC, last year’s double winners are now second in the seven-team league with four points. Maybank lead the standings with six points.

Meanwhile, Tenaga skipper Mohd Amin Rahim, believes that the Charity Shield will spur his team to more glory this season and credited goalkeeper S. Kumar for the shoot-out win.

“Winning the Charity Shield is the platform for us to win more trophies this season,” said Amin.

“We were confident of winning the shoot-out as we have the best goalkeeper in Asia in our team and true enough Kumar lived up to his reputation.”

The Star of Malaysia



Tough task awaits UniKL



For UniKL, the fixtures this weekend are akin to a visit to hell. For they will take on two of the top rated teams in the Malaysian Hockey League at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

On Friday they take on Tenaga Nasional Berhad and on Sunday they will cross swords with table toppers Maybank. And if they can walk away with two points, coach Arul Selvaraj could be forgiven if he thought that Christmas came early this time around.

UniKL have three points after two matches, a 5-0 defeat at the hands of defending champions KL Hockey Club last Friday was followed up with a 2-1 win in their travel up north against Nur Insafi Warriors.

"It cannot get any tougher then this and I really am keeping my fingers cross that we come out of this weekend avoiding heavy defeats. If we can get one point of each of these two teams, it will be considered a bonus," said Arul.

"Let's face the facts, both TNB and Maybank are a class above us and we have to be realistic in our targets. TNB is virtually the national team while Maybank have a solid midfield with Shakeel Abbasi and Shafqat Rasool pulling the strings.

"Hence not only are they favourites to walk away with three points, but I am sure they will be looking towards scoring goals as well."

But Arul added that the UniKL players had the ability to take the shine off their opponents.

"The players need to start believing in their own ability. I have a bunch of youngsters, who skill wise, are second to none. But they lack the confidence as well as big match temprement," said Arul.

"This is where the exposure they receive in big matches like these will help them become more accomplished players in the years to come. All they need to do is walk onto the pitch with confidence. Respect your opponents but do not fear them."

UniKL have several talented youngsters and experienced players in the likes of skipper Baljit Singh and S. Selvaraju to guide the team. Against KLHC they were a nervous bunch, conceding two goals in the opening 5 minutes.

"I cannot fault them as so far as commitment is concerned. Trust me that they are getting better as the days go by. And I hope they can raise their game to match TNB and Maybank," said Arul.

Unofficial MHL site



Malacca held by Pahang

By Jugjet Singh


MALACCA were held 1-1 by Pahang in Group B of the MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Malacca had beaten a gritty Perak 2-0 on Saturday.

Pahang took the lead off a Wan Muhammad Asyraf penalty corner in the 24th minute, but Malacca fought back to draw level in the 47th minute courtesy of a Muhammad Aidil Azmi field goal.

In another Group B match, Perak humbled Kelantan 2-0 with penalty corner goals from Mohamed Aiman Zahari in the 24th minute, and Najme Ahmad Hayazi in the 52nd.

Today, defending champions Kuala Lumpur should tame Sabah and strengthen their hold on Group A.

KL have six points from wins over Perlis (5-1) and Negri Sembilan (2-1).

RESULTS -- Group B: Pahang 1 Malacca 1, Kelantan 0 Perak 2, Johor 2 Penang 4.

Today -- Group A: Perlis v Negri (4pm), Terengganu v Selangor (6pm), Kuala Lumpur v Sabah (8pm).

All matches on Pitch I, National Hockey Stadium.

Group B: Pahang v Johor (4pm), Malacca v Kelantan (6pm), Penang v Perak (8pm).

All matches on Pitch II, National Hockey Stadium.

New Straits Times



Perak beat Kelantan to bag second win U-16 tourney

By ASHREENA PILLAI



Out of my way: Perak’s Mohd Luqman Mohd Asri (right) vying for the ball with Kelantan’s Muhammad Raihan Kasim during their MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 match Monday. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Perak cruised to their second victory in the MHC-MILO-NSC Under-16 hockey championships when they beat Kelantan 2-0 in their Group B match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Perak scored through penalty corners in both halves to top the standings in Group B with Mohammad Aiman Zahari converting in the 24th minute before Mohammad Najme Ahmad Hayazi added another in the 52nd minute to seal victory.

“It was a good result despite today’s hot condition. We are happy with the win,” said Perak coach Mohd Nizam Mohd Hashim.

