News for 15 July 2013

All the news for Monday 15 July 2013

Six goal Ireland seal Gold medals in Poland

Graham Shaw's U18 Boys team sealed Gold medals today in Gasawa with a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Russia.

Having already achieved promotion back to the A Division yesterday by beating hosts Poland, Ireland played with great freedom as a result and brushed asise their Russian opponents thanks to goals from Harry Morris, Gary Wilkinson x2, Luke Madeley x2, John McKee

Everyone at Irish Hockey would like to congratulate coach Graham Shaw, his staff and players on a wonderful achievement

Irish Hockey Association media release

European silver medal for Scots in Spain

Scotland U18 Girls silver medal

Scotland U18 Girls finished off their successful EuroHockey U18 Championship II campaign with a silver medal following a narrow 2-0 loss to winners, and hosts, Spain in Santander this afternoon.

Two goals bookended the match; the opening goal coming from Christina Escude in the third minute giving the home side the lead, before a second Spanish strike courtesy of Belen Iglesais killed off the contest a minute from full-time.

However, the young Scots have secured promotion to the EuroHockey U18 Championship in 2015 after their second place finish, and a delighted Head Coach Colin Clarke said, “The game today was challenging and the girls played well against a competitive Spanish side.

“I am delighted with the squad’s performance during the past twelve months including the result of finishing second at the European Championship competition, coupled with third place at the Four Nations tournament against England, Holland and Germany earlier this year.

“Their focus on the processes, group and line targets has shown that the results will take care of themselves. The potential within the group is exciting as they move towards the U21 and Senior National team. It has been humbling to work with such an open minded and driven group.”

Jennifer Eadie was also named Player of the Tournament from the seven teams competing at the tournament, capping off a fine week for the squad.

"I am really delighted to have won this award as there was a large number of talented players at the tournament. I wouldn't have won it without the support of my team-mates. We are delighted to be promoted", said Eadie

Jenny Eadie

Please visit the EuroHockey website for more information, including fixtures, results and pool standings.

Scotland U18 Girls: Megan Inch, Waverley Miller, Emily Newlands, Susan Graham, Katie Hibbert, Kerry-Anne Hastings, Alison Eadie, Maisie Morris, Laura Page, Kirsten Peters, Jennifer Mathieson, Jennifer Eadie, Jessica Ross, Camilla Brown, Claire Hill, Fiona Burnet, Emma McGregor, Rowan Sinclair.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Dale Isaac double does the business for Badgers against UP-Tuks

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside

With each side still in with a shot of winning the R5 000 first prize there was much to play for on the third and final day of the Riverside Elite Blubs Challenge in Durban North and the opening match Sunday morning between Western Province Cricket Club Badgers and UP-Tuks was fiercely contested, despite the fact that bodies and minds were tired after two highly competitive tussles for each team in the two days preceding.

The Badgers weathered a dominant Tuks in the opening half-hour, and they were rewarded when their potent penalty corner attack brought a rebound goal on the 30-minute mark for Athens 2004 Olympian Steve Evans after double Olympian Andrew Cronje’s initial flick was stopped by excellent keeper Estiaan Kriek.

It was a bitter pill for UP-Tuks who had got in good shots from Stephen Cant and Gilbert de Villiers, but outstanding (keeper of the weekend?) Mark Turner had done very well to keep the Badgers in the game.

Tuks could not be denied though and Malcolm Ratz drew the Pretoria lads level after sustained pressure. The talented Richard Pautz - tournament leading goalscorer going into Sunday - then came within a foot of putting Tuks 2-1 up when his reverse-stick strike from the top of the strike zone flashed over the crossbar.

Turning around at 1-1 there was still everything to play for. The innovative system that awards three points for a win, two points for a draw with goals, one point for a 0-0 draw and a bonus point for four goals or more, saw Riverside on six points, Wanderers on three points, Tuks on three points and WPCC Badgers on two points going into Sunday.

