News for 05 July 2013

All the news for Friday 5 July 2013


Olympic champions Germany thrash Malaysia

Malaysian qualification hopes still alive despite heavy defeat



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Olympic champions Germany joined England as qualifiers for next year’s Rabobank hockey World Cup thanks to a dazzling display against host nation Malaysia in the Hockey World League Semi Final tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A noisy and intensely passionate capacity crowd of 3500 people witnessed a master-class in attacking hockey from the world number 1 ranked team, powering to a 6-0 win with all of the goals coming in the first half.

The result completed the line up for the Semi Finals with Germany setting up a meeting with Korea, who defeated Pakistan earlier in the day. The other Semi Final will be contested between England and Argentina, with both matches taking place on Saturday 6th July.   More information about the fixtures can be found by clicking here.

By reaching the Semi Finals, Germany ensured that they could not finish any lower than fourth place at the event in Johor. At least one of the two fourth placed teams in the Hockey World League Semi Final stage now guaranteed a place at World Cup. With Germany’s World Ranking (1) being higher than that of New Zealand (6) - who finished fourth at the HWL Semi Final in Rotterdam –  their safe place at the World Cup is assured. It is worth noting that there is still a very real possibility that a fifth place finish here in Johor could result in a berth at the World Cup, ensuring the host nation still has everything to play for.

Germany were simply sensational in the first half, ripping through the Malaysian defence at will to net six goals in just 18 minutes. Christopher Zeller scored the first with a lucky penalty corner routine before Linus Butt and Moritz Polk scored goals in the eighth minute to take the score to 3-0. Zeller added fourth goal with a blistering penalty corner flick, before the game was effectively wrapped up by strikes from 2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fuerste and Thilo Stralkowski.

Malaysia were a much improved outfit in the second half and put on a fine performance for their hugely passionate home fans. However, Germany were simply too good on the day and showed exactly why they are the top ranked men’s team in international hockey.

FIH site



Pakistan stunned by Korea

Korea upset form book with stunning 4-3 victory



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Korea have upset the form book to secure a stunning 4-3 victory over Pool B winners Pakistan in the Quarter Finals of the Hockey World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The Koreans produced a sensational fight-back back from 2-0 to eventually win the match, with Pakistan’s Shakeel Abbasi missing a 53rd minute penalty stroke.

Pakistan were outstanding for much of the first half, showing great confidence to surge into a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes. The opening goal came from Muhammad Waqas, who produced a piece of brilliance to beat his man on the edge of the circle before cracking a shot past Korean keeper Lee Myung Ho.

Muhammad Tousiq added the second, although there was an element of fortune about the goal. His attempted cross within the circle took a big deflection off a Korean stick, helping the ball to evade the goalkeeper.

Korea gave themselves a life-line early late in the half thanks to Kang Moon Kweon, who sent a low penalty corner deflection into the Pakistan goal before pulling level just after the break. Kang was again the scorer, this time netting a close range field goal to really set the match alight.

The Greenshirts moved back in front in the 43rd minute when Shakeel Abbasi made no mistake with a penalty stroke, but Korea turned the game on its head with two goals in the space of 60 seconds. Nam Hyun Woo drag-flicked his team leaven in the 48th minute before Kim Young Jin grabbed a goal from close range moments later to leave the Pakistan team stunned.

Arguably the game’s most decisive moment arrived in the 53rd minute when Pakistan were awarded their second penalty stroke of the match. Shakeel Abbasi again assumed responsibility, but this time Korean custodian Lee Myung Ho guessed correctly, stepping across to his left to deny the icon of Pakistan hockey.

There was a frantic finish to the game, but Korea held on to secure a famous win and reach the Semi Final stage in Johor Bahru. They will play the winner of the day’s final match, which takes place between Germany and Malaysia.

FIH site



England achieve World Cup qualification

Worst case 4th place finish in Johor is enough for Bobby’s boys



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

England have guaranteed their place at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup by defeating Japan 5-0 in the Semi Finals at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The result sets up a meeting with Argentina, who defeated South Africa 2-0 in the first Quarter Final of the day.

The team coached by Bobby Crutchley sealed a berth at the 2014 event by virtue of a “worst case scenario” fourth place finish here in Johor. It is already known that at least one of the two fourth placed teams in the Hockey World League Semi Final stage will qualify for the World Cup. As England’s World Ranking (4) is higher than that of New Zealand (6), the fourth placed finishers in Rotterdam, England’s safe passage is assured.

England started the brighter of the two teams and could easily have been ahead inside the first ten minutes. Richard Smith had the best of the early chances, but sent his penalty corner drag-flick sailing over the crossbar. Japan struggled to get out of their own territory for long periods, and eventually the pressure told when England’s hard running forced a defensive error and the game’s opening goal. Simon Mantell was the creator, stealing possession on the backline before providing the perfect pass for the onrushing Mark Gleghorne, who slammed the ball into the goal from nine metres out. 

The Europeans added to their tally three minutes later thanks to a glorious penalty corner routine, with Barry Middleton sliding in at the right post to guide a pin-point pass from Ashley Jackson into the roof of the net.

In the second half it was more of the same from England, who quickly moved the score-board onto 4-0 courtesy of goals in the 44th and 48th minutes through Harry Martin and Simon Mantell. Both were beautiful backhand efforts, with Martin’s strike finding the top right corner before Mantell cracked a shot just inside the left post.

England continued to assert their authority on the match and completed the scoring through Dan Fox, who hit a perfect penalty corner strike in the 56th minute that hit the very top of the backboard in the 56th minute.  

FIH site



Peillat double sinks South Africa

Argentina qualify for Semi Finals at HWL event in Johor Bahru



Gonzalo Peillat (right) scored both the goals as Argentina reached the Semi Finals of the Hockey World League Semi Final tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Pool A winners Argentina have qualified for the Semi Finals of the Hockey World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru courtesy of an 2-0 triumph over South Africa. 20 year old penalty corner star Gonzalo Peillat scored both of the goals, moving Argentina a step closer to securing a place at the next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague.  

The South Americans were the dominant force throughout the first half, with the South African defence being forced to defend in numbers in a bid to keep the lively Argentinean strike force at bay.  The South African back line was in superb form, with goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse making a number of world class saves to deny their opponents. Lucas Rossi, Gonzalo Peillat and Lucas Villa were all thwarted thanks to stunning blocks from South Africa’s agile shot-stopper, before Argentina finally got a mark on the score-sheet in the 27th minute. Peillat was the scorer, with his penalty corner drag-flick taking a wicked deflection which deceived the stranded Pieterse, who produced another miraculous save to deny Guillermo Schickendantz just before half time.

Argentina continued their fine form in the second period, and doubled their lead in the 40th minute. Again it was Peillat who was on target, launching an unstoppable penalty corner flick just inside the left post to put the South Americans on firm ground. 

Despite a 47th minute yellow card for Lloyd Norris-Jones, South Africa gave a much better showing of themselves in the second half and won a handful of penalty corners, but could not find a way through Argentina’s rock solid defensive wall.   

In the dying minutes of the match, South Africa went broke and replaced their goalkeeper with an outfield player, hoping that the extra outfield player could help them save the game. However, Argentina remained in firm control, and finished the match with a clean sheet.

Argentina’s Semi Final opponents will be either England or Japan, who play each other in the second match of the day here in Johor. 

FIH site



German drubbing for Malaysia



OLYMPIC champions and World No 1 Germany rubbed Malaysia's nose on the Taman Daya turf when they outclassed the hosts 6-0 in the World League Semi-finals.

