News for 16 July 2013

All the news for Tuesday 16 July 2013

Korea & Russia grab Gold in Kazan

Host nation enjoy hockey success in Universiade

Russia men won Hockey Gold on home soil at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan. (Photo:

The Hockey competition at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia has drawn to a close, with Korea taking the women’s Gold medal while host nation Russia grabbed the men’s title.

The Universiade – also known as the World Student Games – is an International multi-sport event, organized for university athletes by the International University Sports Federation (FISU).

Korea women were hugely impressive throughout the tournament, defeating Belarus (5-1), Russia (2-1) and Japan en-route to the Sunday’s competition final where they faced the host nation for a second time. The Asian giants stormed into a 3-0 half time lead thanks to goals from Park Seunga and London 2012 Olympians Han Hye Lyoung and Kim Jong Eun. Kim collected her second goal of the game shortly after the break from open play before Cho Eun Ji netted a penalty stroke to complete the match scoring. Japan claimed the Bronze medal thanks to a 3-1 win over Belarus.

The men’s final, which took place on Monday, was a much tighter affair, with Russia edging France 2-1. Pavel Plesetckii gave Russia the lead with a field goal in the 18th minute before France drew level thanks to Gaspard Baumgarten’s open play strike just before half time. The match was settled in the 41st minute by Anton Kornilov, ensuring that the host nation would add a Hockey Gold medal to the silver achieved by the women the previous day. 

Earlier on Monday, Germany snatched the men’s Bronze medal by defeating 4-3. Germany’s winning goal arrived in the 69th minute, with Jonas Fuerste – younger brother of Germany star and 2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz – netting the crucial strike exactly 62 seconds from the end of the game.  

For more information about the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, please click here [External Link – Official Universiade 2013 website]

27th Summer Universiade
Kazan, Russia
Hockey competition

Gold: Korea
Silver: Russia
Bronze:  Japan

Gold: Russia
Silver: France
Bronze: Germany

FIH site

Late strike sinks Nor Azlan's boys

By Ajitpal Singh

JONAS Fuerste's goal two seconds before the final hooter ended Malaysia's gallant performance as Germany won 4-3 for the men's hockey bronze medal at the World University Games yesterday.

Germany opened accounts through Matthias Kneupfer in the third minute before national player Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil levelled proceedings a minute before half-time.

In the second half, penalty corner specialist Razie Rahim netted in the 49th minute for his fourth goal in the tournament to give Malaysia the lead.

However, Anton Ebeling equalised in the 56th minute before a lapse of concentration in the Malaysian back-line allowed Germany to take the lead through Tim Haase two minutes later.

Not to be deterred, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin sounded the board in the 65th minute but just as Malaysia were preparing for a shoot-out to decide the outcome, Fuerste netted the winner two seconds from time.

Despite the defeat, Malaysia should be proud of their achievement as they finished ahead of other Asian teams at fourth in the tournament.

National junior trainee Dangerous Lee emerged as Malaysia's top scorer with five goals followed by senior international Razie on four.

Coach Nor Azlan Bakar said his players could not hold on in the final minutes.

"We let the bronze slip away due to mistakes in crucial moments. Anyway, we should not be too disappointed as performance wise, we played well but it could have been better," said Nor Azlan in Kazan yesterday.

The final between France and Russia was due late yesterday.

New Straits Times

And South Korea make it seven

By Jugjet Singh

SOUTH KOREA are the seventh team for the Sultan of Johor Cup which will be held at Taman Daya Stadium on Sept 19-29.

Initially, it was supposed to be a six-nation affair but Korea, who played in the inaugural tournament in 2011 when Malaysia emerged champions by beating Australia 3-2, were included as Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar wanted them in.

Last year, Malaysia finished last while Germany were crowned champions.

"We only planned for six, but the Sultan wanted seven teams, so we accepted South Korea's request to play. The other teams are newcomers England, Argentina, South Africa and regulars India and Pakistan," said Johor HA secretary Manjit Majid Abdullah.

"Many teams were keen to compete as this year's tournament will be held just three months before the Junior World Cup (Dec 6-15)," said Manjit.

And the fact that all seven teams have qualified for the World Cup was tempting enough for Malaysia coach K. Dharmaraj.

"We will get a perfect warm-up as all the teams coming have also qualified for the World Cup. I am sure all the teams will bring their best players and I will also be able to test my team," said Dharmaraj.

After the Sultan of Johor Cup, Malaysia will head for India to play more warm-ups on the tournament pitch, the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

"We have been invited to play at the tournament venue after Johor, and it will be another valuable warm-up before we play in the World Cup," said Dharmaraj.

New Straits Times

Ironing out differences

CRUNCH TALKS: Revington to meet MHC president today to decide his future


PAUL Revington will meet with Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah today to decide on his coaching future with the national team.

The South African, who almost quit two weeks before the start of the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru, has been embroiled in a "multi-cornered battle" off the pitch since the Azlan Shah Cup.

Some meddling officials are said to have made his task very difficult on many matters.

Revington was expected to pack his bags and move on by this week, but according to an official, the outcome of today's meeting should be favourable.

