News for 26 June 2013

All the news for Wednesday 26 June 2013

Argentina tops Group A at World League in London

Clear 4-0 win against Italy lifts Las Leonas to first place

Argentina had no problem with Italy, winning 4-0 (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Group A

United States – China 1-2 (1-1 half time)

China earned its second victory at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final, edging the United States, 2-1. The win puts China in a good position for Thursday’s quarterfinal game, as they could finish atop the standings of Group A. The loss leaves USA out in the cold in fourth place in the group and with the prospect of meeting the top team out of Group B.

Jackine Kinzer had an amazing game in net for the Americans but she got little help up front as the her teammates could not convert the chances they had. Things look ok early on for the U.S. after Paige Salenski scored the 1-0 goal just 11 minutes into action, getting her stick on the ball at point-blank range.

But three minutes later the American lead was erased when Hongxia Li scored her fourth goal of the tournament on a penalty corner deflection. After the goal, the teams settled into a rhythm, but China was clearly pressing more and giving Kinzer a lot of work in net.

The game-winner came with nine minutes left in the game when Mengyu Wang struck on China’s second short corner goal of the game.

The win was crucial for China in its bid to get an attractive quarterfinal opponent, a top-two finish in Group A would go a long way in ensuring a better match-up for Thursday.

FIH site

Australia takes Group B bragging rights

English draw against Spain to take second in the pool

Australia stormed into first place in Group B (Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Quarterfinal Games:

Argentina vs. South Africa – 12:30
Australia vs. United States – 15:00
China vs. Spain – 17:30
England vs. Italy -20:00

Group B

England – Spain 1-1 (0-0 halftime)

England took second place in Group B after a 1-1 draw against Spain. The result means that the host nation will face Italy in Thursday’s crucial quarterfinal. The loss sends Spain into third place in the group. They now have a meeting against China in the quarterfinal meeting.

The group was tightly knit, so it seemed only fitting that the last game and the grand finale was a back-and-forth duel with little going on in the way of offense. England had its chances, especially in the first half with several penalty corner chances, but Spain’s defense hung tough and kept things scoreless, frustrating both the pro-England crowd and the 11 players on the field who had hoped to battle for first place in the group.

At last the crowd and the team were rewarded in the 54th minute when Sophie Bray scored on a penalty corner chance to give England the much-awaited lead. Spain was given a penalty stroke chance four minutes later and jumped on the chance to equalize the game. Lola Riera Zuzarregui easily converted the opportunity to put the teams in another deadlock.

The draw gave Australia sole possession of first place in Group B. It also saved the Spanish from a last-place finish in the group, which kept them away from the unenviable task of meeting World #2 Argentina in the quarterfinals. Instead that honor will go to South Africa.

The entire tournament is idle tomorrow to give the teams a chance to prepare for the critical quarterfinal games. Only the winners from the quarterfinals will remain in contention for an automatic berth to the 2014 World Cup – the losers of those games will have to rely on a strong showing in the continental championships.

South Africa – Australia 0-1 (0-0 halftime)

Australia edged South Africa, 1-0, today to climb to the top of the Group B standings in the crucial last game of preliminary round action. Australia now sits with seven points and is guaranteed at least a top-two finish in the group, depending on the outcome of the England vs. Spain game later. The Australians will meet either Italy or the United States in Thursday’s quarterfinal.

The game was a low-scoring defensive affair with solid scoring chances few and far between.

Anna Flanagan, who was presented with the FIH Young Player of the Year trophy at the start of the match, lived up to her top billing when she ended a 43-minute stalemate, firing in the 1-0 goal on a short corner flick that went into the upper left corner.

It would be the only offense in the even, but tepid, game as South Africa wasn’t far off the mark, but was ultimately unable to get over the hump and get a point out of the meeting.

South Africa will close the group in the bottom two, netting only one point in their three games. Depending on the outcome of the England vs. Spain game, the South Africans will take on either Argentina or China in Thursday’s quarterfinal.

FIH site


Day 3 results from Investec World League

USA 1 (1)
Paige Selenski, 11, FG

China 2 (1)

Hongxia Li, 17, FG
Mengyu Wang, 61, PC

The day started with USA aiming for their first win of the tournament and China planning to increase their lead as top goalscorers. After a lot of back and forth in the first five minutes there was an early penalty corner against USA, but it was comfortably cleared by Jackie Kintzer. The first goal of the day was scored by Paige Solenski in the 11th minute sliding in after a scramble to catch a long cross across the circle. China were quick to return three minutes later with a chip in from Hongxia Li, taking her goal total for the tournament to four and leaving the score 1-1 at the break after a well-fought first-half.

The second half began with a chance for the USA, but they were shut down by good defending from the Chinese. They pushed back with an attack of their own but kept on missing their chances until a series of penalty corners allow China to break the deadlock, with a goal from Mengyu Wang in the 61st minute. The USA kept on fighting with several good chances in the circle in the last ten minutes, but they were unable to score any more goals and the match ended 2-1 to China.

Argentina 4 (1)
Rosario Luchetti, 30, FG
Rocio Sanchez Moccia, 36, 65, FG, FG
Gisele Juarez, 65, FG

Italy 0 (0)

Bottom of the league Italy, faced world number two team Argentina in the last game of Pool A. On paper this was a relatively easy match for the top ranked side but Italy fought hard throughout, particularly in the initial half of the game. Italy played with enthusiasm, speed and agility and worked hard to maintain a 0-0 draw right up until the last five minutes of the game; despite Argentina having the majority of the possession. Argentina’s first goal of the game came from a penalty corner after 20 minutes, but upon video referral from the umpire, it was later disallowed due to dangerous play. With five minutes to spare, a big hit from Argentina’s Rosario Luchetti meant the side finished the first half 1-0 ahead of their Italian opposition.

The second half however, is where Argentina stepped up and proved why they are the highest ranked side at the tournament. Just one minute in and they had doubled their lead, from Argentina’s Rocio Sanchez Moccia, making the score 2-0. Minutes later Argentina had their third chance to score from a penalty corner after a stick tackle in the D from Italy; the flick ricocheted off the crossbar, into a balcony of worried looking photographers above. After a series of unsuccessful penalty corners against Italy and a large amount of ball possession, Argentina scored their third goal in the 58th minute, the goal came from attacker Gisele Juarez making the score 3-0. This was swiftly followed seven minutes later by the fourth and final goal of the game and second goal of the match for Argentina’s Sanchez Moccia. The final score stood at 4-0 to Argentina against Italy.

South Africa 0 (0)

Australia 1 (0)

Anna Flanagan, 43, PC

The first half was dominated by Australian opportunities, frequently finding themselves in South Africa’s circle but proved unable to turn those chances into goals. Although Australia picked up several green cards in the first half, South Africa were unable to capitalise on the numerous send-offs. Though the South Africa made a strong continuous push in the last few minutes, it wasn’t enough to change the score from 0-0 going into the break.

Both teams went in with everything in the second half, South Africa quickly gaining themselves a penalty corner and Australia following suit a minute later, both being saved by the keeper. However, the next corner in proved fruitful for Australia when it was driven home by Anna Flanagan, showing the crowd why she had been awarded the FIH Young Player of the Year 2012 just before the beginning of the match. South Africa applied the pressure from this point on, but they couldn’t manage to equalise before the end of the match, resulting in a 1-0 win for Australia.

England Hockey Board Media release

England set up Quarter-Final clash with Italy

England's goal scorer Sophie Bray against Spain in the final pool match at Chiswick

The points were shared in England’s final group game of the Investec World League as a closely fought battle against Spain finished in a 1 – 1 draw. Sophie Bray gave England the lead in the 54th minute with a deflected strike from a penalty corner. However, just four minutes later, Spain were awarded a penalty stroke, which Lola Riera Zuzuarregui stepped up to convert.  

Speaking after the game, England’s Head Coach Jason Lee said, “I think both sides have come out of the today’s game pleased with the result. We’ve got a quarter-final draw which we are happy with [Italy] and that was the ultimate aim from the pool stages. We were trying to develop our style of play today and I’m not sure we quite nailed it. We seemed to lack a bit of intensity, however Spain put up a great fight as they pursued their goal of finishing third in the pool and avoiding Argentina.”

The first ten minutes of the final group game was evenly matched as both teams looked to settle into their rhythm. Spain were first to get a shot away at goal; Gloria Comerma Broto beat several England defenders as she drove into the circle. Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch was on hand though to push the ball clear after a tight goal mouth scramble.

