News for 24 April 2013

All the news for Wednesday 24 April 2013


Spring says hello

European teams jump into action as temperatures rise



Scotland's Alan Forsyth in a test game against a Belgian select team (Photo: Scottish Hockey)

Spring has sprung in Europe and many international teams are waking up from their winter sleeps as a bevy of test series are underway or on the cusp of beginning. Below is a round-up of all the late-April action to get hockey fans in the mood for the start of warm weather in the Northern Hemisphere.

The German women face off against an exotic opponent in Enschede, Netherlands when they played a provincial selection team from China last week. It was a busy day for the two squads as they fit in two games in one day. Germany won both games, but had their hands full, winning by the slimmest of margins in both meetings earning 1-0 and 4-3 wins.

Orange jerseys can once again be seen all over Holland as three Dutch teams are kicking into high gear. The Dutch U21 women took on the same Chinese provincial team the day after Germany and also earned a one-goal win with a 3-2 decision. The senior women will meet India on Tuesday in Kampong. Finally, the Dutch men have a big two-game test series against England on Tuesday and Wednesday in the host city of June’s Hockey World League Semi-Finals, Rotterdam.

The Belgium men are gearing up for their Hockey World League Round 2 outing as they will play Poland in a two-game series on Tuesday and Thursday. Both teams will be battling for a Hockey World League Semi-Final place at the Round 2 tournament in France, which begins on May 6.

The Belgium men also toyed with their line-up in a game against Scotland last weekend. The team was made up of half U18 players, half U21 players with a few senior players thrown in the mix. Unfortunately, the experiment didn’t work as well as the Belgians had hoped as they lost 3-2 and 0-6.

Finally, Down Under where the sun is setting on summer, the Australian women are playing a four-game series against Korea. The games will be Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday in Perth.

FIH site



Black Sticks Men bolstered for Korea series


Debutant George Muir

Several familiar faces and one debutant have been named in a strengthened Black Sticks Men’s series squad ahead of next month’s test series against Korea in Auckland.

The six-game series will be played from 14th-22nd May with two games at Rangitoto College, two at the Southern Hockey Turf in Papatoetoe and two at Counties Manukau.

Head coach Colin Batch today named his 23-man squad with five additional players joining the same squad of 18 which played at the Azlan Shah Cup in March.

London Olympians Phil Burrows, Shea McAleese and Nick Haig return to the side along with young guns James Coughlan and George Muir.

Batch said the tests against Korea are a chance to continue the growth of the Kiwi side with selections under the microscope for the World League Semi-Finals in June.

“We’ve named a squad of 23 and plan to use all those players across the six games before finalising selection for the World League Semi-Finals. It’s a continuation of developing the squad from Azlan Shah and keeping that momentum going,” Batch said.

North Harbour’s George Muir is the only debutant in the squad and will earn his first international cap during the series.

“George has been performing well for the Junior Black Sticks, has trained well with the group and deserves his opportunity,” Batch said.

“He connects well with players and has good vision and awareness. What I like about his game is that he keeps it simple and plays his role very well.”



The 19-year-old will be the second Black Stick to come out of Rosmini College on Auckland’s North Shore (Dave Kosoof 149 caps) and is excited at the prospect of his first game for New Zealand in front of a home crowd.

“My feelings at the moment are just excitement for my first test. It’s going to be cool to play at home in front of friends and family,” Muir said.

“I’ve been working really hard on my game, but you never expect to hear your name called up. It was one of my goals to play in this series and I’m really honoured to have been given the chance.”

Muir was recently named as one of six New Zealand Herald Future Stars of Sport

CLICK HERE for George Muir's full player profile

Black Sticks Men’s Team
Test Series v Korea
14 – 22 May, Auckland

Shirt #

Player Name

Region

Position

Age

Caps

1

James Coughlan

North Harbour

Midfielder

22

16

2

Cory Bennett

North Harbour

Defender

21

8

4

Nick Haig

Canterbury

Defender

26

106

5

Andy Hayward

Midlands

Defender

27

145

7

Nick Ross

Midlands

Midfielder

22

8

8

Dean Couzins

Auckland

Defender

31

274

9

Blair Hilton

Capital

Midfielder

23

87

10

Isaac Staples

Canterbury

Forward

23

13

11

Jacob Smith

Capital

Forward

22

14

13

Marcus Child

Auckland

Midfielder

22

26

14

Jared Panchia

Auckland

Forward

19

6

16

Hamish McGregor

Southern

Goalkeeper

25

10

18

Phil Burrows

Auckland

Striker

32

292

19

Alex Shaw

Auckland

Defender

23

14

20

Devon Manchester

Auckland

Goalkeeper

23

8

21

Kane Russell

Southern

Defender

20

15

22

Blair Tarrant

Southern

Defender

22

67

23

Shay Neal

Northland

Midfielder

22

35

24

Arun Panchia

Auckland

Midfielder

24

97

25

Shea McAleese

Central

Midfielder

28

173

27

Stephen Jenness

Capital

Forward

22

73

29

Hugo Inglis

Southern

Forward

22

95

30

George Muir

North Harbour

Midfielder

19

-


Hockey New Zealand Media release



One new cap in men's Black Sticks squad


CALL UP: George Muir is the new face in the Black Sticks squad.

North Harbour teenager George Muir is the only new cap in the men's Black Sticks hockey squad for next month's test series against South Korea in Auckland.

The 19-year-old is one of five additions to the squad that played at the Azlan Shah Cup in March.

London Olympians Phil Burrows, Shea McAleese and Nick Haig return, as well as 22-year-old James Coughlan.

Coach Colin Batch said Muir had earned his chance for his first international cap.

"George has been performing well for the junior Black Sticks, has trained well with the group and deserves his opportunity," he said.

"He connects well with players and has good vision and awareness. What I like about his game is that he keeps it simple and plays his role very well."