Friday night saw Riverside beat UP-Tuks 5-2, WPCC Badgers lose 3-2 to Wanderers Jockeys while Saturday night Tuks beat Wanderers 3-2 and Riverside drew 2-2 with WPCC.

The second half started as the first, but Turner kept Badgers in the game, with a ripper of a save from Cant in particular that was a superb effort. But a goal had to come and midway through the second half (53 minutes) Tuks were awarded a hotly disputed penalty corner by umpire Clive Beetge that was beautifully worked. Brett Pampara injected accurately and at pace, Paul Makwinja trapped with precision, Tim Guise-Brown executed a dead-perfect German and Emile Odendaal’s drag-flick soared into the net for UP-Tuks to go 2-1 up.

Turner’s opposite number Kriek was also on top form and concerted Badgers pressure was repelled until a great finish from SA World Cup Indoor player Dale Isaac drew the scores level 2-2 in the 60th minute.

Tuks had chances to go in front again but Turner and the bounce of the ball were not their friends. The killer blow for Tuks came with 45 seconds left when an Isaac cracker low into the far corner proved to be the 3-2 match-winner for the Badgers.

This leaves Wanderers needing to beat Riverside by a 4-goal margin to knock the hosts out of the Winner's podium

SA Hockey Association media release

Riverside the Elite Club Champions

JONATHAN COOK at Riverside

In the last match of the event, Wanderers Jockeys needed to beat Riverside with a bonus point to win the tournament, otherwise the Riverside Elite Club Challenge would go to the hosts, Riverside, who needed only draw, and after six minutes the Wanderers Jockeys were 2-0 up and on course to meet that steep ask.

Double Olympian umpire Gary Simmonds awarded a penalty stroke five minutes into the game that was converted by Migs da Graca. Then a minute later (sixth) top combination play at close quarters between Jet Eustice, Terence Kidd and Mike Heyink saw the latter tap in goal number two for Wanderers.

The game was well and truly on and the shock kick-started Riverside into action with a Karl Oftebro penalty corner in the eighth minute. In the 11th umpire Warren love awarded riverside a penalty stroke and Wade Paton made no mistake for 2-2. Four goals in the opening 11 minutes!

At the other end Wanderers somehow managed to miss out in a goalmouth skirmish and then Palyer of the Tournament Gowan Jones pulled off a couple of great saves in the Riverside goal as the pressure was piled on to the home side’s defence. Then Mondli Dlamini came inches wide at the other end as the tempo reached a new level.

Then came a spell of almost total Wanderers dominance with Gowan Jones pulling out four saves from the top drawer. Another shot hit the post while at the end Sean Baxter hit a screamer that deserved a goal.

At 2-2 on half-time there was still everything to play for!

Jones continued to deny Wanderers in the Riverside goal and his immense value was indicated in the 43rd minute when the home club got up at the other end and Karl Oftebro let loose a PC hand grenade to put the locals 3-2 up.

However, Wanderers were unrelenting and despite Jones’s presence the breakthrough came when James du Plessis beat him with a smart goalshot on the backhand for 3-3 in the 49th. Two minutes later (51st) Sheldon Jenkins nudged Riverside 4-3 ahead.

Chances continued to crop up at either end of a pulsating game that had the big crowd gripped, and Richard Curtis in the Wanderers goal reeled off two successive saves from an Oftebro PC before Terence Kidd stepped up to beat Jones at the second attempt  for 4-4 in the 64th minute.

With 10 seconds left Ricky West saved on the goalline for Wanderers to end the most pulsating of matches - and the 4-4 draw ensured the inaugural Riverside Elite Clubs Challenge goes to Riverside, the hosts, who picked up R5 000.


Friday: Riverside 5 UP-Tuks 2; WPCC Badgers 2 Wanderers Jockeys 3.

Saturday: Tuks 3 Wanderers 2; Riverside 2 WPCC 2.