"Initially, there were some whispers that Revington would pack his bags by this week and leave Malaysia. However, the meeting with Tengku Abdullah is expected to iron out some crucial issues that have been hampering his training and also his long-term plans for the team.

"And as of now, it looks like we will have him until his two-year contract expires," said the official who declined to be named.

Revington was hired last September after Malaysia went on a coach-hunt when the team's Olympic Qualifier campaign in Dublin, Ireland, fell flat.

But he shocked the nation by sending in a resignation letter via e-mail just days after naming the team for the World League.

Right now, Malaysia's focus is on the Asia Cup in Ipoh on Aug 24 to Sept 1, as the gold medallists will play in the World Cup on merit.

Malaysia, after finishing fifth in the World League, have been placed as third reserves for the World Cup and their fate in that path to the World Cup rests with the Continental Qualifiers.

"The coach has had some meetings with those who are keen to see him stay on and help Malaysia make an impact on the Asia Cup," the official added.

"And if all the issues can be resolved tomorrow, he will not abandon ship when the team need him most."

With five of the national players in Kazan, Russia, for the University Games, the remaining players will undergo gym training this week to boost their fitness ahead of the plan to wrest the Asia Cup gold medal from the hands of India, Pakistan, South Korea and Japan -- as none of the Asian teams have qualified on merit yet.

In the Asia Cup, Malaysia are in Group A with Taiwan, Pakistan and Japan, while Group B consists of South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Oman.

New Straits Times

Revington to stay on..

SOUTH African Paul Revington has agreed to stay on as national coach until his two-year contract expires.

After meeting Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, he walked out smiling.

"I cant say much right now, as the MHC will send out release on the meeting soon," was all he said.

And the MHC release by secretary Johari Aziz, two paragraphs in all stated: "The Malaysian Hockey Confederation are pleased to inform that Paul Revington will remain as national coach as stipulated in his contract.

"The MHC is delighted with his decision to carry on, and look forward to Revington taking Malaysian Hockey to a greater height."

He started work on August 22 last year, and has a two-year contract, with an option to renew for another two years.

Also at the meeting yesterday were team manager George Koshy, MHC deputy president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong.

The South African almost quit two weeks before the start of the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru, after he was embroiled in a "multi-cornered battle" off the pitch since the Azlan Shah Cup.

It is said that some meddling officials had made his job uphill and that is why he took suck a drasic stand.

After helping Malaysia to finish fifth in the World League, Revington will see no rest as the focus is now on the Asia Cup in Ipoh on Aug 24 to Sept 1, as the gold medalists will play in the World Cup on merit.

Malaysia are third reserves for the World Cup and their fate in that path to the World Cup rests with the Continental Qualifiers.

In the Asia Cup, the battle for gold is expected to be intense, as none of the Asian teams have qualified for the World Cup on merit yet.

In the Asia Cup, Malaysia are in Group A with Taiwan, Pakistan and Japan, while Group B consists of South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Oman.

The MHC are arranging for a press conference today, so that Revington himself can answer to some burning questions which need attention.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Revs stays

Following a high noon showdown with the MHC President, national coach Paul Revington has agreed to stay on until his contract is over.

Below is a statement released by MHC just now. Pardon their inefficiency in the English Language though.

"The Malaysian Hockey Confederation are pleased to inform that National Hockey Coach Mr. Paul Revington will continue as National Coach for his complete contract term.

The MHC is delighted with his decision and look forward to Mr. Paul Revington bringing Malaysian Hockey to greatest heights."

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Revington says

This is what Paul Revington had to say after his meeting with Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after agreeing to serve out his contract.

"I got great clarity over the past 4-5 days. Several things "fell into place" by talking calmly with various people. I came to Malaysia to work WITH the likes of George, Arul, Dharma, Lim, Gobi, Azlan Bakar, Mirnawan, Nada etc - and the period pre CCI proved to be the most outstanding "coaching environment"

I have ever experienced having worked so well WITH all these individuals. Throughout the past 5-6 months there have been immense relationship challenges amongst this group - some innocent bystanders inside this group - and we have all been "wounded" in some way or another.

As a foreign coach I have relied (and will continue to) on the support of people in the Malaysian Hockey community who share the same goal (i.e. to make quick improvements to Malaysian Hockey on a daily basis) and therefore must work together toward this common goal.

It is important for people to know that I cannot do this alone and I do not know everything there is to know in hockey. What I do know is that I have an ability as a coach that can build Team work, build confidence in people and the bottom line to produce quality performances and results.

I need people to continue to support this path, add value where necessary and be Team players again. I feel I have this back in place - which we had pre Champions Challenge I."

Courtesy Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Hanif Khan sacked post-Hockey World League chaos

Zaman is a qualified coach who travelled with the team to Malaysia as a consultant. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The importance of the upcoming Asia Cup was made evident when the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) replaced Hanif Khan with Tahir Zaman as coach of the national team.

Changes in the team management had been expected ever since the team finished seventh at the eight-nation Hockey World League (HWL) in Malaysia, thereby failing to qualify for the World Cup.

