News for 09 May 2013

All the news for Thursday 9 May 2013


Saint-Germain Hockey World League Round 2 (men) in numbers

Yan Huckendubler



World League Round 2 - Saint-Germain, France (Photo: © Yan Huckendubler)

Who is the youngest player and who has the most International Caps at the Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 in Saint-Germain?

The average age of the 107 players participating in the Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 in Saint-Germain is 24.7 years old. The youngest team is Belgium (22.7), more than one and a half years younger on average than Poland and Canada (24.4), while the oldest team is France (26).

Portuguese goal-keeper Pedro Santos is the oldest player at 34, just a month older than Sebastien Jean-Jean (France). At the other end of the age spectrum, Portuguese Miguel Rodrigues is the youngest player at 17.

There are 9 teenagers in the competition (3 for Belgium, 1 for Canada, 2 for Poland and 3 for Portugal).

The average number of International Caps is 56.8. The team with the least international experience is Portugal (with an average of 27.6 international Caps), while the most experienced team is Belgium (with an average of 75.3 International Caps).

Interestingly, Belgium is both the youngest and most experienced team in the competition.

The most capped player in the competition is Belgium John-John Dohmen, with 222 international appearances. He is the only player with more than 200 Caps, but there are 7 players with more than 150 Caps (Jerome Dekeyser and Thomas Briels for Belgium, David Jameson and Scott Tupper for Canada, Matthieu Durchon for France, Dariusz Rachwalski and Tomasz Marcinkowski for Poland).

At the other end of the experience spectrum, 9 players are making their international debuts in this competition (Tanguy Cosyns and Emmanuel Stockbroekx for Belgium, Matthew Sarmento for Canada, Michal Kasprzyk for Poland, Hugo Ferreira, Paulo Mendes, Miguel Rodrigues and William Rogerson for Portugal, Nicholas Parkes for Scotland).

FIH site



India beat Netherlands 4-2 in Rotterdam

NEW DELHI: India notched up their second consecutive win over the Netherlands with a 4-2 victory over the home side in Rotterdam on Wednesday.

India opened their account with a field goal scored by Chinglensana in the 10th minute. Manpreet Singh netted another goal in the 20th minute.

In the second half, India scored two goals through SV Sunil (52nd) and Nithin Thimmaiah (66th).

India had beaten the Netherlands 2-0 in the first match of the tour on Tuesday.

The tour was part of the preparations of the Senior Men team for FIH Men's Hockey World League Round-3 (Semi-final) to be played at Rotterdam from June 13-23.

The Times of India



Mumbai holds Karnataka

Ashwin Achal


Two last-gasp goals helped Mumbai snatch a draw against Karnataka on the opening day of the 64th Senior National hockey championship for the Rangaswamy Cup here at the KSHA Stadium on Wednesday.

Down 0-2 at half-time, a disjointed Mumbai side appeared down and out. Against the run of play, in the 55th minute, winger Joshua Vessoakar drove the ball into the penalty area.

Ravi Pareek, who was left unmarked at the edge of the ‘D’, went down on one knee and extended his stick in search of a deflection. The ball found the sweet-spot, and thundered into the goal. Vicko Singh, the captain, scored the equaliser, and wild celebrations ensued.

Earlier, Karnataka’s captain Deepak Bejiwad displayed brutal efficiency to convert two penalty corners. The first goal was scored in the 26th minute, with Bejiwad beating the advancing defenders and goalkeeper by slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Six minutes later, Bejiwad found the top corner of the goal with ease to put his team two goals ahead.

The results:

Karnataka 2 (Deepak Bejiwad 2) drew with Mumbai 2 (Ravi Pareek, Victo Singh).

The Hindu



Victo ensures draw for Mumbai in National Hockey Championship

Sunil Subbaiah


BANGALORE: Skipper Victo Singh slotted home a stunning equalizer as Mumbai came back from two goals down to hold hosts Karnataka 2-2 on the opening day of the National Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup on Wednesday.

Karnataka were left to rue a several missed chances while Mumbai capitalized on a sloppy defence in the final stages to walk away with one point.

The victory was very much in favour of Karnataka as the hosts rode on skipper Deepak Bijawad's drag-flicks in the 26th and 32nd minutes to go into the breather with a 2-0 lead.

In the second half, Ravi Pareek put the visitors back in the hunt in the 55th minute, deflecting home Joshua Vessoakar's long-ranger which came from the half-line.

