News for 10 April 2013

All the news for Wednesday 10 April 2013

Black Sticks ready for Korea in opener

Gemma Flynn and Kayla Sharland look forward to tonight's game

Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager’s message to players before they take to the field tonight will be to stick to the game plan.

“Korea is an extremely quick and skilful side and so we need to stick to our structure, hold possession and focus on our own game plan,” said Hager.

“They are a bit of an unknown, you don’t know what they are going to bring to a game. I have seen them play outstanding hockey and win tournaments, and other times they aren’t as strong.”

There have been two changes to the first Four Nations Tournament team since it was announced.

Senior player Gemma Flynn replaces Cassandra Reid and Auckland’s Danielle Jones has replaced Aniwaka Roberts, both were out due to injury. It is expected both Reid and Roberts will return for the second Tournament in Hamilton and Whangarei.

Athletes have been training in their own home regions since returning from Argentina, and Hager is happy to have the team back together this week.

“We have had a couple of practices and have been focussing on our set pieces and our structure, just getting used to playing with each other again.”

The leadership team for this tour is Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Sam Charlton and Gemma Flynn and captains will be rotated.

Following the Four Nations, Hager will select a team for the World League Semi-Final with all positions up for grabs.

One of the key reasons for the Four Nations having two back-to-back tournaments is so that two teams can be named and coaches can test different playing combinations.

All the games during the weekend will be streamed LIVE on the Hockey NZ website

CLICK HERE for the two Black Sticks team in the Four Nations and match schedule

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hockeyroos and Kookaburras back on home turf

The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras, Australia’s iconic hockey teams, are back in action on home turf for the first time this year as they prepare to face Korea later this month at the Perth Hockey Stadium, WA.

Running from 24th April until 9th May, the two four-match series will form a key phase of the teams’ preparations for this winter’s FIH World League competitions in England and the Netherlands.

The great news for hockey fans unable to attend the matches is that every game will be streamed live online via the Hockey Australia website at

For Adam Commens’ Hockeyroos the Korean series represents a stern test for his ever improving squad. Ranked eighth in the world, just two places behind Australia, Korea are also preparing for the World League tournament, which will act as the qualifying event for the 2014 World Cup.

“Korea will pose a difficult challenge for us,” admitted Commens. “We’ll be looking to get positive results on the pitch but with the World League in mind we’ll be experimenting a little along the way. At this time in the cycle we put a lot of emphasis on processes. If they go well then the rest will follow.”

For the Kookaburras, the contest comes off the back of a successful Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last month at which the team scooped a record seventh title. But with the World League on the horizon the focus is very much on looking forward.

“Korea always provides us with tough opposition,” said coach Ric Charlesworth. “They’re a strong team and interesting in that they’re an Asian team that plays like a European one. They’re physically strong and will give us a good test, which is really important ahead of World League round three.”

Speaking about the Kookaburras squad likely to face Korea, Charlesworth explained that the series will provide an opportunity for new faces to establish themselves. “We’ll use the series to experiment a little and look at some newer players,” said the five time Olympian. “Some of the Europe-based players may be available to us but we’ll need to wait and see.”

Watch every match between Australia and Korea live streamed via the Hockey Australia website at and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #AUSvKOR.

Australia v Korea Series Fixtures

Hockeyroos v Korea, 24-28 April, Perth Hockey Stadium

Hockeyroos v Korea – Wednesday 24th April 2013 – 5:30pm WST
Hockeyroos v Korea – Thursday 25th April 2013 – 5:30pm WST
Hockeyroos v Korea – Saturday 27th April 2013 – 2:00pm WST
Hockeyroos v Korea – Sunday 28th April 2013 – 2:00pm WST

Kookaburras, 3-9 May, Perth Hockey Stadium
Kookaburras v Korea – Friday 3rd May 2013 – 7:00pm WST
Kookaburras v Korea – Sunday 5th May 2013 – 4:00pm WST
Kookaburras v Korea – Tuesday 7th May 2013 – 5:30pm WST
Kookaburras v Korea – Thursday 9th May 2013 – 5:30pm WST

Selection Dates
The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras squads for the series against Korea will be announced week commencing 15th April.

