News for 27 July 2013

All the news for Saturday 27 July 2013


Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup kicks off

16 teams aiming for glory in Mönchengladbach’s Hockeypark



Netherlands won the Junior World Cup in 2009 (Photo: FIH)

It is time to crown the seventh Women’s Junior World Champion in FIH history! 16 teams have come to Germany from around the world to participate in the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup held in Mönchengladbach from Saturday, 27 July until Sunday, 4 August 2013, and close competition is guaranteed.

“We are delighted to be returning to Mönchengladbach, the home of German hockey and to a venue that has hosted so many top events in its comparatively short life. I am very confident that we can look forward to the Deutscher Hockey Bund putting on yet another show case hockey event” said FIH President Leandro Negre.

The current Junior World Champions are the Netherlands who defeated Argentina 3-0 in the final in Boston, USA in 2009. Both teams are also amongst the favourites for success here in Mönchengladbach, even though 2009 semi-finalists Korea and England should not be underestimated. Australia and host nation Germany, finishing 5th and 6th in 2009, have also set their eyes on the prize and aiming for a better finish than four years ago.

Pool A: Ghana, Korea, Netherlands, USA

Netherlands and Korea are the most successful teams in Women’s Junior World Cup history, with each of them having participated in all editions of the Junior World Cup so far and having won the tournament twice in the last four editions, with the Netherlands having been crowned champions in 1997 and in 2009 and Korea having finished on top in 2001 and 2005. In 2013, both are favoured to reach the quarter-finals again by finishing in the top two of Pool A. Marloes Keetels, Maria Verschoor and Xan de Waard were part of the Dutch senior team that finished second at the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam last month, a tournament Korea’s goalkeeper Jung Hae Bin was selected for as reserve goalkeeper.

The USA’s best result came in 2005 when they finished 7th in Santiago, Chile. Top level experience can be found with 18-year-old Emily Wold who represented the USA at the recent Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London.

For the team from Ghana, the tournament in Mönchengladbach will be a new experience as they make their Junior World Cup debut from tomorrow.

Pool B: Argentina, Canada, China, South Africa

One of the most experienced sides in the event, Argentina’s line-up contains four players with substantial senior team experience. Shooting star of the Leoncitas (little lionesses) is Florencia Habif who won Olympic Silver with the Leonas in 2012. Recently, Habif and her Leonas finished third at the Investec World League Semi-Final in London, and the 19-year-old Leoncitas captain was also nominated for the FIH Young Player of the Year 2012 award. Argentina participated in all six editions of the tournament although they were able to win it only once, in 1993 in Terrassa, Spain.

Canada are the third team from Pan America that joins the field of participants, aside from Argentina and the USA. They will make their sixth appearance in tournament history with their best result being a 7th rank achieved when hosting the first-ever Junior World Cup in Ottawa in 1989. China have sent a rather young and inexperienced team to Mönchengladbach with 14-year-old Li Hong also the youngest player of the tournament.

Like Canada, China have participated in five Junior World Cups so far, reaching their best result in 1989 when finishing 5th.

South Africa will also be aiming to secure one of the top two positions in Pool B in order to seal a place in the quarter-finals. The current African champions make their fifth World Cup appearance this year, with their best results being two 6th places reached in 1997 and in 2001. The team boasts five players with senior experience, Quanita Bobbs, Tanya Britz, Lilian Du Plessis, Izelle Lategan and goalkeeper Phumelela Mbande who competed in the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London four weeks ago, helping their senior team finish seventh.

Pool C: Australia, India, New Zealand, Russia

Australia’s Jillaroos are strong contenders to finish on top of Pool C. The team contains five members of the Hockeyroos squad that recently won the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London. While Jane Claxton, Karri McMahon, Georgia Nanscawen, Emily Smith and 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year, Anna Flanagan, were in action with the Hockeyroos, the rest of the Jillaroos squad played a test series against Korea. From this team, the remaining 13 players were selected to travel to Japan to play against the Japanese senior team as well as a provincial team. „This was during World League, so many of the girls who were in the senior team did not attend. However the team performed well, proving how much depth and competition exists in Australian Juniors“ said Jillaroos team captain Claxton. Nanscawen, Smith and Flanagan were also part of the Hockeyroos at the London Olympics. In Junior World Cup history, the Jillaroos were close to clinching the trophy in 1993 and in 1997 but lost the final on both occasions.

India’s best results are two 9th places reached in 2001 and at the most recent Junior World Cup in Boston in 2009. Although they will face tough opponents in Pool C, India too are obviously keen to reach the quarter-finals, and can build on the experience of several players who have also been part of the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam. This includes 18-year-old Rani, who despite her young age has amassed almost 100 caps after a senior debut at the tender age of 13 and was the proud winner of the Best Young Player award at the FIH World Cup in 2010.

The team from New Zealand features six players who are currently in the Black Sticks squad. Rosie Keddell, Julia King, Cass Reid and Sian Fremaux recently travelled to Rotterdam for the Rabobank World League Semi-Final where the Black Sticks finished 4th. “We are aiming for a semi-final spot, but it will be tough” says coach Chris Leslie. The Junior Black Sticks have never reached the Top Four in a Junior World Cup, their best finish a 5th place from Quilmes in 2001.