The famous hammering not only saw Germany reaching the semi-finals, but also qualifying for the World Cup next year.

Germany will play South Korea, who beat Pakistan 4-3, in the semi-finals.

It was a nightmarish start for Malaysia as they conceded six goals in 18 minutes to Germany and the match was over even before it started.

The Germans were in fantastic form as they never even allowed Malaysia out of their own half, and scored off their first penalty corner in the fouth Minute and Christopher Zeller nailed the lead.

And then the floodgates opened as the Germans scored at will as goalkeeper S. Kumar and his defenders were totally off form.

Linus Butt (eighth), Moritz Polk (ninth), Christopher Zeller (12th), Moritz Furste (16th) and Thio stralkowski (18th) completed the first half rout.

And in the second half, even though Malaysia woke up from their slumber and started attacking, the German defense held stout.

The capacity crowd, about 5,000, kept cheering and singing motivational songs, but Malaysia had lost the match in 18 minutes, and there was no turning back the German tsunami.

Malaysia play Pakistan in the Fifth-Eight classification match tomorrow.

England also hammered the daylights out of Japan to not only cruise into the semi-finals, but also the World Cup, on a 5-0 score.

And they will play Argentina in the last four, after the Argies beat South Africa 2-0 in the other quarter-finals.

In a complicated World League calculation, England and Germany are assured of a spot in the World Cup next year even if they finish fourth in Johor Baru, as in the first World League semi-finals in the Netherlands, the hosts also qualified when they finished third and left the fourth spot open to the highest ranked team in both the semi-finals.

New Zealand finished fourth in Netherlands, but they are ranked World No 6, while Germany are No 1 and England No 4.

Argentina are world No 10, while South Korea No 8 so they must finish top three to qualify.

RESULTS: Quarter-finals -- Argentina 2 South Africa 0; England 5 Japan 0; Pakistan 3 South Korea 4; Germany 6 Malaysia 0.

FRIDAY: REST DAY

SATURDAY:


Fifth-Eight: South Africa v Japan (2.45pm); Pakistan v Malaysia (5pm).

Semi-finals: Argentina v England (7.15pm); Germany v South Korea (9.30pm).

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Korea stun Pakistan



South Korea came back from two goals down to deny Pakistan a semi-final spot in the World League Semifinals as they defeated their rivals 4-3 in one of the most entertaining matches of the tournament thus far. The loss comes as a big blow to Pakistan as they lose out on the opportunity to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, while the Koreans will have to secure a top three finish to book their spot.

World No 5 Pakistan only needed a top 4 finish in order to make the World Cup as New Zealand who finished fourth at the World League Semifinals in Holland are ranked 6th In the world.

With Holland playing host to the World Cup and managing to secure third place at the World League Semifinals at Rotterdam this leaves one more slot open for the fourth highest ranked finisher to make the cut for the World Cup.Pakistan was off to an electrifying start and found themselves ahead in the fifth minute of the game.

Striker Muhammad Waqas sublime stick work left his defender for dead and the Pakistani followed it with a brilliant finish.The South Koreans failed to cope with the quick Pakistani attacks and eventually fell further behind in the 17th minute.

This time Muhammad Tousiq found the back of net courtesy of a mistake from South Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.The hard running Koreas reduced the deficit five minutes before the break from their second penalty corner of the game, which was deflected home by Kang Moon Kweon.The half time pep talk looked to have worked for the South Korean as they levelled the scores three minutes into the second half, and once again it was Kang who got a deft touch to a pin-point cross which was put into the Pakistani circle.

Pakistan stayed focused and restored their t lead in the 43rd minute courtesy of a penalty stroke, which was slotted home by Shakeel Abbasi.

The end to end action carried on and in a blink of an eye the Koreans raced past the Pakistanis to take the lead with two lightening quick goals which came in the space of a minute.Veteran Nam Hyun Woo levelled the scores in the 48th minute and right from the restart Kim Young Jin put the Koreans ahead with a tap in from a quick attack.

At the other end Pakistan was awarded with another penalty stroke, but this time Myung Ho stood tall to deny Shakeel.Pakistan pushed every man they had forward in search for a goal but the South Koreans defended for their lives and denied the Pakistanis from finding the all-important equalizer.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Enaland whitewash Japan



England defeated Japan 5-0 to move into the semifinals of the World League Johor Bahru this evening.

It was a commanding performance from the English who totally dominated play and were worthy winners of the quarterfinal tie.

The Japanese held strong from the opening whistle, closing down the English attack and keeping them at bay with some resilient defending.

The first clear chance of the game fell to England in the 10th minute, Richard Smith’s penalty corner effort was sent over the cross-bar much to the relief of the Japanese players.

Japan continued to frustrate the world No 4 side, but they eventually found the key to unlock them in the 20th minute.

Simon Mantell worked his way down the right flank before squaring off the ball for Mark Gleghorne to slap home.

Three minutes later England doubled their lead from a penalty corner set-piece, Ashley Jackson laid the ball off for skipper Barry Middleton to deflect home. The score eventually stood as both teams went into half time.

Japan had no answer to the English onslaught after the break which saw them fall further behind

Jackson teed up Harry Martin at the top of the circle and the striker unleashed a powerful reverse stick shot which flew into the top corner.

Four minutes later Simon Mantell made it 4-0, before Dan Fox sealed the match for the world No 4 side with from a penalty corner in the 56th minute.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Argentina book semis spot



Argentina have virtually qualified for the 2014 World Cup when they defeated South Africa 2-0 in the first of the knock out matches in the World League Johor Baru this evening.

With the three top teams assured and the fourth likely to follow through after the continental championships are completed, Argentina deserved the win as they totally dominated the match.

They will play the winner of the Engalnd v Japan quarterfinal in the last four on Saturday.

It was Argentina that had a first look at goal in the 5th minute as Lucas Rossi cracked a reverse stick strike towards goal, but RSA keeper Erasmus Pieterse padded the ball away to safety.

In the 9th minute Argentina were awarded their first penalty corner but the strike by Gonzalo Peillat was smothered by the first runner.

Two more penalty corners followed for Argentina, but a combination of Timothy Drummond and Pieterse saved the South Africans on both occassions.

In the 14th minute Facundo Callioni was almost certain to score but saw Pieterse pulling off a stunning reflex save to deny Argentina the opening goal.

But the domination of Argentina eventually paid off in the 27th minute when off their fourth penalty corner, the attempt by Peillat took a massive deflection from the stick of Jonathan Robinson and caught Pieterse on the wrong foot and sailed into goal giving Argentina a 1-0 lead.

Guiilermo Schickendantz nearly doubled the advantage for Argentina in the 32nd minute has it not been a stunning love save by Pieterse.

However Peillat was not to be denied in the 40th minute as he converted another penalty corner to double the advantage for Argentina. He was denied a hattrick by the upright in the 44th minute and South Africa was clearly struggling in the match.

Although South Africa rallied late in the match, it was a little too late for them.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Argentina beat South Africa in World League men's hockey quarter-finals

JONATHAN COOK



SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse. Photo: KOUICHI TAKAMARI

Missing key attacker, defender and captain Austin Smith due to illness, the world’s 12th-ranked South Africa men’s hockey team were beaten 2-0 by world number 10 and in-form Pool A winners Argentina in the quarter-finals of the World League in Johor, Malaysia Thursday.

Two penalty corner drag-flick goals in the 27th minute and 40th minutes by Gonzalo Peillat accounted for Argentina’s win and they will play England in Saturday’s semi-finals.