Reading’s Alex Danson looked lively upfront and created a series of chances. Firstly, her interception on the half way line led to a promising England attack, however she couldn’t quite connect with the final ball as she threw herself in front of goal. Danson then won England their first penalty corner of the match but the Spanish defence were out quickly to stifle the shot from the top of the circle.

The latter stages of the first half saw England dominating and forcing the Spanish players into making mistakes. However, the home side were unable to convert and it remained goalless at half time.

England continued to press Spain in the opening minutes of the second half. A Danson reverse strike on goal and a drag flick from Reading’s Kate Walsh resulted in two smart saves from the Spanish goal keeper. After 54 minutes, England were finally rewarded as a strike from Walsh at another penalty corner was deflected by MOP’s (NED) Sophie Bray to give England a 1 – 0 lead and Bray her second goal of the tournament.

England’s lead didn’t last long though, as a foot in front of goal resulted in Spain being awarded a penalty stroke. Hinch dived low to her right and got a stick to the ball but was unable to keep out Reira Zuzarregui’s shot, to make the score 1 – 1 after 58 minutes.

England nearly snatched a winner in the final few minutes as Bowdon Hightown’s Sally Walton drove into the Spanish circle. The ball was pulled back to Reading’s Susie Gilbert but her shot was just wide of the left hand post and the final score remained at 1 - 1.

Speaking after the game, Walsh said “I think over the first two games we built up some good momentum, but like Jason said we tried some things today that didn’t quite work for us. We are still developing as a team and we have to take the momentum we’ve built up into the quarter final game on Thursday. I know we can really build on the strengths we have and if we focus on the positives we’ll put in a good performance against Italy.”

England finished behind Australia in pool B and as a result will face Italy in the quarter finals on Thursday at 20:00. Tickets are available on the gate.

Sophie Bray 54 (PC)

SPAIN 1 (0)
Lola Riera Zuzuarregui 58 (PS)

England Hockey Board Media release

England face Italy in Quarters

By Mike Haymonds

JASON LEE'S England will play Italy in the quarter-finals of the Investec World League at Chiswick tomorrow after being held to a 1-1 draw.

Sophie Bray scored in the 54th minute after following up a Sally Walton penalty corner. But Spain levelled from a penalty stroke, given for a foot in front of goal from a corner shot.

Daily Express

England set-up World League quarter-final clash with Italy

England coach Jason Lee insisted there was work to do as his team booked their quarter-final slot at the hockey World League in London.

The hosts remain unbeaten through the group stages but for the second straight game they settled for a 1-1 draw after succumbing to a late goal.

Sophie Bray's 54th minute corner gave England the advantage but just four minutes later Spain were awarded a penalty stroke, which Lola Riera Zuzuarregui stepped up to convert.

England finish second in their group and will now face Italy in Thursday's quarter-finals.

"We were trying to develop our style of play and I’m not sure we quite nailed it," admitted Lee.

"We seemed to lack a bit of intensity, however Spain put up a great fight as they pursued their goal of finishing third in the pool and avoiding Argentina.

“I think both sides have come out of the game pleased with the result. We’ve got a quarter-final draw which we are happy with and that was the ultimate aim from the pool stages."

England nearly snatched a winner in the final few minutes when Sally Walton drove into the Spanish circle. Susie Gilbert was alive to the chance but pulled her shot just wide of the net.

But captain Walsh insisted things were slowly starting to click, in a new-look squad that has deliberately mixed youth and experience.

“I think over the first two games we built up some good momentum, but like Jason said we tried some things that didn’t quite work for us," said Walsh, who also skippered the British team to bronze at last year's London 2012 Olympics.

"We are still developing as a team and we have to take the momentum we’ve built up into the quarter-final game on Thursday.

"I know we can really build on the strengths we have and if we focus on the positives we’ll put in a good performance against Italy.”

Yahoo Sport

Flanagan flick fires 'Roos to victory

1-0 win over South Africa for Hockeyroos at Investec World League

Newly crowned World Young Player of the Year Anna Flanagan proved why she’s so highly rated as her goal from a second half penalty corner sealed victory over South Africa in the Hockeyroos’ World Cup qualifying campaign in London.

The 1-0 win, coupled with England's draw with Spain, sets up a quarter-final clash with USA and maintains the Hockeyroos' unbeaten run at the Investec World League following victory over Spain and a draw with England in their opening two matches.

Despite the narrow margin, the Australians enjoyed the best of the match with Jodie Schulz, Emily Smith and Ashleigh Nelson all threatening the goal of Vuyisanani Mangisa, who was in fine form for the South Africans.

Head Coach Adam Commens said he was impressed with how his side managed the game, calling it a “solid performance all round”, adding, “I’m really pleased with the performance. South Africa is a team that has caused us problems in the past couple of years; they’re a really experienced side and I’m pleased we executed our penalty corner to score. It was a reasonably even game but I thought we controlled it well. The only moments South Africa caused us problems were when we were down to ten players with green and yellow cards.”

The first half finished goalless despite both sides creating chances. Hockeyroo Ashleigh Nelson (WA) found her break behind the defence smothered by South Africa goalkeeper Mangisa and Casey Eastham (NSW) narrowly failed to connect with a Georgie Parker (SA) cross from the left. Flanagan (ACT), who had earlier been presented with her FIH World Young Player of the Year Award, then saw her low flick from a 22nd minute penalty corner well saved by the goalkeeper. For their part, South Africa failed to take full advantage of an early penalty corner while a tame shot was kept out easily enough by Rachael Lynch (VIC) in the Australian goal.

The breakthrough came shortly after half time as the Hockeyroos turned defence into attack, countering from a South African penalty corner to win one of their own from which Jodie Schulz’s effort was well saved. A second consecutive corner award came moments later and up stepped Flanagan to flick the ball high into the goal to score what would be the decisive goal of the match.

Australia survived a scare midway through the second half when the vastly experienced South African Pietie Coetzee saw her penalty corner cannon back off the base of the post but that was to be it for South African chances. With the match progressing, the Hockeyroos pressed their opponents high up the pitch, limiting their creativity with Schulz even earning a late penalty corner following excellent individual play. Flanagan’s resulting shot was saved.

The Hockeyroos quarter-final against USA will take place at midnight AEST on Thursday night/Friday morning.

In the other pool of the tournament, victories for Argentina and China assured them of the top two positions while Italy finished third and USA fourth.

To qualify automatically for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, the Hockeyroos must finish in the top three of the Investec World League tournament.

Pool Phase Standings
Pool A
1. Argentina (9 pts, 3 games)
2. China (6 pts, 3 games)
3. Italy (3 pts, 3 games)
4. USA (0 pts, 2 games)

Pool B
1. Australia (7 pts, 3 games)
2. England (5 pts, 3 games)
3. Spain (2 pts, 3 games)
4. South Africa (1 pt, 3 games)


Pool B

South Africa  0 (0)

Hockeyroos  1 (0)

Anna Flanagan 43 (PC)

Hockeyroos Squad v South Africa, 26 June
(Listed alphabetically by surname)
Name (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals (updated)


Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 179/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 252/61
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 6/0
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW) 169/41
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 90/15
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC) 82/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 15/1
Claire Messent (Berwick, VIC) 58/14
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 104/18
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) 32/2
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD) 73/36

Used Sub
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 7/0
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 69/27
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD) 14/1
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 115/43
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 56/17
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 44/4

Unused Sub
Toni Cronk (Sydney, NSW) 132/0

Hockey Australia media release

Investec South Africa hockey women edged by Hockeyroos


South Africa's Marsha Cox (left) and Nicolene Terblanche chase Australia's Georgie Parker during the Investec World League match in London Tuesday night. Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER

In what was their best performance of the tournament to date, the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team were shaded 1-0 by world number six Australia after the score was 0-0 at half-time in the last round of Pool B action at the Investec World League Semi-Final event on the University of Westminster turf in Chiswick, London Tuesday night.

With Spain surprising one and all by drawing the late game 1-1 with England, the results leave world number 11 South Africa fourth in Pool B and they will now play Pool A winners, world number one Argentina, in the 1.30 pm (SA time) quarter-final match Thursday, which will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

It was a game of cat and mouse, both sides having spells of being the hunter and then the hunted. The workrate of every player on the park was extraordinary and skipper Madonna Blyth plus Ashleigh Nelson were two of the Hockeyroos who stood out at times.

In a very evenly-matched encounter, it was the Hockeyroos’ Junior World Player of the Year Anna Flanagan who scored the winner five minutes after half-time from Australia’s third penalty corner, her drag-flick just evading the outstretched stick of fluent SA goalkeeper Sanani Mangisa.