Pool C is completed by Russia who will make their second appearance in tournament history, having debuted in Quilmes twelve years ago.

Pool D: Belgium, England, Spain, Germany

Belgium are competing in their first-ever Junior World Cup, and will be hoping to emulate the recent successes of their senior teams. The Red Cheetahs are a fast improving team which is prepared to face the strong opponents in Pool D, but have also brought a relatively young squad to Germany, with only four players in their twenties and including 15-year-old Emma Puvrez. Recent results include a three-match test series between Belgium and England in Kent with England winning twice and Belgium winning once.

England have participated in all six Junior World Cup editions so far, achieving their best result in Boston in 2009 when they finished 4th, but similar to Belgium, the Mönchengladbach squad has limited top level experience.

Spain’s best finish was a 6th rank in Santiago in 2005 but the 2013 squad has the potential to break into the semi-finals with a relatively experienced roster, with a total of five players who represented their country at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final: Patricia Maraña, Xantal Giné, Berta Bonastre, Júlia Pons and Cristina Guinea.

Host nation Germany enters the tournament with big expectations. “Our goal is to finish better than previously. Of course we will go game by game throughout the tournament, but our long-term goal is reaching the semi-finals. And there, anything is possible“, said German team captain Rebecca Grote when talking to FIH.ch. 21-year-old Pia Oldhafer is the only member of the team to have had the taste of success with the German senior team that surprisingly won the Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final in Rotterdam. Although Germany have participated in all Junior World Cup editions, they were able to win it only once, their biggest success having come in 1989 when they grabbed Gold in Ottawa.

For more information about the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, please visit our official tournament microsite by clicking here. The microsite will bring you all of the news coming from the event, including written match reports, action photos, official match documents, goal scoring statistics, match highlights and more.

FIH site

 



SA U21 hockey girls vs China Saturday morning

JONATHAN COOK



SA U21 captain Izelle Lategan. Photo: PLATE PICTURES

The South Africa Under-21 women’s hockey team have five players capped in the Investec South Africa women’s senior side and are confident of putting up a good showing at the 2013 Junior World Cup women’s event in Mönchengladbach, Germany from Saturday to next Sunday.

The senior SA players in Germany are the U21 side’s captain, Izelle Lategan, fellow strikers Tanya Britz and Lilian du Plessis, midfielder Quanita Bobbs and goalkeeper Phume Mbande.

SA meet China at 9.30 am Saturday and team manager Charmaine Koekemoer said from the team hotel in Mönchengladbach Friday afternoon that preparation has been good.

“We have won five and lost three matches in the build-up over the last three weeks and while the girls know that China are going to be strong, they also know that they are as well prepared as they possibly can be.”

SA play further Pool B matches Sunday at 10 am (SA time) against Argentina before their last Pool B clash next Tuesday, July 30 against Canada at 2 pm (SA time). Head coach Lindsey Wright's SA team will be looking to finish in the top two in Pool B so as to secure a berth in the quarter-finals next Thursday.

In the eight practice matches, South Africa beat South Korea 2-1 (Thursday), beat India 4-1, beat Belgium 2-1, 4-1 and 4-3, and lost to The Netherlands 2-6, The Netherlands U18 side 3-5, and Germany 2-3.

“The coaching staff are satisfied with the development of the team and are hopeful that we can take the experience gained from the practice matches into the World Cup,” said Koekemoer.

Other than those mentioned in Pool B, the Pool A line-up features Ghana, South Korea, The Netherlands and the USA. Pool C features Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia, while Pool D has Belgium, England, Spain and Germany in its ranks.

The 16 teams then go into the cross-pool playoffs next Thursday, which include the quarter-finals, before next Friday’s top eight playoffs that include the semi-finals. Next Saturday’s matches feature the bottom eight teams in playoffs before next Sunday’s final classification matches for the 16 teams. Sunday’s fare includes the gold and bronze medal matches.

SA U21 JUNIOR WORLD CUP TEAM

Bronwyn Kretzmann, Erin Hunter, Nicole la Fleur, Quanita Bobbs, Sherry King, Suléke Brand, Taryn Mallett (vice-capt), Tarryn Glasby (all Western Province); Izelle Lategan (capt), Liné Malan, Tanya Britz, Nicole Walraven (all Free State); Jacinta Jubb, Lilian du Plessis, Phume Mbande (all Northern Blues); Tiffany Jones (North West); Toni Marx (Eastern Province); Nika Nel (Southern Gauteng).

SA Hockey Association media release



Jillaroos' final squad selected for Junior World Cup

Squad reduced to 18 athletes from 20


Hockey Australia has submitted its final 18-athlete Jillaroos squad for the women’s Ergo Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The biggest tournament in junior hockey, the Junior World Cup 2013 will see Australia’s U21 women looking to reach the medal matches having finished fifth at the 2009 edition of the tournament in Boston.

A 20-strong group has been preparing for the tournament with warm-up fixtures against the U21 sides of Germany, Korea and the Netherlands. But with competition regulations requiring teams to nominate a squad of 18, Jacqui Day (Mountain Creek, QLD) and Hayley Padget (Hurstbridge, VIC) are the unfortunate pair missing out on selection.

