News for 01 August 2013

All the news for Thursday 1 August 2013


A very, very sad day for hockey





Chua Boon Huat passes away

Tributes flood in for a Malaysian hockey legend



MALAYSIAN LEGEND: Chua Boon Huat. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is saddened to learn of the passing of Malaysia international Chua Boon Huat. The 33 year old - who was one of Malaysian Hockey’s longest serving players, making 337 appearances for Malaysia between 1998 and 2013 – died in the early hours of Thursday 1st August following a road traffic accident. 

The FIH offers its sincere condolences to Chua’s family, friends and everyone at the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) at this very difficult time.

Under legendary German coach Paul Lissek, Chua made his Malaysia debut as a 17-year-old at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, where the team won a silver medal in front of their home crowd.  He also won a bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. Chua also played in all of the major international hockey competitions, including World Cup, Olympic Games, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and the Asia Cup. Most recently, Chua was a central figure in the Malaysia team that finished fifth in the Hockey World League Semi Final competition in Johor Bahru.

Tributes have been pouring from members of the hockey family all around the world, with players, coaches and fans taking to social media to offer their condolences. Here is a brief selection of some of the comments being posted to Twitter.

“Can't believe what I just read. R.I.P Chua. My thoughts are with his family.”
Philipp Zeller - Germany international.‏

“Sad to hear about Chua Boon Huat. Big loss for both Malaysian and world hockey. Best wishes to his family, friends and teammates.”
Scott Tupper - Canadian international.

“Hockey Australia sends its condolences to the Malaysian hockey family following the tragic death of national player Chua Boon Huat.”
Hockey Australia.

“Terribly sad news is the passing away of Malaysian hockey star, Chua Boon Huat.”
Dave Staniforth - Hockey India’s strategic analyst / goalkeeping coach.

“Condolences to Chua Boon Huat's family & Hockey Malaysia on their loss. Thoughts are with you.”
Lloyd Norris-Jones - South African international.

“CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. He was the reason why I played hockey in Standard Five. RIP Chua Boon Huat. Waking up to such bitter news.”
Scott Lee Yuen Mann – Fan.

“We will miss you Chua Boon Huat.”
Team Malaysia.

FIH site



Chua Boon Huat..the passing of a humble man

By Jugjet Singh




NATIONAL hockey player Chua Boon Huat's untimely death has sent shock-waves to not only his team-mates, but also the entire hockey loving fraternity in Malaysia.

The 33-year-old midfielder-striker who wears jersey No 3, died in a motor-vehicle accident at 3am in Kuala Lumpur. His car number was CBH 3350.

Tragically, or some see is as a blessing, Chua met all his team mates and hockey officials including Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at a breaking of fast function seven hours earlier.

He was his usual jovial self, and could be seen speaking to his team-mates, and was also interviewed by this scribe as well as television channels on his Asia Cup aspirations.

National goalkeepr S. Kumar was shattered by the news and said: "Chua is normally a reserves person, but at the breaking fast function, he spoke to me for at least 30 minutes about various matters and this is very unusual of him.

"He also spoke and joked with many people at the function, and it is a tragic loss. The news has shattered the entire team," said Kumar.

His team-mates were at the University Malaya mortuary early in the morning, and even coach Paul Revington was inconsolable.

Social sites have been on fire paying tribute to the player who made his debut as a 17-year-old in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Some of his closes buddies like former national skipper S. Kuhan wrote on his FaceBook: "Good bye my dear brother. Shattered and broken I am. I will miss you dearly and cherish the good and bad times we experienced together. Till we meet again... We LOVE you!

And another skipper who played longside him in the KL Commonwealth Games Mirnawan Nawawi penned this: "My friend and former team mate in the national hockey team, you are too young to go. Great lost to his family and country. RIP Chua Boon Huat. U'll be missed!

Former National Sports Institute director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz had this to say on FB: "Extremely sad to hear of the demise of one of our great hockey players, Chua Boon Huat. ..so tragic. I was his team doctor for many years..so friendly and approachable with a ready smile and kind-hearted. We will miss him badly. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

Chua, born May 3, 1980 in Malacca, capped 330 times for the country, surpassing the appearances made by Nor Saiful Zaini (325) and his best friend S. Kuhan (327).

He has played at the World Cup, Olympics, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and Asia Cup.

And he also captained the 2001 Junior World Cup side in Hobart.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



My last moments with Chua Boon Huat...

By Jugjet Singh




CHUA Boon Huat has touched many hearts, and some, including this scribe, are still shell-shocked at how his young and energetic life was plucked leaving a vacuum which will be hard to fill.