However, the PHF showed faith in former captain Akhtar Rasool who was retained as manager and head coach.

Zaman is a qualified coach who travelled with the team to Malaysia as a consultant. It was reported that Hanif and Zaman had a difference of opinion in the game plan during the HWL after which both officials refused to work together.

‘Tough task ahead’

The major change has taken place at a crucial time when Pakistan face a must-win situation in the Asia Cup to qualify for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands.

“Of course it’s an uphill task,” Zaman told The Express Tribune.

“It’s a challenge, but sometimes one has to think beyond his personal capacity and focus on national interest.

“I cannot shy away if I feel I am needed. I know the repercussions if the team is unable to qualify for the World Cup but I will give it a try.”

The coach denied a rift with Hanif. “He is my senior and I respect him. There is no truth to these reports.”

Meanwhile, Hanif was unhappy with the PHF’s decision.

“I will hold a press conference and will unveil the truth about my removal as coach. The federation itself doesn’t want hockey’s promotion.”

‘Team will bounce back’

The decision was announced by PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa at a press conference where he said that he hoped for a change in fortunes at next month’s Asia Cup.

“The team will bounce back,” said Bajwa who also praised Rasool’s role in the team.

“Rasool has a positive impact on players, so we have decided to retain him.”

The Express Tribune

Hanif sacked as Pakistan hockey coach after league flop

Former Pakistani hockey player and coach Hanif Khan gestures as he speaks to media representatives in Karachi on September 24, 2006. – AFP Photo

LAHORE: Pakistan sacked their hockey coach Monday over the national team's poor finish in the World Hockey League, which raised fears they will not qualify for next year's World Cup.

Hanif Khan, a gold medallist from the 1984 Olympics, served as coach during this month's League in Malaysia where Pakistan dropped to seventh after topping the group phase.

"We have replaced Khan with Tahir Zaman, our consultant, as coach while Akhtar Rasool will remain the head coach and manager," Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Asif Bajwa told reporters.

The top three teams -- Germany, Argentina and England -- from the league qualified for the World Cup, to be held in the Netherlands next year.

Pakistan now must win next month's Asia Cup -- also scheduled in Malaysia -- to earn a berth in the World Cup, an event introduced to field hockey in 1971.

"We took into account manager's report as Khan failed to achieve an easy task," said Bajwa of the League, where Pakistan lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals.

Zaman, a member of Pakistan's last World Cup win in 1994 is a certified coach of the International Hockey Federation.

Khan lashed out at the decision to sack him.

"For the past two months there were efforts to displace me," Khan told AFP. "I will hold a press conference to tell everyone about the politics in the PHF and of reasons for my ouster."

Pakistan have won three Olympic gold medals in hockey and been world champions four times but have slumped at international level in the last few years.

They finished at their worst 12th and last in the 2010 World Cup held in India and were eighth and seventh respectively in the last two Olympics.

India, who also failed to qualify for the World Cup from a separate round of the league in the Netherlands, sacked their Australian coach Michael Nobbs earlier this month.

Besides Pakistan and India, South Korea, China, Malaysia and Japan will feature in the Asia Cup.


Hockey India set to appoint foreign goalkeeping coach

NEW DELHI: With the all-important Asia Cup round the corner, Hockey India is all set to hire a specialist foreign goalkeeping coach for the Indian men's team ahead of the August 24 to September 1 event in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra confirmed that that they are in look out for a foreign expert to work with Indian goalkeepers on short-term basis.

"Yes, we are searching for a goalkeeping coach to work with our men's team. We are looking for a specialist from abroad. We have shortlisted three candidates and whosoever out of them is affordable and acceptable will be appointed within two to three days," Batra said.

"The person who fits best in our scheme of things and whose terms and conditions are acceptable to us will be appointed. He will be under Hockey India's payroll but we will have to take SAI's approval," he said.

Unlike other foreign experts, the goalkeeping coach will be appointed for a short tenure, to be precise for the upcoming Asia Cup and the Junior World Cup to be held in the Capital from December 6-15 this year.

"The arrangement will be on a short-term basis. But depending on our requirement and his performance, the coach may be roped in to work with the team for important future tournaments," Batra said.

Batra, however, refused to divulge the names of the candidates doing the rounds but, according to HI sources, South Africa's Dave Staniforth is the front-runner for the job.

"Staniforth is our first choice candidate as having worked in the Hockey India League, he has the knowledge about Indian hockey. Greg Clarke (junior men's team coach) also recommended his name. But we will have to see his terms and conditions," the source said.

A two-time medallist in the Champions Challenge event, Staniforth was the goalkeeping coach and video analyst of inaugural HIL winners, Ranchi Rhinos.

The foreign goalkeeping coach will report to Hockey India's High Performance Director and interim chief coach, Roelant Oltmans in the ongoing national camp in Bangalore, where the Indian team is preparing for the Asia Cup which they desperately need to win to qualify for next year's World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands.

Oltmans is in charge of the team along with newly-appointed coach MK Kaushik after Australian Michael Nobbs was prematurely shown the door due to non-performance.

Interestingly, it was Nobbs who in the past had called for the need to appoint a specialist goalkeeping coach in order to broaden the country's bench strength on this vital front.