The Jillaroos’ campaign begins tonight, Saturday, at 10:30pm Eastern time, when they take on India in their opening match. Their second game, against Russia, takes place at 11:30pm Eastern time on Sunday before the pool phase wraps up on Tuesday with a match against rivals New Zealand (5:30pm Eastern time).

The official tournament website can be found here.

Jillaroos’ Fixtures
Saturday 27 July – 10:30pm AEST – Pool match v India
Sunday 28 July – 11:30pm AEST – Pool match v Russia
Tuesday 30 July – 5:30pm AEST – Pool match v New Zealand
Thursday 1 August OR Friday 2 August – Quarter Final or Classification
Friday 2 August OR Saturday 3 August – Semi Final or Classification
Sunday 4 August – Medal matches or Final classification

Jillaroos squad for Ergo Junior World Cup tour
17 July - 4 August 2013

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

Coverage of the tournament

There is no streaming or broadcast coverage of the tournament. Hockey Australia will distribute match reports and photography, and will cover the tournament on its website www.hockey.org.au and on social media.

Australian Junior Commonwealth Games Squad program

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

The AJCGS program:

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

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

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

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

Hockey Australia media release



U21s ready for Junior World Cup


England U21 v England Senior Women (c) Lawrence King

Ahead of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup, which starts on Saturday in Monchengladbach, Germany, England U21 women’s head coach Craig Keegan has named a squad of 18 athletes.

Included in the line-up are a number of familiar faces and names including, Jo Leigh and Shona McCallin who both joined the senior international centralised programme back in April. Jo Leigh had her first taste of playing senior international hockey back in February when she made her debut at the Investec Challenge. Also named in the squad is Hannah Martin, younger sister of London Olympian Harry, though you can read the full squad list at the bottom of this page.

The announcement has been made before the girls' first game against Spain, which is coming up at 15:30 (UK time) on Saturday. England has been drawn in Pool D, finding themselves placed against Spain, Belgium and Germany, which will follow a few days afterwards. The pool games are all over by the 30 July, after which the placements and deciders will run until the final on 4 August.

The England women have already played Belgium and Germany in the lead-up to this announcement, and while the Germans proved to be too strong a side for the girls to beat, England walked away victorious when playing against Belgium, winning two out of their three games. However, with only one game to play to decide, time will tell if the girls will repeat their good performance.

More about the Junior World Cup

The Junior World Cup is held once every four years. There is a 16 team field, which will be split into four pools of four teams each. Following the preliminary round robin, teams will either move into a placement round for the bottom eight finishers or onto a quarterfinal, semi-final and final round. In total, every team is guaranteed six games.

England have been drawn in Pool D and will face tough opposition from Germany, Belgium and Spain.

To view the Hockey Junior World Cup Women’s Schedule click here.

Squad List

1 Steph Addison - Clifton
2 Grace Balsdon - Canterbury
3 Eliza Brett - Canterbury
4 Olivia Chilton - Birmingham University
5 Sophie Crosley - Bowdon Hightown
6 Emily Defroand - Birmingham University
7 Lucy Hyams - Canterbury
8 Josie Inverdale - Leicester
9 Caitlin Jeffries (GK) - Clifton
10 Jo Leigh - Clifton
11 Hannah Martin - Ipswich
12 Shona McCallin - MOP
13 Suzy Petty - Loughborough University
14 Alice Sharp - Birmingham University
15 Amy Tennant (GK) - Bowdon Hightown
16 Fran Tew - Ipswich
17 Anna Toman - Birmingham University
18 Rebecca Van Berkel - Birmingham University

England Hockey Board Media release



Indian eves face Australia test in Junior WC opener

MONCHENGLADBACH (Germany): A stern test awaits India when they take on formidable Australia in their opening Pool C match of the women's junior hockey World Cup on Saturday.

The 18-member Indian team, led by defender Sushila Chanu, will start the match as underdogs and have to dish out something extraordinary to upset mighty Australians at the Warsteiner Hockey Park.

India are placed in Pool C along side New Zealand, Australia and Russia in the 16-team tournament.

After Australia, the Indians will play New Zealand on Sunday followed by their last pool match against Russia on July 30.

The other participating nations in the tournament are The Netherlands, Korea, USA and Ghana (Pool A); Argentina, China, South Africa and Canada (Pool B); England, hosts Germany, Belgium and Spain (Pool D).

Top two teams from each pool will enter the quarterfinals. The semi-finals will be played on August 2 with the final scheduled for August 4.

India squad:

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.

Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani (vice-captain), Anupa Barla, Navneet Kaur.

The Times of India



Netherlands & Germany win big at ERGO Masters

England & Ireland suffer heavy defeats on Day 1



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Netherlands and Germany have indicated their readiness for the upcoming TriFinance EuroHockey Championships thanks to stellar performances on the opening day of the ERGO Masters, Hamburg’s globally famous men’s invitational tournament.

The Netherlands powered to a sensational 6-1 win over England, with Constantijn Jonker proving to be the star of the show with a superb hat-trick in a dominant Dutch display. Impressively, all of the goals came from open play, with Robbert Kemperman, Seve van Ass and Rogier Hofman also getting on the score-sheet before a late consolation goal from England’s Darren Cheesman.