Sunday: WPCC 3 Tuks 2; Riverside 4 Wanderers 4.

Player of Tourney Gowan Jones (Riverside)

Joint top goalscorers:  Karl Oftebro (Riverside); Miguel da Graca (Wanderers); Richard Pautz (UP-Tuks);  Wade Paton (Riverside).

SA Hockey Association media release

Malaysia's World Cup fate in the balance

By Jugjet Singh

THE International Hockey Federation (FIH) has placed Malaysia as the third reserve for the World Cup on May 31-June 15 at The Hague, the Netherlands, next year.

Malaysia, who finished fifth in the World League Semi-finals, will now have to wait as the Pan America Cup on Aug 8-18 in Canada will decide their World Cup fate.

Argentina are the hot favourites to win the Pan American Cup, and if they follow the form book, their gold medal will also move Malaysia to The Hague.

The other teams in the Pan American Cup, which offers the winner direct entry into the World Cup, are Mexico, the United States, Uruguay, Chile, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Brazil.

Argentina have qualified for the World Cup after they finished second in the Johor Baru World League Semi-finals recently.

South Korea are the first reserve after finishing fourth in Johor Baru, but they have qualified for the World Cup as both Australia and New Zealand have already made the grade and it does not matter which team win in the three-series Oceania Cup on Oct 28-Nov 3.

Spain are the second reserves, and have a good chance of making the grade in the EuroHockey Nations Championship on Aug 17-25, in Boom, Belgium.

That is because Belgium, England, Germany and the Netherlands have already qualified and if these four teams end up as the top four, Spain can even afford to finish fifth and still play in the World Cup.

The other contenders in EuroHockey are the Czech Republic, Ireland and Poland.

The teams that have already qualified for the World Cup are The Netherlands (hosts), World League Semi-Finals (Johor Baru): Germany, Argentina, England; World League Semi-Finals (Rotterdam): Belgium, Australia and New Zealand.

The Dutch finished third in the Hockey World League Semi Finals in Rotterdam, but since they qualify as the hosts, the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi Final events earn direct entry into the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.

This place goes to New Zealand, who finished fourth in Rotterdam and are currently fifth in the FIH world rankings.

New Straits Times

Dangerous Lee is deadly in Kazan

By Ajitpal Singh

Dangerous Lee

DANGEROUS LEE has emerged as the Malaysian hockey team's most impressive player at the ongoing World University Games in Kazan.

Dangerous, a former student with Bukit Jalil Sports School, has scored five goals to date and is eager to help Malaysia record a rare win over Germany in the bronze medal match today.

Malaysia finished second in Group A with wins over Poland (7-1), Italy (4-1) and South Africa (2-1) but lost 4-1 to Russia, who face Group B winners France in today's final.

A student with the Kuala Langat Community College, Dangerous played for the national junior team in last year's Sultan of Johor Cup and the Obaidullah Gold Cup in Bengal, India and is now a trainee for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in December.

The 21-year-old hopes to become the first Sarawak-born player to earn senior international caps.

Besides Dangerous, coach Nor Azlan Bakar will be counting on penalty corner specialist Razie Rahim, who netted three goals in the group stage, today.

Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin has scored two goals while Harvinder Singh, Muhd Azammi Adabi, Hafiz Zainol and Mohd Noor Ibrahim have netted one goal each.

"My players are improving after each game and I hope they will keep up the pace against Germany. I believe we are better than them," said Nor Azlan in Kazan yesterday.

Razie, along with Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil and Sukri Abdul Mutalib, are members of the national senior team.

Hockey is making only its second appearance in the World University Games after the 1991 edition in Sheffield where Britain won the gold followed by Germany and Spain.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian football team lost 5-4 to Ireland on penalty kicks after both teams were deadlocked at 1-1 in regulation time in the fifth to eighth classification play-off.