Hockey Australia media release

Men's centralised training squad unveiled

New centralised training squad unveiled

NOW: Pensions, one of the UK’s leading auto-enrolment pension providers, has been announced as the new sponsor of men's hockey in England. Together with the new sponsor, England Hockey also announced its new centralised training squad and new-look adidas kit at the launch event in London today.

Speaking about the changes made to the men’s set-up, England Hockey Performance Director Danny Kerry said: “Over the next four years the men’s programme will be centralised to allow athletes access to more frequent quality training, which we feel is essential to ensure England and Great Britain continue to advance on a world level. The centralised programme will allow this group of athletes to prioritise their desire to be podium athletes in the future, whilst also allowing for the appropriate balance of rest and recovery alongside career and education opportunities.”

Building on the success of the London 2012 Olympics, the squad includes a number of the players who secured fourth place at London 2012. Captain Barry Middleton, Richard Smith and Nick Catlin will return home to the centralised programme once they have finished their respective seasons in Holland and Belgium. Ashley Jackson, Rob Moore, Dan Fox, Iain Lewers, Harry Martin and George Pinner also return to the side.

Alongside the London 2012 Olympians, the experience of Simon Mantell, Adam Dixon, Alastair Brogdon and Mark Gleghorne has also been called upon and will undoubtedly play an essential role in the squad over the next four years.

With some noticeable names missing from the line-up around half the squad is made up of relatively new faces to the senior international scene. Following impressive debuts in the Champions Trophy in December several players have been recalled to the squad, including Dan Shingles, Henry Weir, Ben Arnold and Ollie Willars.

Speaking about the selected squad, England and Great Britain Men’s Head Coach, Bobby Crutchley said: “I am very excited about working with this new group of athletes and it’s fantastic to have the support of NOW: Pensions. There have been a number of changes made since last summer and we know as a squad there is a lot of hard work ahead. This Summer will see a home nation focus as we prepare for the FIH World League in Malaysia and then the European Championships in Belgium.”

The next chance to see some of the men's squad in action is at the NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League Finals Weekend in Reading.

England Hockey Board Media release

Thrilling finale in store for NOW: Pensions Men's Hockey League

Reading celebrate winning the Men's Hockey League 2011-2012

A long season of thrills and drama reaches its conclusion this weekend as the top teams battle in out in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Finals at Reading’s Sonning Lane ground.

Eight matches staged over two days will decide who is crowned the Premier Division Champions, as well as who will take their place alongside them in the top flight next season following the culmination of the promotion play-offs.

One of the tightest finishes to the Premier Division on record meant that the line-up for the Finals play-offs was not confirmed until the very last match, with the top teams in England closely matched.

And that unpredictability could well turn this weekend into one to remember.

The winners of the NOW: Pensions Conference East, Wimbledon get the weekend under way on Saturday morning (11am) with a clash against Southgate, who will be aiming to preserve their top flight status. And following that, Sheffield Hallam take on Cardiff & UWIC at 1pm.

The first of the NOW: Pensions semi finals is at 3.15pm, with Beeston taking on Reading. First and fourth respectively at the end of the regular season, neither team will be taking anything for granted with both having beaten the other this year.

And Saturday’s schedule continues at 5.30pm when Surbiton take on Canterbury in the second semi-final in a 2nd v 3rd clash.

Sunday will see the winners crowned, and Southgate will be aiming to avoid the drop when they take on Cardiff & UWIC in the day’s opening match at 10am.

Wimbledon v Sheffield Hallam starts at 12noon, and with both teams having recorded victories in the first weekend of action, this match could prove crucial.