The Times of India

Michael Nobbs returns to India to settle dues

NEW DELHI: Barely a week after he was unceremoniously shown the door as Indian hockey team's chief coach, Australian Michael Nobbs returned to the country in the wee hours on Monday to settle his dues with his employer, Sports Authority of India.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra confirmed that Nobbs arrived in the capital and met with HI office bearers on Monday.

"As per his plans, Nobbs landed in the country early this morning to settle all his dues. He came to Hockey India office today and is expected to meet the SAI DG later this week," Batra said.

"He is also expected to travel to Bangalore to meet all the players before leaving for Australia," he said.

According to a source, SAI Director General Jiji Thomson is presently out of the capital.

Hockey India sacked Nobbs as the chief coach of the Indian team for non-performance, thus becoming the fourth foreigner to be shown the door before completion of the full tenure.

Nobbs' contract was terminated on Jul 9, almost three years before it was to expire because of non-performance. Roelant Oltmans, who is currently the Hockey India's High Performance Director, has been given charge of the team until Asia Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1.

Nobbs, who took over the charge in 2011, was offered a five-year contract and a handsome salary, but his association with Indian hockey lasted merely two years and before ending on a bitter note.

Nobbs, however, claimed that he resigned from the post willingly because of his deteriorating health condition.

The Times of India

Smith names Electric Ireland Irish Women's Squad for Euro's

Electric Ireland Irish Women's Coach Darren Smith has today named his squad for this summer's TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013 from August 17th - 25th in Belgium. The Irish coach has selected his panel following review of the Electric Ireland Irish Senior Squad recent extensive International series vs. Canada, Wales & Scotland in which 27 players were involved. Ireland are in Pool A at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships where they will face The Netherlands, Belarus & hosts Belgium.

Smith's squad selection includes 200 & 150 times capped Nikki Symmons & Shirley McCay, both of whom recently reached their significant milestones during a hectic summer schedule and will provide experience of top level competition to the squad.  Niamh Atcheler is Smith's only selection that is not 100% confirmed as the UCD woman faces a fitness test in late July before confirming her place in the squad. Railway Union pair Alex Speers & Emma Smyth will operate as Captain & Vice Captain respectively for the tournament.

Speaking to Darren Smith said "It has been a very difficult decision to reduce the squad down to 18 for the tournament. The 27 players that have been with the squad through the training camps & test series in Dublin, Newtownabbey and Cork have worked extremely hard over the last month. After much deliberation we finalised a squad that we now look forward to seeing play against the best in Europe next month. Although the team has been named we have asked that the players not selected for Europeans continue on with the squad in preparation for our ultimate goal which is the World League competition leading into Rio 2016. You can bet that some of the players who have been left out this time will feature strongly in the future as they bounce back and improve."

Electric Ireland Irish Senior Women's team

1. Niamh Atcheler (UCD)*
2. Naomi Carroll (Catholic Institute)
3. Lizzie Colvin (Loreto)
4. Nicci Daly (Loreto)
5. Megan Frazer (Ballymoney)
6. Emma Gray (Hermes)
7. Nicola Gray (UCD)
8. Lisa Jacob (Hermes)
9. Shirley McCay (Old Alex)
10. Anna O'Flanagan (UCD)
11. Grace O'Flanagan (Railway Union)
12. Audrey O'Flynn (Hermes)
13. Gillian Pinder (Hermes)
14. Niamh Small (Loreto)
15. Emma Smyth (Railway Union) - Vice Captain
16. Alex Speers (Railway Union) - Captain
17. Nikki Symmons (Loreto)
18. Chloe Watkins (UCD)

*subject to fitness test in late July

Pool A Fixtures

17th August 2013         Ireland v Holland (18:00 local time)
18th August 2013         Ireland v Belarus (16:00 local time)
20th August 2013         Ireland v Belgium (18:00 local time)

Irish Hockey Association media release

Kenya will host Nations Cup attracting over 10 countries


Officials from African Hockey Federation (AFHF) will tour the country next week to appraise Nairobi City Park Stadium suitablity as venue for this year’s continental championships.

Seif Ahmed, AFHF President, will lead the delegation to Kenya on July 26 to ascertain the condition of the stadium before sanctioning Kenya to stage the Africa Nations Cup. This is to ensure that the stadium meets international standards and is fit to host an event of such magnitude.

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Chairman Resham Bains said the union needed Sh40 million to prepare and comfortably host the continental tournament, which runs from September 26 to October 6.

The winners of the event, both men and women categories, will qualify for the World Cup in hockey, which will be played in The Hague, Netherlands in June 2014.

Bains said that they had already presented their budget to the National Olympic committee of Kenya and the Sports Ministry to help in funding the hosting of the tournament.

Some repairs will be done on the artificial turf on the Nairobi City Park stadium with Edel grass expected in the country in the course of the week.

Inspection tour

“We are preparing for the inspection. Our aim is to be ready before the AFHF officials get here. It is an honour to host this event and we are determined to make it a success,” the vice chair of the Kenya Hockey Union Nashon Randiek told Fever Pitch.