New Straits Times

Malaysia to face Germany for bronze medal at Universiade


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, powered by five national hockey players, edged South Africa 2-1 to finish Group A runners-up in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, on Saturday.

Malaysia completed their fixtures with nine points from three wins and a defeat. They will face Group B runners-up Germany for the bronze medal today.

Germany surprisingly lost 2-4 to France in their last group match on Saturday to finish second in the group with nine points from four matches.

Hosts Russia outplayed Poland 5-1 to top Group A with the maximum 12 points. Russia will meet Group B champions France in the final.

The format is that the groups’ top two teams will play for the gold and the runners-up will contest the bronze.

Against South Africa, Malaysia were trailing 1-0 when Brandon Panter converted a penalty corner in the 28th minute. But the Malaysians fought back to equalise five minutes later through a penalty corner conversion by national defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim.

Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin, also a na-tional defender, was the toast for Malaysia when he scored off a field attempt in the 53rd minute.

“The South Africans went all out against us as they needed a win to play for the bronze medal. But we put up a good fight to come off winners,” said Ahmad.

“We have never won a medal in hockey in the Games. Now, we need to rise to the occasion to get the better of the Germans,” he added.

The Star of Malaysia

Mansoor wants change in hockey team management

Mohsin Ali

ISLAMABAD   -  Former Pakistan hockey team captain and hero of 1994 world cup Mansoor Ahmed described Pakistan hockey team's performances in recent years as well below par and held team management responsible for the poor showings.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Sunday legendry goalkeeper Mansoor said: “It is not the first time that green shirts had shown poor results in the World Hockey League. It’s been three years now the team is giving same miserable results and the performance of the team is going from bad to worse with each passing day.”

Mansoor said the management had completely failed to bring a consistent goalie. “Conflicts between team management and non-professional coaches are the main reason behind team's continuous poor results. Akhtar Rasool and Hanif khan were no doubt legendry players, but they both don't have any coaching experience and nor they have done coaching courses. That is the main reason they are still applying old tactics, which are not working for the team.”

He said there was absolutely no coordination between defense, midfield and attack. “We have not managed to develop a plenty-corner specialist after Sohail Abbas. This main area is left on the mercy of newcomers, who don't know the basics of how to take a plenty-corner. That is why the goal conversion ratio on plenty-corners is very poor.”

He said the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) should completely overhaul the entire team management and must replace the aging players with fresh blood and immediately hire a coach who had done coaching courses and had vision to take Pakistan hockey forward. “The coach should be appointed on long-term basis and must know the latest hockey techniques and had the basic know how of modern day hockey.”

Mansoor said he was a strong advocate of local coaches. “Instead of wasting huge national wealth on foreign coaches, the PHF should hire local coaches, as country is blessed with so many past greats, who had a vast experience of not only playing themselves but also they remain in touch and had the complete knowledge of modern hockey. This would serve PHF both purposes. First players would have no language problem and they would communicate with each other smoothly and secondly it would help the federation in saving huge national exchequer and the desired results could be achieved in a very short span of time.”

He said the time was ripe to show the door to incompetent management, who had failed to produce even a single world class player in almost five years. “Goalkeeping coach should also be hired, as this is the most important area, which is being long ignored by all the previous coaches. Modern day hockey mainly revolves around goalkeeper and majority of victories achieved by the top hockey playing nations are based on quality goalkeeping. Forward line and defense has to perform to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for the next year’s world cup in the Netherlands” he added.

Pakistan have to win the Asia Cup to earn right to play in the world's most prestigious event next year and Mansoor thinks that this target could not be achieved through same management. “If PHF continues with same bunch of players and team management, then it is almost certain Pakistan would not play in the next year’s World Cup, Mansoor concluded.

The Nation

Olympians’ meeting with IPC official delayed

KARACHI: Olympians, unhappy with the current Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) set-up, will have to hold their grievance for a few more days as their meeting with Federal Minister Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Committee Riaz Hussain Pirzada was postponed due to a flight delay.