The losing sides in Saturday’s Finals will battle it out in the third/fourth place play-off at 2.45pm, before the season finale, the grand final of the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Championships, at 5.15pm.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Finals

Saturday, April 13 2013

1100 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Play-Off Match 3 – Wimbledon (Conference East Winners) v Southgate (Premier Division – 9th)
1300 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Play-Off Match 4 – Sheffield Hallam (Conference North Winners) v Cardiff & UWIC (Conference West Winners)
1515 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Semi-Final 1 – Beeston (Premier Division - 1st) v Reading (Premier Division - 4th)
1730 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Semi-Final 2 – Surbiton (Premier Division - 2nd) v Canterbury (Premier Division - 3rd)

Sunday, April 14 2013

1000 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Play-Off Match 5 – Cardiff & UWIC (Conference West Winners) v Southgate (Premier Division – 9th)
1200 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Play-Off Match 6 – Wimbledon (Conference East Winners) v Sheffield Hallam (Conference North Winners)
1445 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League 3rd v 4th
1715 - NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Final

England Hockey Board Media release

NOW: Pensions backs Men's Hockey on Road to Rio

Now: Pensions and England Hockey

England Hockey and NOW: Pensions have announced an exciting partnership for the sport and the biggest ever sponsorship investment in men’s hockey in England.

NOW: Pensions, one of the UK’s leading auto-enrolment pension providers, was revealed as the Principal Partner of Great Britain and England men’s hockey. The announcement of the four year deal coincided with the unveiling of a new look 30-strong Great Britain and England men’s squad which will begin training in a centralised programme this week.

NOW: Pensions will be fully integrated within the sport and visible nationwide throughout the year as a partner committed to developing the future of the game. By becoming the Title Sponsor of the men’s domestic league, NOW: Pensions hopes to support a well-defined talent pathway for players, helping taking the men’s side to a medal position at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Rio 2016 Olympics.

The hockey public won’t have to wait long to see the impact of NOW: Pensions as their first engagement with hockey takes place this coming weekend at the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Finals Weekend at Reading Hockey Club.

As well as supporting the men’s hockey league, NOW: Pensions is also fully behind England Hockey’s London 2012 legacy plans to make the sport bigger and more accessible, and is supporting Rush Hockey.

Morten Nilsson, Chief Executive of NOW: Pensions said: “We are delighted to announce our support for England Hockey from the grassroots to the elite squad. We are here in the UK for the long term and want to see the sport grow hand in hand with our business.

“NOW: Pensions is a company which aims to challenge the status quo and believes that everyone deserves a better pension to secure the retirement they deserve. Through the partnership with England Hockey, NOW: Pensions hopes to take this message to a UK wide audience to engage employers with the company’s expertise and experience.”

Sally Munday, Chief Executive of England Hockey added, “It is fantastic to have the support of NOW: Pensions. The ambition of our two organisations feels very similar as we continue to take advantage of the opportunity London 2012 has given us to grow the numbers playing and watching our sport. It’s a real fillip for both the elite and grassroots elements of the sport and the journey begins next weekend at the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Finals, which will include prize money, a Rush Hockey zone and coverage on Sky Sports.”

England Hockey Board Media release

Denmark’s NOW: Pensions Will Sponsor British Men’s Hockey

By Danielle Rossingh

NOW: Pensions, a retirement fund manager run by Denmark’s largest pension fund ATP, signed a four-year deal to sponsor the England and Britain men’s field hockey teams.

The partnership with England Hockey ranges from grassroots children’s hockey to the men’s domestic league and national team level. Although both parties said the deal is the biggest ever in men’s hockey in England, no financial details were disclosed.

Hilleroed, Denmark-based ATP said in September 2011 it would enter the U.K. market by offering services through NOW: Pensions. The U.K. government in October introduced an automatic-enrollment pension policy that requires companies to offer a retirement plan with employees opting out rather than in.

“The ambition of our two organizations feels very similar as we continue to take advantage of the opportunity London 2012 has given us to grow the numbers playing and watching our sport,” said England Hockey Chief Executive Officer Sally Munday. “It’s a real fillip for both the elite and grassroots elements of the sport.”