South Africa will meet world number 16 Japan in the first of the Plate semi-finals, the first round of playoffs for fifth to eighth places. Saturday’s match will be live on SuperSport 5 and HD4 from 8.45 am (SA time).

Smith’s absence and midfielder Jonty Robinson not 100% fit unsettled the South African game plan and balance. To some extent, players had to play out of position in an attempt to fill the considerable hole left by Smith not being on the pitch.

To compound matters, with 18 players per side, including a goalkeeper and six field players on the rolling substitutes’ bench, missing a field player, never mind one of Smith’s stature, effectively means a team is playing one short and that makes it virtually impossible to win matches at this level.

Argentina took full advantage and SA withstood an early barrage from arguably the form team of the tournament. Tim Drummond, guarding the far post, pulled off two top saves on the goalline from bullet PC drag flicks by Peillat, while on-song SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse made a remarkable save low to his right at point-blank range from Facundo Callioni.

The pressure had to tell and Peillat’s first goal came from Argentina’s fourth PC. Running the right line, SA first-wave defender Robinson was unfortunate that the ball deflected unkindly off his stick, the diverted flight path wrong-footing Pieterse.

Five minutes after the changeover, Peillat made it 2-0 from Argentina’s fifth PC and as hard as they tried, the disrupted SA line-up were battling to put any cohesive go-forward ball together. Peillat hit the post with Argentina’s sixth PC and while SA had moments on attack, the opposition defence were up for the challenge.

With just under four minutes left SA substituted Pieterse and added another field player in a last attempt to force the match into a penalty shootout by bagging back-to-back goals, but it was not to be.

“It was a tough game, disappointing and frustrating against a quality side who have played great hockey in the tournament,” Robinson said afterwards.

Despite the setback, success against Japan Saturday will set South Africa up for a chance at fifth place on Sunday, a commendable achievement.

And the silver lining is that while SA will miss out on the World League Finals in Delhi, India come January next year, victory in the Africa Cup in three months’ time in Nairobi, Kenya will qualify the lads in green and gold for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague next June.

SA Hockey Association media release



5-0 victory and World Cup Qualification for England



England guaranteed their place at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup following a dominant display over Japan. Mark Gleghorne, Barry Middleton, Harry Martin, Simon Mantell and Dan Fox were all on target to give England a 5-0 victory in Malaysia.

The result means that England have set up a Semi Final against Argentina on Saturday at 12:15 (UK time). Watch it live on the FIH You Tube channel.

The victory was made even sweeter for England as they booked their place at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. As noted by the International Hockey Federation, “The team sealed a berth at the 2014 event by virtue of a “worst case scenario” fourth place finish here in Johor. It is already known that at least one of the two fourth placed teams in the Hockey World League Semi Final stage will qualify for the World Cup. As England’s World Ranking (4) is higher than that of New Zealand (6) - the fourth placed finishers in Rotterdam - England’s safe passage is assured.”

Speaking after the game, Ashley Jackson said, “We knew that if we won this game we would qualify for the World Cup next year. We got ourselves in a good position in the group to get to this place and I think we dominated the game today. We tried a few different things in the last game and they seemed to work well for us so we took that into today as well. I’m really enjoying playing out here, we’ve got some incredibly talented players in this squad; Harry Martin and Nick Catlin are running rings around some of the players in midfield and it’s great to watch.”

The first half of today’s match against Japan saw a dominant England keeping the opposition in their own half, maintaining possession and going two goals up in the process.

The first ten minutes were characterised by a strong Japanese defense, as a few early attempts at working the ball into the circle by Richard Smith and Reading’s Darren Cheesman were closed down effectively. A penalty corner for England in the 9th minute was a chance to get an early lead, but it was unfortunately sent high by Smith.

England kept up the pressure and it was only a matter of time before they made the breakthrough. In the 20th minute a good tackle by Simon Mantell led to a pass to East Grinstead’s Mark Gleghorne, who drove the ball to the left past the Japanese Goalkeeper Katsuyi Takase, giving England a 1-0 lead.

Three minutes later, a brilliantly worked penalty corner saw East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson strike the ball straight to a sliding Barry Middleton’s stick, and he flicked the ball over Takase to make the score 2-0.

There were more close calls in the remaining minutes of the first half as Jackson, Cheesman and Mantell all continued to worry the Japanese defenders. One push in the last few seconds of the half saw Japan come close, but Shinji Kawauichi shot just wide of George Pinner in goal and it was England who went into the break the satisfied team.

The second half saw England continue in a similar fashion, maintaining their dominance in possession and creating attacking opportunities throughout the 35 minutes.

The first goal of the half came in the 44th minute from Beeston’s Harry Martin, and it was one to remember for the youngster in the team. After a brilliantly executed pass from Jackson, Martin sealed the goal with a rifling reverse stick strike, too fast for Japan’s Takase in goal who barely reacted, bringing the score to 3-0.

The fourth goal for England was executed in a similar manner just four minutes later.

This time it was a perfect set up pass from previous goal scorer, Gleghorne, followed by a booming reverse stick strike from Reading’s Simon Mantell, who all but assured England their victory.

Despite the four goal cushion England kept to their game plan and continued their patient build up play. In the 56th minute England won another penalty corner and this time it was Hampstead and Westminster’s Dan Fox who capitalised on the opportunity. The injection came out from Reading’s Nick Catlin, who had dominated midfield throughout the game, and Fox struck the ball perfectly as it flew over a diving Takase, smashing the top of the backboard and sealing the 5-0 victory.

Speaking after the game a very satisfied England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “There were always going to be mountains to climb during this four year cycle. This might not be the biggest, but it was vitally important for us to take that first step and qualify for the World Cup next year. It was another good performance today for this group and I thought we played with flare, tenacity and solidity. I’m very pleased with the way we kept possession. We now have a day to rest and get ready for our Semi Final against Argentina on Saturday.”

England will play Argentina at 12:15 (UK time) on Saturday. Watch it live on the FIH You Tube channel.

ENGLAND 5 (2)
Mark Gleghorne 20 (FG)
Barry Middleton 23 (PC)
Harry Martin 44 (FG)
Simon Mantell 48 (FG)
Dan Fox 56 (PC)                                                                     

JAPAN 0 (0)

England Hockey Board Media release



Class act from Germany..

OLYMPIC champions and World No 1 Germany rubbed Malaysia's nose on the Taman Daya turf when they outclassed the hosts 6-0 in the World League Semi-finals yesterday.

The famous hammering not only saw Germany reaching the semi-finals, but also qualifying for the World Cup next year.

Germany will play South Korea, who beat Pakistan 4-3, in the semi-finals.

It was a nightmarish start for Malaysia as they conceded six goals in 18 minutes to Germany and the match was over even before it started.

The Germans were in fantastic form as they never even allowed Malaysia out of their own half, and scored off their first penalty corner in the fouth Minute and Christopher Zeller nailed the lead.

And then the floodgates opened as the Germans scored at will as goalkeeper S. Kumar and his defenders were totally off form.

Linus Butt (eighth), Moritz Polk (ninth), Christopher Zeller (12th), Moritz Furste (16th) and Thio stralkowski (18th) completed the first half rout.

And in the second half, even though Malaysia woke up from their slumber and started attacking, the German defense held stout.

The capacity crowd, about 5,000, kept cheering and singing motivational songs, but Malaysia had lost the match in 18 minutes, and there was no turning back the German tsunami.

Malaysia play Pakistan in the Fifth-Eight classification match tomorrow.

England also hammered the daylights out of Japan to not only cruise into the semi-finals, but also the World Cup, on a 5-0 score.

And they will play Argentina in the last four, after the Argies beat South Africa 2-0 in the other quarter-finals.