Batch said the tests against South Korea would be a chance to continue the growth of the Kiwi side, with selections under the microscope for the World League semifinals in June.

"We've named a squad of 23 and plan to use all those players across the six games before finalising selection for the World League semifinals," he said.

"It's a continuation of developing the squad from Azlan Shah and keeping that momentum going."

The six-game series will be played from May 14 to 22, with two games at Rangitoto College, two at the southern hockey turf in Papatoetoe and two at Counties Manukau.

Black Sticks: James Coughlan, Cory Bennett, Nick Haig, Andy Hayward, Nick Ross, Dean Couzins, Blair Hilton, Isaac Staples, Jacob Smith, Marcus Child, Jared Panchia, Hamish McGregor, Phil Burrows, Alex Shaw, Devon Manchester, Kane Russell, Blair Tarrant, Shay Neal, Arun Panchia, Shea McAleese, Stephen Jenness, Hugo Inglis, George Muir.

Stuff



Meet Kylie Seymour, umpire



Kylie Seymour will this week take charge of the Hockeyroos’ series against Korea, alongside experienced umpiring colleague Mel Trivic. The games in Perth will be part of Kylie’s preparation for July’s women’s Junior World Cup in Germany.

Ahead of the four match showdown in Perth we caught up with Kylie to profile one our brightest young officials and delve further into what it takes to become a top umpire.

Hockey Australia (HA): So Kylie, let’s start at the beginning. What inspired you to take up umpiring?
Kylie Seymour (KS):
Well, I wanted to earn some pocket money and to get to know the rules a little better. I expressed my interest to our local umpires’ convenor and he invited my sister and me to attend the umpiring seminars he was running. Before I knew it, having passed my NSW theory exam, I was enjoying my first Under 10s game and earning $5.

HA: Wow. Straight into the big bucks. It’s great that you had someone to give you that guiding hand at the start.
KS:
It was! I began my umpiring career at Campbelltown City Women's Hockey Association when I was 11 or 12. I had a fantastic umpire coach and mentor in John Robinson who helped to develop my feel for the game and gave me many opportunities to grow. He was constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone to the point that I was soon umpiring our Senior A Grade and attending NSW Junior Development Camps.

I then worked my way through the NSW underage tournaments progressing through my State badges, C, B and A, which I got in 2006, around the same time as I began to officiate at national underage championships.

I was invited to attend the National Under 21s in Sydney in 2009 where I received my Australian Badge and a recommendation to move to the Australian Hockey League (AHL) the following year. AHL was a huge step in my umpiring career and involved weekends in Hobart and Darwin as well as a trip to finals week in Adelaide. I almost fell off my chair when I received a phone call from Hockey Australia in December that same year to invite me to attend a Four Nations International Tournament in Argentina.

In the two and half years that have followed I have received many wonderful opportunities that have allowed me to develop as an international umpire as well as make lifelong friends and travel the world. I received my International Umpiring Badge from the FIH in 2011 and was upgraded to the Promising Umpire List in 2012. All these opportunities and experiences have led to a very exciting appointment this year – the Junior World Cup in Germany in July.

I would not be where I am today without some very significant umpire coaches, mentors and role models. In particular, John Robinson and Jill Long who fostered my love for umpiring at such a young age and helped me to develop the basic skills on which to build a successful umpiring career. I must also mention Geoff Hope, Marilyn Brown and Lisa Roach who spent tireless years developing a young, naive and extremely nervous umpire into the umpire I am today. As I have begun to build my international career over the last few years, I have Lisa Roach, Minka Woolley, Jan Hadfield and Marelize DeKlerk to thank for their continuous patience, support, guidance and expertise.

HA: What do you like most about being an umpire?
KS:
The lifelong friends I have made and the many places I have been lucky enough to visit within Australia and throughout the world!

HA: What's your pre-match routine?
KS:
I have six steps…

1. Listen to music on the way to the game
2. Read over any briefing notes or feedback from my last game
3. Get my uniform on
4. Fix my hair
5. Pre-match briefing with co-umpire
6. Physical warm up while watching both teams hit up

HA: What was your first international appointment and how did it feel?
KS:
My first international appointment was a four nation invitational tournament in Mendoza, Argentina. I had a nightmare 52 hour journey and arrived with very little sleep and extremely swollen legs. This didn't do much for the nerves that had been building since the phone call from Hockey Australia a couple of months before.

However, once I arrived and settled the legs and jet lag, I was able to experience all the wonderful experiences that international umpiring and an amazing country had to offer. I was extremely lucky to have a supportive Tournament Director and a friendly experienced group of umpires to get me through my first international tournament. I don't remember much at all about my first international game other than the screaming and passionate Argentinean crowd (and their fantastic rendition of their anthem) and how quick the game was compared to any AHL game I had umpired.

HA: What is the most memorable moment in your umpiring career?
KS:
My career has been filled with very memorable moments - if I had to pick one it would be umpiring Japan vs. Azerbaijan at last year's Olympic Qualifiers in Kakamigahara, Japan. It was my first FIH appointment in a beautiful city and I was a part of a very close nit panel of umpires. The game on Day 4 of the tournament was a top of a table clash between the top two seeded teams in front of the home crowd and we (my roomie and I - the two youngest and least experienced umpires on the panel) were given the opportunity to show what we could do on such an important game. The atmosphere was electric and we enjoyed every minute of the game!

HA: What three pieces of advice would you give to other up-and-coming umpires?
KS:
I’d say…

1. ALWAYS stand tall and be confident
2. Remember you are the third team on the field - be there to support your co-umpire and don't be afraid to look and receive assistance when you need it.
3. Be willing to learn and grow from each of your games - take on feedback, ask questions and watch experienced umpires.

…Oh, and enjoy yourself!