Trailing 1-0, SA drag-flick ace Pietie Coetzee hit the post from her side’s third PC and it just about reflected what might have been for the South Africans. Australia’s three green cards and one yellow card were indicative of the pressure SA put them under.

For SA, the heavily marked Marsha Cox produced an inspirational performance while attacking midfielder Shelley Russell was easily the most dangerous player on the field, creating havoc with her control and extreme pace down the right.

SA centre backs Tarryn Bright and Marcelle Keet played big roles in the heart of the South African defence but it is a trifle unfair to single out individuals in what was a committed team effort


Pool A: Argentina (goal difference +6), pts 9; China (GD +1), pts 6; Italy (GD -4), pts 3; USA (GD -3), pts 0. 

Pool B: Australia (goal difference +6), points 7; England (GD +3), pts 5; Spain GD -5, pts 2; South Africa (GD -4), pts 1.

Sanani Mangisa (Southern Gauteng), Phume Mbande (Northern Blues), Lenise Marais (KZN Coastal Raiders), Marcelle Keet (Border), Nicolene Terblanche (NB), Illse Davids (Western Province), Shelley Russell (WP), Tarryn Bright (WP), Pietie Coetzee (SG), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Sulette Damons (North West), Dirkie Chamberlain (NB), Jade Mayne (WP), Tanya Britz (Free State), Lilian du Plessis (NB), Izelle Lategan (FS), Kelly Madsen (KCR), Marsha Marescia (SG).

SA Hockey Association media release

Shock result changes Quarter-Final for SA Hockey Women


Thursday's Investec World League quarter-final draw was turned upside down when world number 15 Spain drew 1-1 with world number four England in the late game at the University of Westminster in Chiswick, London Tuesday.

The shock result, considering how well England played in beating the Investec South Africa women's hockey team 4-1 and drawing with Pool B winners Australia 1-1 over the weekend means that South Africa will now be facing world number two Argentina, runaway winners of Pool A, in Thursday's first quarter-final.

Thursday's 1.30 pm (SA time) quarter-final between world number 11 South Africa and reigning World Cup winners and London 2012 Olympic silver medallists Argentina will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

The form book suggested England would beat Spain comfortably - and South Africa appeared almost certain to face Pool A runners-up China, the world's number seven-ranked team in the third quarter-final.


(All SA times, all to be televised live on SuperSport 1)

1.30 pm: Argentina vs Investec South Africa
4 pm: Australia vs USA
6.30 pm: China vs Spain
9 pm: England vs Italy

SA Hockey Association media release

U.S. has disappointing result against Italy at World League Semi-Final

Two-time Olympian Katelyn Falgowski celebrated 150th match with Team USA

LONDON, England – The U.S. Women’s National Team fell to Italy, 2-1, on Sunday in the second match of pool play at the World League Semi-Final in London. The silver lining is that the critical match of the tournament is the quarterfinal, which determines whether or not a team progresses to the top four places.

“It was a disappointing result considering we controlled much of the game,” said head coach Craig Parnham. “We dominated the game and looked after the ball, but didn’t get enough return from our circle entries.”

While it is certainly not the way the U.S. anticipated starting the tournament, Parnham explained that the format allows for losses in pool play. Teams may advance through to the final if they have a successful quarterfinal match.

After dominating for extensive periods throughout the first half, Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) put Team USA on the board with a field goal in the 22nd minute. Unfortunately, the U.S. couldn’t hold on to their one goal advantage before the end of the first half. In the 28th minute, Italy’s Macarena Ronsisvalli fired a shot at the top of the circle on a breakaway that snuck past U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer (Robesonia, Pa.).

Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) had a strong scoring opportunity early in the second half. Witmer and Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) had a give-and-go exchange that left Witmer alone in the front net, but the shot was inches too wide.

The U.S. earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 44th minute, but Italy’s goalkeeper, Martina Chirico, put a stop to the scoring opportunity with a diving stick save.

The U.S. had another chance after Katie O’Donnell (Blue Bell, Pa.) was tripped going to goal. Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, Va.) was called to take the penalty stroke, but Chirico once again made a crucial save to keep the score even 1-1.

With less than a minute remaining on the clock, Italy capitalized with a last minute goal on a penalty corner to finish three points ahead of the U.S. in pool play.

Two-time Olympian Katelyn Falgowski (Landenberg, Pa.) earned her 150th cap for her country, making her the third highest capped player on the U.S. Women’s National Team.

“Earning 150 caps is a fantastic achievement,” said Parnham. “She has been a fantastic asset to USA Field Hockey and will continue to be a significant part of this group.”

The U.S. will face No. 7 China on Tuesday, June 25 in the final match of pool play. China has a win against Italy and a loss against Argentina. 

“China is a very strong, experienced team,” said Parnham. “It is important for us to take some time and reflect on what happened today and then get ready for China because it will be a big game.”

USFHA media release

Falgowski celebrates 150 caps with U.S. National Team in London 

Katelyn Falgowski earned her 150th cap against Italy at the World League Semi-Final

LONDON, England – Katelyn Falgowski, known as “Falgo” by many of her teammates, has already had a tremendous field hockey career and she is only 24-years old. Her accolades include two-time Olympian, Pan American gold medalist, NCAA National Champion, International Hockey Federation Young Player of the Year nominee and that is just the start of the laundry list.

University of North Carolina and U.S. National Team teammate Jackie Kintzer, who has asked Falgo to be the maid of honor at her wedding, says she is one of those teammates that you can always turn to and count on. 

“Of course she is an amazing player on the field, but off the field she is just one those people that you want on your team,” said Kintzer. “When things are going wrong in a game, she keeps a level head and is a steady player. While she is not the most flashy player, she is so solid. Everyone on the team would do anything for her because she has done everything and anything for all of us. I am really proud to play beside her on the field.

In 2003, at the age of 14, Falgowski was the youngest player ever selected to join the U.S. Under-20 Team. Two years later, in 2005, Falgowski earned her first cap with the National Team during a friendly test series against Canada in Virginia Beach, Va. 

“I don't remember much of my first cap, but I substituted in for center mid and I remember thinking YIKES! I could have played 2 minutes, 5 minutes, or 15 minutes. It was such a whirlwind,” said Falgowski.

Nearly eight years later, Falgowski competed in her 150th match representing her country against Italy at the World League Semi-Final in London.

“Earning 150 caps is a fantastic achievement,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “It’s a shame the day will remembered as a 2-1 loss against Italy for Katelyn, but it takes nothing away from the fact that she has been a fantastic asset to USA Field Hockey and will continue to be a significant part of this group.”

A debilitating concussion in 2010 and a torn anterior cruciate ligament could not slow down the rising star on the world stage.

“I've had my fair share of injuries and setbacks, and through the tough times I've learned that there's nowhere else I'd rather be then playing alongside my teammates, representing my country and playing a sport which I love,” said Falgowski.

Lucky for Team USA, Falgowski has no plans of retiring anytime soon.

“I want to keep getting better,” said Falgowski. “I can say that I play for my teammates, to inspire each other to be the best that I and we can be.”

USFHA media release

U.S. likely to face Australia or England in Quarterfinal of World League Semi-Final

Team USA will face the No. 1 team in Pool B on Thursday in the quarterfinal match in London

LONDON, England – June 25, 2013 – The U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team concluded pool play at the World League Semi-Final event in London with a 2-1 loss to No. 7 China. Although the U.S. did not pick up any points in their pool, the slate is wiped clean this evening and it’s anyone’s tournament for the taking come Thursday in the quarterfinals.

“China is a very strong team,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “I think we contested well for large periods of the game. We created quite a number of chances, particularly in the second half and it is frustrating for the team to not be able to convert one or more of those opportunities.”

Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) scored the first goal of the match in the 11th minute. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) carried the ball down the sideline and drove it into the circle for Selenski to make the deflection into the net. Three minutes later, China rallied back with a field goal by Hongxia Li, equalizing the score, 1-1.

The U.S. defended extremely well, particularly in the second half, shutting down China during six penalty corners. Unfortunately, China’s Mengyu Wang scored the game-winner on their seventh corner opportunity in the 61st minute of the match. Team USA fought hard for the draw and had numerous chances in the latter part of the second half.

“China had a lot of chances but the defenders in front of me made my job easier,” said U.S. goalkeeper Jackie Kintzer. “It was a great defensive effort today. Unfortunately we didn’t come away with the win.”

Despite three losses, Parnham says the team is in good spirits and will certainly be up for their next challenge – likely Australia or England in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

“Coming into this tournament we knew the quarterfinal was the game we needed to focus on,” said Parnham. “Yes, we would have liked to pick up some points in pool play but for the last couple of days it has been clear we were going to be playing Australia or England in the quarterfinal. Whoever we play, we will be ready and we are certainly looking forward the match-up.”