The partnership comes 18 months after Investec Plc (INL), a private bank and wealth manager with operations in South Africa, the U.K. and Australia, struck a five-year sponsorship deal with the England and Britain women’s field hockey teams.

Hockey is among the oldest Olympic sports, having made its first appearance at the 1908 London Games. The British men’s hockey team missed out on a medal at last year’s London Olympics after a 9-2 defeat to the Netherlands in the semifinals.

“Over the next four years the men’s program will be centralized to allow athletes access to more frequent quality training, which we feel is essential to ensure England and Great Britain advance on a world level,” England Hockey performance director Danny Kerry said.


Olympics heartache left me sad and made me hide away, says hockey star Ashley Jackson

By Matthew Nash

Dream over: Jackson is consoled by Dan Fox following defeat to Australia (Picture: PA)

Ashley Jackson has revealed he hid himself away from the spotlight following Great Britain’s failure to win a medal at the Olympics.

The GB playmaker – and star of the men’s team – was part of the team which finished fourth, agonisingly out of the medals in London last summer after a 3-1 defeat by Australia in their bronze medal play-off.

While the women did capture a bronze medal, which effectively ensured both teams would remain fully funded in the build-up to the next Games in Rio de Janeiro, the men’s performance was seen as disappointing though they were ranked fourth in the world going into London.

And for Jackson, for so long regarded as the star of the team, the aftermath was hard as he shied away from discussion of the subject.

Speaking at today’s launch of England Hockey’s new partnership with sponsors NOW: Pensions in London, the 25-year-old said: ‘I basically hid away and avoided conversations about what happened. I didn’t watch any of the Paralympics. It would have been heartbreaking to see people achieving things that you couldn’t.

‘I haven’t watched the Olympics back and was broken watching BBC Sports Personality of the Year. I kept myself out of the spotlight and I’m sure I’ve come across rude at times – I just didn’t want to talk about it.

‘Now I’ve had conversations I’ve needed to with the people around me – they were part of the Olympics campaign as much as I was – but at times it still brings you to tears.’

New challenge: Jackson, right, and Simon Mantell set out on the road to Rio yesterday (Picture: Getty Images)

Jackson believes expectations – in and outside of the team – rose as Britain climbed the world rankings. But the hurt felt by him and his team-mates in London is something they will not want to repeat.

Next up is June’s World League round three in Malaysia, which doubles as a World Cup qualifier, and is followed by the European Championships at the end of the summer.

Jackson added: ‘The higher you go and the further you go, the harder you fall. Before, we never had the dizzy heights to fall from, then we started getting further in tournaments and grew in expectation really, to the point where losing in an Olympic semi-final is a huge disappointment.’

Earlier today, the new deal with Now was unveiled, as was the new England men’s kit, and also some new faces such as Southgate’s Dan Shingles and Beeston’s Ollie Willars.

For the remaining members of last summer’s GB squad, Jackson included, there is now new determination to go on and succeed in Rio.

‘You go to tournaments and meet people who have won everything there is to win two or three times over, and that’s what I want – to win silverware now,’ said Jackson, who plays for East Grinstead.

‘There is a strong core left from the Olympics and a lot of trust to be gained among the new squad members. We’ll have a very big squad in the run-up to Rio and people will have their focus on winning that medal there now.’


U16 hockey team returns to a heroes’ welcome

The colts remained undefeated in the tournament, winning six successive matches in the new five-a-side format. PHOTO: PHF

KARACHI: Pakistan’s U16 hockey team received a warm welcome as they returned from Singapore after winning the Asia Cup.

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) officials including secretary Asif Bajwa and dozens of hockey fans gathered at the Allama Iqbal Airport in Lahore yesterday to greet the victorious team.

The colts remained undefeated in the tournament, winning six successive matches in the new five-a-side format.

Chief coach Tahir Zaman credited the players for the impressive performance.

“It wasn’t an easy task,” Zaman told reporters on return. “The tournament was new but the way these youngsters responded was commendable. They kept improving their performance after every match.”