HA: Obviously you’ve mentioned the Junior World Cup but what else is on the horizon for you?
KS:
My first goal is to perform well at the Junior World Cup in July and hopefully be upgraded to the FIH Grade 1 List. I will re-assess my plan after that tournament but I do like to dream big and hope to one day umpire at the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games.

If you are interested in taking up umpiring or progressing your career in officiating, check out your State or Territory Hockey Association website to find out more. You can find links to each State & Territory Hockey Association at the top of our homepage.

See how Kylie gets on alongside Mel Trivic as the third team in the Hockeyroos v Korea series. Every match will be live streamed on the Hockey Australia website here.

Hockey Australia media release



Famous Brands announce sponsorship of the SA Men’s Hockey Team



Famous Brands Limited today announced a two-year sponsorship of the SA Men’s Hockey Team.

One of its premium brands Mugg & Bean is partnering with SA Hockey as the new co-sponsor of the SA Men’s Hockey team.

“We are delighted that we have a popular brand like Mugg & Bean on board,” said SA Hockey Association CEO Marissa Langeni.

“We are pleased that this is a two-year commitment which will include the World Cup in 2014. This sponsorship will assist the SA Men’s team in competing in top-class international events and hockey is proud to be associated with the Mugg & Bean brand,” the SA Hockey CEO added.

Famous Brands Chief Marketing Officer Derrian Nadauld stated: “This sponsorship deal will bring a new energy to the game and the Mugg & Bean brand is excited to be involved with the National Men’s team.

“Hockey in South Africa has largely been a Cinderella sport, in desperate need of a sponsor who could give the team the support they so richly deserve. The Mugg & Bean sponsorship of the SA Men’s team is a natural extension of the brands involvement with the sport of Hockey.

“Earlier this year, the brand concluded a five-year sponsorship deal of the Varsity Sports Hockey series, currently running across universities across the country,” the Famous Brands CMO added.

The SA Men’s team are currently ranked 12th in the world and this is the first sponsorship for the team in a number of years.

SA Hockey Association media release



Pukke only unbeaten team in Varsity Hockey competition in Potchefstroom

The University of North West, Potchefstroom’s hockey fans had much to celebrate as their team remained the only unbeaten team in the SA Varsity Hockey competition thanks to a victory of 5-1 over UJ on Monday.

SA player Celia Evans had a great night in front of her home crowd, scoring a hat-trick for Pukke.

The match hung in the balance for the first 15 minutes, with neither team bothering the scorers in the first period. Shortly after the commencement of the second period, Evans finally broke through the UJ defence. That was the first of four goals in the second period.

UJ did score a goal of their own in the third period, but Pukke put the final nail in their coffin with goal number five.

Pukke is the only team to finish the first weekend of Varsity Hockey action unbeaten, after Kovsies suffered their first defeat at the hands of Maties.

The Stellenbosch girls beat the team from Bloemfontein by 1-0, thanks to a super strike by SA player Quanita Bobbs early in the second period.

The win brings Maties back into the picture, with a win, a draw and a loss from their three matches this past weekend in Potchefstroom.

Their disappointing result in the first games (a 2-0 loss against the NWU-Pukke and a draw against Tuks) clearly motivated the Maties team, who threw everything they had at their Free State opponents.

Kovsies were the favourites beforehand, following big victories in both their first matches, but they didn’t have any answers against Maties. They will still be happy with their weekend in Potchefstroom, though, as it sets them up nicely for the next round of matches, which they will play on their home ground.

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) recorded their first win of the competition when they beat the University of Witwatersrand 2-1. The University of Pretoria (Tuks) defeated the University of Johannesburg (UJ) by the same margin.

Varsity Hockey now takes a break until 11 May because of the South African U21 Interprovincial Tournament. The action will commence at Kovsies and UJ. Four matches will be televised live on SuperSport 5 on 13 May.

Saturday’s results:
NWU-Puk 2 (Sulette Damons 2), Maties 0;
Kovsies 4 (Izelle Lategan 3, Cornelle Botha), NMMU 0;
Tuks 2 (Lisette du Plessis, Janie Porteous), UJ 1 (Georgina Crisp);
UCT 1 (Stacey Morley-Jepson), Wits 1 (Demi du Toit).

Sunday’s results:
UJ 2 (Bernadette Coston, Nika Nel), Wits 1 (Demi du Toit);
Maties 1 (Quanita Bobbs), Tuks 1 (Kara Stella);
Kovsies 6, UCT 1;
Pukke 5, NMMU 1.

Monday’s results:
Tuks 2, UCT 1;
NMMU 2, Wits 1;
Maties 1, Kovsies 0;
Pukke 5, UJ 1.

* Info supplied by Varsity Hockey.

SA Hockey Association media release



UHC end Köln’s winning streak




GERMANY: Rot-Weiss Köln have been on something of a hot streak in recent weeks, winning seven matches in succession to help them climb up the table in Germany’s Hockeyliga and also claim a place in Euro Hockey League Final Four competition.

Their latest victory came on Saturday, when they outclassed former EHL participants Club an der Alster with a resounding 5-0 victory. Team captain Jan-Marco Montag opened the scoring in the fourth minute of the match before Daniel Montag netted a quick-fire double to give Rot-Weiss a commanding 3-0 lead at the break. Marco Miltkau and Joshua Derlarber chipped in with second half goals to complete a comfortable triumph.

However, Köln’s winning run was brought to an abrupt end on Sunday when they fell to a 2-3 home defeat against triple Euro Hockey League champions UHC Hamburg. Germany superstar Florian Fuchs gave UHC a 2-0 lead before goals from Christoph Menke and former UHC man Marco Mitkau tied the scores. The game was settled in the 62nd minute thanks to a penalty corner from the ever reliable Patrick Breitenstein.