No. 6 Australia and No. 4 England are tied with one win, one draw and four points in their pool. No. 11 South Africa and No. 15 Spain are also tied with one loss, one draw and one point apiece. Team USA will take on the No. 1 team in Pool B which will be determined following the final match this evening between England and Spain.

The top four teams in the quarterfinal will advance to the semi-final on Saturday, June 29th. The top two teams from the semi-final will advance to the final on Sunday, June 30th, while the remaining teams will play for a third through eighth place finish. The World League Semi-Final serves as a qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands with the top three teams automatically advancing from London.

USFHA media release

Middleton knows it will be tough

It will be a new chapter for England’s veteran skipper Barry Middleton when he leads the world No 4 ranked team into the World League Semifinals in Johor Baru this Saturday.

The 29 year-old Middleton who has been the captain of the England and Great Britain squads since 2009 will lead a squad which he considers to be “unknown” into the World League Semifinal which also doubles up to be a World Cup qualification event.

England’s head coach, Bobby Crutchley has retained six 2012 Olympians in his squad and alongside them he has named some less experienced players.

Olympians Middleton, Nick Catlin, Dan Fox, Ashley Jackson, Harry Martin and Richard Smith will lead the squad with their experience.

“We may not know much about our opponents, but we don’t really know much about ourselves as well which is going to be tough,” said Middleton.

England come into the tournament after going through two test matches against world No 1 Germany in Mannheim, registering one win (3-2) and one loss (5-2).

“Beating the world No 1 team is not easy and with us being a relatively new side the result has had a positive impact on us,

“We took confidence from how we played in Germany and if we can up the pace here in Malaysia I think we will be able to do well,” added Middleton who was last seen in Malaysia at the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

The squad had begun preparations in April and with just two months of practice under their sleeves, Middleton is confident that he can lead the English entourage into the World Cup.

“I think I have more than enough experience to lead a fairly new squad into a big event such as this, I don’t feel any pressure and I reckon it is going to be fun.

“It may only be two months but we have worked extremely hard and should be doing well here,” added Middleton who has 270 caps to his name.

England will open their Pool B campaign against South Africa this Saturday and will be followed by Pakistan and Malaysia.

While in Pool A Germany, South Korea, Japan and Argentina will do battle.

The top three finishers will automatically qualify for the 2014 World Cup which will be played at The Hauge, Holland.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru site

Korea rely on experience

Korea are relying on experience to see them through to the 2014 World Cup as they have included three players who had are making a return after last featuring in the Champions Challenge last December.

The three players are Lee Nam Yong, Jang Jong Hyun and Oh Dae Keun. The trio were not in the Korean squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

While Nam Yong and and Dae Keun joined the team after their commitments in the Dutch League, Jong Hyun was a late inclusion, only joining the squad after their tour of Australia and New Zealand.

"We are a beeter side now compared to the Azlan Shah Cup as the inclusion of this three players has added depth into the squad and we are more balanced at the moment," said Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo.

"While Nam Yong and Dae Keun joined us in Perth, we decided to include Jong Hyun after the New Zealand matches.

"We are a more balanced side now and while consistency is a factor, it is two matches that will decide the fate of all eight teams here in Johor Baru."

Jong Hyun is an ace penalty corner striker and has a total of 197 international caps while Nam Yong has 206 to his credit and Dae Keun is 104.

Nam Yong is best known for his goal seven seconds from time in the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin last year that saw Korea make it to London Olympics.

Shin said that the quarterfinals and semis are two matches that are vital and the group matches will just be sparring sessions for teams as they plan their way into the knockout stages.

"Thus we are also in the same scenario as we are focusing on those two matches as it will decide our fate," added Shin.

The outspoken coach was also critical of the fixtures as he felt they were rather unfair to teams in Group A that comprised of Germany, South Korea, Japan and Argentina.

"We play all our matches in the early afteroons and it can get pretty hot here in Malaysia. So there should have been some matches at night for us. But then again I guess we cannot complain much as fitness is our forte and we can capitalise on this," added Shin.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru site

Experienced Koreans will be formidable

By Jugjet Singh

THE South Koreans will rely on experience and fitness in the World League Semi-finals which starts in Johor Baru on Saturday.

After finishing second to Argentina in the Champions Challenge, the Koreans left behind three key players as they played in tournaments and tours, but have included them back in the squad to inject experience.

The deadly trio are Lee Nam Yong, Jang Jong Hyun and Oh Dae Keun -- all of whom were missing from the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where Malaysia beat them 3-2.

While Nam Yong and Dae Keun joined the team after commitments in the Dutch League, Jong Hyun was a late inclusion, only joining the squad after their tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Jong Hyun is an ace penalty corner flicker with 197 caps while Nam Yong has 206 and Dae Keun 104.

Nam Yong is best known for his goal seven seconds from time against Ireland in the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin last year that saw Korea make it to London Olympics.

"We are a better side now compared to the Azlan Shah Cup (bronze finish) as the inclusion of these three players has added depth to the squad. We are more balanced," said South Korean coach Shin Seok Kyo.

"While Nam Yong and Dae Keun joined us in Perth, we decided to include Jong Hyun after the New Zealand matches.

"We are a more balanced side now and while consistency is a factor, it is two matches that will decide the fate of all eight teams here in Johor Baru."

Seok Kyo said the quarter-finals and semis are the two matches that are vital and that the group matches will just be sparring sessions as teams plan their way into the knockout stages.

"The focus of every team will be on the knockout matches, and ours is no different," said Seok Kyo.

Now that the haze is fast clearing, the Korean coach had another complaint -- that the fixtures were unfair to teams in Group A which consists of Germany, South Korea, Japan and Argentina.

"We play all our matches in the early afternoon and it can get pretty hot here in Malaysia. There should have been some night matches for us. But then again, I guess we cannot complain as fitness is our forte and we can capitalise on this," added the coach.

In Group B are Malaysia, England, South Africa and Pakistan.

New Straits Times

Power-packed Germany include 10 from London Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR: Germany are world No. 1. And the fact that they’ve included 10 players from the squad that won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics clearly makes them the favourites to win the World Hockey League semi-finals, which begins in Johor Baru on Saturday.

The 10 who featured in the London Olympics are Florian Fuchs, Martin Haner, Moritz Furste, Tobias Hanke, Oliver Korn, Maxmilian Muller, Oskar Deecke, Jan Philipp Rabente, Christopher Wesley and Christopher Zeller.

Their most experienced player is 28-year-old defender Moritz Furste, who has represented Germany 204 times.

Furste, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the 2011 European Championship, was also voted as the World Player of the Year for 2012.

The Germans come with impressive credentials – worthy of their ranking. They are the only team to have won the World Cup twice – in Kuala Lumpur (2002) and Moenchengladbach (2006). They’ve also done pretty well in the Olympics, having won it four times – Munich (1972), Barcelona (1992), Beijing (2008) and London (2012).

For the World League semi-finals, Germany are in Group A with South Korea, Argentina and Japan.

South Korean skipper Lee Seung-il said that German had a solid team and would be the ones to beat in the tournament.

“The challenge will be on us to get the better of them in the group match,” said Seung-il. “We also can expect a strong challenge from Argentina and Japan in our group matches.

“We’ll be more than happy to finish among the top three in the tournament and qualify for next year’s World Cup (in The Hague, Holland).”

The Germans will play two friendlies – against Malaysia today and Pakistan tomorrow – before opening their campaign against Argentina on Saturday.

The Star of Malaysia

Baljit: Malaysia can finish among top three if they improve defence

Experienced hand: Baljit aims to lead Malaysia to a top-three finish in the World League semi-finals which begins on Saturday.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian hockey team have always had back problems. And experienced defender Baljit Singh Charun feels that if they can sort out the weakness, then they’ll stand a good chance of finishing in the top three of the World League semi-finals, which will be held at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru starting from Saturday.

Only the top three teams will qualify for next year’s World Cup in The Hague, Holland.

The national team’s defensive frailties are common knowledge, especially their last-minute capitulation. Their latest collapse came in the four Test matches they played against South Africa in Randburg three weeks ago.

Malaysia, who drew one match 4-4, lost the others – 2-1, 3-1, 3-1 – despite taking the lead in all three matches.

The pressure will be on Malaysia to qualify for the World Cup, having failed to do so in the last two qualifiers.

The national team failed to qualify for the World Cups in Moenchengladbach, Germany (2006) and New Delhi (2010). The last time Malaysia featured in the World Cup was in 2002 – as the host.