Speaking after the match England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “We were punished by a far better team today who capitalised on some basic errors in our defending. I was disappointed with some of the individual performances and we have left ourselves with much to prove in our remaining games against Germany and Ireland at the weekend.”

Host nation Germany were also in sparkling form, cruising to a 6-0 win over Ireland. Marco Miltkau scored twice in the rout, with Oskar Deecke, Thilo Stralkowski, Mats Grambusch and Florian Fuchs adding to the tally. Germany were in superb form throughout the contest, and would surely have had more goals were it not for a brilliant goalkeeping display from Irish shot-stopper David Harte.

Friday is a rest day at the tournament, with the action resuming on Saturday when The Netherlands take on Ireland before England face Germany. The tournament will be completed on Sunday following the Ireland-England and Germany-Netherlands matches.

FIH site



Ghana's Black Sticks thrash Nigeria

Coach of the Nigeria male national hockey team, Tunde Odedokun, says losing 5-0 to Ghana in the opening match of the ongoing first Atta Mills Memorial Hockey Tournament was due to fatigue and the stress from travelling for a long distance to participate in the tourney.

The coach, who was constantly seen issuing instructions to his boys during the match, said “we just arrived from Nigeria after a two-day journey and we are stressed and that was why we lost, but you come and watch us on Saturday, we will redeem our image”. We lost today, but the most important thing was that we are here to honour the late President Atta Mills for the good job he did for Ghana hockey and Africa as well.”

Many Ghanaians witnessed the opening match, which was attended by Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, the Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the AMA Chief Executive, Alfred Okoe Vanderpuye, Mr Worlanyo Agrah, the GOC President, Mr Francis Duodu, and Oko Nikoi Dzani, President of the Ghana Hockey Association.

Botsio Johnny (11 and 23 minutes), Damalie Matthew (15), Opoku Ernest (54) and Appiah Joseph (68) all scored to conclude the damage. Two of the goals were scored from penalty corners while the rest were field goals.

Ghana mounted constant pressure on their West African neighbours, reducing them to mere “errand boys” in the second half of the game.

The Ghanaian female hockey team also beat their Greater Accra Hockey Association (GAHA) counterparts 1-0 to bring the curtains down.

GAHA men’s team will battle the Nigerians today at 5 p.m., while the Ghana-Nigeria final game will push off at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. NDK Financiers, Veterans, Citizens, Multistix and SAPHOLDA will engage in a gala to precede the Ghana and Nigeria duel.

GhanaWeb



Defeat for Scotland in Spain


Kenny Bain

Scotland Senior Men's recent winning run was brought to an end this evening as Spain defeated them 6-2 in Barcelona.

Striker Kenny Bain got the two goals for Derek Forsyth's side, continuing his good goal-scoring form for the national side.

"It was a good first half performance and we led for much of the half after playing some good hockey", said Scotland Team Manager Eugene Connolly. "Unfortunately, Spain were able to get in front right on the stroke of half time and in the second half, they controlled the game meaning we had to do a lot of chasing and they exploited the spaces."

Spain struck first in the eighth minute when Marc Selles found the back of the net to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

However, the Scots were back on level terms within two minutes when Kenny Bain scored from a penalty corner in the tenth minute.

The national side then found themselves in front in the 18th minute as Bain grabbed his second goal of the encounter to make it 2-1 to Scotland.

Spain equalised in the 31st minute when a Gabriel Dabanch strike made it 2-2, and Pau Quemada gave the Spaniards a 3-2 advantage at half-time when he slotted the ball home right on the hooter.

Following the interval, Spain stretched the goal margin between the two sides when Edi Tabau scored the fourth in the 41st minute.

Dabanch's second goal of the game from a penalty corner in the 55th minute effectively ended the contest, before the Iberian forward completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute at a penalty corner to leave the final scoreline 6-2.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Women's Masters Head to Belfast

After a very successful trip to Dublin in June, Scotland's Women's Masters are heading to the European Open Masters Tournament held in Belfast over August 13th-17th.

Three teams, Over 40, Over 45 and Over 50 went to Dublin at the beginning of the summer to compete in the Home Nations Masters Hockey Tournament and performed very well, finishing third out of six teams. The tournament acted as great oppotunity for the squad to play together ahead of next month's European Open Masters Tournament and give them a chance to thoroughly prepare for the event.

For the Open in Belfast, Scotland are are taking a combined-age team to compete in the Over 40s section. They will play England, Ireland and Australia (yes, the European team of Australia!) and will be led by Ali Ramsay with Sharon Duncan assisted by Mabe Neish as player coaches.

Team List

Sue Mitchell
Chantal Guillet
Sharon Duncan (Coach)
Fiona Harfield
Lizzie Sturrock (VC)
Denise Fairbairn
Norma Brownie
Netty Horne
Marg Taylor
Mabe Neish
Ali Ramsay (C)
Rosie McColgan
Sandra Pattinson
Jacky Wilson
Gail Nelson
Maggie Conacher

Manager: Jacky Burnett

Programme


13.30 Tuesday- Ireland
12.00 Wednesday - England
18.00 Thursday - Australia
14.30 Friday - 1st v 2nd
09.00 Saturday - 3rd v 4th

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Abbasi permitted to fast during training camp

By Fawad Hussain


Abbasi will continue fasting as he returns to Pakistan’s Asia Cup training camp today. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Only a couple of days after creating a fuss by expelling Shakeel Abbasi for not following orders, the national hockey team management has now recalled the senior striker for the ongoing Asia Cup training cup on his own conditions, according to coach Tahir Zaman.