With three minutes to the close, Laxman Rao - a local veteran in the opponents' ranks - sent in a fine cross for Victo to sweep the ball home.

Result:

Karnataka: (Deepak Bijawad 26, 32) drew with Mumbai: 2 (Ravi Pareek 55, Victo Singh 67).

Thursday's schedule: 2.30pm: Mumbai vs Punjab; 4.30pm: Karnataka vs Uttar Pradesh.

The Times of India



De Nooijer farewell match confirmed by KNHB


Teun de Nooijer Credit: International Hockey Federation / Frank Uijlenbroek

At 14.30 (CET) on Sunday 23rd June, the men's finals day of the men's World League Semi Final in Rotterdam, a very special game will take place in honour of one of hockey’s greatest ever talents: HC Bloemendaal's Teun de Nooijer.

The KNHB (Royal Dutch Hockey Federation) has confirmed that the former Netherlands international – who recently announced his decision to retire from all forms of the game at the end of the Dutch and European club season – will play in a testimonial farewell match. He will represent a World XI against a side consisting of international players who played between 1994 and 2012, the period in which De Nooijer represented The Netherlands.

During that 18 year timespan, De Nooijer won two Olympic Gold medals (1996 / 2000), a World Championship (1998) a European championship (2007), six Champions Trophy Gold medals and three FIH Player of the Year Awards. He also earned a world record 453 international caps and scored 219 international goals, ensuring that he will go down in history as one of the all-time greats of the game. 

The final compositions of the two teams that will face each other in Rotterdam will be confirmed in the weeks leading up to the event.

The KNHB (Royal Dutch Hockey Federation) has also confirmed that they will be paying tribute to a number of former internationals prior to matches at the World League.

On Saturday 15th June, former internationals Matthijs Brouwer, Floris Evers, Timme Hoyng, Eby Kessing, Klaas Veering and Roderick Weusthof will be given credit prior to the Netherlands men’s match that will take place at 16.30 (CET).

On Sunday 16th June, a number of retired stars of the women’s game including Marilyn Agliotti, Wieke Dijkstra, Floortje Engels, Maartje Goderie and Marieke Veenhoven will be honoured ahead of The Netherlands women’s match against Chile (16.30 CET).

Teun de Nooijer’s international record of achievement
Olympics: Gold (1996, 2000), Silver (2004, 2012)
World Championships: Gold (1998), bronze (2002, 2010)
Champions Trophy: Gold (1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006)
European Championships: Gold (2007)
FIH Player of the Year (2003, 2005, 2006)

Teun de Nooijer's HC Bloemendaal play Amsterdam H&BC 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 Rot-Weiss Köln (GER) or KHC Dragons (BEL) in the tournament Final 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.

Source material: KNHB Media Release

Euro Hockey League media release



KLHC on their toes

By FADHLI ISHAK


LEAGUE champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are hoping to take the sting out of Sapura's potent counter-attacks and penalty corner set pieces in their TNB Cup quarter-final first leg match tomorrow in a bid to move a step closer to clinching a fourth consecutive League and Cup double this year.

Despite emerging unbeaten en route to bagging the league title with two games to spare this season, KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj said Sapura are a team that must be respected and his charges must tread with caution against them at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

"Sapura are a dangerous side and are definitely a team who have the capability to beat us," said Dharmaraj.

"They (Sapura) play a system that suits them very well and are highly disciplined in counter-attacks. They also have a brilliant flicker in Khasif Ali (Pakistan) which makes them very dangerous in set pieces.

"We have been working hard to keep ourselves sharp (in training) for the past 10 days since the league ended and will do our best to get the most out of this match."

Dharmaraj, who also coaches the national juniors, added that the team are unfazed despite carrying the tag of overwhelming favourites but stressed that there is no room for complacency.

"I guess when you win the league you will automatically assume the mantle of favourites (for TNB Cup) but we have gone through that before in previous tournaments," added Dharmaraj.

"I have won the league title many times but have also gone on to lose the Cup, which goes to show it is not easy to win both.

"At KLHC we tell each player to take every game seriously regardless whether it is a group game or a final. We cannot afford to take anything for granted. It really needs to be a team effort for us to be successful."

Meanwhile, Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai said he is hoping his players will rise to the occasion tomorrow, especially after his charges came close to beating KLHC in their two league encounters this season.

KLHC had beaten Sapura 3-2 in both the first and second round of the league this year.