In a complicated World League calculation, England and Germany are assured of a spot in the World Cup next year even if they finish fourth in Johor Baru, as in the first World League semi-finals in the Netherlands, the hosts also qualified when they finished third and left the fourth spot open to the highest ranked team in both the semi-finals.

New Zealand finished fourth in Netherlands, but they are ranked World No 6, while Germany are No 1 and England No 4.

Argentina are world No 10, while South Korea No 8 so they must finish top three to qualify.

RESULTS: Quarter-finals -- Argentina 2 South Africa 0; England 5 Japan 0; Pakistan 3 South Korea 4; Germany 6 Malaysia 0.

TODAY: REST DAY

TOMORROW: Fifth-Eight: South Africa v Japan (2.45pm); Pakistan v Malaysia (5pm).

Semi-finals: Argentina v England (7.15pm); Germany v South Korea (9.30pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Malaysia expected a defensive side..

German coach Markus Weise was diplomatic when he said: "Six goals in 18 minutes is simply fantastic, but it does not happen to us very often and so we are very pleased with it.

"However, I give credit to Malaysia to coming back strongly in the second half with their heads high and play good hockey. Not many teams in the world would be able to do that after letting in so many goals," said Markus.

As for Malaysian coach Paul Revington: "We expeced the Germans to start slowly and gave them too much of space. Instead they attacked, and off seven attempts, they scored six.

"We tried to recover in the second half, where my boys played their normal game, but the goals never came."

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Olympic champions Germany score six goals in 18 minutes

By S. RAMAGURU



Sticky situation: Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (right) and Germany’s Linus Butt in a duel for the ball during their World Hockey League match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru last night. Germany won 6-0. — LIM CHENG KIAT / The Star

JOHOR BARU: World No. 1 Germany gave a masterclass to whip Malaysia 6-0 in the quarter-finals of the FIH World Hockey League semi-final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here last night.

The Germans will meet the South Koreans in the semi-finals tomorrow while Malaysia will play Pakistan in a classification match.

It was such a mismatch that one only had pity for the Malaysians who just didn’t have a clue on how to stop the German juggernaut.

It didn’t take long for the Germans to stamp their class. The Olympic champions gained their first penalty corner in the fourth minute and Christopher Zeller made no mistake with his drag flick.

Then, in a four-minute spell from the eighth minute, the Malaysians went tumbling out as the Germans scored three goals to put the issue beyond the Malaysians.

Linus Butt scored in the eighth minute followed by Moritz Polk and Zeller in the ninth and 12th minutes. From then on, it was a matter of how many goals the Germans would score.

Moritz Furste and Thilo Stralkow-ski added two more goals in the 13th and 18th minutes for a 6-0 first-half lead.

Malaysia played a little better in the second half that yielded no goals from either side. But then the Germans were probably conserving their energy for the semi-final match.

Earlier, South Korea overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Pakistan 4-3 in an exciting last-eight clash.

It was a typical Korean performance. They absorbed everything the Pakistanis threw at them in the early stages of the match and then ran their opponents ragged in the second half.

Pakistan started off strongly and took the lead as early as the fifth minute through Mohamed Waqas. Mohamed Tousiq then made it 2-0 in the 16th minute.

But the game changed once Kang Moon-kweon scored his team’s opening goal in the 30th minute from a penalty corner. He also scored the equaliser in the 39th minute.

Pakistan, however, managed to snatch back the lead with a penalty stroke conversion by Shakeel Abassi in the 43rd minute.

But it didn’t stop the marauding Koreans. Nam Hyun-woo added the third in the 48th minute and Kim Young-jin scored the winner a minute later.

The Star of Malaysia



England wallop Japan

FIERY: Will battle Argentina while South Korea face Germany in semi-finals

By JUGJET SINGH


ENGLAND  beat the daylights out of Japan not only to cruise into the World League semi-finals, but also the World Cup, with a 5-0 victory  at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

And they will play Argentina in the last four, after the latter beat South Africa 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

South Korea also qualified for the semi-finals when they came back from two goals down to beat Pakistan 4-3.

In a complicated World League calculation, England are assured of a spot in the World Cup next year even if they finish fourth in Johor Baru, as in the first World League semi-finals in the Netherlands, the hosts also qualified when they finished third and left the fourth spot open to the highest ranked team in both the semi-finals.

New Zealand finished fourth in Netherlands, but they are ranked World No 6, while England are No 4.

Argentina are No 10, while South Korea are No 8, so they must finish in the top three to qualify.

Two penalty corner strikes from Gonzalo Peillat in the 27th and 40th minutes were enough for Argentina to beat South Africa for the semi-final slot.

The match was lopsided, with Argentina missing numerous sitters which could have seen a hammering, as South Africa were heavy-footed and slow in the consistent drizzle.

And in the England match, after a slow start, the English took command and the goals came from Mark Gleghorne (20th), Barry Middleton (23rd), Harry Martin (44th), Simon Mantell (48th) and Dan Fox (56th).

"It is a big relief that we have qualified for the World Cup and now there will be no more pressure on us in the remaining two matches," said England coach Bobby Crutchley.

As for their next opponents Argentina, he said: "They have scored many goals (13) and only let in two in four matches and that speaks volumes about their strength.

"We will try to match them in every department."

New Straits Times



Pakistan stunned by South Korea


Veteran striker Shakeel Abbasi failed to score on a penalty stroke, a chance that meant the Greenshirts could not get the equaliser they needed to stay in the game. PHOTO: FILE AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan paid for an ordinary show during the final stages of the game, succumbing to South Korea 4-3 in the quarter-final of the Hockey World League (HWL) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia yesterday.

Not only did the Greenshirts crash out of the title-race, they also missed a chance to confirm entry at next year’s World Cup — the top three teams at the HWL are due to book their place for the global tournament in the Netherlands. Pakistan will now have to wait for the Asia Cup in August that serves as the World Cup qualifiers as well.

After being spurred with a top finish in Group B where they remained unbeaten, Pakistan started off well but failed to carry on the momentum in the second-half unlike their previous games.

Mohammad Waqas gave the side an early lead when he found an opening in the fifth minute. The lead gave the side confidence as they continued to dominate the encounter, making repeated attempts on goal.

Mohammad Tauseeq then doubled the lead in the 17th minute before Korea hit back, reducing the lead through Kang Moon Kweon, four minutes before the half-time whistle.

In the second-half, Korea came back as a different side, leveling the score just after three minutes with Kweon striking again.

Pakistan regained the lead through veteran Shakeel Abbasi who scored from the penalty spot. But the Koreans held their nerves and scored two goals in as many minutes (48th and 49th) to take a 4-3 lead with Nam Hyun and Kim Young being the tormentors.

Pakistan kept looking for the equaliser but missed several easy chances, including a penalty-stroke from Abbasi as Korea progressed to the semi-finals.

Pakistan now face Malaysia in the first of their fifth-to-eighth-spot matches tomorrow.

Pakistan missed golden chance: Samiullah

Olympic great Samiullah Khan expressed his disappointment after the loss.

“It was the best chance for Pakistan to seal their berth for the World Cup,” Samiullah told The Express Tribune. “The defeat is disappointing as Korea ended last in the group while we were the favourites after topping it.

“It has now become an uphill task for Pakistan to qualify directly because the Asia Cup will be more difficult as only the winning team will confirm its place.

“It will never be easy to win in the presence of teams like India, Malaysia and South Korea.”

Samiullah blamed the team management and senior players for the defeat that knocked the team out of the title-race.