The team’s head coach-cum-manager Akhtar Rasool expelled Abbasi for his insistence to continue fasting during the training camp for the Asia Cup, a must win event if Pakistan are to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Rasool maintained that fasting would prevent players from giving 100% during training, adding that all of them agreed to compensate after the tournament scheduled to be played from August 24 to September 1.

The decision caused furore among several former players, who criticised the decision saying that players had featured in international outings while fasting.

“Abbasi should have been given some relaxation,” said former coach Hanif Khan. “He is a senior player and deserved leniency.”

Giving in to pressure, the team management recalled Abbasi for the camp.

“We have told him to join the camp,” Zaman told The Express Tribune. “He can fast and we are expecting him to report [today].”

Zaman said the team management’s stance was misunderstood.

“We were concerned that he [Abbasi] may pick some injury during the training sessions which are energy consuming.”

Meanwhile, the coach said Abdul Haseem Khan, who missed the start of the camp, had joined training.

POA blaming hockey federation for CWG fiasco

Meanwhile, the Arif Hasan-led Pakistan Olympics Association (POA), affiliated with the International Olympic Charter, has blamed the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as the country’s participation in the discipline at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) fell in jeopardy after failure to confirm their participation within the deadline.

The last date to confirm participation was July 23 and the POA only managed to confirm Pakistan’s entry in disciplines of shooting, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, rugby and boxing for the Commonwealth Games 2014 to be held in Glasgow.

According to an official close to the matter, the PHF moved to consult the Pakistan Sports Board-run POA which is in tussle with the Hasan-led body. However, the deadline was violated during the inquiry.

“Owing to lack of  ‘expression of interest’ by the PHF, the hockey team may not be able to participate in the CWG,” said a POA official.

“The body sent repeated reminders to the PHF before the deadline but they did not respond.

“The POA is desperate to see the hockey team in action and is willing to take up the case with the CWG federation. But PHF must submit its expression of interest by Monday.”

Meanwhile, attempts to contact PHF officials were unsuccessful.

The Express Tribune



Rasool asks Shakeel Abbasi to rejoin Asia Cup camp


Shakeel Abbasi. -Photo by AP

KARACHI: Pakistan's forward Shakeel Abbasi has been asked to rejoin the ongoing training camp for the Asia Cup, after he was controversially expelled by hockey coach Akhtar Rasool from the camp for fasting, DawnNews reported on Friday.

Abbasi had been expelled from the camp due to breach of discipline as the team had been told not to fast because it affects players' health, form and fitness.

"If Abbasi wants to fast he should do it at home. This is a national camp and all players are required to focus on their training," Rasool had said.

However, Rasool said his comments had been taken out of context and his only concern was the player's health.

Abbasi also requested the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to avoid scheduling major tournaments around the month of Ramazan. He said that he had been fasting during Ramazan throughout his career and was positive that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will come up with a solution.

"I want to request FIH not to organise any major tournament during and around the month of Ramazan. Asia Cup is an important tournament and it is going to be held just after Ramazan where Muslim majority countries like Pakistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh are playing," the Press Trust of India quoted Abbasi as saying.

The Asia Cup, a must-win event for Pakistan if the Greenshirts want to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, is scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24.

Dawn



Head coach allows Shakeel Abbasi to rejoin camp

LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team head coach Akhtar Rasool Friday allowed Olympian Shakeel Abbasi to rejoin the Asia Cup training camp which is in progress here at the National Hockey Stadium.

Talking to the reporters, Akhtar Rasool said: “Neither had I barred any player to observe fast earlier, nor I am disallowing any player to do so. It is their own choice either to observe fast or not but they have to give hundred per cent results during the camp because Asia Cup is very tough assignment for them for which they have to leave no stone unturned in getting training and must have to deliver during the Asia Cup.”

The head coach said in case Pakistan did not qualify for World Cup then it would be very disgraceful for the country which had been qualifying for the World Cup since 65 years. Shakeel Abbasi, who had been asked to leave the camp for fasting during training, said that whether players chose to fast during the training camp was a personal choice. Akhtar Rasool had stated that all team players had been asked not to fast during the training camp since fasting did not allow players to perform to their full capacity during training and had to face difficulty.

Pakistan will participate in the must-win upcoming Asia Cup in Malaysia in order to qualify for the World Cup.

The Nation



Shakeel Abbasi asked to rejoin training camp

KARACHI: Olympian Shakeel Abbasi, who had been asked to leave the camp for fasting during training, has been asked to rejoin the preparations for the forthcoming Asia Cup in Malaysia.

A Pakistan Hockey Federation official on Friday informed that the chief coach Akhtar Rasool, who had expelled Abbasi from the training camp after he had come to training while fasting, has asked the forward to rejoin the camp.

"The matter has been sorted out and Abbasi has been told to attend the training again," the official said.