Malaysia have also failed to qualify for the last three Olympics – 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London.

Baljit, 27, admitted that it would a big challenge for them to qualify for the World Cup.

“We (the defenders) have failed to stop teams from scoring against us in the dying minutes. So, it will be a huge task for us to play our best in the World League,” said Baljit, who has been capped 151 times.

The other defenders in the team are Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, Azlan Misron, Faiz Helmi Jali and Norhizzat Sumantri.

“The defence needs to buck up ... we cannot afford to make a slight mistake as every match will be the final,” said Baljit, who played in the last World Cup qualifier in Invercargill, New Zealand in 2009.

“All the three teams in our group – Pakistan, South Africa and England – are ranked higher than us ... so it’ll be tough to get the better of them.

World No. 13 Malaysia will open their Group B campaign against world No. 5 Pakistan on Saturday. Their other matches are against world No. 12 South Africa on Sunday and world No. 4 England on July 2.

World No. 1 and favourites Ger­many are in Group A with South Korea (world No. 8), Argentina (No. 10) and Japan (No. 16).

The national team underwent their first training session at the tournament venue – Taman Daya Stadium – yesterday morning. They also played a friendly match against Argentina yesterday and will have another against Germany today.

The Star of Malaysia

Electric Ireland Senior Women share spoils with Canada

The Electric Ireland Senior Women's team and Canada played out an eight goal thriller in UCD this evening to round off the series in the 3rd game following a win apiece for both sides on Saturday & Sunday respectively.

A quiet start to the game saw neither side really dominate the game until the game finally exploded into life as the ball found its way to Anna O'Flanagan who dinked the ball over the onrushing Williams in the Canadian goal to give Ireland a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

Canada stormed back quickly and two goals in two minutes, the first from Haughn from a penalty corner followed quickly by yet another penalty corner strike from Johansen gave the Canadians a 2-1 lead with 5 minutes to go before the break. The first half scoring wasn't finished there though as O'Flanagan once again found the goal to pull Ireland level following good work from Alex Speers to rob the ball in midfield before feeding Lisa Jacob who set up O'Flanagan to finish. Canada once again staged a quick comeback and edged themselves in front again right on the stroke of half time as Gillis finished easily following ineffective ball retention from the Green Army. The sides headed for the break with the score at 3-2.

Canada started the brighter of the two sides directly after the break and another well executed drag flick from Johansen took a heavy deflection and nestled high in the net. The goal saw the visitors put some real daylight between the teams with a two goal advantage in the 39th minute. As we'd seen already this week with the Ireland Men's team fantastic comeback performance vs France in Rotterdam, Irish Hockey sides are not the type to lie down when faced with a challenge and the Green Army certainly  matched their male counterparts in desire and effort to get back into the game tonight. The 3rd goal finally came with 7 minutes left to play and Ireland had Nikki Symmons, earning her 201st cap, to thank as she diverted the ball past Williams in the Canadian goal to breathe life into Ireland's challenge again.

But it was Anna O'Flanagan who was to be the heroine tonight as she grabbed a dramatic equaliser and her hat-trick, diverting the ball home from a penalty corner awarded right on the final hooter. It was no more than Ireland deserved overall and a fitting end to what has been a competitive series vs. Canada.

Speaking after the game, Electric Ireland Senior International Coach, Darren Smith said "I thought Canada were pretty well organised and were able to put pressure on us at the back and deserved their lead heading into the second hand. To their credit, our girls hung in there and played some good hockey in the final part of the match. They were positive, passed the ball and attacked their circle relatively well.  It's a good way to finish and it was certainly an entertaining game for the spectators tonight"

Ireland 4 (O'Flanagan x3, Symmons)
Canada 4 (Haughn, Johansen x2, Gillis)

Irish Hockey Association media release

IHA & Electric Ireland launch U18 Women's EuroHockey Finals

The Irish Hockey Association today launched the Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships which will take place at UCD, Dublin from 29th July to 4th August 2013. The tournament, running as part of The Gathering, will feature the cream of European Women's Hockey including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, England, Russia, France and Wales as well as an Ireland team who will be keen to impress on home turf. These future Olympians will grace the National Hockey Stadium at UCD for 6 days of exhilarating hockey action.

The Electric Ireland U18 Irish Women's team have been drawn in Pool A along with hockey superpower Netherlands, France and our close neighbours Wales. The Green Army will kick off their campaign vs. Wales on Monday 29th July 2013 at 5pm and then face The Netherlands at 5pm the following day before wrapping up their Pool games vs. France at 1pm on Thursday 1st August 2013. Based on their final Pool positions all 8 teams will feature in a crossover day on Saturday 3rd August with the top two teams from each pool game playing off in two exciting semi-finals for a place in the showpiece  Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships Final on Sunday 4th August 2013.

Irish U18 players Jessica McGirr & Hannah Grieve were on hand to launch the event today in Dublin along with senior International Nikki Symmons who just last Saturday became Ireland's first 200th capped player. Speaking at the launch, Electric Ireland Senior International Player, Nikki Symmons said "I'm delighted to help launch the Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships at UCD today. I know how special it is to pull on the green shirt for Ireland having just received my 200th Cap for the Senior Team last weekend and these girls will be bursting with pride when they get to do this in front of our home support at UCD in a major tournament. There is a great opportunity for the Irish public to see the future stars of Irish Hockey in action up close and many of these players will be knocking down the door of the Senior Team in the very near future. I'm looking forward to getting out and supporting them myself"

The Irish Hockey Association have launched an early bird season ticket offer for the tournament to allow travelling supporters and the Irish sporting public a fantastic opportunity to witness this exciting event at extremely good value. The early bird deal will allow fans to watch the six full days of action including the all-important finals day at a fraction of the cost of individual tickets for the tournament. An Adult ticket per day will be priced at €10 while supporters can avail of the early bird 6 day Season Ticket for a mere €30 up until Friday 19th July 2013 after which the price will become €40. As well as competitively priced Adult season tickets, special early bird season tickets offers are in place for 3rd Level students and OAP's at a cost of €20 while 2nd level students can get their season ticket for €15. These will all be available up until Friday 19th July 2013. Primary School children will be able to attend every game of the tournament including the Final, free of charge

Speaking at the launch of the Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships tournament, Sean Walsh of Electric Ireland said "Electric Ireland is delighted to support the IHA in bringing the cream of European U18 Women's Hockey to this prestigious competition in UCD.  We really hope that Irish sports fans will get behind the Irish team and show Europe the fantastic enthusiasm we have for sport in Ireland."

Early Bird tickets will be available on from 26th June 2013 until 19th July 2013

Match Schedule:

Monday 29th July

11.00 B Germany v Belgium
13.00 B England v Russia
15.00 A Netherlands v France
17.00 A Ireland v Wales

Tuesday 30th July

15.00 A France v Wales
17.00 A Ireland v Netherlands

Wednesday 31st July

15.00 B Belgium v Russia
17.00 B England v Germany

Thursday 1st August

11.00 A Netherlands v Wales
13.00 A France v Ireland
15.00 B Germany v Russia
17.00 B Belgium v England

Friday 2nd August

Rest Day

Saturday 3rd August

11.00 C 4th Pool A v 4th Pool B
13.00 C 3rd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
15.00 SF1 2nd Pool A v 1st Pool B
17.30 SF2 1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B

Sunday 4th August

10.30 C 4th Pool A v 3rd Pool B
12.30 C 3rd Pool A v 4th Pool B
15.00 3/4 Loser SF1 v Loser SF2
17.30 Final Winner SF1 v Winner SF2

Irish Hockey Association media release

Shaw names U18 Euro Squad

U18 Boys coach Graham Shaw has announced his final squad for the U18 Youth Championships in Gasawa, Poland from the 7th - 14th July.

Shaw said, "After a successful test series against Scotland we are rapidly approaching the U18 European championships. The final selections have now been made and the whole squad are looking forward to the challenge of getting Ireland back into the ‘A' division of European hockey."

The eighteen players selected for Poland are as follows:






Gavin Adams (GK)




Jamie Carr (GK)

St. Andrews



Mark Loughrey

St. Andrews



David Kane

St. Killians



Luke Madeley


Three Rock


James Lorimer




Lee Cole

St. Andrews



Johnny McKee

Banbridge Academy



Michael Robson




Neil Byrne

St. Columcilles



Simon Wolfe


Cork C of I


Alex Burns


Cork C of I


Ben Campbell

St. Andrews



Kevin Mullins

Mount Temple



Gary Wilkinson


Cork C of I


Sam O'Connor

St. Benildus



Harry Morris

St. Columbas

Three Rock


Ben Cosgrove

Banbridge Academy


Manager: Mark Murray
Head Coach: Graham Shaw
Asst. Coach: Gareth Evans
Video Analyst: Gareth Borland
Physio: Ronan Crosse

Irish Hockey Association media release

A rough road ahead for India

S. Thyagarajan

Placed sixth in the Hockey World League (HWL), the Indian hockey squad belied the optimism generated before the departure for Rotterdam.