Pirzada took notice of the Pakistan hockey team’s poor performance and criticism from Olympians and convened a meeting to discuss solutions for the squad’s downfall.

However, the meeting, which was scheduled for Sunday, was postponed for few days after Pirzada’s flight from Islamabad was delayed due to technical reasons. According to Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh, the meeting will now be held later this week.

The Olympians have accelerated their campaign for the removal of Qasim Zia (PHF president) and Asif Bajwa (PHF secretary) after the Greenshirts finished seventh at the Hockey World League. The former players are demanding the ‘right people’ be hired as the current set-up has failed to deliver in the past five years.

The Express Tribune

Indian women junior hockey team departs for world cup

The junior women will kickstart their campaign against Australia on July 27 followed by New Zealand (July 28) and Russia (July 30).

New Delhi:  An 18-member junior Indian women team, lead by defender Sushila Chanu, on Monday departed to participate in the FIH Hockey World Cup to be held in Monchengladbach, Germany from July 27 to August 4.

India are placed in Pool-C with New Zealand, Australia and Russia.

The junior women will kickstart their campaign against Australia on July 27 followed by New Zealand (July 28) and Russia (July 30).

All the matches will be played at Warsteiner Hockey Park in Monchengaladbach.

The Indian team will be playing four warm-up games ahead of their World Cup campaign. The first warm-up game will be against Belgium (July 17) followed by Netherlands (July 19), South Africa (July 21) and Argentina (July 24).

Before heading for the competition, Indian team had a two-month long preparatory camp at NIS, Patiala.


Goalkeepers: Sanarik Chanu, Bigan Soy

Defenders: Pinky Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Manjit Kaur, M. N Poonamma, Sushila Chanu (Captain), Monika.

Midfielders: Lily Chanu, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur, Vandana Kataria, Ritusha Arya.

Forward: Poonam Rani, Rani (Vice-Captain), Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur.

NDTV Sports

Debate over foreign hockey coach flares up again

Ashish Sen

JAIPUR: The tradition goes on. Earlier, the victims were Australian Ric Charlesworth, Spaniard Jose Brasa and Germany's Gerhard Rach. Now it's time for Michael Nobbs.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra said Nobbs' contract has been terminated and he is presently serving a one-month notice period.

Showing the door to coaches for failures is nothing new to Indian hockey. Nobbs is the fourth foreign coach to get the marching orders in recent years.

But sacking Nobbs is no solution. Why can't we look for a long-term solution? Batra said Nobbs himself offered to resign during a meeting with Roelant Oltmans.

"There were some issues with his coaching style. Oltmans felt there were some areas in which we were lacking and Nobbs failed to motivate the team," Batra explained.

Oltmans will take charge till the Asia Cup next month at Ipoh where India face a must-win situation to seal a place to the World Cup 2014. We should not pessimistic. But suppose Oltmans fails to deliver. We lose another foreign coach.

But it is no remedy. If we support Australian hockey legend Charlesworth, who said Indian coaches are not good enough for modern hockey, then why did Hockey India choose Nobbs?

Why can't we feel that good structure and long-term planning is the need of the hour for Indian hockey, which is struggling to regain its glorious past?

In this context, Pargat Singh said the best coach in the world will be no good if we don't have a system in place. The Olympian said India have no structure at the grassroots level.

"I don't see Indian hockey improving with the current management," he added. He is right. Absolutely right.

The Times of India

Quan Chan lifts Oilmen past Fatima

Dwain Quan Chan continued his good form when he scored a double for Petrotrin in its 3-1 spanking of Corona Fatima in the T&T Hockey Board Men’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Friday night.

Starting the night three points clear of closest challenger Paragon and with a match in hand, Quan Chan, who scored a hat-trick in his team’s 7-2 bashing of Paradise a week earlier, fired in the opener after only ten minutes, which his team took into the half.