“I did not see much coordination among the players. We played well in the first three matches but lost the touch in this match especially the second half. I feel lack of training was also among the reasons for the unsuccessful campaign.

“There is still time left and the team management must formulate an extensive plan as rest of the teams will come well prepared for the Asia Cup.”

The Express Tribune



Korea comeback dents Pakistan’s World Cup hopes

Staff Report


KARACHI: Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Hockey World Cup suffered a major blow after the Greenshirts were edged out 4-3 by an electrifying Korean side in the quarterfinal of the World Hockey League (WHL). Muhammad Imran’s side, who needed to finish in the top three in the WHL to qualify for the World Cup next year, must now win the upcoming Asia Cup to make the trip to the Netherlands, where hockey’s biggest event will be staged.

The quarterfinal started in great fashion for Imran’s side as they dominated possession and managed to get on the board as early as the fifth minute through a magical field goal by Muhammad Waqas. Muhammad Tousiq doubled Pakistan’s lead in the 16th minute to leave the Koreans gasping for air. And it wasn’t until the closing minutes of the first-half that they hit back through Kang Moon Kweon’s low penalty corner.

Inspired by Kang again, the Koreans turned it around right away in the second-half to make it 2-2 but a sloppy effort in their own D gave Pakistan a penalty stroke and an easy chance to get back into the lead. Shakeel Abbasi held his nerve to complete an easy goal, fired in the top right. From there onwards it was all Korea and it seemed their belligerent offensive left Imran’s side well and truly baffled. First, Nam Hyun Woo scored off a penalty corner in the 43rd minute before Kim Young Jin scored a field goal five minutes later. Losing the advantage after being two goals up clearly seemed to shake the spirit of the Pakistanis and it must have been playing on the mind of Abbasi. The veteran striker fired in his penalty to the left of Korean Lee Myung Ho but the alert keeper was in a good position to stop the shot.

While that passage of play in the 53rd minute was probably the decisive moment of the match, Pakistan had several penalty corner opportunities after it, which they failed to make use of. Although the defeat will leave Pakistan dejected, their performance in the WHL was a marked improvement from their showing at this year’s Azlan Shah Cup where they finished 5th. They tied with Malaysia and England and thumped lowly South Africa 6-2 but were often found wanting in front of goal which proved to be their undoing in against Korea.

The Daily Times



Korea comeback dents Pakistan's World Cup hopes

Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Hockey World Cup suffered a major blow after the Greenshirts were edged out 4-3 by an electrifying Korean side in the quarterfinal of the World Hockey League (WHL).

Muhammad Imran’s side, who needed to finish in the top three in the WHL to qualify for the World Cup next year, must now win the upcoming Asia Cup to make the trip to the Netherlands, where hockey’s biggest event will be staged.

The quarterfinal started in great fashion for Imran’s side as they dominated possession and managed to get on the board as early as the fifth minute through a magical field goal by Muhammad Waqas. Muhammad Tousiq doubled Pakistan’s lead in the 16th minute to leave the Koreans gasping for air. And it wasn’t until the closing minutes of the first-half that they hit back through Kang Moon Kweon’s low penalty corner.

Inspired by Kang again, the Koreans turned it around right away in the second-half to make it 2-2 but a sloppy effort in their own D gave Pakistan a penalty stroke and an easy chance to get back into the lead. Shakeel Abbasi held his nerve to complete an easy goal, fired in the top right.

From there onwards it was all Korea and it seemed their belligerent offensive left Imran’s side well and truly baffled. First, Nam Hyun Woo scored off a penalty corner in the 43rd minute before Kim Young Jin scored a field goal five minutes later. Losing the advantage after being two goals up clearly seemed to shake the spirit of the Pakistanis and it must have been playing on the mind of Abbasi. The veteran striker fired in his penalty to the left of Korean Lee Myung Ho but the alert keeper was in a good position to stop the shot.

While that passage of play in the 53rd minute was probably the decisive moment of the match, Pakistan had several penalty corner opportunities after it which they failed to make use of.

Although the defeat will leave Pakistan dejected, their performance in the WHL was a marked improvement from their showing at this year’s Azlan Shah Cup where they finished 5th. They tied with Malaysia and England and thumped lowly South Africa 6-2 but were often found wanting in front of goal which proved to be their undoing in against Korea.

Dawn



Pakistan stunned by South Korea

JOHOR BAHRU - Korea have upset the form book to secure a stunning 4-3 victory over Pool B winners Pakistan in the Quarter Finals of the Hockey World League Semi Final event in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

The Koreans produced a sensational fight-back back from 2-0 to eventually win the match, with Pakistan’s Shakeel Abbasi missing a 53rd minute penalty stroke.

Pakistan were outstanding for much of the first half, showing great confidence to surge into a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes. The opening goal came from Muhammad Waqas, who produced a piece of brilliance to beat his man on the edge of the circle before cracking a shot past Korean keeper Lee Myung Ho.

Muhammad Tousiq added the second, although there was an element of fortune about the goal. His attempted cross within the circle took a big deflection off a Korean stick, helping the ball to evade the goalkeeper.

Korea gave themselves a life-line early late in the half thanks to Kang Moon Kweon, who sent a low penalty corner deflection into the Pakistan goal before pulling level just after the break. Kang was again the scorer, this time netting a close range field goal to really set the match alight.

The Greenshirts moved back in front in the 43rd minute when Shakeel Abbasi made no mistake with a penalty stroke, but Korea turned the game on its head with two goals in the space of 60 seconds. Nam Hyun Woo drag-flicked his team leaven in the 48th minute before Kim Young Jin grabbed a goal from close range moments later to leave the Pakistan team stunned.

Arguably the game’s most decisive moment arrived in the 53rd minute when Pakistan were awarded their second penalty stroke of the match. Shakeel Abbasi again assumed responsibility, but this time Korean custodian Lee Myung Ho guessed correctly, stepping across to his left to deny the icon of Pakistan hockey.

There was a frantic finish to the game, but Korea held on to secure a famous win and reach the Semi Final stage in Johor Bahru. They will play the winner of the day’s final match, which takes place between Germany and Malaysia.

The Nation



“Ump Cam” to be trialled in Johor

New technology embraced as Hockey’s trailblazing reputation continues



The Ump Cam, seen here during technical testing on Thursday morning, will be used in two of today's matches in Johor.

The broadcast coverage of international hockey events will take a bold stride forward today when the “Ump Cam” is trialled in the Quarter Final phase of the Hockey World League Semi Final competition in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

This exciting new technology is designed to add another dimension to the visual imagery of this fast moving sport, and is expected to generate fascinating on pitch footage from the unique perspective of the match officials. 

The FIH took a decision to explore the possibilities surrounding this head-mounted technology as part of its drive to get the fans closer to the sport, and is yet another example of hockey’s on-going desire to push the game forwards on all levels.

The first match official to wear the “Ump Cam” will be England’s Hamish Jamson, who is taking charge of the third Quarter Final game between Pakistan and Korea, which is scheduled to take place at 7.15pm local time (UTC / GMT +8). The technology will also be used in the Germany v Malaysia match, with Ayden Shrives of South Africa donning the headpiece, a match which begins at 9.30pm.

Make sure you tune into the FIH Live Stream to see the trial in action on www.youtube.com/fihockey

FIH site



Electric Ireland Senior Women make it 2 from 2 vs. Scotland



The Electric Ireland Senior Women's team grabbed their second win of the week vs. Scotland at Mossley Hockey in Newtownabbey today.