"I offer my compliments to UHC, they were very efficient today”, said Köln coach Wolfgang Kluth to hockeyliga.de immediately after the match. "Although we had a lot of game presence, we did far too little with it today.”

The weekend results leave Rot-Weiss Köln sitting fifth in the league, six points behind table toppers Harvestehude. Uhlenhorst Mülheim are in second, with Krefeld and Mannheim in third and fourth place respectively. UHC Hamburg currently lie in sixth place. A full list of results from the weekend can be found below.

Rot-Weiss Köln face KHC Dragons of Belgium in the Semi Finals of the Euro Hockey League. The two teams go head-to-head at Bloemendaal on Saturday 18th May, with the winner facing either HC Bloemendaal (NED) or Amsterdam H&BC (NED) in the tournament Final, which takes place on Sunday 19th May. Tickets for the event can be purchased in the Tickets section of www.ehlhockey.tv, the official website of the Euro Hockey League. 

Results - 20 April
Frankfurt 80-Harvestehude 0:3 (0:1)
Mülheim-Berliner HC 2:1 (2:0)
RW Köln-Alster 5:0 (3:0)
Gladbach-Mannheim HC 1:4 (0:2)
Krefeld-Nürnberg HTC 3:2 (2:2)
Düsseld. HC-UHC Hamburg 0:4 (0:0)

Results - 21 April
Gladbach-Krefeld 2:3 (0:0)
RW Köln-UHC Hamburg 2:3 (0:1)

Hockeyliga Standings – 21 April 2013
Team                            Pl    W     D    L   GD  Pts
1.Harvestehuder          16    11     3    2    29    36
2.Uhl. Mülheim             16    10     2    4    20    32
3.Crefelder                   16    10     2    4    17    32
4.Mannheimer HC        16   10      2    4    16    32
5.Rot-Weiss Köln         15    9      3    3     26    30
6.UHC Hamburg          16     8      1    7      7     25
7.Club an der Alster     16     7      4    5      0     25
8.Gladbacher HTC       16     5      2    9    -15   17
9.Berliner HC                14    4       3    7    -5    15
10.Nürnberger HTC      16    3       3   10   -13  12
11.Düsseldorfer HC     16     2      1   13    -31   7
12.SC Frankfurt           15     0      4    11   -51   4
Euro Hockey League media release

 



Terengganu thinking big

GETTING READY: Debutants aim to use Maybank and Tenaga matches to prepare for TNB Cup

By FADHLI ISHAK



Shahrun Nabil is one of the many recruits of Terengganu

HAVING already secured a ticket to the TNB Cup which starts next Wednesday, Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) debutants Terengganu will prepare for the competition by giving big guns Maybank and Tenaga Nasional a run for their money in their final two Premier Division matches this weekend.

Currently fifth in the table with 10 points, team manager Mohd Saberi Salleh said he saw the tough matches, which will be played at the National Stadium, as the ideal opportunity to fine-tune the squad for a successful outing in the TNB Cup.

"The win against Nur Insafi (4-3) on Sunday secured our place in the TNB Cup and we hope to at least reach the semi-finals of the tournament," said Mohd Saberi.

"It will be a good chance to prepare for the Cup as we will be thoroughly tested. We are also still in the running to finish fourth in the Premier Division, so there is much to play for.

"We hope to take as many points as possible from these matches but we do know it will not be easy. They (Maybank and Tenaga) are both quality sides who are fighting to finish second in the league, so we expect them to be out in full force." Terengganu play Maybank on Friday and TNB on Sunday.

TNB, currently third on 18 points, trail second-placed Maybank by one point. Both teams have two games to play.

Mohd Saberi added he was satisfied with the team's performance as his young players still have much to learn competing at the highest level in the country.

Much was expected from the team at the start of the season after they signed national players Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Fitri Saari, Azlan Misron, Shahrun Nabil, Ismail Abu and Ameerullah Aziz.

"I am quite happy with how the team have done this year as we were not even playing in Division One last year," said Saberi. "There is always a learning curve to overcome for any team. Even Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club took a few years to win their first title.

"We have often been called 'big spenders' but that's not true. We are an all-local outfit with the aim of developing our local boys. People should compare our budget with other teams who hire foreign players."

FIXTURES -- Tomorrow -- Division One: BJSS v UiTM (Education Ministry Stadium, 6pm), SSTMI v Sunday 2030 (Taman Daya Stadium, 6pm), MBI v Uniten (Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, 8pm).

Friday -- Premier Division: KLHC v TNB (National Stadium I, 6pm), Nur Insafi v Sapura (National Stadium II, 6pm), Maybank v Terengganu (National Stadium II, 8pm).

Division One: TNB Thunderbolts v BJSS (National Stadium I, 8pm).

Saturday -- Premier Division: UniKL v KLHC (National Stadium II, 6pm).

Division One: Sunday 2030 v MBI (National Stadium, II 8pm), TNB Thunderbolts v UiTM (National Stadium I, 6pm), Uniten v SSTMI (National Stadium I, 8pm).

Sunday -- Premier Division: Nur Insafi v UniKL (National Stadium II, 6pm), Sapura v Maybank (National Stadium I, 6pm), Terengganu v TNB (National Stadium II, 8pm).

New Straits Times



Strikers were a big letdown in league campaign, says coach

By AFTAR SINGH



Talented: Mohd Hafif Elkan has been praised by his coach S. Arulselvaraj for showing improvement in his game.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional team manager Nor Saiful Zaini is annoyed with his team for “not playing to their true potential” in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

“We started off well by winning the Charity Shield match against double champions KL Hockey Club last month. I then expected my team, powered by 10 national players, to kick on and lift the league title which we last won 10 years ago,” said the former international.

“But much to my disappointment, our league challenge faded badly.”

Tenaga are in third spot behind leaders KLHC and second-placed Maybank in the Premier League with 18 points from five wins, three draws and two defeats. KLHC, with 28 points, have wrapped up the title with two matches to spare while Maybank are second with 19 points.