"KLHC are a very consistent team who also have strength on the bench," said Beng Hai. "We came close in our last two games, but in general we have failed to kill of our opponents well in matches despite taking an early advantage.

"We cannot afford to play an open game against KLHC in this match. We also need to take our chances well if we are to have any chance of winning it."

The other semi-final will see league runners-up Maybank face Tenaga Nasional, who beat Terengganu 8-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, also tomorrow.

TOMORROW -- TNB Cup s-final 1st leg: Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (National Stadium II, 6pm); Sapura v KLHC (National Stadium II, 8pm).

Presidents Cup s-finals 1st leg: TNB Thunderbolts v MBI (National stadium I, 6pm); UiTM v Sunday2030 (National Stadium I, 8pm)

New Straits Times



Tenaga’s fiery forward can’t afford another green card

By AFTAR SINGH



Living dangerously: Tenaga Nasional’s Mohd Firhan Ashaari (right) is on the verge of suspension as he has collected six demerit points

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari is walking a tightrope in the first leg of the TNB Cup semi-finals against Maybank at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow.

The Terengganu-born player is on the verge of suspension as he has collected six demerit points – one yellow and one green card – in the quarter-finals first-leg match against Terengganu last week.

If Firhan gets another green card tomorrow, he will miss the return leg on Sunday. A player is suspended for one match if he accumulates eight demerit points.

The 20-year-old Firhan, who has been called up for national team training for the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru in June, said that he must learn to keep his temper in check, especially against Maybank tomorrow.

“I received a green card and then a yellow card for clashing with Terengganu defender Azlan (Misron) in the quarter-final first-leg match.

“Now, I cannot afford to make a mistake on Friday or I will miss the crucial second-leg match,” said Firhan, who is playing in his third season for Tenaga in the Malaysia Hockey League.

“My team need my services as I am one of the main forwards. However, I am not too pleased with my performance in the MHL.

“I have played in 14 matches but only managed to score six goals. It is not good for my standard as a national player.

“When I started the season, my mission was to score in every match. But I’ve failed to live up to my goal,” said Firhan, who will feature in the Junior World Cup in Chandigarh, India, in December.

Firhan added that Maybank would be a tough side to beat.

“They have four Pakistan imports – Shakeel Abassi, Muhammad Waqas, Muhammad Imran and Shafqat Rasool.

“They are a strong side.”

In the league, Tenaga outplayed Maybank 5-1 in the first match. But in the second match, the Tigers emerged 4-3 winners.

“It will be touch and go. I believe the return leg will be crucial to decide which team reach the final,” said Firhan.

Besides Firhan, Tenaga defender Mohd Madzli Ikmar Mohd Nor is also on the verge of suspension as he has collected four demerit points.

The Star of Malaysia



Sapura play mind games with defending champs


KUALA LUMPUR: Sapura are playing mind games with defending champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the semi-finals of the TNB Cup.

Tomorrow is the first leg with the return leg on Sunday.

Sapura coach Tai Beng Hai said they would start as underdogs against KLHC, who strolled to the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) title with an unbeaten record.

“We played KLHC twice in the league and on both occasions we lost 3-2 despite taking the lead in both matches.

“I believe they stand a better chance of reaching the final as they’ve been playing consistently well. We only have a 40% chance of winning the match,” said the former national coach.

KLHC have qualified for the TNB Cup final for the last five years and emerged champions in 2008, 2010, 2011 and last year.

Beng Hai said his players cannot play an open game like they did in the league.

“In both matches, we took the lead but we just could not maintain the pace because KLHC were just too good.

“They have world class players like midfielder Waseem Ahmed of Pakistan and defender Razie (Abdul Rahim). We also cannot afford to make mistakes as they have dangerous forwards,” said Beng Hai.

Sapura, who finished third in the league, were the overall champions in 2005 and 2006. They finished joint third with Maybank last season.

KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj, however, is not taking Sapura for granted.

“They are the most unpredictable team in the league. They came close to beating us twice in the league,” said Dharmaraj.

“They are dangerous in their counter attacks. They are a well disciplined team and are capable of beating us.

“We also have to watch out for their Pakistani player Khasif Ali as he has been scoring regularly from penalty corners,” said Dharmaraj, who has been coaching KLHC since 2001.

The Star of Malaysia



Smith announces Electric Ireland Women's Training Camp Squad

Electric Ireland Irish Women's Coach Darren Smith has named a 43 player squad for a 2-day training camp in Dublin on 25th and 26th May 2013 in preparation for the European Championships in Boom, Belgium from 17th to 25th August 2013.