The two sides had already met each other on Tuesday night with Ireland running out 4-1 winner on that occasion and today was another high intensity battle at the Glade. Scotland came out with all guns blazing in the early period of the game putting the hosts on the back foot and under pressure. Quality chances were at a premium though in the game and despite shading the play in the first half Scotland couldn't force a lead. Ireland's best chance of the first half came following good play be Nicci Daly to win Ireland's first penalty corner of the game. Lisa Jacob though saw the resulting flick well blocked though and the chance went begging for the Green Army as both teams remained on level terms at 0-0 as they headed for the break.

Ireland started the second half with renewed vigour though and slowly gained control of the tight battle. Their dominance was rewarded when Anna O'Flanagan struck well following good interchanging play from Niamh Atcheler & Nikki Symmons who eventually worked the ball to the UCD woman who coolly lifted the ball over the onrushing Scottish keeper to make it 1-0. Ireland made the game safe within a minute as they followed up their good play with yet another sweeping move that this time was slotted home neatly by Megan Frazer to make it 2-0. It capped off a decent performance from the Green Army and ensured they picked up their second win of the week which will no doubt build confidence in the group.

Speaking after the game, Electric Ireland Senior International Coach, Darren Smith said "The game had plenty of passion and commitment but the match reduced in quality a little because of this. Scotland were very effective in their pressing and were able to generate opportunities off their commitment to close down defenders. We need to be able to show higher levels of composure under this sort of pressure"

Ireland will face Scotland for the final time tomorrow at 12pm at Mossley Hockey Club, Newtownabbey

Ireland 2 (O'Flanagan, Frazer)
Scotland 0

Irish Hockey Association media release



Scots lose out to Ireland


Kaz Marshall vs. Ireland

Scotland Women lost their second international match against Ireland in Newtownabbey this afternoon, going down 2-0 to the hosts.

As a result, the Scots are now 2-0 down in the three match series with Ireland establishing an unassailable position.

Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd and his side will now hope they can pull one game back tomorrow when the two sides meet again for the final match of the series.

After the match, Shepherd said, "We played with intensity and commitment for sixty out of the seventy minutes. A loss of concentration and defensive structure caused us to lose two goals. Again the score flatters to deceive."

Following a goal-less first half in which both sides had goal-scoring opportunities, it was Ireland who opened the scoring through Anna O'Flanaghan in the 64th minute; a long ball from inside the Irish half took a wicked deflection, wrong footing the Scottish defence to leave the Irish attacker with an easy scoring opportunity.

Shortly afterwards, Scotland found themselves 2-0 down when O'Flanaghan avoided some desperate defensive tackling to off-load a pass to Frazer who coolly slapped a shot low into the Scottish goal to double the home side's advantage in the 65th minute.

Although the visitors had opportunities to get back into the match, Ireland held out for the win and ultimately, a series clinching success.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Scotland U18 Girls target European promotion in Spain



Scotland U18 Girls are targeting success at the EuroHockey U18 Championship II next week, which takes place in Santander, Spain from 8-14 July.

The Scots will face hosts Spain in a warm-up match this weekend, before taking on Poland and Italy in Pool A of the competition. Pool B is made up Belarus, Czech Republic, Spain and Ukraine.

The top two sides from each pool will progress to cross-over matches to determine the nations promoted to the EuroHockey U18 Championship two years from now.

Scotland U18 Head Coach Colin Clarke said, “Our aim for the Europeans is to be promoted back to the top division. The players are aware that if we stick to our processes and focus on what we can control then the results will take care of themselves.

“We expect our all our games to be challenging and physical and the players are looking forward to putting the hard work into practice starting with Poland on Tuesday.

“To acclimatise [for the weather in Spain], we played three test matches in Prague in soaring heat and since we returned to Scotland, the players have been training in waterproofs to ensure their bodies are continuing to sweat as if they are in hot and humid conditions.”

Please visit the EuroHockey website for more information.

Scotland U18 Girls Squad: Megan Inch (Grove Menzieshill & Strathallan School), Rowan Sinclair (CALA Edinburgh & Mary Esrkine School), Waverley Miller (Watsonians & George Watson’s College), Emily Newlands (Borders Fjordhus Reivers & Selkirk High School), Susan Graham (Grove Menzieshill & High School of Dundee), Katie Hibbert (Granite City Wanderers & Robert Gordon’s College), Kerry-Anne Hastings (CALA Edinburgh & Mary Erskine School), Alison Eadie (Clydesdale Western & Hutchesons’ Grammar School), Maisie Morris (Kelvinside Academy & GHK), Laura Page (Albany University), Kirsten Peters (CALA Edinburgh & George Watson’s College), Jennifer Mathieson (Clydesdale Western & Craigholme), Jennifer Eadie (Clydesdale Western & Hutchesons’ Grammar School), Jessica Ross (Dundee Wanderers & Morgan Academy), Camillia Brown (CALA Edinburgh & Fettes College), Claire Hill (Watsonians and Kelso High School), Fiona Burnet (Clydesdale Western & Lomond School), Emma McGregor (Inverleith & Firrhill High School).

Scottish Hockey Union media release



SA U21 women’s squad named for final JWC preparations

A 20-player South Africa U21 squad has been named for a preparation camp in The Netherlands and Germany ahead of the Women’s Junior World Cup, which takes place in Mönchengladbach, Germany from July 27 to August 4.

The squad will depart for The Netherlands on July 6, immediately following the University Sport South Africa tournament in Cape Town.

SA U21 head coach Lindsey Wright will announce the final JWC team of 18 players on July 21.

Drawn in Pool B of the JWC, South Africa will play China on July 27, Argentina on July 28 and Canada on July 30 in the pool round.

Training matches will be played prior to the Junior World Cup.

20-PLAYER SA U21 SQUAD

Bronwyn Kretzmann, Erin Hunter, Nicole La Fleur, Quanita Bobbs, Sherry King, Suléke Brand, Taryn Mallett, Tarryn Glasby (all Western Province)

Cornelle Botha, Izelle Lategan, Liné Malan, Tanya Britz,  Nicole Walraven (all Free State)

Jacinta Jubb, Lilian du Plessis, Phume Mbande (all Northern Blues)

Stephanie Baxter, Tiffany Jones (both North West)

Toni Marx (Eastern Province)

Nika Nel (Southern Gauteng).

FRIENDLY INTERNATIONAL TRAINING MATCHES

9 Jul vs Germany u21 in Köln
12 Jul vs Holland u18 in Amsterdam
14 Jul vs Belgium u21 in Antwerp
16 Jul vs Holland u21 in Amsterdam
18 Jul vs Belgium u21 in Antwerp
20 Jul vs Belgium u21 in Antwerp
22 Jul vs India u21 in Amsterdam
24 Jul vs India u21 in Mönchengladbach, Germany
25 Jul vs Korea u21 in Mönchengladbach, Germany

SA Hockey Association media release



SA U21 men’s Junior World Cup training squad named

The SA U21 men’s training squad has been named in preparation for the Junior World Cup.

SA U21 TRAINING SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Richard Curtis (KZN Coastal Raiders), Rene de la Peyre (Northern Blues), Chad Durrheim (North West), Bernard Greybe (Western Province), Joel Barron (KZN Inland)

Defenders: Dylan Swanepoel (WP), Daniel Bell (WP), Adrian Abrahams (WP), Christopher van der Burgh(NB), Nicholas Berichon (NB), Matthew Brown (Southern Gauteng), Le-Neal Jackson (KI), Mohammed Mea(KCR)

Midfielders: Chad Cairncross (Eastern Province), Dylan Swanepoel (Free State), Daniel Sibbald    (KCR), Ross Gonsalves (NB), Taylor Dart (SG), Keegan Kieck (SG), Michael Mulder (WP), Marc Fourie (WP), Neil Roode (WP)

Strikers: Winchester Scott (EP), Ross Hetem (KCR), Andrew Manson (KCR), Damian Kimfley    (KI), Ignatius Malgraff (NW), Grant Glutz (NB), Brynn Cleak (SG), James Drummond (WP), Keenan Horne (WP)

SA Hockey Association media release



State Bank of India donates Rs.1 lakh to One Thousand Hockey Legs



On the eve of Bank’s Day, India’s premier financial institution, State Bank of India, donated Rs.1 lakh (about USD 1600) to the One Thousand Hockey Legs.