The former Olympian said a bright future for the young players was expected, while calling for consistent support from the federation.

Young captain Nohaid Zahid Malik said the team gained a lot of confidence after winning the title.

“All the players were passionate to win and our hard work yielded the desired results,” said Malik. “This title triumph has given us a lot of confidence which will help us in next year’s Youth Olympics in China.”

Meanwhile, the PHF secretary said the team’s performance proved the federation’s youth programme was heading in the right direction.

“These youngsters are our future and we will continue to support them,” said Bajwa.

The Express Tribune

Pakistan U-16 hockey team accorded warm welcome

LAHORE - The U-16 hockey team here on Tuesday was accorded warm welcome after their return from a highly successful Singapore trip clinching the title of Asia Cup.

The squad and the staff were greeted by a large number of hockey fans, media representatives and general public here at the Allama Iqbal Airport.  Speaking to the media, PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said the youth programme aimed at discovering sport talent had brought the spectacular result.

To a query, Bajwa said the goal-ratio and match statistics of the national team were simply outstanding and it was a result of a two and half year investment in the squad. He termed the win an evidence of strength in the players. Team coach Rehan Butt was also present on the occasion.

Pakistan team beat Bangladesh 5-3 in the final, while they didn’t lose a single match during the tournament, bringing laurels for the homeland. Team consultant Tahir Zaman attributed team’s success to collective efforts and brilliance of players. "Despite hot weather conditions, our team rose to the occasion and displayed excellent performance and remained unbeaten in the event," he said.

He said the entire side demonstrated collective efforts and the players played every match with a renewed pledge to gain success. Tahir said each player of the team struck brilliance helping the side to maintain unbeaten run in the event. "It is a new beginning in Pakistan hockey as real efforts are being made to groom a young team focusing on the future of Pakistan hockey," he added. He expressed the hope that the team would produce similar results in future events as well. Captain Noukhaiz Khan said he was delighted his side won a title in its maiden appearance, qualifying for next year's Youth Olympics in China.

He acknowledged the role of every team member in its success saying all of them demonstrated high quality hockey endorsing the thoughts that Pakistan hockey is on right track.  "It is a good start and I am confident that we will be able to put up a much improved performance in the Youth Olympics," he said.

Bajwa said the victory was the result of the PHF long-term planning under which academies were established throughout the country. He praised the contribution of team management comprising Tahir Zaman, Rehan and Rana Zaheer.

The Nation

Tenaga optimistic of landing title after impressive wins


KUALA LUMPUR: After two impressive wins last weekend, Tenaga Nasional defender Mohd Amin Rahim (pic, right) believes they stand a good chance of winning the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) – a title they last won 10 years ago.

Tenaga trounced Nur Insafi 5-0 and outplayed former champions Maybank 5-1 last weekend in Kuantan.

At the halfway mark, Tenaga are in second spot of the Premier Division with 12 points – from three wins and three draws.

Double champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) lead the standings with 16 points from six matches.

“We proved in the first round matches that despite having only local players in our side, we can beat any team in the Premier Division,” said Amin, who has been featuring in the MHL since 2000.

“We could have topped the standings if not for the three draws against KLHC (3-3), Terengganu (4-4) and Sapura (2-2).”

The 33-year-old father of two explained that they were able to notch the two big wins “because we converted our chances well”.

“We’re also defending well. And goalkeeper S. Kumar played exceptionally well in Kuantan, making some good saves,” said Amin, who has scored three penalty corner goals in six matches.

“We’re in high spirits after the two inspiring wins and will go into the second round with a positive mindset.

“We want to end our league title drought.”

Amin, who was twice top scorer in the MHL in 2006 and 2009, has 247 international caps to his name.

Tenaga will face the same teams – Nur Insafi and Maybank – again this weekend.

Amin warned his team-mates to be wary of the Tigers, who are powered by five Pakistani players.