Smith has selected the group having taken in every round of the Electric Ireland Irish Hockey League recently culminating in the Finals last weekend at Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club. Smith's selection includes some new faces in the squad with uncapped players Vanessa Surgeoner, Chloe Brown, Kate Lloyd, Emily Beatty, Erika Hinkson, Yvonne O'Byrne, Aisling Campion & Kate Dillon joining the Green Army on this occasion. The Irish coach will also have to do without the services of Emma Clarke who is unavailable due to her upcoming marriage.

After the training weekend Smith will reduce the squad further to select a squad to train toward the European Championships and in to the latter part of 2013.

Speaking to hockey.ie Darren Smith said "The camp will be an opportunity to get together a group of players who have performed well over 2012/2013 and see where they are at. The focus will be on selecting a squad for the European Championships and ultimately the Rio Olympics in 3 years' time."

Smith continued "We have looked at players who are not only performing now but also have the potential to be Irish international players in the future.  We are very keen to continue monitoring players over the coming years to ensure we have the best playing for Ireland."

Electric Ireland Senior Irish Women's Squad

1. Grace O'Flanagan (Railway Union)
2. Emma Gray (Hermes)
3. Sammy-Jo Greer (Ballymoney)
4. Pamela Smithwick  (Old Alex)
5. Kate Dillon (Railway Union)
6. Aisling Campion (Loreto)
7. Niamh Atcheler (University College Dublin)
8. Brenda Flannery (University College Dublin)
9. Nicola Gray (University College Dublin)
10. Sarah Greene (University College Dublin)
11. Sinead McCarthy (Hermes)
12. Audrey O'Flynn  (Hermes)
13. Yvonne O'Byrne  (Cork Harlequins)
14. Cliodhna Sargent (Cork Harlequins)
15. Lizzie Colvin (Loreto)
16. Leah Ewart (University College Dublin)
17. Michelle Harvey  (Pegasus)
18. Stephanie Quinn (Pegasus)
19. Kate McConnell (Pegasus)
20. Erika Hinkson (Old Alex)
21. Shirley McCay  (Old Alex)
22. Emma Smyth (Railway Union)
23. Nicci Daly (Loreto)
24. Ali Meeke ( Loreto)
25. Nikki Symmons (Loreto)
26. Megan Frazer (Ballymoney)
27. Gillian Pinder (Hermes)
28. Alex Speers (Railway Union)
29. Emily Beatty (University College Dublin)
30. Chloe Watkins (University College Dublin)
31. Lisa Jacob (Hermes)
32. Zara Delany (Railway Union)
33. Kate Lloyd (Railway Union)
34. Niamh Small (Loreto)
35. Deirdre Duke (University College Dublin)
36. Nikki Evans (University College Dublin)
37. Katie Mullan (University College Dublin)
38. Anna O'Flanagan (University College Dublin)
39. Chloe Brown (Ards)
40. Vanessa Surgeoner (Pegasus)
41. Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute)
42. Miriam Crowley (University College Cork)
43. Aine Connery (Corinthian)

Irish Hockey Association media release



McKinnon Named Senior Men's Assistant Coach

Mick McKinnon has been named as Men's Assistant Coach to the Ireland Senior Hockey Team. McKinnon joined up with Andrew Meredith's Coaching Staff today in Dublin to meet the International Players at a training camp in UCD and takes up his role with immediate effect.

McKinnon comes to the role with a wealth of experience in domestic & international hockey having only this weekend coached Railway Union Ladies to a consecutive Irish Hockey League title as well as the Irish Senior Cup glory earlier this year while also holding a specialist coaching role with Pembroke Wanderers in the Irish Hockey League.

Mick is no stranger to Irish Hockey having also previously worked with the IHA in his role as Ireland U18 Girls Team from 2001 - 2007, working with the Association as a Coach Educator for numerous years as well as winning the prestigious IHA Coach of the Year Award in 2010.

Irish Hockey Association media release



Sothern Becomes Diabetes Ireland Ambassador



Diabetes Ireland has announced that three leading sports stars have become TEAM Diabetes Ireland Ambassadors.

Dublin Senior footballer and Man of the Match in their All Ireland Final triumph Kevin Nolan is one of the approx. 190,000 people in Ireland with Diabetes as is international Irish Hockey Star Alan Sothern and professional cyclist Stephen Clancy. These elite athletes are joining forces with the national charity for this condition as ambassadors of their TEAM programme.