The camp is being held in the holy month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Rasool had faced a lot of criticism for his decision to remove Abbasi from the training camp over what was a religious issue.

The Times of India



Hockey team unlikely to compete in CW Games 2014

Mohammad Yaqoob



-File photo

LAHORE: The consequences of the ongoing tug-of-war between the government and Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) are beginning to affect the country’s sports scene as the participation of the Pakistan hockey team in the 20th Commonwealth Games next year now appears in the doldrums.

The Games are being held in Glasgow in 2014, but the deadline to give ‘Expression of Interest’ by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) expired on July 21 owing to the nasty tussle.

The POA led by Arif Hasan is being recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) but the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) does not recognise it. Instead, the PSB has formed a parallel body of the POA headed by Akram Sahi, which has no standing at the international level.

An official statement issued by the POA (Arif Hasan), said: “This press release is being issued to highlight the factual position regarding the participation of the Pakistan hockey team in the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

“The POA is constrained to make it public that owing to lack of ‘Expression of Interest’ by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the Pakistan hockey team may not be able to participate in the 20th Commonwealth Games 2014 at Glasgow.

“After receipt of communication from the Commonwealth Games Federation that for team sports it was mandatory that the concerned federation gives an ‘Expression of Interest’ in writing, the POA had sought the commitment from the PHF in its letter dated July 18, 2013, with the deadline for the reply expiring on July 21, 2013,” the POA stated.

“After the letter was not responded to, the POA sent a reminder to the PHF on July 22, 2013. This reminder clearly stated that ‘Expression of Interest’ from the federation concerned was a ‘requirement’ of the CGF, communicated vide their email of July 17, 2013.

“The reminder also stated: ‘the consent of Pakistan Hockey Federation (Expression of Interest) was sought by a return email as we have to confirm the same to the Organising Committee of the Commonwealth Games latest by July 23, 2013 failing which the Pakistan hockey team may not be considered for participation in the 10-Team event by the FIH for these Games.’ This reminder too has remained unresponded to.

“Owing to the artificially charged environment prevailing in sports in the country, both the original letter and its reminder were also copied to the federal ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, the PSB and other international bodies.

“The participation of Pakistan hockey in the event would have afforded it a great opportunity to build its squad for the 2016 Olympic Games by competing against some of the best outfits like Australia, England, New Zealand, Malaysia and South Africa. Actually, outside of Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, all the top ranked teams in the world take part in the event. Why the PHF deliberately wanted to stay away from the Commonwealth Games is anyone’s guess.

“The POA nevertheless is still willing to take up the case with the Commonwealth Games Federation provided the PHF submits its expression of interest by not later than Monday afternoon. The National Olympic Committee is confident that its request to the Commonwealth Games Federation can still get Pakistan included in the line-up of 10 nations at Glasgow 2014. But this is absolute final deadline as we are not sure whether the CGF will allow any further extensions.

“In case of its failure to respond, the onus for non-participation in a frontline event of almost global import shall once again lie with the PHF,” it concluded.

Meanwhile, when contacted, PHF secretary Asif Bajwa told Dawn that he had received the e-mail from the POA on July 19 and soon after he sent it to the PSB to get its advice under the current circumstances, since the board was the donor providing tickets and TA/DA to the PHF for these games.

“The PSB in reply advised the PHF to make contact with the legitimate POA body of Akram Sahi” Bajwa said. “The PHF, in response to that letter asked the PSB to ask Akram Sahi’s body to send the ‘Expression of Interest’ to the PHF, if it has received any,” Bajwa further elaborated.

“After that the PSB has forwarded the same PHF’s letter to Akram Sahi’s body to proceed further but the PHF has not received any reply,” said Bajwa.

He further went on to say that on Friday, after the media had released the news sent by the POA, he again wrote a letter to the PSB expressing the PHF wanted to appear in the Commonwealth Games and it wanted a clear reply before Monday.

The national hockey will be the main suffering party in the current situation as it has qualified for the Youth Olympics Games and the Asian Games. The participation in the Asian Games will also pave the way for participation in the 2016 Olympics.

Dawn



POA still awaiting reply of PHF

LAHORE - The IOC-backed Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) is still awaiting the reply of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) regarding national team’s participation in the next year’s 20th Commonwealth Games at Glasgow.

“The PHF has not yet responded to our repeated reminders to confirm its team’s participation in the Games and the POA is constrained to make it public that owing to lack of ‘expression of interest’ by the PHF, the Pakistan hockey team may not be able to participate in the Commonwealth Games,” POA spokesman said here on Friday.

He said after receipt of communication from the Commonwealth Games Federation that for team sports it was mandatory that the concerned federation gives an ‘expression of interest’ in writing, the POA had sought the commitment from the PHF in its letter dated July 18, 2013, with the deadline for the reply as July 21, 2013. After the letter was not responded to, the POA sent a reminder to the PHF on July 22, 2013.”

This reminder also stated: “The consent of Pakistan Hockey Federation (expression of interest) by return email as we have to confirm the same to the organising committee of the Commonwealth Games latest by July 23, 2013 failing which Pakistan hockey team may not be considered for participation among the 10 men’s team by the FIH for these Games.”