“Maybank will surely go all out to avenge their first round loss to us. So, the pressure will be on us to win all our matches if we hope to win the league,” said Amin.

The Star of Malaysia

Terengganu baffled over stars’ sub-par shows

KUALA LUMPUR: Cash-strapped Terengganu are puzzled over their poor run in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

The East Coast team, who have seven national players in their midst, are sixth in the seven-team standings with just four points after six matches.

They may even fail to make a top four finish in the Premier Division and miss out on qualifying for the semi-finals.

The seven internationals in the team are defenders Azlan Misron (pic) and Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah; midfielders Jivan Mohan and Mohd Fitri Saari; and forwards Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Amerullah Abdul Aziz and Ismail Abu.

“We are puzzled as to why the national players have failed to live up to expectations,” said team manager Mohd Saberi Salleh.

“These seven players helped KL Hockey Club (KLHC) bag the double the last two seasons ... but, surprisingly, they just can’t play as an unit for us in the MHL.

“To make matter worse, Ismail is still nursing a hamstring injury which he suffered before the league began last month (March 22) and only played for a few minutes against KLHC last week.

“I don’t know whether he’ll be able to play for us in the second round.”

Saberi hopes that his team would bounce back in the second round, which begins this weekend.

Terengganu will take on Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) on Friday and KLHC on Sunday.

Last weekend, Terengganu lost 3-1 to UniKL and 5-0 to KLHC in Kuantan.

“If we fail to collect any points from the two matches this weekend, then our semi-final hopes will be virtually over,” said Saberi, who is also the Terengganu HA secretary.

The Star of Malaysia

Need to work on fitness ahead of World League semis: Sardar

NEW DELHI: Returning to the ground after a well-deserved two months break, captain of the Indian hockey team Sardar Singh feels fitness will be key to their success in the World League semifinals to be held at Rotterdam, Netherlands from June 13 to 23.

After a much-needed rest, the Indian hockey players have assembled at Bangalore to kick-start their preparations for the forthcoming FIH Hockey World League semifinals.

"The break was a must as we have played continuously for past few months. Hockey India League was a long tournament where a lot of travelling was involved. This was a well-deserved break and now we are ready to face challenges ahead," Sardar said.

"We will face top teams like Netherlands, Australia and Spain and to match them in speed, we have to work really hard on fitness. We have to improve several aspects of our game."

India will play Australia, host Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand and Ireland in the first semifinal of the World League. The other semifinal will be played in Johor Bahru , Malaysia from June 29 to July 7 where Germany, Argentina, Malaysia, England, South Africa, Korea and Pakistan will compete.

Sardar said the 34 players, who have been called for the national camp in Bangalore, are fully fit and raring to go.

"Some seniors including me were given a long break but those who were a part of the Azlan Shah Cup were on rest for a fortnight only. Our trainer ( Jason Conrath) had advised us to not even touch the stick during the break. We are following him and started light exercise and gym sessions in the camp."

The first phase of the camp runs till April 26 and after that the players will be given a two-week rest. They will reassemble in Bangalore again after the break and the camp will continue till their departure for Rotterdam.

Asked about Hickey India's High Performance Manager Roelant Oltmans role, Sardar said, "He is working with all the national teams including men's senior, junior and women's senior and junior teams. He is immensely experienced and we will like to learn more and more from him."

The Times of India

HI ropes in scientific advisor for senior women's team

NEW DELHI: With an aim to make the side physically and mentally fit, Hockey India today appointed Matthew Tredrea as the scientific advisor of the senior women's team.

Before being appointed with the Indian women's hockey team, the 26-year-old Matthew worked with the Australian professional Rugby League club, Newcastle Knights for almost two years as the assistant strength and conditioning Coach.

Matthew has also worked on different assignments as the strength and conditioning coach of the Australian Rugby League Development and CSHS Rugby League Programs.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said Matthew's appointment is an important step towards ensuring proper fitness level of the national women team.