Discarded national forward Wayne Legerton also scored for the second straight match, in the 43rd minute for a 2-0 lead before national midfielder Quan Chan made it 3-0, 13 minutes later.

It seemed as though Petrotrin goalkeeper Ron Alexander was about to keep a clean sheet but with two minutes left in the match Andrew Vieira got a consolation strike for Fatima.

With the win, Petrotrin, which is seeking a fourth straight Championship Division crown and recent Big-Four winners climbed to 28 points from ten matches on the eight-team table, three more than Paragon, which kept up its title challenge with a similar 3-1 triumph over Notre Dame on Staturday night.

The national senior team pair of Akim Toussaint (12th) and Kiel Murray (16th) netted for Paragon to lead 2-0 but Dillon Campbell cut the deficit in half for the Dames in the 20th, only for his team to concede an own goal and hand Paragon, which has played 11 matches, an important three points.

Also on Friday, Mark Ayen’s late doubled handed Queen’s Park a lifeline while at the same time, dashing Defence Force’s hopes in a 3-1 result.

It was the Teteron Men who took the early lead though, in the 18th minute via the in-form Anthony Morales. However, after a half-time pep talk, the Parkites struck three late goals through Ayen, in the 56th and 68th and Dominic Young, in the 64th.

Queen’s Park’s victory pushed the Tragarete Road club to 20 points from 11 matches, one ahead of Defence Force, losers of three of its last five matches to drop out of title contention.

Magnolias hold Paragon to draw

Paragon missed a chance to extend its lead at the top of the Women’s Championship Division to five points over defending champions Notre Dame after it squandered a 2-0 lead in a 2-2 draw with the rising Shandy Carib Magnolias on Saturday.

Paragon began the day on 18 points from eight matches, two more than the Dames who have two matches in hand while Magnolias also had 16 from nine matches.

However, Paragon was quick to assert itself and went ahead 1-0 when national and club captain Alanna Lewis found the target in the 17th minute and seven minutes later, former Ventures player, Pauline Joseph doubled the lead as the Big-Four champions looked ready for a big win.

But it was not to be as teenager Samantha Olton pulled a goal back for Magnolias in the 27th minute to trail 2-1 at the interval before fellow teenager, Brianna Govia salvaged a point ten minutes from full-time.

Despite the draw, Paragon still leads the seven-team table with 19 points, but with only three matches to complete its campaign while Magnolias jumped to second on 17 and two left to play.

The Dames, meanwhile, who have been idle for a while, slipped to third on 16 points but with all its six second round matches still to play.

Dames take U-19 boys as Malvern stumble

Notre Dame were crowned champions of the under-19 boys competition after their main rival Malvern suffered a surprising 3-1 loss to Corona Fatima in its must-win final round match on Saturday.

Malvern started the contest on 13 points, unbeaten in its previous five matches and needing a win over Fatima to overhaul the Dames’ 15 points.

But by the half-time whistle it was up against it with Fatima ahead 3-0 via a double from Ryan Daniel, in the 15th and 28th and one from Jordan Vieira, in the 32nd.

In the second-half, Teague Marcano got Malvern on the score board with 16 minutes left, but his team could not complete the turn-around, handing the Dames the title by two points, while Fatima with a match left, improved to third spot.

T&T Hockey Board Results


Trinity Men

Carib 1 (Keron George 60th) vs Fatima 0


Men’s Championship:

Petrotrin 3 (Dwain Quan Chan 10th, 56th, Wayne Legerton 43rd) vs Fatima 1 (Andrew Vieira 68th)
QPCC 3 (Mark Ayen 56th, 58th, Dominic Young 64th) vs Defence Force 1 (Anthony Morales 18th)


Under-19 Boys:

Fatima 3 (Ryan Daniel 15th, 28th, Jordan Vieira 32nd) vs Malvern 1 (Teague Marcano 54th)

Women’s Championship

Paragon 2 (Alanna Lewis 17th, Pauline Joseph 24th) vs Magnolias 2 (Samantha Olton 27th, Brianna Govia 60th).