Kevin Nolan said, "I was delighted when I got approached by Diabetes Ireland to come on board as an ambassador as any inspiration I can bring to kids in Ireland with Diabetes or information I can pass on to kids and adults alike is fantastic. Just meeting with Alan has been great as we have started to chat about how we each manage our condition in terms of the strains of elite training schedules and we will be looking to bring any tips we can to the wider Diabetes Community, especially the TEAM members, a concept which I think is great".

A dedicated mini sports camp for kids with Diabetes in Ireland is one of the plans which will be implemented as part of the ambassador programme with additional ambassadors across other sporting fields to be added shortly also. Appearances at events where a TEAM Diabetes Ireland is participating are also planned as are social media Q&A and blogs.

Stephen Clancy rides internationally as part of Team NovoNordisk, the professional cycling team where all cyclists have Type 1 Diabetes. Currently in the USA competing he said, "I am delighted to link up with Diabetes Ireland and hopefully showcase to kids with Type 1 that the condition is not an automatic barrier to achieving great things in sport. Unfortunately I wasn't able to be in Dublin with the two lads for the announcement but look forward to meeting them once I am home".  

International hockey player Alan Sothern explained, "I am delighted to begin working with Diabetes Ireland on the many activities we have planned. The ability to inspire or motivate kids & adults with the condition is a huge personal pride of mine, as am sure it is of Kevin's and Stephen's so to join with the organization at the beginning of what is a new stage of development for them is fantastic. I am looking forward to being able to bring my unique knowledge and management of my Diabetes intertwined with my fitness instruction to members of TEAM Diabetes Ireland going forward".      

Both Kevin and Alan are South Dublin natives while Stephen hails from Limerick.

Diabetes Ireland Brand Partnerships & Events manager Gary Brady outlined this new TEAM Diabetes Ireland programme, "This new TEAM Diabetes Ireland programme was launched in January of this year in order to create a stronger identity alongside a sense of togetherness and a shared objective for those with the condition who participate in sporting events as well as those who fundraise for the charity due to a connection to the condition. We are building TEAM's which are taking part in primarily individual sports such as road races, marathons, triathlons, mud runs etc as well as adventure activities. To date the response has been fantastic which we are delighted with."

Recently Diabetes Ireland announced Ireland's leading fashion blogger Lorna Claire Weightman as an ambassador to help grow the charity's consideration among females as well as reward female members through a shared passion of fashion with a further announcement of a partnership with one of the leading sports associations due in the coming week.

Everyone at Irish Hockey would like to wish Alan all the best with his work as ambassador for TEAM Diabetes Ireland.

Irish Hockey Association media release



HNZ sign new agreement with Players Association



Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey Players Association have signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which sets out the terms and conditions governing player contracts and the high performance environment.

The MOU is effective through until July 2015 and builds on the initial MOU between the parties which was signed in September 2011. One development of the MOU is that both organisations have agreed to further develop services that assist players in their careers outside of hockey. 

Other features of the MOU include defining and detailing the relocation and centralisation process leading into major world events

“We want to create the optimal high performance environment for our national players so that they can succeed, and part of this is encouraging players to develop their own careers,” says Hockey New Zealand chief executive Hilary Poole.

“While hockey remains a largely amateur sport but in the early stages of professionalism, the demands on elite hockey athletes continue to grow as we work hard to remain internationally competitive – this is particularly evident as our world rankings continue to improve,” says Poole.

Thirty-three national squad players currently study and receive Prime Ministers Scholarships that cover their tertiary fees and a number of the players also work full time.

“As a sport, especially at an international level, we are working to lock in a four year calendar which will go a long way to help athletes effectively manage their time between study, work and hockey,” says Poole.

The calendar includes Hockey New Zealand ensuring there is a clear window during the men’s Hockey India League, which would allow players to compete and earn money without risk of it conflicting with national commitments.

Hockey Players Association executive manager Phil Gaze said he has been very happy with the negotiation process and is looking forward to further developing the relationship with Hockey New Zealand over the term of the MOU and beyond.

“Signing this agreement is another significant step forward for the sport. It helps provide clarity for the players on what their obligations are, and also what the expectations are of them and Hockey New Zealand,” says Gaze. 