“We’re improving game by game but we can definitely improve on our finishing. We scored goals from penalties today but we could have scored more,” he added.

“I just want the boys to play well ... keep to our game plan and collect full points to qualify for the next stage.”

Meanwhile, last year’s runners-up Malacca, were held to a 1-1 draw by Pahang. Malacca’s Mohammad Aidil Azmi’s field goal in the 47th minute gave his side the lead before Pahang equalised in the 62nd minute through Wan Mohammad Asyraf’s penalty corner conversion.

In the other Group B match, Penang bounced back from their 1-0 loss to Pahang on the opening day to trounce Johor 4-2. The Islanders will meet Perak today while Johor and Malacca will face Pahang and Kelantan respectively.

The Star of Malaysia

 



Mel Clewlow has another road to climb

By Graham Wilson



Team GB star will do a sponsored cycle to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support

MEL CLEWLOW watched her European dream go into meltdown with Canterbury’s 2-1 defeat at Surbiton – and then talked of matters just as close to her heart.

Double Olympian Clewlow lost her mother to cancer when she was a teenager and now she wants to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support by cycling 450 miles in four days from Geneva to Nice in June.

Clewlow said: “She was 42 and never saw me win my first England cap. After the Beijing Olympics I needed another challenge, and it’s amazing the support I have had from people.”

Mel Clewlow, hockey, England, cancerMel Clewlow lost her mum to cancer before she won her first England cap

Surbiton guaranteed their place in the Investec play-offs with goals from Vicky Bryant and Hannah Coulson in the first 10 minutes and held on after Eliza Brett pulled one back.

Champions Leicester can now take top spot from Canterbury when they play their postponed match against relegated Slough.

Clewlow added: “I have played 22 years in the first team to get this chance to finish top of the league. That is the worst first half we have played this season. You cannot win if you only play for 35 minutes.”

Surbiton’s men are also in the play-offs after finishing second following a 3-2 win over relegated Brooklands MU.

Daily Express



Watsonians relegated from Scottish League without win

By NIGEL DUNCAN


CALUM WOOD believes Watsonians have real potential as a club with promising players already filtering through from the school into the first team.

However, the former Scottish international will have to hone their talents in Division Two next season.

Watsonians were relegated from the elite of Scotland’s men’s hockey yesterday after a 3-1 home defeat by Hillhead.

The Edinburgh team have failed to win any of their 13 matches since returning to Scotland’s top league.

And they have only gained two points after being promoted at the end of last season.

Relegation is a blow to the club, but Wood has a nucleus of a side providing he can retain former Scottish international goalkeeper Colin Johnstone and stalwart Magnus Ferrier, who netted yesterday.

He has been a consistent 
factor this season and Wood has blooded several promising schoolboys.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh University moved on to 15 points and saved themselves being dragged into the play-offs when they drew 1-1 with Inverleith.

On Saturday, Aberdeen beat Watsonians 5-3 in Edinburgh to secure their third straight league win.

Two goals each from Stuart
Allan and Ian Coffee and 
another from Martin Babicky proved decisive.

Coach Craig Harper, a former Grange player, said: “We were never behind and always in control.”

The Scotsman



Nobbs wants specialist goalkeeper coach

B.David




Indian national hockey team's chief coach Michael Nobbs wants more goalkeeper probables in order to firm up teams for the future.

He also feels there is an urgent need for a specialist goalkeeper coach with the national teams.

The Australian is even worried India has not made required progress on this vital front

"This is one area I am presently worried", he said during last days of recent Azlan Shah Cup

He went on to explain reasons of his worry

"If PR Sreejesh is injured, I have no one to fall back. But I am sure there are a number of good and talented custodians in the country. We have not yet found them", he added.

He feels that what is needed at present is effort to pool in the available talent

There are so many tournaments around the country. There are so many teams with the Institutions and States. There are a number of keepers. So, we have to start a talent hunt for goalkeepers", he articulates his vision on the subject.

He also informed this that he had already placed a request with Hockey India to look for a specialist goalkeeper coach.

"Now I have requested for a goalkeeper coach. If we have an overseas specialist, he can come in and put in some processes in place which can be continued later on. That will complete my support staff," he concluded.

With the National Championship coming up next month, it is hoped many prospective goalkeepers are scouted for the national duty, which will add to the basket which at present has such talents as Sushant Tirkey, Keshav Dutt, Naveen etc, with the likes of Harmanpreet Singhs and others waiting to clear their names of WSH tag.