A podium finish was the target to be eligible for the World Cup at The Hague in 2014. But what turned out eventually dismayed everyone. Every persisting weakness was noticeable.

Poor goalkeeping, inconsistent and incompetent defence, appalling conversion of penalty corners, abominable recovery after an attack and inaccuracy at the finish, all plagued the team.

It made many wonder whether the foreign coaches — there are a handful now — have indeed grasped the elementary errors that afflict our players.

Incomprehensible too was the format, which looked neither Asian nor European nor Australian. It appeared an amalgam of the frailties contained in all the systems.

The time has come to realise that appointing foreign coaches, whatever their calibre and credentials, is no panacea. The results obtained in recent years under the imported coaches are pathetic.

Nothing illustrates this more than the bottom place in the Olympics of 2012.

At Rotterdam, India struggled against Ireland to secure a draw, went down to the Dutch and then shared points with the Kiwis. A 5-1 thrashing against the Aussies knocked the team out of the reckoning.

Evaluating chances

Some commentators went to the extent of evaluating the chances for the World if the team were to finish fifth. A complex calculation made it look possible.

Victory against France raised hopes but Spain shut the door pushing India to the sixth place.

Now the only route to The Hague is a win in the next Asia Cup at Ipoh in August/September. Given India’s history in a must-win situation, a title triumph remains a distant dream.

The fear that India may miss the next World Cup for the first time since inception is not imaginary.

Who among the players, coaches and administrators will take the blame if we are to be confronted with such a reality?

A critical evaluation is essential. The work by foreign coaches must be analysed minutely. A thorough study is required to decipher whether the system adopted is suitable for the Indian players.

There is no denying a marginal improvement in physical fitness. But overall the team is woefully deficient in other areas to match the speed and skill of the top ranked rivals.

At Rotterdam it was a combined failure of the seniors and juniors. Neither Michael Nobbs nor Roelant Oltmans has succeeded in galvanising the players into something more refreshing.

It is also true that the choice for coaches is limited to a small pool of players. This is due to the existence of two federations. The players are scattered across.

Indian hockey is in the grip of administrative paralysis.

It began when the IOA, headed by Suresh Kalmadi, suspended the IHF and created Hockey India in 2008. The cascading effect lingers. Its imprint is visible in the degeneration of performances in major competitions.

A well-structured administration without factions is the best solution. Enlarging the presence of foreign coaches can only be cosmetic.

The Hindu

Need to identify the Indian style of play: Oltmans

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

The Indian men’s hockey team might not have been able to earn a direct qualification berth for the 2014 World Cup, but High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans believes "plans will eventually translate into success."

“We need to have a structure in place and work on various aspects, including speed and agility, technique, endurance, mental and physical attributes. Saying it is not difficult, but translating it on the field is.

“Work has begun and the blueprint that we are preparing should become our identity in say a few months or a year,” said Oltmans, who was roped in by Indian hockey five months ago.

The Dutchman is considered among the top coaches in the world, and has been handed the responsibility of putting a system in place beginning from the U-21 level in the country.

India have cut out a sorry figure in international hockey in the last few years. Besides being inconsistent, a lack of proper structure and style of play seems to be their bane.

Chief coach Michael Nobbs stressed on the importance of playing attacking hockey - essentially the Indian and Australian way - but later changed track, saying India needed to learn from Olympic champions Germans, who rely on defensive methods.

The team had finished a disastrous 12th in the London Olympic Games last year.

“We have to identify and play the Indian way, it is very clear,” said Oltmans. “Now the question is what is the Indian style of play? The High Performance team has been given the task of putting in place a clear curriculum for development and identifying the Indian strengths.

“It is okay to take a few things from the Australians and may be some from the Germans, or say Dutch, but essentially we have to recognise what we are good at. We have a flair for attack, but we have to play with a good eye on the defensive structure.

“We are working on it and Indian hockey will be visible again,” said the 60-year-old Dutchman, who led Holland to an Olympic gold at the Atlanta Games in 1996, followed by the triumph at the World Cup in Utrecht two years later.

The Indian team will reassemble in Bengaluru on July 15, to prepare for the all-important Asia Cup in August. A win will earn India a place in next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands.

The Asian Age

Crusaders on the wrong end of it

Koketso Ramorei

The Southern Gauteng Hockey men’s and women’s Premier Leagues are now in full swing and the past weekend saw the usual highs and lows that come with the game.

In the men’s section, Wanderers A handed Jeppe A a 4-0 hiding. Although the match went to the break at a 0-0 stalemate, Wanderers came back hungrier.

Nick Spooner opened the scoring for Wanderers in the 41st minute through a field goal, the strike setting up the winning atmosphere for Wanderers.

James du Plessis, Brandon Panther and Terence Kidd all made sure that their names appeared on the scoresheet at the end of the game.

Crusaders A fell into a 10-3 ditch dug by Old Eds A. The evidence of the intensity of the match was in the 6-1 scoreline before the break.

Tyron Martin set the no-nonsense atmosphere just four minutes into the game through a field goal. In the women’s section, Wanderers B almost came up short of a victory this weekend when they were held to a 3-1 game by Panorama A.

NWU-Vaal A were handed a 6-1 hiding by Wits A. At the break, Wits were already leading 2-0 and the score would take an upward direction from there on.

The Citizen

Trustees stretch lead in Ghana hockey league

Hockey League leaders, Trustees of SSNIT, recovered twice to beat second Golden Sticks of the Ghana Commercial Bank, 3-2 to open a five-point gap at the top last Saturday.

It was a drama-filled match at the ongoing Dwadifo Adanfo Greater Accra Hockey League at the National Hockey Stadium.

Former Africa Best Youth Player, Jonny Botsio, scored a classic winner on the stroke of full time but two players, Prince Morrison of Golden Sticks and Emmanuel Obeng of Trustees, had to be rushed to hospital after a reckless clash.

The rumour was rife even before push-off, where key players of Trustees were reported sick, which nearly caused the cancellation of the match. SWAG Player of the Year, Salya Insalbini, number one goalkeeper, Eugene Acheampong, and defender, Samuel Afari all sat out of the match due to sudden illness but their absence ironically gingered the boys to stretch their lead.

Playmaker Joseph Appiah lived up to the hype to open the score for Golden Sticks on seven minutes but it was cancelled two minutes later by Mathew Damalie setting the stage for a crack game.

Appiah was on hand again on the 18th minute from a similar field’s goal but their joy was blown off on the 48th and 70th minutes when substitute Frederick Darko and lead striker, Botsio, scored to deflate Golden Sticks.

The win takes Trustees to 15 points ahead of Golden Sticks who have 10 points, and Police, seven.

The Police versus Exchequers match was called off due to the passing out of some new recruits in Kumasi.

Isaac Moses, Ebenezer Frimpong and Kenneth Nyame all scored to give the Ghana Revenue Authority (CEPS) men’s team a gleeful 3-0 win over Reformers of the Prisons Service while Real Ambassadors thrashed Tema Youth 4-0.


Junior World Cup Jillaroos Announced

Craig Victory announces the U21 women's squad ready for Germany

Hockey Australia has announced the Jillaroos under 21 squad for the Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany, next month. In total, 20 athletes will make the trip to Europe with 18 of those to be confirmed as the final tournament squad immediately prior to the start of the competition.

Head coach Craig Victory names seven members of the senior Hockeyroos side in his squad, including recently crowned World Young Player of the Year Anna Flanagan and Georgia Nanscawen, the youngest player to play 100 games for Australia. Jade Warrender has been included having had to withdraw from the Hockeyroos’ World League squad late last week with a mild hamstring tear. She is expected to resume full training in the next fortnight. Jane Claxton, Jordyn Holzberger, Karri McMahon and Emily Smith make up the Jillaroos’ Hockeyroos contingent.

Announcing the squad, National Junior Coach Craig Victory, said, “After a thorough and scrupulous selection process which began in early January  at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival, we are incredibly pleased with the Jillaroos team selected to play at the Junior World Cup in Germany. The process was highly robust and consultative and included National Junior Selector Sandy Pisani, who herself was an Olympic gold medallist and was the head selector during the golden era for the Hockeyroos from 1996 - 2000.