This reminder too has remained un-responded to. “Owing to the artificially charged environment prevailing in sports in the country, both the original letter and its reminder were also copied to the federal ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC), the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) and other international bodies,” he added.

“The participation of Pakistan hockey in the event would have afforded it a great opportunity to build its squad for the 2016 Olympic Games by competing against some of the best outfits like Australia, England, New Zealand, Malaysia and South Africa. Actually outside of Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, all the top ranked teams in the world take part in the event. Why the PHF deliberately wanted to stay away from the Commonwealth Games is anyone's guess,” he maintained.

The POA nevertheless is still willing to take up the case with the CGF provided the PHF submits its expression of interest by not later than Monday (July 28, afternoon.

“The National Olympic Committee (NOC) is confident that its request to the Commonwealth Games Federation can still have Pakistan included in the lineup of 10 nations at Glasgow. But this is absolute final deadline as we are not sure whether the CGF will allow any further extensions. In case of failing to respond the onus for non-participation in a frontline event of almost global import will once again lie with the PHF,” he concluded.

The Nation



Beijwad leads from the front

Principal Correspondent


Captain Deepak Beijwad’s brace helped Karnataka beat Delhi 5-2 in a Pool ‘A’ encounter and advance to the semifinals of the Alchemist Federation Cup hockey tournament at the Shivaji Stadium here on Friday.

Karnataka, which topped Pool ‘A,’ will meet Uttar Pradesh, while Tamil Nadu will take on Pool ‘B’ leader Punjab in the semifinals.

Karnataka banked on its superior midfield, commanded by K.R. Umesh, to perform like a well-oiled unit.

Shankar Patil, who dashed ahead and dispossessed Faraz Khan before beating Delhi goalkeeper Sumit Kumar in a spectacular manner, provided the breakthrough.

Beijwad found the mark off a penalty corner to extend the lead minutes before the half time.

Delhi regrouped to intensify pressure on the Karnataka goal and an unmarked Atuldeep slotted home shortly after resumption. Pardeep Khatri drew parity following a swift counter-attack.

Beijwad launched a clean drag-flick as Karnataka again grabbed the lead.

Fine combinations

It was followed by some fine combinations upfront as J.P. Kusha and man-of-the-match Bijju Yirkal took it beyond Delhi’s reach.

Delhi made some good efforts and was rewarded with an ‘own goal’ in its favour.

Haryana fought back to beat Manipur 5-3 in an inconsequential Pool ‘B’ match.

The scores:

Pool A: Karnataka 5 (Deepak Beijawad 2, Shankar Patil, J.P. Kusha, Bijju Yirkal) bt Delhi 3 (Atuldeep, Pardeep Khatri, own goal);

Pool B: Haryana 5 (Harish 2, own goal, Mukesh Dalal, Amrit Chatha) bt Manipur 3 (K. Debeshor 3).

The Hindu



Karnataka beat Delhi 5-3, set up semifinal date with UP

New Delhi: Karnataka defeated Delhi 5-3 to top Pool A and set up a semifinal clash against Uttar Pradesh in the Alchemist Federation Cup hockey tournament here today.

In the other semifinal, Pool B champions Punjab will take on Tamil Nadu at the Shivaji stadium tomorrow.

The final day of pool matches, Karnataka opened the scoring in the 13th minute through a goal from Shankar Patil before Deepak Bijawad doubled the lead in the 32nd minute.

Delhi, however, made a strong comeback after the change of ends and scored twice through Atuldeep (36th minute) and Pradeep Khatri (52nd) to restore the parity.

But two minutes later Deepak scored his second goal of the day to put Karnataka ahead before Kusha J P (57th) and Biju Yirkal (63rd) found the back of the net once to hand the southern side a 5-2 lead.

Delhi managed to reduce the margin, courtesy an own goal from Karnataka in the dying minutes of the game.

Meanwhile, in an inconsequential match Haryana came up with a spirited effort to get the better of Manipur 5-3.

The Asian Age



Announcing the Canadian Men’s National Team for the Pan American Cup

The boys are primed for competition

Connor Meakin




Quietly preparing for their most important tournament in two years, the Men’s National Team is ready for competition.

The following 18 athletes will represent Canada at The Pan American Cup in Brampton, August 10-17.

David Carter – BC
Spencer Curran – BC
Taylor Curran* – BC
Adam Froese – BC
Matt Guest* – BC
Richard Hildreth – BC
David Jameson – BC
Antoni Kindler – BC
Jannu Mahal* – BC
Ben Martin – BC
Sukhi Panesar – BC
Mark Pearson – BC
Keegan Pereira – ONT
Sukhwinder Singh – ONT
Iain Smythe – BC
Scott Tupper – BC
Jesse Watson – BC
Philip Wright – BC

* – TBC

Non-Travelling Reserves

Jagdish Gill – ONT
Gordon Johnston – BC
James Kirkpatrick – BC
Matthew Sarmento – BC
Hudson Stewart – BC

Selections were difficult as always for coach Anthony Farry: “It’s been one of the hardest selections I’ve been involved with. We have a good balance of experience as well as some who are newer to international hockey.”

Peaking at the right time

Farry is pleased with the groups progress through the summer and confident they’ll peak in two weeks time.