Stick2Hockey.com



Olympians protest Batra’s nomination

New Delhi - India's Olympians have launched a strong protest against the inclusion of the Hockey India secretary general, Narinder Batra, in the 12-member Working Group that the Sports Ministry has constituted for re-drafting the National Sports Development Bill.

The Sports Ministry last week had decided to establish a group under the chairmanship of Justice Mukul Mudgal to prepare a revised draft of the bill, which was initially drafted in 2011.

In a letter to the Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, as many as 22 Olympians expressed their concerns about the nomination of Batra in the committee.

The Tribune



Second phase of Pakistan National U-16 hockey camp begins

LAHORE – Former Olympian Tahir Zaman, who is camp commandant of National U-16 hockey camp, said on Monday that five-a-side hockey was a new experience for home players and they were showing rapid progress in the fastest version of hockey being played on short playing field.

“It is going to be a good experience for our side to take part in the five-a-side Youth Cup in Singapore from April 4 to 7 and we are confident that we will be getting good results in the event,” Tahir told the reporters here after a training session of the second phase of the camp along with coach Rehan Butt.

He said this format of hockey, in which three halves of play would be played with each session of 12 minutes, the players required to achieve high-level stamina and mental toughness to cope with the pressure of high-pace game.

The first phase of training was held at Sialkot and 30 players attended it and for the second phase, 16 had been retained from which a final up of 10 players would be selected for the voyage of Singapore, the head coach said.

Tahir said they were confusing on improving the attaching and defensive skills of the players and this objective was being achieved through trial matches. “The practice matches are the best way to gage the individual talent of every player for picking up a talented combination. Through this format of the game, we will be able to groom quality players for our junior and senior hockey teams because they will be more agile and fit, both mentally and physically, to deliver to the best of their abilities,”

Coach Rehan Butt said they would be selecting the team on merit so that every deserving player might get his due place in the side. “It is thrilling version of high-paced hockey and only those players matching the highest standards of mental and physical fitness will be selected,” he concluded.

The Nation

 



Focus and Rampage Field Hockey clubs advance to US National Club Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - For the second year in a row, Focus Field Hockey from Virginia Beach, Va. goes undefeated at their Regional Club Championship and lands the first Under-19 qualifying spot for the 2013 National Club Championship. Rampage Field Hockey from Centreville, Va. also qualified from the Region 8 Under-19 Regional Club Championship finishing as runners-up. 

Focus and Rampage will join 14 of the best clubs from across the country in hopes to be named the National Club Champion this summer at the 2013 National Club Championship at the National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. July 16-18. The Regional Club Championships, presented by Harrow Sports, run from March 16-June 9 and serve as qualifying tournaments for the 2013 National Club Championships.

Beginning last year, club teams must compete in a Regional Championship in order to earn a spot at the National Club Championship. Regional qualifiers 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 U-19 and U-16 club field hockey team in the nation.

The next Regional Club Championship will be held March 29-30 at Blandair Regional Park in Columbia, Md. The following seven clubs will be battling for a first or second place finish in order to automatically advance to the National Club Championship.

For more information on the Regional Club Championships, visit the official RCC event page on usafieldhockey.com.

USFHA media release



Brian on FIH appointments panel

By ALLAN NETTO



Brian Gerard Fernandez

BRIAN GERARD FERNANDEZ is the latest Malaysian to land a post with the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Brian, 56, will be part of the five-member appointments committee.

Just months ago, Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah won a seat on the FIH executive board.

Brian will be responsible for the appointment of technical officials for hockey tournaments, hosting contracts with national associations and the various FIH policies and procedures based upon set criteria appropriate to the particular tournament.

“It is good to see that FIH recognises that Asians are as good as the Europeans and I am privileged to be given this chance,” said Brian.

Brian’s began his hockey journey in his late 20s as an umpire.

He was in charge of the first Malaysia Junior Hockey League final in 1995.

He is currently Selangor Hockey Association vice-president and deputy chairman of the association’s competitions committee. He is also the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) competitions committee assistant secretary.

Brian was also as assistant technical delegate for two Asian Games –in Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010).

He has also been appointed technical director for the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

“Apart from the Asian Games, this (FIH appointment) has been the biggest highlight of my career,” Brian said.

Sports 247