One thousand Hockey Legs is a project of Delhi Based Not-for-Profit Organization, Hockey Citizen Group, which seeks to introduce at least 500 school kids to the game of hockey each year.

Manjit Dua, 58, Arjuna Award winner in Table Tennis, who is also an officer with the State Bank of India, presented the cheque on Tuesday to K. Arumugam, founder and CEO of Hockey Citizen Group, in his chamber.

undefined A day earlier, he received the cheque from top SBI official in a banquet where he too was honoured for his contribution to the sports.

“We observed with keen interest One Thousand Hockey Legs Project. Its amazing, and it is vibrant. To see so many urban poor kids benefit through our national game of hockey is indeed heartwarming”, said Manjit Dua.

“I personally appreciate its founder K. Arumugam, who gave a lucrative government job and is working at grassroot level” he added.

“State Bank of India is committed to social causes. We undertake many welfare schemes that benefit marginalized and needy sections of our society. We see in sports a healthy nation. We are happy to help Hockey Citizen Group which is really working among urban but poor kids over the years”, RK Sharma, Public Relations Officer with SBI, said.

“I wish your organization gets many more such gestures”, said visibly elated Norris Pritam, senior journalist, who helped highlight One Thousand Hockey Legs work with the concerned authorities.

On his part, K.Arumugam thanked KK Sharma, Manjit Dua and Norris Pritam, profusely.

“I am happy such a big corporate entity as SBI has recognized my work, and came forward to financially assist. This is a welcome motivation”.

“We recently took seven schools in Delhi alone, adding to the already existing twelve. This entailed huge expenses, were struggling to meet some of the genuine demands of kids, who are new to the game and are eager to improvise. Though we could provide sticks, jerseys, shoes and socks, we could not offer shinguard to everybody. Now am relieved thanks to SBI”, said Arumugam.

Arumugam thanked all the volunteers especially Shashank Gupta, who saw to it the NGO possesses all legal documents.

‘”It is due to Shahshank’s constant advice, assistance and persistence that we could get the accounts audited each year, and by virtue being so, could get 80G and 12 A certificates from Income Tax Department”.

These legal documents were needed, and vetted by SBI before releasing the donation.

About One Thousand Hockey Legs

Vision:
Give each child of the country an opportunity to play Hockey and learn about it.

Mission:
Developing sustained passion for Hockey by introduction of Hockey to pre and early teenaged children and simultaneously promoting playing sport as a culture and tradition, thereby contributing to develop a sports loving society.

Objectives:
Make Hockey a popular recreational activity and a social sport that is enjoyable to all groups.
Involve all Indian Hockey lovers around the globe in our efforts.
Adopt both conventional and non-conventional means to propagate the sport.
Mentor exceptional talent for the state and national team.
Develop relationship with Government and Federations in carrying out activities to further the cause of Hockey.

Activity Planning:
Initiate 500 school (or other educational institution) children, in the age group 11-14years, to Hockey, by the end of each year.
Conduct an annual Hockey quiz in each associated city.
Conduct an annual intra city Hockey tournament in each associated city.
Organizing Annual Hockey Run in one city.
Track the development of the programme on a weekly basis in each school.

Stick2Hockey.com



Michael Nobbs should perform or shown the door: Pargat Singh

NEW DELHI: Pargat Singh played a key role in Michael Nobbs' appointment as India's chief hockey coach but the former captain now says it is high time the under-performing Australian is given the "marching orders".

"If he is performing he should stay back, but if not the authorities shouldn't hesitate to give him the marching orders. He should be relieved of his duties immediately if he is not performing," Pargat, who pushed for Nobbs' selection while being the chairman of Hockey India's technical committee, said in an interview.

During his two-year tenure so far, Nobbs has failed to galvanise the sagging fortunes of Indian hockey. Under the Australian, eight-time champions India returned with a wooden spoon from last year's London Olympics.

Nobbs is presently under pressure to help India qualify for the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands scheduled for May-June, 2014 after the Sardar Singh-led side failed to secure a direct entry for the showpiece event at the FIH World League semi-final at Rotterdam last month.

Nobbs now faces the risk of being fired from his job if India fail to qualify for the World Cup by winning the eight-nation Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1.

Pargat, who is no longer part of the technical committee, also criticised Hockey India's style of working.

"He (Nobbs) was appointed for a five-year tenure. He has completed two years of his job but did Hockey India ever assess his performance? Did the federation take any feedback from the players and other coaches on his style of working?

"What Hockey India needed to do was review his performance yearly. If someone is appointed for a long tenure it doesn't mean he can complete his term without showing any results," said the former defender, who captained India at 1992 Barcelona Olympics and 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

"The players don't know which system to follow because in Nobbs we have a coach from Australia and our High Performance Manager Roelant Oltmans is from Holland," Pargat said.

Nobbs was appointed Indian hockey team's chief coach in 2011, a post for which present Hockey India High Performance Manager, Roelant Oltmans was also in the running.

But Pargat said looking at the financial constraint and other factors, Nobbs was the best available candidate at the time.

"Oltmans was too costly and we needed to appoint the coach urgently. The availability was also a factor. So keeping in mind all these issues, Nobbs was the best possible candidate available before us," he said.

Pargat said Nobbs was appointed with the primary objective of establishing a coaching mechanism in the country but rued the fact that the Australian has failed to do so.

"Nobbs was supposed to set up a coaching mechanism in the country. He was supposed to set up a specific system and structure in place but unfortunately it is still not there," he said.

Insisting that the road to the World Cup looks "difficult" for the erstwhile champions of the game, Pargat criticised the selection of a few players for the FIH World League in Rotterdam.

"It will be very tough to win the Asia Cup. I also failed to understand the selection of some players in the team. For example on what basis Sandeep (Singh) was picked up. He looked out of sorts in Rotterdam. On current form he doesn't deserve a place in the side," he said.

The Times of India



‘The players make a coach successful, not the other way round’


Dhanraj Pillay...calling spade a spade. SANDEEP SAXENA

“If you look at Indian hockey, Dhyan Chand was produced by Indian coaches, so were great players like Mohammed Shahid, Merwyn Fernandes, Pargat Singh and Dilip Tirkey. We don’t need a foreign coach,” says former India forward Dhanraj Pillay in a chat with Nandakumar Marar.

It was intriguing to see Dhanraj Pillay in the dugout during the Hockey India National Championship as the coach of Air India.

His eyes tracked he ball and his body changed direction, in step with the action on the field.

Air India operated like a well-drilled unit against Punjab in the final, shifting from a multi-layered defence to launch precise attacks. After guiding his team to a 6-2 victory in the final, the hockey icon of yesteryear spoke to Sportstar on a variety of topics, ranging from India’s preference for foreign coaches to his own run-ins with national coaches in the past and lessons learnt in the present about managing players.

Excerpts:

Question: Talking of foreign coaches for India, the choices cannot get better than the personnel from Australia and the Netherlands. Both the nations dominate the game and keep producing world-class players. Do you agree that to be the best, you have to learn from the best?