"Our senior and junior teams are preparing for important tournaments like the FIH World League Round 3 (Qualifier for World Cup 2014) and 2013 Junior Women World Cup respectively. (Matthew) Tredrea will play key role in the physical and mental fitness of our players, as they prepare for these major tournaments," Batra said in a statement.

The Times of India

Gender in field hockey questioned in America

By Jack Cobourn

Jaja Kentwell (at right) practicing with the men’s Junior National U-21 field hockey team. Kentwell plays midfield for the University of Delaware club field hockey team. Courtesy of Karen Quincy Loberg

But the issue of getting male players ready to compete should start earlier, like it does in Europe. Michaela Patzner is a freshman midfielder on the Delaware team. Hailing from Rosenheim, Germany, she has played on SC Munchen and the Div. 2 German National Team. She has experience with men’s field hockey, for her team won two German indoor titles and has produced multiple national team players.

Patzner said promoting the sport is key for it to grow in the United States.

“I think the influence of the other sports [in the U.S.] is big, and I think marketing is a big point, so you have to promote the sport because it’s a pretty new sport,” Patzner said. “That’s the same in Europe actually. It just started a bit earlier, and the structure here’s off. It’s not that good because after college, you’re pretty much out of it because there are no real adult clubs and no league where they can play after college.”

One way to fix the problem of not having enough players to even support a national team is to promote the sport better and create a ladder system for the men, starting off at a very young age and building the players up to be good into their adult years.

Patzner, who started out playing with boys, said the ladder system could work in America if teams followed the German model, but she cautions the hold American sports have over teens.

“So when you’re really little, you start together with the boys, and then you split off into the boys’ team and the girls’ team in middle school,” Patnzer said. “I think it’s really hard because guys can play football, baseball, soccer, basketball and all these sports are so big here, but maybe with a lot of marketing and promotion, maybe you could start playing field hockey in middle school with girls and split them in high school.”

Progress has already started to be made in the United States to get men to play field hockey. In March, 56 male teen players played at the National Indoor Tournament in Richmond, Va., according to the U.S. Field Hockey Team’s website.

Van de Kerkhof said he believes anyone, male or female, should attempt to play the sport that he has embraced for most of his life.

“Pick up a stick, give it a try,” van de Kerkhof said. “I would say the same to any person that is female that would come up and  say hey. I would encourage everybody to give it a try and we would try to help them wherever we could help them.”

The Review


Click the image for more details

Ex-Olympic umpire Sreedhran will be missed

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian hockey recently lost another stalwart of the game with the passing of former Olympic umpire N. Sreedhran (Noor Sree Abdullah) on March 23.

The former lecturer at the Cheras Teachers Training College died after a long illness and was laid to rest at the Tanah Perkuburan Islam Bukit Teratai, Selangor. He leaves behind his wife and four children.

Besides being an international class umpire, Sreedhran later went on to head the MHF Umpire’s board for six years in the 1990s and served as a technical official in numerous tournaments.

Born in Ipoh in 1943, he attended St Michael’s Institution and attained his Senior Cambridge certificate before turning to teaching when he was just 17 at a secondary school in Pasir Putih, Kelantan. His last posting was as a lecturer in Cheras.

He was a skilful winger and relished terrorising his opponents down the flanks with his speed and cunning. Once his playing days were over, he took to umpiring, making the grade as an international class one. The highlight for him was umpiring the Olympics in South Korea in 1988.

He is remembered by many in different ways but to Perak’s Amarjit Singh, Sreedharan was like a mentor.

Amarjit, the last Malaysian umpire to have made the FIH World Cup list, said: “Master Sree was my greatest mentor in hockey. I’m saddened by his demise. I spoke to him just recently. He was a great man and I will miss him very much.”

Sreedharan’s niece, Esther Ng, said that his easy going ways endured him to many people.

“Of the six children, three boys and three girls, Uncle Sree was my grandfather’s favourite son. He was dashing and good-looking and the most charismatic of them all. My uncle was the sort of person who had many friends. He would go out of his way to help people,” she said.

The Star of Malaysia