“We call on the government and corporate sponsors to come on board and support us so we can have a successfully event.”

The honour of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations was earlier awarded to Egypt but the political tension in the Lands of Pharaoh has forced the Egyptian Hockey Federation to withdraw as the host candidate.

Kenya was given blessings by the International Hockey Federation (IHF) and AFHF to host the event ahead of South Africa who were also put on the standby.

More than ten countries are expected to participate in the tourney that will also serve as World Cup qualifier event.

Meanwhile KHU national women league champions Orange Telkom extended their dominance by thrashing Kenyatta University 15-0 in a one sided match played at Nairobi City Park Stadium.

Orange scored their first goal after eight minutes from a penalty corner taken by Caroline Guchu. She added her second two minutes later and putting her side two goals up.

Margret Rotich was at her best scoring five goals two in the 15th and 20th minutes of the first half. She came back after the breather to net three other goals in a span of four minutes between 56th, 58th and 59th minutes.

Jacqueline Jow had her best day at work scoring four goals to add to the champs’ goal tally with her first coming after 20 minutes of play.  She added to her tally in the 62nd and 63rd minutes leaving KU defence in wobbling  in a bid to contain her.

Betty Tiony scored two goals in the 57th and 66th minute while Audrey Omaido scored another.

“We have gained confidence from this win and we want to play well and avoid conceding goals. We want to end the season with the only goal we have conceded against Sliders,” said Orange coach Jos Openda.

The Standard Online

Black Sticks Men climb world rankings

Pictured: Blair Hilton,

The Black Sticks Men have jumped to their highest ever placing of 5th in the latest International Hockey Federation (FIH) world rankings.

Results at the recent World League Round 3 tournaments in Rotterdam and Malaysia have seen the Kiwi men move up one spot ahead of Korea, Spain and Pakistan while Germany, Australia, Netherlands and England round off the top eight nations.

Fifth is the highest position the Black Sticks Men have been on the ladder since the world rankings system came into effect during the 1990s.

While the top four men’s teams have consolidated their spots, the battle from 5th to 9th is extremely tight with just 45 ranking points between the Black Sticks in 5th and Belgium currently ranked 9th.

High Performance Director Toni Cumpston said it was great to see the Black Sticks Men rewarded for their recent form under head coach Colin Batch.

“International hockey is becoming increasingly competitive around the world and I think you can see that with how close the latest world rankings are,” she said.

“Our men performed strongly at the World League Round 3 tournament and they continue to improve on the world stage which is hugely encouraging.”

While the men are now 5th, the Black Sticks Women have held on to their world ranking of 3rd behind Netherlands and Argentina after also finishing fourth at their World League Round 3 tournament.


1 Germany 2748
2 Australia 2720
3 Netherlands 2528
4 England 2270
5 New Zealand 1963
6 Korea 1923
= Spain 1923
8 Pakistan 1920
1 Netherlands 2823
2 Argentina 2705
3 New Zealand 2335
4 England 2267
5 Germany 2190
6 Australia 2175
7 China 2145
8 Korea 1970

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks climb to highest ever world hockey ranking

Recent success has seen the Black Sticks climb the world rankings (photosport)

The Black Sticks men's hockey team has eased up another spot in the world rankings to their highest-ever placing of fifth.

The shift follows a solid performance at the hockey World League third-round tournament in Rotterdam last month, where the Kiwis finished fourth and qualified for the World Cup in The Hague next year.

They also qualified for the men's World League final to be contested in India in January.

The Kiwi men move up one spot ahead of Korea, Spain and Pakistan. Germany tops the rankings followed by Australia, The Netherlands and England.

While the top four men's teams have consolidated their spots, the battle from fifth to ninth is extremely tight, with just 45 ranking points between the Black Sticks and ninth-placed Belgium.

Hockey NZ high performance director Toni Cumpston said it was encouraging to see the Black Sticks rewarded for recent good form under new head coach Colin Batch.

"International hockey is becoming increasingly competitive around the world and I think you can see that with how close the latest world rankings are," Cumpston said.

The Black Sticks women have held on to their No.3 world ranking behind Netherlands and Argentina after also finishing fourth at their World League third-round tournament.

The Netherlands top the women's rankings on 2823 points, with Argentina second on 2705. New Zealand, with 2335 points, are holding off England (2267).

3 News

Junior Women aiming high at Junior World Cup

The Junior Black Sticks Women can’t wait to put four years of hard training into practice at the 2013 Junior World Cup which starts in Germany next week.

Head coach Chris Leslie said the players have been training well in their regions and are excited about getting the tournament underway.

“I am confident athletes are on track – all the indicators are good – but we won’t know until we are together as a team, get over there and start playing and scouting the other sides.  We are aiming for a semi-final spot, but it will be tough,” said Leslie.

The Junior Black Sticks will face Russia first before playing India and Australia in Pool C.  If the results go their way, they then head to quarterfinals where they are likely to play either England or Germany.

“We know more about India and Australia as we have played them recently, but Russia is an unknown one. It is going to be tricky to prepare for that first game, our focus will be on what we do well and sticking to our game plan rather than trying to counteract them.