Men’s Championship:

Paragon 3 (Akim Toussaint 12th, Kiel Murray 16th, own goal 33rd) vs Notre Dame 1 (Dillon Campbell 20th)

Current standings:

Men’s Championship:

Notre Dame*11*5*1*5*24*18*16

Women’s Championship:

Notre Dame*6*5*1*0*26*8*16

Trinity Men:

Notre Dame*9*4*1*4*17*14*13

Trinity Women:

Notre Dame*7*5*0*2*22*15*15

Mixed Veterans:

Notre Dame*5*1*0*4*13*17*3

Under-19 Boys:

Notre Dame*6*5*0*1*37*8*15

Under-19 Girls:

Notre Dame*5*3*0*2*31*8*9

The Trinidad Guardian

Fiji hockey teams improve world ranking

SUVA, Fiji --- Fiji Hockey president Dr Robin Mitchell is delighted with the latest world hockey rankings released by International Hockey Federation.

The Fiji Women have climbed eight places and Fiji Men's Hockey team rose from 71 to 55th in the world.. The updated rankings were released following Round 3 of the FIH Hockey World League matches which were played last month (June).

“Fiji Hockey was surprised at the big jump in our international ranking but very proud of this achievement which was the result of the hard work put in over the past years by our High Performance Unit, our National teams and their coaching and management support staff.

“We were very supportive of the introduction of the new FIH World Hockey League which was launched in 2012 as it gave teams ranked above the top 20 in the world, a better competitive pathway to improve our international ranking in the world playing against teams of standard that were not too far beyond where we thought we should be ranked.

In Oceania, Australia and New Zealand are consistently ranked in the top 6 countries in the world which makes it difficult for smaller countries like Fiji to progress in international competition.

“As a result of our experience in hosting World Series round 1 in December 2012 and participating in Round 2 in New Delhi in February 2013, Fiji has applied for and has been confirmed as a host for the 2014 FIH World League round 1 tentatively scheduled for July 2014.

“This is the first stage of the qualifying competition for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.”

The Fiji Women's team are ranked equal 51 with Nigeria, and have moved above Hong Kong, Bermuda, Venezuela, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Egypt and Paraguay.

Other Oceania countries ranking sees New Zealand women at 3, Australia 6, Samoa 60, Papua New Guinea 61 and Vanuatu 63.

In the Men's rankings, Fiji has moved above Greece to 56, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Bulgaria, Morocco, Georgia, Cyprus, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Nigeria, Brunei, Jamaica, Denmark, Panama and Guatemala.

Australia is the top Oceania country and is ranked 2 in the World, New Zealand at 5, Papua New Guinea 69, Samoa 72 and Vanuatu 74.

Both Australia and New Zealand have qualified for the finals of the 2014 World Cup which will be held in the Netherland in 2014 following their recent participation in the FIH Hockey World Series Round 3”

Islands Business

New hockey format

Emoni Narawa

Members of the Jasper Williams High School under-19 team after playing in the West schools hockey competition on Saturday. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

NINE Schools competed in the opening round of the Suva Secondary Schools hockey competition at the Fiji National Hockey Centre over the weekend.

Making their first appearance is Korovisilou-based Ratu Latianara College while defending champion Saint Joseph's Secondary School returned to defend their title.

Adi Cakobau School, Suva Grammar School, Cathedral Secondary School, Ballantine Memorial School, Lelean Memorial School, Gospel High School and Marist Brothers High School are the other schools taking part in this year's competition.

With a new format introduced this season, officials are optimistic the new system would benefit the development of the sport.

"This year we have introduced the age-group system so that the game could be played in a safe way," new Fiji Secondary School Hockey Association president Immanuel Prasad said.

The nine schools competed in the under-16 and U19 grades in the boys and girl's divisions last Saturday.