Answer: I agree about learning from the best. Coaches such as Ric Charlesworth from Australia, Hans Jorritsma from the Netherlands, who coached Pakistan in the 1994 World Cup, and Germany’s Paul Lissek will make a difference. If India can take their services, we can dream of becoming a hockey power in future.

I want to emphasise that without players’ support for the national coach, no team can hope to become an Olympic or World champion. Roelant Oltmans, presently appointed the High Performance Director by Hockey India, was in charge of Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the Hockey India League. He came with a huge reputation of coaching in the Netherlands, having won major hockey honours such as the Olympics, World Championships and the European leagues. Oltmans was good for Holland because some of the greatest hockey players in the world represented them during his tenure. He could not deliver results as the coach of Uttar Pradesh Wizards, or maybe guide the team to first or second place in keeping with his coaching reputation. We struggled to finish third in the Hockey India League. I was part of the team management and saw him from close. Unless you have the players on your side, good results won’t happen. The players make a coach successful, not the other way round.

Indian hockey is now managed by foreigners. Apart from Oltmans, we have Michael Nobbs of Australia as the chief coach of the men’s team, Neil Hawgood of Australia as the chief coach of the women’s team and Gregg Clark of South Africa as the junior national coach . What value additions do they bring to Indian hockey?

Coaches for men, women and juniors squads, and now even the support staff such as trainers, are foreigners. I can identify at least five Indian trainers who are among the best in the profession. Pradip Dutta, with whom I worked during my days with the Indian team and who is a trainer for the Indian football team now, is one of them.

If you look at Indian hockey, Dhyan Chand was produced by Indian coaches, so were great players like Mohammed Shahid, Merwyn Fernandes, Pargat Singh and Dilip Tirkey. We don’t need a foreign coach. It has been my stand from day one and I will stick to it.

Nations and clubs employing foreign coaches is common in world sport. The England football team had Fabio Capello of Italy as coach. Bayern Munich has signed up Pep Guardiola of Spain. The Indian cricket team had Gary Kirsten of South Africa…

Australia, Holland and Germany dominate hockey, but foreign coaches have not brought Indian hockey the expected results. From the 2004 Athens Olympics under Gerard Rach of Germany to the recent London Olympics under Nobbs, our performances did not come anywhere close to the achievements of the Indian cricket team under Kirsten. We finished 12th in London, but nothing happened to the coach.

Any Indian coach, you feel, is capable of taking over the national squad?

Air India is the national champion and I am the chief coach, so why not me? In 1989, when Mumbai won the Senior Nationals in Gwalior, the champion team’s coach, Cedric D’Souza, was given the chance to coach the Indian team. The trend continued with Rajinder Singh Sr., Rajinder Singh Jr., A. K. Bansal and Harinder Singh.

During your playing career, you reportedly had strong differences with national coaches like Cedric D’Souza, Vasudevan Baskaran and Rajinder Singh. How will you handle awkward situations when seniors question your coaching or juniors feel your methods are outdated?

In my playing days, watching videos for more than 20 minutes was not possible for me; I could not take coaches’ lectures stretching beyond 30 minutes. I would tell the coach to allow the players recovery time. I spoke my mind. Over the years, I learnt a lot by watching India coaches Joaquim Carvalho, Balkishen Singh, M. K. Kaushik and Rajinder Singh Sr. I realised how each one was different in his own way. I can now see the bigger picture. The situation now is such that I have to listen to the boys, try to take everybody along because their views count. The coach can give off his best when the players under his charge are ready to go all out for him. I also firmly believe that Indian coaches should be paid on par with foreign coaches, who are paid handsomely to do the job.

Explain how coaching Air India in the National Championship qualifies you for the job of the National coach?

My coaching is very simple; I do not use a laptop and I don’t do things our players can’t understand. I analyse the capabilities of juniors and seniors. Most of the seniors delivered for Air India and Punjab at the Pune Nationals. We won due to a mix of experienced and young talents. Arjun Halappa, Adrian D’Souza, Vikram Pillay, V. S. Vinay and Prabodh Tirkey, all internationals, did what was expected of them. Air India’s senior-most player, Sameer Dad, had an outstanding tournament and the junior-most, Affan Yousuf, was named the ‘Best Player’. Handling players is the most important quality a coach should have. All are stars in Air India and they need to be handled carefully.

Gregg Clark, in his capacity as the India junior coach, was present in the stands during the Nationals. How useful will the South African’s inputs be for talent spotting?

Coming to talent spotting, Affan was in the India junior camp, but was dropped when the juniors were sent on a tour to Holland. He should have been there, instead of becoming available to represent Air India in the Senior Nationals. I hope Mr. Clark has changed his mind about Affan’s potential after seeing the junior player excel against the seniors in the Nationals. Junior India player Arman Qureshi was among the best performers in Pune. India’s best should get the chance — whether experienced or not. The selection of players should not be affected by ego clashes between officials.

Sportstar



It runs in the family

Nandakumar Marar



Air India striker Affan Yousuf with the ‘Best Player’ trophy.

Former India forward Sameer Dad and his nephew Affan Yousuf stole the show in Air India’s triumph in the Hockey India Senior National Championship recently.

Two stunning goals in the final by Air India Sports Promotion Board’s Affan Yousuf sealed the ‘Best Player’ award in his favour in the 3rd Hockey India Senior National Championship recently. It also underlined the importance of creating the right environment for talent to blossom.

Affan’s uncle and team-mate, Sameer Dad, explained: “This was Affan’s first Senior Nationals. He was with Indian Oil, but did not get a chance in the main squad and spent time sitting on the bench. I convinced him to join our team and show his goal-scoring ability. Nobody knows a player’s value until he gets a first-team look in. He represented Bhopal before as a junior, but by playing for Air India he got noticed.”

Sameer, a former India forward, and Affan scored four of the six goals for Air India, which defeated Punjab 6-2 in the final at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Pimpri (Pune). Sameer deflected in Air India’s first goal and then fired home his team’s third goal from an acute angle. Affan scored the second and fourth goals — the first a cracking backhander that stunned the experienced Punjab goalkeeper Baljit Singh and the second, a neatly executed one through a crowded defence.

Affan’s father Mohammed Yousuf was a left-winger for India. “We belong to a family of forwards,” explained Sameer. “My dad played in the forward line and with so many hockey players in the family, Affan switched from football to hockey.”

Both uncle and nephew, aged 34 and 19 respectively, had played in the same squad, the Bhopal Badshahs, in World Series Hockey. Pune 2013 marked their first Senior Nationals together for Air India.

Affan popped up instinctively in the gaps created by the shifting defenders and was quick to make up his mind about the next course of action when the ball arrived.

Punjab tried to throw Air India off its rhythm by committing fouls and abusing the rival players. “I was angry with their language and the way they charged at us,” said Sameer.

However, Air India won convincingly, helped largely by the young Affan who played like a seasoned striker.

THE RESULTS

Final: Air India 6 (Sameer Dad 2, Affan Yousuf 2, Joga Singh, Pradhan Somanna) beat Hockey Punjab 2 (Deepak Thakur 2). Third place: Hockey Karnataka 3 (Poonacha, Nitin Thimmaiah, S. K. Uthappa) beat Hockey Haryana 2 (Damandeep Singh, Yudhvir).

Individual prizes — Best Defender: Vikas Sharma; Best Forward: Nikkin Thimmaiah; Best Goalkeeper: Adrian D’Souza; Player of Tournament: Affan Yousuf.

Sportstar