“We are confident that this MOU will form the basis for an even stronger relationship between the players and Hockey New Zealand and will enable the parties to develop the best possible high performance environment,” says Gaze.

Black Sticks co-captain Kayla Sharland is on the HPA Board and can see the value an agreement like this offers players.

“I think this agreement is really important as it makes it clear exactly what is required and is a professional approach. Especially for young players coming into the side, it helps them to better understand the processes in the team, where to go for support, and what to expect,” says Sharland.

Men's captain Dean Couzins is also on the HPA Board and says it is a positive step forward.

“What it does do is provide more clarity around the potential different scenarios, for example relocation, and the support that is available to players. Nothing in the agreement is hugely different from what we have been doing already, it is just developing it a bit further,” says Couzins.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Hockey NZ and players come to agreement

Lengthy negotiations between Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey Players Association have ended with a Memorandum of Understanding agreed.

The agreement confirms the terms and conditions governing player contracts and the high performance environment through to 2015.

One change is that both organisations have agreed to further develop services aimed at assisting players in their careers outside of hockey. 

Others include defining and detailing the relocation and centralisation process leading into major world events.

"We want to create the optimal high performance environment for our national players so that they can succeed, and part of this is encouraging players to develop their own careers," said Hilary Poole, Hockey New Zealand chief executive.

"While hockey remains a largely amateur sport but in the early stages of professionalism, the demands on elite hockey athletes continue to grow as we work hard to remain internationally competitive - this is particularly evident as our world rankings continue to improve."

Thirty-three national squad players currently study, and receive Prime Ministers scholarships which cover tertiary fees, and a number of the players also work full time.

"As a sport, especially at an international level, we are working to lock in a four-year calendar which will go a long way to help athletes effectively manage their time between study, work and hockey," Poole said.

The calendar includes Hockey NZ ensuring there is a clear window during the lucrative men's Indian league, which would allow players to compete and earn money without risk of it conflicting with national commitments.

Hockey Players Association executive manager Phil Gaze said he has been very happy with the negotiation process and is looking forward to further developing the relationship with Hockey NZ.

"Signing this agreement is another significant step forward for the sport. It helps provide clarity for the players on what their obligations are, and also what the expectations are of them and Hockey New Zealand," Gaze said.

"We are confident that this MOU will form the basis for an even stronger relationship between the players and Hockey New Zealand and will enable the parties to develop the best possible high performance environment."

Stuff



UNC Field Hockey's Loren Shealy a finalist for Sports Illustrated honor


Shealy is one of 10 nominess for SI's College Athlete of the Year award

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Loren Shealy, a rising junior on the North Carolina field hockey team, is one of five female finalists for the 2013 Sports Illustrated College Athlete of the Year Award. Five male and five female finalists were announced Wednesday, and the winners will be featured an upcoming issue of SI, which hits newsstands on May 22. Winners also will be featured on SI.com.

The award celebrates one female and one male collegiate student-athlete who have demonstrated excellent performance on the field and in the classroom, sportsmanship and commitment to community.

Shealy, a forward from Charlotte, N.C., is a two-year letterwinner for the Tar Heels and has helped Carolina to two Atlantic Coast Conference titles and two NCAA runner-up finishes. In 2012, she ranked second on the team with 16 goals, was third in points, and earned All-ACC Tournament honors after scoring two goals in the league championship game.  She is the first UNC student-athlete to be part of the prestigious Robertson Scholars program, in which she takes classes at both Carolina and Duke. A business administration major, she has earned Dean’s List and ACC Academic Honor roll recognition each year at UNC. In 2012, she was named to the All-ACC Academic Team and was honored as a Scholar of Distinction by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, recognizing players with GPAs of 3.9 or better during the fall semester.

For more on the College Athlete of the Year Award and the other finalists, go to SI.com.

USFHA media release



Anne Konrath recognised for long service

23 years and counting for dedicated member of High Performance Unit


Great teams are built on an unwavering commitment by individuals to the collective. In Anne Konrath, Hockey Australia is delighted to celebrate one such individual. 

Anne was recently recognised for her long standing dedication to hockey, to Hockey Australia and to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). As Program Manager AIS Hockey, she is a key member of hockey’s backroom team and was one of a number of individuals across a range of sports whose outstanding service was celebrated by the AIS last week in Canberra.

Anne has worked with the hockey programs for the past 23 years and has played a fundamental role in the success of our national teams over the years.