“We only know about Germany and England through the senior programme, so we will scout throughout the tournament and prepare as best we can when we are over there. We did play a German side when we went to India, so we have some knowledge about them – they are a very polished side, they will be pretty tough,” said Leslie.

There are six national squad members in the Junior Black Sticks team, with Canterbury’s Olivia Merry having to pull out this week after she suffered a rib injury at a recent club game.

“Olivia is a key player, she was the top goal scorer in the 2012 Ford National Hockey League and there’s no doubt she will be a loss for us upfront,” said Leslie.

“Her decision not to go is a courageous one, she has trained hard for this and it is very unfortunate. There is chance that she would have been okay, but it is a big risk to take and so she decided to put the team first which is honourable,” said Leslie.

Replacing Merry is Capital defender Genevieve Macilquham who was named originally as a non-travelling reserve and has been part of the 2013 wider squad, playing games against the junior Korean and Australian sides this year.

“Genevieve is a defender, so we will be reshuffling our attacking line. She is a sound and steady player, a good team member who has been very diligent with her training so it is great to give her this opportunity.”

The other 15 teams competing are Ghana, Korea, Netherlands, USA, Argentina, Canada, China, South Africa, Australia, India, Russia, Belgium, England, Spain and Germany.

The team depart for Germany on Friday and have four training sessions plus two practice games - against England on the 23rd July and USA on 24th July - before their first game against Russia on the 27th July.

The Junior World Cup is being held at Monchengladbach from 27 July to 4 August. The Junior Black Sticks Men will compete in their Junior World Cup in December in India.

With no Government funding, the Hockey Foundation – a charitable trust set up to foster the growth and development of hockey – is aiming to fundraise and cover 50 per cent of the athletes’ costs.

CLICK HERE for the full 2013 Junior World Cup schedule

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Child refreshed and fired up after break

Auckland’s Simon Child believes a break away from the New Zealand National Squad this year has reinvigorated his love for the sport.

The now 25-year-old has been in the Black Sticks squad for the past nine years after making his international debut at just 16 years old.

After an intense London Olympic campaign in 2012, Child went on to play in the Hockey India League as well as for HC Rotterdam in the Dutch League, prompting him to miss this year’s Korea series and the recent World League Semi-Final.

“I’ve been in the national squad since just before my 17th birthday and so I think the break has done me good and has been quite refreshing,” he said.

“Next year’s going to be a huge year for the team so I saw this window as a good opportunity to have a mental refresher and prepare for a heavy season next year.

“It’s been a pretty full on 18 months from preparation for London all the way through until now. I’m pretty happy with the decision I made and am now really looking forward to NHL and hopefully New Zealand commitments after that.”

Child has been trying his best to relax over the past six weeks and enjoyed cheering on the Black Sticks, including brother Marcus, during the World League Semi-Final where they finished fourth.

“I thought all the guys played really well and it was especially good to see Marki doing well. I think Colin [Batch] has got the guys playing some really good hockey and he’s structurally and tactically a sound coach and the guys are progressing well under him.

“It’s going to be a great environment post NHL when we have so many players vying for limited spots in next year’s squad and I’m looking forward to trying to get back into the frame.”

Next month’s Ford NHL will be his next shot of impressing the coaching staff with Batch selecting his 2013/14 National Squad following the tournament.

Child adds to a strong Auckland Fury side, who are defending NHL champions after defeating Southern in last year’s final.

Alongside Child, Auckland boast plenty of firepower from the likes of Arun and Jared Panchia, Dean Couzins, Devon Manchester, Dwayne Rowsell and Ryan Archibald as well as international guest player Simon Egerton from England.

“We’ve got a well balanced team with a lot of experience at the back with Deano and in the midfield with Arun and Ryan and then some good players up front like Jared and Simon Egerton from Manchester who will be a weapon for us.

“I’m feeling really good at the moment and I always love coming home and getting stuck into club hockey, that’s the heart and soul of New Zealand hockey and I really enjoy it. I haven’t played much hockey of late but it’s all heading into NHL and that’s when you want to be peaking.”

Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2013 Ford NHL are across various locations from August 10-11 with all remaining rounds hosted at North Harbour Hockey Stadium from August 17-25. This year’s National Senior Tournament will also be contested at the same time as the NHL.

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Holland no holiday for Adam Dixon

By Graham Wilson

Adam Dixon is ready to set things straight against Holland

MUCH to the surprise of those in the know at champion club Beeston, their captain Adam Dixon never made last summer’s Olympics.

Devastated by his omission, he set off with his girlfriend in a camper van to tour France and missed skipper Barry Middleton’s GB squad getting thrashed 9-2 by Holland in the semi-finals of the Games.

It means he will not have that lead weight around his neck when the new-look England team head north for three matches against the Olympic silver medallists at Wakefield from August 1-4.

Dixon now looks settled in his England role, having just helped them qualify for next year’s World Cup in Holland.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking missing the Games,” he said. “I went away for five weeks with my girlfriend in a camper van in France. I could not bear to be sitting there watching us without me playing and not being able to do anything about it. That break did me the world of good.”