Nor Saiful blamed his team’s failure on his strike force.

“We have four national forwards in the team but only Faizal (Saari) and Mohd Firhan (Ashaari) have scored regularly. The other two – Amir Farid (Ahmad Fuzi) and Mohd Azammi (Adabi) – have been a big letdown, having scored fewer than five goals in 10 matches,” said Nur Saiful, who guided Tenaga to the 2003 league title.

“I’m disappointed with Amir and Azammi ... as internationals, they’ve failed to deliver in the league.”

Tenaga will face KLHC on Friday before wrapping up their league fixtures against Terengganu on Sunday.

Nor Saiful said that his team must buck up if they hope to finish second and book a place in the semi-finals.

The top two teams in the league will be seeded for the knockout stage while the third and fourth-placed teams will take on the fifth and sixth teams in the Premier League to qualify for the semi-finals.

To make matters worse, Tenaga’s national defender Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani is down with an ankle injury and is not expected to play in this weekend’s matches.

The Star of Malaysia



UniKL defender Hafif finally finds the right balance

KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Hafif Elkan was selected to study in the Bukit Jalil Sport School (BJSS) two years ago because of his immense talent in hockey.

The Selangor-born player, however, left the sports school at the end of last year after failing to do well in his studies.

The 17-year-old Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) defender, who made his Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) debut this year, finaly spoke about why he decided to ditch the sports school.

“I didn’t score good grades in my PMR (Penilaian Menengah Rendah) results in 2011 because I had to train twice a day – in the morning and evening. I was afraid that I would not do well in the SPM as well,” he said.

“I told my parents about my problems and, thankfully, they understood and enrolled me in the USJ Section 23 secondary school.”

Hafif, who will be sitting for his Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations in November, is relieved to be studying near his house as he can now concentrate on his studies and hockey.

“I only train once a day and have enough time to focus on my studies. I want to get good results in the SPM and enrol in a university,” said Hafif, who has represented the National Under-16 team twice in the four-nation tournament in Germany in 2010 and last year.

Hafif, who is also in the Project 2013 squad, is also grateful to UniKL for giving him a chance to play in the MHL.

“It was a good experience playing in the senior league as I’m more confident about my game,” said Hafif, who has been playing consistently well in the MHL.

UniKL, who failed to qualify for the semi-finals in the Premier Division last year, are now in fifth spot with 10 points from three wins, one draw and six defeats.

They will wrap up their league fixtures this weekend against newly-crowned league champion KL Hockey Club (KLHC) on Saturday and Nur Insafi on Sunday.

UniKL coach S. Arulselvaraj was full of praise for Hafif.

“Despite having to study for his SPM examinations, he has shown improvement in his game ... and against senior players at that. I’m impressed with his commitment. He is a talented player with a bright feature,” said Arul, who is also the assistant national coach.

The Star of Malaysia



Wanderers continue winning streak


Action from the Wanderers versus Doha Hockey Club match in the Qatar Hockey League on Friday.

Wanderers continued their winning streak with a fluent 6-1 win over Doha Hockey Club in the Qatar Hockey League on Friday.

Goals by Qatar internationals Savio Nayak, Juned Coutinho and Punjab import Jagmeet Singh gave three-time QHL champions Wanderers a well-deserved victory over the consistent and strong DHC.

Earlier matches saw current champions Gateway blitz DHC 2 - 14-0 and Shabab Qatar beat UHQ 15-0.

After three weeks of matches, Gateway top the table along with Shabab Qatar and Wanderers, all enjoying winning starts to the season. There are 7 clubs this QHL season. They are United Hockey Qatar, Messaied Industrial City, Doha Hockey Club 1 and 2, last season’s finalists Shabab Qatar, current champions Gateway and Wanderers Hockey Club.

Gulf Times



Tour of Europe: PHF announces probables for junior team


KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) announced the names of 26 probables for the national junior team that will tour Europe next month.

As many as 35 players attended the first phase of the training camp that was held in Lahore earlier this month.

The shortlisted candidates will now move to Islamabad where the second phase of the camp will begin from April 30 at the Naseer Bunda Stadium.

The new list includes four goal-keepers, five fullbacks, five halfbacks and 12 forwards.

Pakistan will play at least eight matches against Germany, Belgium and Holland in their upcoming assignment.

Meanwhile, the PHF also announced that it will hold the second edition of the U-16 Boys Hockey Championship at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore from April 28 to May 9.

The federation also appointed an ‘Age Credentials Check Committee’ that will verify the ages of the players. The committee includes Rana Mujahid as convener while Tahir Zaman and Rehan Butt will serve as members.

The probables include Mazhar Abbas, Amjad Ali, M Talal Khalid, Amin Yousuf, Mohammad Khalid, M Kashif Javed, Faisal Qadir, Syed Kashif Shah, Zohaib Ashraf, M Rizwan Jr, Mohammad Tousiq, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Tasawar Abbas, M Bilal Khan, M Irfan, M Umar Bhutta, M Dilber, Ali Shan, M Suleman, M Arslan Qadir, Mohammad Umair, Hafiz Rizwan Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Ayub Ali, Ahmed Zubair and Bilal Mahmood.

The Express Tribune

 



Second phase of national junior hockey camp from 30th

ISLAMABAD: The 2nd phase of training of national junior probables preparing for a test match series against Germany, Belgium and Holland in May-June will start from April 30 here at Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium.

“In this phase 26 players will attend the camp and we are confident to select a balanced side for the tour of Europe,” said a spokesman for Pakistan Hockey Federation on Tuesday.

Probables:

Goalkeepers: Mazhar Abbas, Amjad Ali, Mohammad Talal Khalid and Amin Yousuf.