"Before we only have open grades whereby 15-year olds and 19-year olds play in one competition. This is sometimes very risky."

"Some small players were left out in the finals despite impressing in pool games.

"But this new format will change everything and we will be able to play the game much safer."

Prasad said the top three teams from Suva would qualify for the finals which would be played in Levuka next month.

He said they were pleased to have started the competition last week in Suva.

"Everything went well on Saturday. We have nine teams in Suva this year and we are looking forward to some exciting hockey matches next week."

The Fiji Times

7s scores well with vets and newbies

Ben Guild

Auke Ideme, of Otumoetai, takes a shot during a Masters 7s hockey tournament at the Tauranga Hockey Centre yesterday. Auke Ideme, of Otumoetai, takes a shot during a Masters 7s hockey tournament at the Tauranga Hockey Centre yesterday. Joel Ford

Organisers of the first masters hockey seven-a-side tournament at the Tauranga Hockey Centre hope to expand the format in the spring to include teams from Waikato and Auckland.

Tauranga Hockey Association's Alan Prestage said the masters committee is looking at holding an invitational tournament in November as part of the lead-up to nationals.

"We're hoping we can get a whole Sunday and try to get teams from Waikato and Auckland, or have them come for the weekend and have a much bigger tournament," said Prestage. "It's a combination between serious and a little bit of social. We're trying to get the older generation playing again."

Yesterday's tournament, comprising men's, women's and mixed divisions of four teams, was the first move in increasing its presence on the hockey calendar outside of the March nationals.

The move appeared successful, with a number of players taking to the turf for the first time.

"I was quite surprised by the mums and dads who had never played before," said Prestage. "They picked up a lot of things really quickly and it worked out quite even."

Bay of Plenty Times


Hockey NZ chief executive heads for new role

Chairman of Hockey New Zealand Dean Ellwood announced today the resignation of Hilary Poole as chief executive of Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey Foundation, following Poole’s appointment as chief executive of Netball New Zealand.

“While we are very sad to see Hilary go, this is a career progression for her and she leaves with our very best wishes and huge appreciation of what she has done to lead the development and expansion of our sport at both community and high performance levels,” said Ellwood. 

“Hockey is in a much stronger place than it was four years ago at a similar stage in the Olympic cycle.  We have a strong family of commercial and funding partners, hockey’s profile has grown, we are developing major events, the Future Black Sticks are on the way to their Junior World Cups, and the Black Sticks have both vastly improved their world rankings and have world class coaches.”

Although excited by the bigger challenge at Netball New Zealand, Poole is disappointed to be leaving her outstanding team.

“I am hugely excited to be given the opportunity to lead netball as it is such an important sport for New Zealand, and I look forward to the challenges this will bring. The tough part is that I am very sad to leave my team at Hockey New Zealand who are an amazingly talented and committed group of people and my respective Boards who I respect hugely.  However, I won’t be far away, and I have every confidence hockey will continue to go from strength to strength,” said Poole.

Ellwood confirmed that Poole will leave Hockey New Zealand in early October and the recruitment process to replace her will begin shortly.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Hockey CEO takes on top netball role

Former New Zealand hockey boss Hilary Poole has been appointed as Netball New Zealand's chief executive.

Poole replaces the long-serving Raelene Castle, who has taken up the chief executive position at the Canterbury Bulldogs NRL club in Sydney.

Netball NZ board acting chair John Bongard said Poole's combination of commercial background and sport governance experience meant she was best person for the job.

"We are absolutely delighted with the appointment of Hilary to lead Netball New Zealand into the next growth phase,'' he said.

Poole, the CEO of Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey Foundation since 2009, has previously held senior roles at the Bank of New Zealand, and GE Capital.

"I am hugely excited to be given the opportunity to lead Netball, it is such an important sport for New Zealand, and I look forward to the challenges this will bring,'' she said.

The New Zealand Herald