Dixon refocused, saw Beeston romp to the national title and were in Europe where they bowed out to eventual champions, Dutch club Bloemendaal.

Captain Barry Middleton's side got destroyed 9-2 against Holland in the Olympics

Their performances saw six Bees included in the last England squad and in days when players are increasingly on the move to clubs who are wealthier or nearer to England training, Dixon has remained a Beeston boy through and through since the age of 14.

Dixon said: “The matches against Holland are always top class. I watched the Olympic match just a month ago. It was a hammering and not easy and just very sad to see all my good friends suffering.

“We will use that as fuel for the future. It will be good to see where we are against them now at Wakefield and in the European championship.”

There is a long road to Rio, which will give many players in this England squad the experience they need.

Dixon added: “I will want to be part of that in Rio. It will be special.”

And hopefully he can treat himself to a luxury holiday after that.

Daily Express

England U18 Girls travel to Belgium for their latest test matches

England U18 Girls team photo

Between 12-14 July England faced Belgium in the cooler Belgian climate in a continuation of their test match series. Although there were no wins for the visiting side, every game was closely-fought.

Over the three-game weekend every match was decided before the second half began, as every draw was maintained and every winning score kept. While the England Girls' strategies and tactics were changed after half-time in order to keep the opposition guessing, Belgium proved to be up to the challenge*.

After the last game on Sunday, head coach Andy Bradshaw had this to say:
"This weekend has been a good experience, and all three games have been closely contested. We now know that we have some further work to do in our final preparations before we come up against this Belgian side in our second match of the European Championships."

*Further information on scores and scorers can be found below

Friday 12
England 1 (1)
Lily Elliott, 38, PC

Belgium 1 (1)
(Awaiting information on Belgian scorer), 41, FG

Saturday 13
England 1 (1)
Rebekah Walker, 38, FG

Belgium 1 (1)
Alice Weicker, 41, FG

Sunday 14
England 3 (1)
Lily Elliott, 19, 50, PC, PC
Kitty McWhirter, 43, PC

Belgium 4 (3)
Alice Weicker, 1, PC
Elise Dauw, 21, FG
(Awaiting information on scorer), 28, 59, PC, PC

England Hockey Board Media release

Dames blank Malvern to join Paragon at top

Three different players were on target as Notre Dame blanked Malvern 3-0 to move into joint top spot in the T&T Hockey Board Women’s Championship Division at the National Hockey Centre, Tacarigua on Sunday.

The Dames who relinquished hold of their “Big-Four” title to Paragon last month took the lead as early as the third minute through national youth team player Dana-Lee De Gannes and carried it into the break.

Six minutes after the resumption, Tamara De Nobriga, another T&T youth player made it 2-0 before the experienced senior national forward Blair Wynne added a third item with three minutes left on the clock.

With the win, the Dames climbed to 19 points from seven matches, the same as Paragon which has played two more on the seven-team table.

Third is Shandy Carib Magnolias with 17 points from 12 matches while Malvern stayed third with 13 points and one left to complete its 12-match schedule.

In the Men’s Championship Division, three-time reigning champion Petrotrin is on course for an unprecedented fourth straight crown and the double after winning last month’s “Big-Four”.

The “Oilmen” currently sit atop the eight-team standings with 28 points from ten matches, three more than Paragon, which has played 11 matches followed by Queen’s Park with 20 points from 11 matches, one ahead of Defence Force.

Meanwhile, Magnolias became the latest champions to be crowned in the T&THB Outdoor League when it claimed the Trinity Women’s title in commanding style, 11-0 over Malvern.

Leading the way for Magnolias was veteran player Gayle-Anne Nieves with a hat-trick while Savannah De Freitas, Kimberly Fraser and Sarah Olton chipped in with two each, and Tracy Lee and Fiona O’Brien, one apiece.

The three points earned pushed Magnolias to an un-assailable 19 from seven matches, four more than Notre Dame with a match left to play for both clubs.

The Trinidad Guardian

Legerton beaver trick inches Oilmen closer

Wayne Legerton was in ominous form as he fired in a beaver-trick to lead defending champions Petrotrin to a 6-2 thumping of Queen’s Park as they continued their march to a fourth straight title.

Legerton got his goals in the eighth, 19th, 45th and 64th minutes for the Oilmen after Graeme Gomez had opened the scoring in the sixth.

Nathan Callednder got the other goal for Paragon, 3-1 ahead at the interval while Jerry Bell and Dominic Young were on target for the Parkites in the 11th and 69th minutes respectively.

With three matches left to play, the star-studded Petrotrin line-up featuting no fewer than seven present or past national players pushed its points tally to 31 from 11 matches, six ahead of main challenger Paragon, which has also played 11 matches followed by Queen’s Park with 20 points from 11 matches, one ahead of Defence Force.

Also on Sunday, the Dames joined Defence Force on 19 points after whipping Malvern 3-1 with second-half items from national duo, Shaquille Daniel, in the 48th and Aidan De Gannes, ten minutes later as well as Chad Pedro in the 68th.