“Selection is always such a bittersweet process as you ultimately must temper the ambition of some fantastic athletes that have devoted a significant portion of their last few years to attain JWC selection and success. We can, however, rest assured that there will be further opportunities for these athletes in the not too distant future, and expect that they continue to compete, challenge and develop to broaden the pool of talented female hockey players within our national programs.”

The team’s campaign and preparations have been boosted by funding from the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA).

The additional financial support has enabled Hockey Australia to enhance the international competition experience of its athletes. It has contributed to the athletes’ attendance at the Junior World Cup and a variety of different activities as part of the program leading up to the tournament, including the Junior World Cup qualifier and the team’s recent tour to Japan.

The team played four matches in Japan, which were also supported by the network of State Institutes and Academies of Sport programs. Victory, however, will be without Mariah Williams (Teralba, NSW) in Germany after the 17 year old sustained a knee injury in Japan, ruling her out of the tournament.

Of Williams, the coach added, “Whilst it was unfortunate to lose such a promising talent in Mariah Williams, we have a highly skilled, experienced and adaptable list that is well prepared for Junior World Cup success.”

“We are travelling to Germany with the goal to win. Win each ball, each contest, each game and at the end of the day, the tournament.

“Our recent trip to Japan was a very worthwhile, challenging experience, which afforded us the opportunity to view our entire squad, with the exception of the Hockeyroos at the World League, before final selection. We were able to add some final touches to our playbook and faced a few different presses and systems. This enhanced our creativity and will hold us in good stead heading into our three preparation games in Europe before we play our first pool match at Junior World Cup against a tough opponent, India.”

The Junior World Cup is contested by 16 nations. The teams will be split into four pools of four teams each. Following the preliminary round robin, teams will either move into a placement round for the bottom eight finishers or onto a quarter-final, semi-final and final round. The Australian women will face New Zealand, India and Russia in Pool C. The Jillaroos finished fifth at the last Junior World Cup four years ago in Boston, beating this year’s hosts Germany in a playoff.

The squad departs Australia for Germany on Wednesday, 17 July before undertaking a series of pre-tournament practice matches against Germany, Korea and the Netherlands.

Jillaroos squad for Junior World Cup tour
17 July - 4 August 2013
(Listed alphabetically by surname)

Murphy Allendorf (Mount Gravatt, QLD)
Lily Brazel (Newington, NSW)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Jacqui Day (Mountain Creek, QLD)
Elizabeth Duguid (Darwin, NT)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, QLD)
Anna Flanagan (canberra, ACT)
Kate Gilmore (Red Hill, ACT)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, Queensland)
Nina Khoury (Newtown, NSW)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Hayley Padget (Hurstbridge, VIC)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (Como, WA)
Audrey Smith (Wynnum, QLD)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Amelia Spence (Taroona, TAS)
Jade Warrender (Orange, NSW)

Jillaroos’ Junior World Cup Program
17 - 26 July: Junior World Cup preparatory tour (Mönchengladbach, Germany)
21 July: Practice match - Jillaroos v Germany U21
23 July: Practice match – Jillaroos v Korea U21
24 July: Practice match – Jillaroos v Netherlands U21
27 July – 4 August: Junior World Cup (Mönchengladbach, Germany)
27 July: Jillaroos v India, 2:30pm local time
28 July: Jillaroos v Russia, 3:30pm local time
30 July: Jillaroos v New Zealand, 9:30am local time
1 August: *Quarter-finals / Placement 9-16 matches
2 August: *Semi-finals / Placement 5-8 matches
3 August: *Placement 9-12 matches / Placement 13-16 matches
4 August: *Medal matches / final placement matches
*Fixtures will depend on results from pool stage

Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program
The in-depth program of activity leading up to the Junior World Cup is made possible by the financial support of Hockey Australia’s partners and in particular the generous support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association through its Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program (AJCGS).

The AJCGS program:

• Assists junior athletes in gaining invaluable international competition experience, so that they understand the conditions and environment that they will face as seniors.

• Athletes supported under the AJCGS program have been identified and selected by their sports as having the potential to represent Australia at future Commonwealth Games.

• More than $8 million has been provided since 1996 by the ACGA to assist Australia’s young talented athletes from Commonwealth Games sports gain valuable international competition experience.

While Glasgow is hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on the Gold Coast, where recently both Australian Junior teams successfully qualified for the Junior World Cups. With continued hard work, it is anticipated that many of these talented young athletes will represent Australia in 2018.

Hockey Australia media release

Head coach Chris Clements names roster for upcoming Aussie tour

The U.S. Men’s National Team will play six friendly test matches in Australia in early July in preparation for Pan American Cup

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - U.S. Men’s National Team coach, Chris Clements, unveiled his roster for six upcoming international friendly test matches in Australia, July 6-14. The group features many internationally experienced players, including, Kevin Barber (Camarillo, Cali.), Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, Cali.) and brothers Patrick and Sean Harris (Moorpark, Cali.). The roster also includes three athletes who will compete in their first series with the U.S. Men’s Team, Ranjot Sangha (Sacramento, Cali.) and Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.). Amarpreet Sidhu, (San Jose, Cali.)

“We have selected a mixed group continuing to expose more players to the international and senior level of competition,” said Clements. “We are giving players the opportunity to prove themselves in a competitive environment and challenge each other for places in the selection.

The U.S. is coming off the California Cup Tournament in Moorpark, Cali., where Clements and his staff utilized the event to evaluate and finalize the 2013-14 U.S. Men’s National Team. The team is now preparing for the Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario in August, a World Cup qualifying event.

The U.S. departs for Australia on July 2 and is set to face the Victoria Institute of Sport on July 6, July 7 and July 9 and the Combined State Institute Team on July 11, July 13 and July 14 before returning to the U.S. on July 15.

The U.S. will have another preparation series in early August at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali, before heading to the Pan American Cup on August 7.

“The goals for this tour will be to develop playing patterns and cohesiveness,” said Clements. “We are establishing an attacking style of play that is built from a sound defensive platform.”

“The Teams in Australia will be new opponents for us,” said Clements. “The Victorian side is traditionally a very strong state team within the Australian playing system and the Combined State Team will be the next level of players looking to break into the Australian Senior Squad. The level of these matches will be very high and both sides with provide stiff competition.”

The following athletes have been selected to Australian travel squad: Kevin Barber (Camarillo, Cali.), Michael Barminski (Ventura, Cali.), Jed Cunningham (Moorpark, Cali.), Mohan Gandhi (Ventura, Cali.), Jon Ginolfi (Moorpark, Cali.), Alex Grassi (Brookeville, Md.), Sean Harris (Moorpark, Cali.), Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.), Aki Kaeppeler (Ventura, Cali.), Brandon Karess (Allentown, Pa.), Ranveer Kundi (Ventura, Cali.), Manny Martinez (Lakeside, Cali.), Johnny Orozco (Ventura, Cali.), Chris Rea (San Diego, Cali.), Paul Singh (Simi Valley, Cali.), Tyler Sundeen (Simi Valley, Cali.), Ranjot Sangha (Sacramento, Cali.), Amarpreet Sidhu (San Jose, Cali.) Kanwarpreet Sidhu, (San Jose, Cali.)

USFHA media release

Dar Academy Boys Star in Punjab’s Under 14 Victory

They say, “Train a player on right lines at the earliest stage”.     

By Ijaz Chaudhry

Dar hockey academy, the finest in Pakistan, has been working on this. Hence, it was no surprise to see the academy lads distinguish themselves in the junior championships of all the age groups.

Most recently, it was Pakistan’s inter province under 14 championships held in Hyderabad.   The Punjab team which lifted the trophy, defeating the hosts Sind in the final, featured three youngsters from the Dar Academy:  Asif, Usman and Waqar. The first mentioned also had the honour of captaining the victorious team.                                                                                                                                                                             

The three lads had vastly different roles. Asif , the right in, was one of the main goal getters for his team.  Usman played at the important centre half position and was the play maker. Waqar minded the net and emerged as the best goal keeper of the tourney.

While Waqar is a Lahore lad, Asif hails from Hafizabad and Usman comes from Gojra.  The Lahore based Dar HA provides lodging and boarding to the outstation boys. Asif and Usman reside in the accommodation hired by the Dar HA solely for the players picked from outside Lahore.                                    

These three are among the twenty talented boys of age 12-13 picked by the academy scouts from different parts of the country about a year ago. Now, they have been part of the winners of the national under 14 championships.