Full backs: Muhammad Khalid, Mohammad Kashif Javed, Faisal Qadir, Syed Kashif Shah and Zohaib Ashraf.

Half backs: Mohammad Rizwan Jr., Muhamamd Tousiq, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Tasawar Abbas and Mohammad Bilal Khan.

Forwards: Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Umar Bhutta, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan, Mohammad Suleman, Mohammad Arslan Qadir, Muhammad Umair, Hafiz Rizwan Ali, Muhammad Rizwan, Ayub Ali, Ahmed Zubair and Bilal Mahmood.

Officials:

Manager and head coach Rana Mujahid Ali, coaches Danish Kaleem and Anjum Saeed, team doctor Dr Asad Abbas Shah and video-analyst Syed Abuzar Umrao.

The Daily Times



National Under-16 Hockey C’ship from 28th

Staff Report


LAHORE: Lahore will host the second edition of the Under-16 Boys Hockey Championship from April 28 at the National Hockey Stadium here.

“The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), in continuation of its policy to ensure the participation of players of right age in the event, has appointed an ‘Age Credentials Check Committee’ that will verify and check the ages of players. The committee, if needed, will also recommend a player for a bone test or may resort to facial scrutiny to disqualify over-age players. The concealment of age factor will result in serious penalty for a player and his team,” said a spokesman for the PHF here on Tuesday.

Former hockey Olympian Rana Mujahid Ali is the convener of the committee whose other two members are former Olympians Tahir Zaman and Rehan Butt.

The Daily Times



Investec Women's Knockout Finals

This weekend sees the culmination of the England Hockey Women’s Knockout competitions at Highfields Sports Club at the Investec Women’s Knockout Finals. The schedule for the day looks like this:

Saturday 27th April

1100: Investec Women's Vase Final - Guernsey v Oxted
1330: Investec Women's Trophy Final - Henley v Sonning
1600: Investec Women's Cup Final - Clifton v Bowdon

Sunday 28th April

1000: Women's Masters Over 35's Shield Final - Northampton Saints v Derby Asterdale
1200: Investec Women's Masters Over 35's Plate Final - Wimbledon v St. Albans
1400: Investec Women's Masters Over 35's Cup Final - Towcester v Canterbury
1600: Women's Masters Over 35's Trophy Final - Hereford v Oxford

The Investec Women’s Knockout Finals get underway on Saturday with Guernsey and Oxted battling it out in the Investec Vase Final.  Guernsey finished runners-up in 2010-11 having lost out by the odd goal to Alderley Edge; they’ll be looking to go one better this weekend but face a stern test against reigning champions Oxted. If Oxted were to retain the title, they’d become only the second team to record back to back Vase Final victories – East Grinstead achieved that feat in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Guernsey had to work hard to earn a place in the final having overcome Andover in a penalty shootout, following a 3-3 draw, whilst Oxted secured a narrow 2-1 victory over West Bridgford in their Semi-Final.

There’s a local derby in the second game of the day, the Investec Trophy Final. The competition has a fine pedigree of winners with Investec Women’s Hockey League clubs University of Birmingham, Brooklands Poynton, Buckingham and Wimbledon all having been previous winners. It is a first trip to the finals for both sides who won through in narrow semi-final victories. Henley hosted North Notts and ran out 3-2 winners whilst Sonning’s home semi-final against Bishop’s Stortford ended 1-0. For Sonning, it will be an exciting challenge in facing a Henley side that plays a division higher in the South Club’s Women’s Hockey League.

There’s an all Investec Premier Division clash in the Investec Cup which sees Bowdon Hightown face Clifton. Both sides have a history in the Investec Cup, with Bowdon Hightown having appeared in 9 finals and Clifton 5. For Bowdon Hightown, of those 9 appearances 8 have resulted in a trophy lift, their last in 2010-11 in a 4-1 victory over Surbiton. Clifton, meanwhile, has suffered more mixed fortunes, of their five trips to the final they’ve been crowned champions twice; their last triumph came in 1999-00. Bowdon Hightown came through a 2-0 victory over Buckingham to qualify for the final whilst Clifton was forced into extra time and penalty strokes with Sutton Coldfield before they were able to cement their place. In the Investec Premier Division this season, their two matchups ended in draws – 1-1 and 2-2 – and Bowdon Hightown finished 5th with Clifton 6th, so there’s little to choose between the two in this grandstand final.

The first game on Sunday is the Masters Over 35’s Shield Final pitting two Midlands sides in Derby Asterdale and Northampton Saints together. It’s the inaugural final in this competition and Northampton Saints required a 5-1 victory over Wolverhampton & Tettenhall in the Semi-Final to progress through to meet Derby Asterdale.

In the Investec Women’s Masters Over 35’s Plate Final, Wimbledon meets St. Albans. It is the fourth final in the competition since its inception in 2009-10 when Wimbledon was crowned first winners following a penalty strokes victory over Kettering. Wimbledon was defeated in the Investec Women’s Masters Over 35’s Cup by finalists Canterbury. Both sides recorded convincing semi-final triumphs with Wimbledon winning 7-1 against Pendle Forest and St. Albans 8-1 over Pelicans.

Reigning champions Canterbury return in the Investec Women’s Masters Over 35’s Cup having defeated Exe 4-2 in last season’s final. Canterbury recorded a narrow 1-0 victory over Cambridge City to earn their place in the final to face Towcester. For Northamptonshire side Towcester, a 4-2 victory over Epsom in the Semi-Final was enough to book their spot at the Investec Women’s Knockout Finals Weekend at Highfields Sports Club.

Hereford and Oxford compete in the last game of the Investec Women’s Knockout Finals, the Women’s Masters Over 35’s Trophy which is also the second inaugural final of the day. Hereford won through to the final thanks to a penalty strokes victory over Driffield whilst Oxford had beaten Shield finalists Northampton Saints in the first round of the competition.