The squad focused on a few key areas in training over the summer, and Farry is pleased with the progression and continued development of the group as well as the younger players.

Culture is a pivotal component leading into The Pan Am Cup. Farry and the coaching staff have worked hard to instill a ground-up approach: “We set the direction, and from there it is driven by the players... sometimes the most important gains have to be made off the field before you start to see changes on the field.”

The player-centric approach leads to a certain accountability among the group. “It is a massive honour and privilege to represent your country... there are huge sacrifices” said Farry.

Whether a team run up Cypress Mountain on a Saturday evening, or weekend  trip to Vancouver Island to teach youth clinics, the players personify this philosophy. They’ve all made sacrifices for the good of the team and their ultimate goal: The World Cup.

A rare opportunity to play at home

Canada draws Brazil, Chile, and Trinidad and Tobago in their pool. Each team represents a challenge. The squad will familiarize themselves with Brazil during their series starting this weekend. Chile and T&T are always tough matches as both teams possess speed and skill.

Farry knows that the boys will no doubt be feeding off the home crowd, but they’re always cognisant of the bigger picture. “We have great respect for all the teams in this tournament. We have set some targets, and to achieve these we’re going to need to play each game with the same attitude, determination, and desire.”

Canada kicks things off against Brazil on August 10th.

Field Hockey Canada media release



Reverse Naming the National Hockey Stadium After Professor Mills

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai


Mr. Kwame Sefa Kayi of Peace F.M deserves commendation for getting Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpujie the Accra Mayor to give reasons why he and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly re-named the National Hockey Stadium after late Professor John Evans Atta Mills. Tried as he did, the Accra Mayor failed to sound convincing enough especially when he admitted being aware that the pitch had already been named after Mrs. Theodosia Okoh the lady who designed our national flag.

It is worth noting that apart from the lady hailing from Accra, she also played hockey, headed the Ghana Hockey Association and helped in acquiring the pitch. At least these are what I leant from Kwame's interview with Dr Oko Vanderpujie who could not remember off hand the name of the lady who designed our national flag and the roles she played in the hockey fraternity.

Most people felt that the lady whose work gave Ghana its status symbol without adequate reward deserves that honour of being named after the hockey pitch and more. But the mayor in a damage control measure says her name would still be attached to the hockey pitch by way of naming only the playing grounds after her. This is not fair because it means that her honour is being varied downwards. Someone must talk to the Mayor and the assembly to backtrack on their action.

It is believed that this plea would be accepted in good faith and acted upon by Dr Vanderpuye and the entire AMA that consist of reasonable men and women. Before he took this action, he had also removed the name of late Ohene Djan (who helped to develop Ghana sports particularly soccer) from the Accra Sports Stadium and renamed it Accra Sports Stadium.

Ohene Djan was honored together with notable sports figured like late Baba Yara named after the Kumasi and late Robert Mensah for the Cape Coast Stadium, Mr. Charles Kumi Gyamfi, a former captain of the National Soccer Team the Black Stars, who coached the team to win three of Ghana's four African Cup of Nations trophies, was named after the Winneba Sports College.

Lest I forget, the Kaneshie Sports Complex was renamed Azumah Nelson Sports Complex. All these honours were in recognition of the individual person's remarkable contributions towards sports development in Ghana.

One of the reasons for some of the people who agitated for this action to remove Ohene Djan's name from Accra Sports Stadium was that in spite of all that he did for Ghana, he did not hail from Accra.

If one juxtaposes this against the naming of the hockey pitch after Professor Mills, it would be seen that the mayor and those who took the action to sideline Mrs. Theodosia Okoh are not consistently fair. This is because while Theodosia comes from Accra and is also a hockey player and administrator, she deserves to be named after the hockey pitch.

There is no denying the fact that Professor Mills who built the hockey pitch was also a hockey person and deserves the honour of having his name attached to the hockey pitch. This time, we need to apply the rule of fairness and natural justice by allowing the name already attached to the stadium to remain. That name is Theodosia Okoh. The earlier the mayor and the AMA take a critical look at this issue by possibly changing their minds on it, the better, else some new regime that disagrees with the Mayor and his and the current members of AMA, may take action in future to change all that he and AMA have done.

How many Heads of States since Dr Nkrumah our first President, have had monuments named after them in the whole of the country. I know the Kwame Nkrumah Circle and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology after our first President, Rawlings Park was named after President Rawlings, perhaps for his revolutionary stance and none that I know as yet for President Kufuor. Yet, these are men, especially presidents Rawlings and Kufuor, who, after moving us from autocratic governance, laid the foundation for democratic governance and massive infrastructural development. Yet in Accra alone the High Street and a Millennium School Complex have already been named after Professor Mills. The professor who professed to have lived a modest life might not wish to be placed in this difficult position. Those close to him must act now.

His followers and family might not wish to be pitched against Theodosia Okoh and her family, especially because they know what the lady has done for Ghana in the areas of hockey even after designing our national flag.

Dr Alfred Oko Vanderpujie, please, do something to gladden the hearts of those who do not agree with you particularly Kwame Sefa-Kayi to see you reverse your action of sidelining Theodora Okoh for Professor Mills at the National Hockey Stadium. Executive Director

AllAfrica.com