At the Dar Hockey Academy, the gems are cut and polished into diamonds.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: Exclusive

Quaranta targets African Nations Cup

Valentina raising crucial funds for Tanzania Hockey - you can help!

28 year old hockey player Valentina Quaranta is not one of those people that you can include in a single cliché; she always said: "Hockey is not my life. It is a hobby, a passion if you wish. "

Although an important aspect of her life, hockey is certainly not her only interest and you get the impression that she would have said the same if she had been an athlete in any other more popular and profitable sport.

It is just a way of being; she is far too interested in the wider world to think about only one thing at a time.  Two years ago, in 2011, after having won the Italian League (outdoor and Indoor) with the Lorenzoni Bra Hockey Club a total of eight times, having played a number of games with the Italian National Team and being close to the Olympic qualification for Beijing, she decided to take a year out to do something else. She ended up doing international civil service in Tanzania with an Italian NGO (Non Governmental Organization), called CO.P.E., which is directly involved in projects for the protection of children and mothers, agricultural development, Health, HIV, Education and women empowerment.

But there are things in life that we just cannot escape. During one of her the last days in Dar Es Salaam, by chance Valentina came across a group of children playing near by the road on a ground of sand and stones. The sport that they were playing was not football or basketball ... it was hockey.

Valentina returned back home to win her ninth Italian League with Lorenzoni, in Bra, Province of Cuneo. But the worm of Tanzania was working in her mind. So this year she dropped everything: home, Lorenzoni team, friends, job and she went back to Dar Es Salaam, but this time carrying a bag full of balls, hockey sticks and shin pads collected from her team mates.

"The Tanzania Hockey Association and I started up a project for children to play hockey at school. In the meantime I kept training every morning before I started working with the male Senior team of Dar Es Salaam; they run like crazy ! There are no proper hockey pitches so we play on a playground made of sand, stones and some tufts of grass and cow droppings. I must say that in that playing conditions my ball control improved considerably! The boys I’m playing with are the Army team, which is basically the Tanzania National Team.“

Valentina also found out that Tanzania has a Women National Team but in the past years it was dismembered because of the lack of other women teams to compete with in Tanzania and the lack of funds from the Tanzania Hockey Association and Government. As time passed many of the girls gave up the sport and hadn't seen any development of women hockey in Tanzania. They had no opportunities to play together in tournaments either in Tanzania or abroad. Lack of money, material and infrastructure were just a few of the many problems that hockey has to face in Tanzania.

Tanzanian Hockey Association, with the authorization of the Director of Sport of the Ministry of Sport, Culture and Youth, Mr. Taddheo, asked Valentina to help them to rebuild the female team and try to develop hockey for girls and youth in Tanzania. They invited her to train the National Women Team in time for the African Nations Cup that will be held in Nairobi (KEN) in September and to find a sponsor to help fund the trip for the Women and Man National teams.

Time is running out. Currently, there are not enough funds to support the teams. The training sessions are well underway, the teams train everyday in the early morning, but the girls and the boys do not know if they will be in attendance at the tournament in Nairobi. For the girls it will be the first time to represent their country in the African Nations Cup. “We are not looking for the results”, says Valentina, who knows how important it will be for the girls to realise the possibility of playing at international level. They have trained on many occasions in the past, but nothing happened due to a lack of financial resources. “This time we hope it will be different, and I’m trying to find the sponsor to support us in developing hockey in Tanzania" continued Valentina. "We need money to go to Nairobi, but also we need resources to develop hockey in the schools, to buy technical equipment and to build infrastructure. “Nairobi is tomorrow, but the development of this sport is a process that requires money and time.

"We need 10.000 euro for each team to participate but today we are well far away,” Valentina sadly admits. However, time has not run out just yet.

For those want to support in some way Valentina and her project here as follow her email address for direct contact and the blog where on-line donation are also possible:

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Any help is welcome!

Source: Italian Hockey Federation / Ermanno Silvano

FIH site

Retired Hopping enjoying time away from turf

One of New Zealand’s best ever defenders, Blair Hopping, is enjoying his time away from the turf after retiring from international hockey six months ago.

The 32-year-old called time on this 13 year international career following December’s Champions Trophy in Melbourne.

Hopping is one of only four Black Sticks to have played more than 250 games, retiring with 264 caps. He attended two Commonwealth Games (Manchester and Melbourne), three World Cups (Malaysia, Germany and India) and three Olympics (Athens, Beijing and London).

Now with plenty more time on his hands, Hopping is keeping busy as Installations Manager at TigerTurf, which is New Zealand’s leading manufacturer of synthetic turfs.

He is also loving the opportunity to spend more time at home with his family.

“A key reason for stopping with hockey was to spend some more time with the family. I’ve got a young boy who’s just over one now and is a little terror so I’m trying to spend more time with him and chase him round the house,” he said.

“It is good to be able to come home and know you’re home for the night and not having to run out the door again for training. I’m still playing club hockey for the Indians on the North Shore but just weekend games and I’m trying not to do too much.”

Hopping admits he misses the thrill of challenging himself against the world’s best teams, but that he’d lost his passion for trainings and the time was right to retire.

“I do miss it at times, especially watching the guys play over in Holland. I miss the international games and over the years you build up strong relationships with the guys.

“The international hockey was always something that I loved but it got to the point where I wasn’t enjoying the training side of it so much and the time away from the family.

“It was the right time for me but it’s a difficult thing sometimes to watch and I get frustrated at the TV but I cheer them on. It’s great to see a new crop of talented guys coming through.”

Hockey New Zealand Media release

US National Futures Championship Athlete Triumphs Over Tragedy with the Help of Hockey

Eight years later and these two heavy words still evoke a whirlwind of emotions.

Hurricane Katrina.

It was a storm that shook the nation, rearranged families and devoured homes.  Although chaos and tragedy streamed through the airwaves and filled the TV screens it didn’t shake the spirits of New Orleans Native and National Futures Championship Under-19 athlete Kesheal Henderson.

By herself, Kesheal evacuated New Orleans to Houston, Texas as a seventh grader leaving behind a turbulent past within Louisiana’s state borders.  There she was bounced from foster home to foster home continually uprooting her life until a close friend finally pointed Kesheal to Heath, Mass. and into the loving arms of Tara Herzig and her family whom after January 2008 adopted Kesheal. It was with Tara’s guidance Kesheal was introduced to a life-changing tool – a field hockey stick. 

“Field hockey has saved her,” said Tara. “It directed her. It motivated her. She is creating goals and going to college. Most of her family in New Orleans hasn’t even graduated high school. Kesheal would play all day, every day if she could.”

The rising senior has committed to Rider University where she’ll continue to keep using her contagious smile to overcome whatever life deals her further proving after billows of catastrophe something beautiful can, and did grow. 

USA Field Hockey: Who introduced you to the sport and when did you start playing?

Tara did. She played in high school but said she was never any good. I like to keep busy. It helps keep my mind off of the past. Originally field hockey just acted like a block against negative thoughts. I never saw field hockey as something long term when I started but I kind of fell in love with it.

USA Field Hockey: What does the sport mean to you?

Before field hockey I didn’t feel the pressure to set goals for myself. I didn’t really have to. There wasn’t that push in my life prior to Massachusetts or field hockey. Field hockey, what is the word I’m looking for, it helps me strive for things on and off of the field especially my academics.

USA Field Hockey:  Who inspired you to continue your journey with field hockey?

: In high school I really looked up to one of my teammates, Aurora Rugeau. Field hockey was taking her places and I wanted to be a part of that. I saw her work ethic and drive and I wanted to put in the work to get to that level and beyond.

USA Field Hockey: Based on your experience, what advice would you like to extend to athletes?

Take advantage of the zone field hockey puts you in. Let it take you to a better place in all areas of your life.

USFHA media release

Uttarakhand floods: Hockey India contributes Rs 10 lakh

Hockey India (HI) on Tuesday contributed Rs. 10 lakhs to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund to help the flood victims of Uttarakhand.

“Hockey India conveys its deepest concerns for the affected people of the Uttarakhand tragedy and being a national sports body we feel our duty to contribute in the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund,” Narinder Batra, Secretary General, HI said.

“It’s a small gesture to help the state during this calamity. Hockey India is committed to making any similar contribution in the future also, whenever it is needed for the cause of humanity,” he added.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Monday had announced that he would contribute Rs. 10 lakh to the flood victims, saying, “A part of it will be donated to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund and the remaining part will go to the Punjab government’s relief fund.”

Harbhajan could empathise with the victims as he himself was stranded in Joshimath for a few days after the tragedy struck.

The Hindu