Information on getting to the venue and entrance prices can be found below:

Venue: Highfields Sports Club, University Boulevard, Beeston, Nottingham, NG7 2PS. Tel. 0115 925 6819.

Directions and maps can also be accessed by clicking here

Saturday

Tickets:

Adults - £6
Concessions - £3 (under 16 or over 65)
Parking:
No Charge

Sunday

Tickets:
No Charge
Parking:
£5 p/car.

England Hockey Board Media release



National Schools Championships for Boys


Kingston receive the trophy from England Hockey Vice President Chris Todd

The National Schools Championships for Boys takes place from 23-25 April at Cannock Hockey Club. The U14 finals takes place on 23 April and the U16 and U18 on 24-25 April.

In today's Under 14 final a last minute goal for Kingston Grammar School secured the title in a close fought game against Surrey rivals Whitgift School.  Kingston opened the scoring in the 6th minute with goal from Ben Park, Whitgift equalised 6 minutes late with a penalty corner scored by William Wong.  With the game looking like it was going to penalty strokes, Ben Park added a second with no chance for a Whitgift reply.

Kingston reached the final by winning Pool B with a 3-0 win over Bishop’s Stortford, a 2-1 win over Queen’s Taunton and a 3-2 win over Bromsgrove.  Whitgift dominated Pool B scoring 10 goals in their three matches against Dean Close (3-1), Repton (4-0), St Peter’s (3-0).

The 3rd / 4th playoff between Repton and Queens, Taunton, was won by Queen’s 4-0 with goals from Frederick King, Tristan Coore, Ben Stevenson and Captain Patrick Free

It is the turn of the U16 & U18 finals on Wednesday and Thursday

Results will also be tweeted @englandhockey, #boysschoolshockey 

England Hockey Board Media release



Navan HC first 'Hockey 4 All' club



Meath Local Sports Partnership in conjunction with the Irish Hockey Association is delighted to announce Navan Hockey Club (both ladies and men) as the first Hockey 4 All club in Ireland. Meath Local Sports Partnership has worked closely with the Irish Hockey Association Inclusion Group to develop the Hockey 4 All Programme. The central aim of the programme is to provide regular weekly training sessions for people with disabilities at a local level.

Navan Hockey Club is the first club to be involved in the new national pilot programme being rolled out by the Irish Hockey Association Inclusion Group. Aine Coogan, Sports Development Officer, Meath Local Sports Partnership, is leading the programme in County Meath and has recently trained 12 coaches in the area of Disability Awareness to be approved coaches for the Hockey 4 All programme.

Speaking at the launch for the Hockey 4 All programme Aine said "I am delighted that this programme has come to fruition as it will assist children with a disabilities to gain access to playing hockey in their local community. It is a priority of the Meath Local Sports Partnership to ensure sport and physical activities in County Meath are inclusive and available to all in society. I praise the Irish Hockey Association Inclusion Group and Navan Hockey Clubs for getting involved"

Sue Haslam, Regional Development Officer Leinster, Irish Hockey Association, is fully supportive of the programme. She stated "all at Irish Hockey are in support of this new and exciting Hockey 4 All programme that is being piloted in Meath. It has been fantastic to have the support of Aine Coogan at Meath Local Sports Partnership, as well as both the men's and women's hockey clubs in Navan. Through this pilot, we aim to produce a fun and inclusive programme that we can promote throughout the country to ensure that hockey can be enjoyed by people of all abilities".

The Hockey 4 All programme will commence in Aura LeisureLink, Navan on Saturday 11th May at 11.00am. The programme is open to all children with a disability aged between 8 to 16 years old.

Registration is essential. To register for the programme please contact Aine Coogan Sports Inclusion Disability Officer Meath Sports Partnership at (046)9067337.

Irish Hockey Association media release



Junior Clinic With Team Canada

Hawks 'DAY OUT' clinic gives juniors world class coaching with the Men's National Team

Connor Meakin



Top Canadian athletes spending a rare day off coaching over 100 aspiring young field hockey players. This past Saturday April 20, Men’s National Team (MNT) athletes did just that, holding a clinic with the Vancouver Hawks Juniors.

The Hawks ‘Day Out’ with Team Canada was a huge success as you can see from the video. Athletes of all ages were treated to world class coaching from Philip Wright, Scott Tupper, Mark Pearson, Richard Hildreth, David Jameson, David Carter, Antoni Kindler, John Smythe, and Brandon Barber.

The focus of these clinics is to keep things fun for the kids. Drills and skills are crucial to development, but kids get discouraged when things are not fun. Luckily, finding this balance is what our MNT guest coaches are best at, as they ended the session with a skills demo and shootout. There are a ton of great photos on the FHC Facebook Page.

Giving back

Volunteering in the community is really important to all our athletes at Field Hockey Canada. As the MNT prepares to host the 2013 Pan American Cup and the 2015 Pan American Games, there’s a huge opportunity to build a positive legacy in communities throughout Canada and internationally.

Our athletes are committed to giving back to the community that once helped them develop and learn to love the sport. Inspiring the next generation of field hockey stars is what truly drives our athletes.

Spearheading this clinic in particular is MNT forward Philip Wright. Phil honed his skills in the Hawks junior program, and thinks about his elders every time he plays for Canada:

“A lot of thoughts go through my mind every time I put on that jersey. I think about the team. I think about all the players that have represented Canada in the years past. There have always been hard times, but every group finds a way to succeed.”

How can you help?

Funding is always a challenge. This year in particular is tricky as the MNT is tasked with qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games on a tight budget.

Getting creative, the MNT  launched a BIG PUSH campaign. The goal is to inspire the next generation of players while harnessing the local community to support the MNT.

Where possible, we encourage you to support the MNT through a tax-receipted, charitable donation. Any support goes directly to getting Team Canada back in the Olympic Games.