This after Colin Byron had given Malvern a 14th minute first-half lead.

T&T Hockey Board Results

Men’s Championship

Notre Dame 3 (Shaquille Daniel 48th, Aidan De Gannes 58th, Chad Pedro 68th) vs Malvern 1 (Colin Byron 14th).
Petrotrin 6 (Wayne Legerton 8th, 19th, 45th, 64th, Graeme Gomez 6th, Nathan Callender 61s) vs QPCC 2 (Jerry Bell 11th, Dominic Young 69th)

Women’s Championship

Notre Dame 3 (Dana-Lee De Gannes 3rd, Tamara De Nobriga 41st, Blair Wynne 67th) vs Malvern 0

Trinity Women

Magnolias 11 (Gayle-Ann Nieves 31st, 33rd, 69th, Savannah De Freitas 16th, 47th, Kimberly Fraser 20th, 29th, Sarah Olton 38th, 43rd, Tracy Lee 13th, Fiona O’Brien 68th) vs Petrotrin 0

Current standings

Men’s Championship:

Teams    P    W    D    L    F    A    Pts
Petrotrin    11    10    1    0    48    17    31
Paragon    11    8    1    2    41    22    25
QPCC    12    6    2    4    33    28    20
D/Force    11    6    1    4    33    16    19
Notre Dame    12    6    1    5    27    19    19
Fatima    12    2    2    8    21    55    8
Malvern    12    2    1    9    17    35    7
Paradise    11    1    1    9    26    54    4

Women’s Championship:
Paragon    9    5    4    0    36    8    19
Notre Dame    7    6    1    0    29    8    19
Magnolias    10    5    2    3    27    16    17
Malvern    11    4    1    6    15    29    13
Checkers    7    2    4    1    10    8    10
Paradise    9    1    1    7    6    27    4
Ventures    7    0    1    6    5    32    1

Trinity Women:
Magnolias    7    6    1    0    28    3    19
Notre Dame    7    5    0    2    22    15    15
D/Force    7    4    1    2    28    12    13
Checkers    7    4    1    2    11    6    13
Malvern    8    4    1    3    16    11    13
Paragon    6    2    2    2    10    12    8
Ventures    6    2    1    3    9    16    7
Police    8    1    1    6    6    22    4
Petrotrin    7    0    0    7    0    30    0 

The Trinidad Guardian

WC Eagles Retain US U14 National Club Championship Title

In a display of powerful performance, WC Eagles (Spring City, Pa.) overcame Northeast Elite 9-0 to win the 2013 U-14 National Club Championship. Each U-14, U-16 and U-19 division winner at the event receives a gold stick from premier tournament sponsor, Harrow Sports as 2013 National Champions.

The Eagles coached by Jun Kentwell racked up 50 goals while keeping a clean sheet over the five games of the tournament.

Kentwell accredited their successful results to focusing on the fundamentals. "Our U-14s trained really hard, focused on passing and receiving, keeping their heads up, emphasizing ball speed. Our training sessions are high intensity. We only train two hours each week so it is important that the players work hard, pay attention to detail, play under pressure of time and space, and use the skills they are learning in game situations. We emphasize teamwork and the players must accept responsibility and accountability as well as commitment to each other."

NorthEast Elite (Windham, NH) coached by Chelsey Feole, repeated their silver medal performance of 2012. Feole commented, "We again far exceeded our expectations coming into this tournament. I am not sure too many people outside of our club knew too much about us coming into the National Club Championship. I am so proud of the performance of our athletes who fought to the last minute in every game, in the Quarter Final that grit won the game with us with two goals coming in the last minute to secure a huge turnaround 3-2 victory."

In the bronze medal game, Xcalibur (Elverson, Pa.) triumphed 2-1 over The Edge (Morristown, NJ). The top goal scorers in the tournament were Erin Matson (WC Eagles) with 16 goals, Jaime Natate with eight goals (WC Eagles), and Julianna Tornetta (WC Eagles) and Skyler Caron (Northeast Elite) with six each.

Sixteen of the best clubs from across the U.S. competed in four pools of four, over three days of play in the National Club Championship presented by Harrow Sports, at USA Field Hockey’s National Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. The 2014 tournament will be played at the new Home of Hockey, in Lancaster, Pa.

USFHA media release

International hockey umpire Rashid Khan dies

KARACHI - Former International hockey umpire Rashid Ali Khan, who died here on Sunday night after cardiac arrest, was laid to rest at the Milk Plant Graveyard here on Monday. He was 63.

He left behind a son, a daughter and his widow to mourn his death. He had retired from Pakistan Steel as a sports officer a few years ago.

Rashid served as umpire in several international matches including the Champions Trophy.

His funeral was attended by Olympians Shahnaz Sheikh, Qamar Zia, Islahuddin, Qamar Ibrahim, Shahid Ali Khan, Ahmed Alam, Gulfraz Khan, Farooq Khan besides a large number of hockey organizers, players, friends and relatives.

Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Asif Bajwa and ex-Olympians Samiullah Khan, Ayaz Mahmood and officials of Sindh and Karachi hockey associations also offered their condolences on the demise of the senior hockey umpire