“I officially joined in 1990”, says the ever-cheerful Anne, who had worked for the AIS part time in 1989. “When I started there were just four staff members; the two AIS head coaches, a program manager and an administrator. I initially came in as someone to support the two head coaches, Richard Aggiss, Brian Glencross and newly appointed Men’s National Coach Frank Murray.”

As you would expect, Anne has seen it all. She joined less than two years after the Hockeyroos won their first Olympic gold medal, in Seoul in 1988, and was part of the organisation when the Kookaburras won silver at Barcelona 1992. She experienced the highs as the Hockeyroos took gold at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games and she worked closely with the men’s program when the Kookaburras won their first Olympic gold medal at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004.

Recalling those experiences, Anne explains: “You’re so involved you really feel the emotional highs and lows. The girls winning gold in Atlanta and Sydney when I was working with Ric [Charlesworth] was a real highlight. And I worked closely with Barry Dancer around the time the men won in Athens. It’s hard to describe really. You take a day to celebrate but from the day after success, or defeat, you know it’s back to business as usual, you’re planning the next trip.”

Tricia Heberle, Hockey Australia High Performance Director, says, “Anne epitomises the Hockey Australia values of integrity, excellence and community.  She is a valued staff member and over the last 23 years has been an integral part of the AIS Hockey and HA High Performance programs.  Nothing is ever too much for ‘Annie’.  She is generous in her time and willingness to do more than what is required of her and is always on hand to help out athletes, coaches, staff and visitors.  Anne has experienced and been a major contributor to the emergence of the AIS Hockey Unit as a World Best training program.  Olympic campaigns, athletes and head coaches have come and gone, the game of hockey has changed, but she remains a constant source of strength and inspiration to us all.”

Anne says the biggest change over the years has been the sheer growth of the hockey program. “I used to just look after athletes on scholarships but then the national program was brought over to Perth from Melbourne. Now it’s fully integrated and we work as one unit.”

That growth has seen the programs expand to 24 staff and 60 athletes but Anne is still as dedicated as ever to those she calls ‘her’ athletes. “It’s a pleasure to see my ex athletes now on the pitch coaching. It’s a great joy to me that we’ve been able to keep these people in the system and that there’s a recognisable career path for them.”

And the secret of her success?

“I’m good at reinventing myself,” says Anne. “When you have a passion for something you try to keep it all together. I like being the glue.

“I see myself as a mentor now. I’m the calm one in the storm. I’m very, very lucky to say that I have built very many friendships here. I wouldn’t like to name anyone specifically but suffice to say they’ll know who they are. Most of those who have been through these doors still keep in touch and I join them at their gold medal reunion dinners.”

But despite more than two decades spent helping athletes and coaches, Anne has a confession about her own hockey career.

“I’ve never played hockey in my life!” she admits with a laugh. “I don’t even know how to hold the stick properly.”

Paying tribute to Anne’s outstanding contribution Mike McGovern, AIS Deputy Director Performance Excellence, says: “This week a great servant of Australian Hockey and the Australian Institute of Sport was honoured with a 20 year AIS Service Recognition Award. The award serves as an avenue to recognise employees who have dedicated much of their career to the AIS.  Anne has worked in the management and administration area of the AIS and National hockey programs in Perth for over 20 years beginning her journey in 1990.  Anne is well known as the ‘rock’ of the program and always delivers high quality work to support the hockey athletes and coaches.  A wonderful contributor to not just hockey but the AIS administrative team in general.

“According to those that know her, Anne’s contribution can be summarised in the words ‘adaptability’, ‘sincerity’ and ‘flexibility’.

“She has adapted and progressed the development of the AIS Hockey program and the AIS in general over her period of service during changes of AIS Directors, Head Coaches, staff, National direction and a variety of other challenges.

“She has a sincere and genuine care for and interest in athletes that graduate from the AIS, maintaining relationships and showing pride in what they go on to achieve as elite athletes, coaches, parents and valued members of the community.

“Anne has shown how flexible she can be, not just as an administrator and manager, but by turning her hand to just about anything; team manager of the Hockeyroos at home and on overseas tours, house parent to young transitioning athletes, head chef and caterer and a myriad of other tasks not on the job description.

“Through all these years and all these challenges Anne has gone about her business with grace and humility and for this Hockey Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport salute her!”

Thank you Anne for your incredible service to all the Hockey Australia coaches, athletes and colleagues you have invaluably supported over the years and for all those to come.

Hockey Australia media release