Through events such as these, we invite you all along as key members of our extended team while we push forward towards Olympic qualification.

All donations are 100% tax-receipted online, and are effortless to complete. Please donate to the BIG PUSH campaign,, and we look forward to seeing you at the next 'DAY OUT' in June.

Field Hockey Canada media release



Five minutes with … Steve Locke

USAFH Executive Director talks about their efforts to Grow the Game



Steve Locke, Executive Director of USA Field Hockey (Photo: USA Field Hockey)

Steve Locke is the Executive Director of USA Field Hockey, joining the organisation in 2010. Under his leadership, USA Field Hockey has shown growth in a number of areas including membership, club development, youth development, umpire recruitment and sponsorship.

Locke has overseen the development of a sustainable youth program that exposed the sport to thousands of boys and girls in its first year in 2012. Most recently, Locke secured a Home of Hockey in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which will serve as the home base for USA Field Hockey events and home for the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2022.

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.

In an exclusive interview with FIH.CH, Steve Locke talks about the USAFH’s Grow the Game campaign, the priorities of the next 12 months and how his organisation managed to get hockey played on the front lawn of one of the most famous buildings in the world - The White House.

FIH.CH: Hi Steve, many thanks for talking to us. How is everything going at USA Field Hockey?

Steve Locke:
“Thank you chatting with us. So far, 2013 has been astounding. Some highlights have been naming Craig Parnham head coach of the U.S. Women’s National Team, launching two programs, ‘You Go Girl’ and ‘Play It Forward’, in conjunction with our ‘Grow the Game’ campaign and announcing a partnership that will make Nook Sports the home of hockey and base of the U.S. Women’s National Team through 2022.

“Nook Sports will soon become one of the largest sport complexes in the world. It will not only provide USA Field Hockey with a platform to best prepare our National Teams for success on the international stage but it will also serve as center of excellence for developing the sport and athletes of all ages.

“’You Go Girl’ will introduce field hockey to young women and girls, ages 10-18, in non-traditional or at-risk communities with the help of NCAA student-athletes through a mentorship program, while ‘Play It Forward’, sponsored by STX, will help recycle gently used field hockey equipment to donate to boys and girls and programs in need.

“We have certainly been busy but are excited about our latest developments and the future of hockey in the USA!”

FIH.CH: That all sounds fantastic. We recently covered your launch of the ambitious Grow the Game campaign. Can you tell our readers a bit more about this project and what it aims to achieve in the long term?

SL:
“We are very excited to have recently announced our latest development initiative, Grow the Game, which is an all-encompassing campaign to further develop field hockey in the United States. We remain committed to exposing the sport, inspiring participation and providing opportunities for young boys and girls, coaches, umpires and adults to learn, develop and play the great game of field hockey.

“In 2012, USA Field Hockey launched FUNdamental Field Hockey, which is a youth development initiative designed to expose the sport to thousands of children nationwide by providing free equipment and emphasizing fun, physical activity. In our first year, we launched 250 programs across the United States and introduce the sport to nearly 20,000 boys and girls.

“With the success of FUNdamental Field Hockey, we are eager to expand on this program and provide additional opportunities for youth, boys, coach, umpire and adult development that will continue to ‘Grow the Game’ in the United States and foster the growth of the sport in new and non-traditional areas. In 2013 and beyond, we will give away thousands of sticks, offer free clinics and educational online tools and increase participation in field hockey events across the United States.”

FIH.CH: We realise that it is still early days in the campaign, but has there been an enthusiastic response to the project?

SL:
“We have seen an extremely enthusiastic response in our development initiatives which kicked off with 20,000 boys and girls trying field hockey for the first time in 2012 and we are extremely excited to continue to get first-timers to try the sport and provide opportunities for many to grow and develop a passion for the game. 

“We recognize that members, communities and clubs help us ‘Grow the Game’ on a daily basis so to thank them and kick off the campaign with a bang, we decided to give away a $1,000 shopping spree with a USA Field Hockey Grow the Game sponsor to the best video submission on how hockey enthusiasts in the U.S. are growing the game. We look forward to sharing our favourite videos with the hockey world!”

FIH.CH: We also noticed that you recently managed to get some hockey played on the front lawn of The White House! How on earth did you manage that?!

SL
: “Last year USA Field Hockey and the FUNdamental Field Hockey program partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative – a comprehensive initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity so that children can grow up healthier and pursue their dreams.

“We were extremely excited to be invited to the White House lawn to celebrate the 135th annual White House Easter Egg Roll alongside 30,000 children! On the South Lawn of the White House, professional, Olympic, and Paralympic athletes from numerous sports encouraged children to eat healthy and stay active. Members of the U.S. National Team helped children select a stick, adjust their grip and guide them through a course that ended with a shot on a miniature goal. 

“Lets Move! is a profoundly important initiative that USA Field Hockey wholeheartedly supports. We remain committed to helping thousands of kids across the U.S. get active and pick up a stick.”

FIH.CH: Finally, What would you say are the top priorities for USAFH over the next 12 months?

SL:
“We plan to invest considerable efforts and resources in using The Nook, our new home of hockey, as a base for further development of the sport; We are looking into developing a semi-professional league for post-collegiate women; We will continue to expand and improve coaching and athlete curricula in the various programs we maintain; We recently developed an event sanctioning program that will expand the number of privately conducted events in the U.S.; We will continue to improve our national ranking processes and work with our high performance teams to work toward improved FIH rankings with continued competitions against the top teams in the world; We will try to properly underwrite more international events in the United States; and generate more and more recreational opportunities for boys and girls and women and men of all ages. Further, this July we will launch a new Safe Sport initiative designed to provide safe environments for athletes through the prevention of bullying and abuse."

For more information about USA Field Hockey, please visit http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Field-Hockey.aspx

FIH site