To compound matters, we met seven hours before his tragic demise -- at a Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) buka puasa as well as incentive rewarding function at the Park Royal Hotel in Bukit Bintang.

And there was never an inkling that it would be the last.

As I made my way to the dinner tables after the press conference with MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, I noticed there were no more empty seats.

So, I picked up a vacant chair from the back of the banquet hall and coincidentally, or by fate, placed it next to Boon Huat.

With a wide smile, he started: "Bro, how have you been keeping these days?

Not too bad I replied, and just then, Tengku Abdullah walked by and said: "You are looking good Chua, you have lost some weight (since the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru) and keep it up as we need you at your best in Ipoh."

Turning to the scribe, Tengku Abdullah looked at my pot-belly and said: "You have also lost some weight."

And I replied the favour by saying, "Tengku do you know that Peter Butler has tweeted that he wants to be the director of coaching for FAM (after news broke that the Malaysian football team had lost 5-0 to second division Japanese team, Tokyo Verdy).

Tengku Abdullah, who had earlier in the press conference said that he did not want to talk about the football team, as it would only spoil his appetite, gave this scribe an irritating stare and said: "Well he can apply, anybody can apply."

And after Tengku Abdullah walked away, Chua pulled my sleeves and said: "Bro he just told you in the press conference that he did not want to talk about football and now you have spoiled his appetite!"

I told him, "That only means we will have a bigger share of the spread" and Chua gave out a hearty laugh.

Getting serious, I asked him if Malaysia really needed foreign coaches in football and hockey.

Chua looked around and then said something which was a shocker, and when I told him I'm going to write about it, he said, "No lah bro! Don't write that cause it will only hurt many people.

(And so it will remain a secret)

"But if you ask me about hockey, I feel we did the right thing with Paul (Revington). You know bro, I am not the type who enjoys training, but under Paul, I am actually enjoying every moment as there is never a dull moment lah.

"Also, you know, its something funny, but I'm learning things that should have been taught to me 10 years ago, only now under Paul!

"Every one in the team is enjoying training and are motivated. Before this, we enter the pitch and play on our own strengths, our own special skills, and nobody before this told us even how to trap the ball properly on the run and attack.

"Things are changing and bro, you can also see, only that we were unlucky in the England and Pakistan matches in Johor."

And when asked about playing in the Asia Cup at his favourite hunting ground, the Azlan Shah Stadium, Chua again broke out a beaming smile.

"Ya lah bro, I did score some super goals in the Azlan Shah (Cup). The Ipoh crowd is super, and lets see how I can make them cheer even louder (In the Asia Cup)," said Chua.

Just then, the TV station guys walked up and asked Chua for an interview, which he obliged, and they recorded his last moments.

He was the only Chinese in the senior side for the last two decades, and you would want him on your side in a match, and also a party.

Coach Revington had this fitting finale to say: "Since I came to Malaysia, not a day went by when I was not extremely thankful that Chua was in our locker room and on our side.

"I have admired Chua since I first watched him in the 2000 Olympics, then in Hobart 2001 and always secretly hoped I would get an opportunity to coach him.

"A great athlete and warrior, he was."

Gone today my friend, but remembered forever in the hockey books.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Chua dies in accident

By Satwant Singh Dhaliwal




The social media is abuzz with news that 33 year old Chua Boon Huat died in an accident with a lorry at the LDP Highway at 3.00am today.

How ironic can fate be as Chua dons the number 3 jersey and died at 3.00am and was 33 years old.

It is a tremendous loss to Malaysian Hockey and to me.

I received a text message from national team manager George Koshy who was trying to verify if the tragic news was true.

The fact that only hours earlier Chua was at a breaking of fast function with the rest of his team mates made it look that it was a nasty joke.

But alas it was no joke and a legend of Malaysian hockey has met with an untimely death.

Chua and I go a long way back, all the way to 1995 when he turned out for Yayasan NS in the MJHL.

He holds the record of the most capped hockey international in Malaysia having surpassed Nor Saiful Zaini and S.Kuhan after been given a new lease of life in international hockey by coach Paul Revington.

A quiet and unassuming person, my last conversation with him took place just a day before the World League commenced in Johor Baru and he enquired about my Mums condition then.

Chua, or Apek as he is known in the hockey fraternity hails from Malacca and made his debut for the national team at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

Given a break by the then coach Paul Liseek, Chua has the distinction of playing in several overseas leagues, namely in Austria, Bangladesh, Germany, and England.

A bachelor who wanted to end his single life, Chua also ventured into coaching as he coached Pahang in the last Malaysian Games.

There is just so much I want to write about him but coming to terms with this tragedy is difficult especially since I am not in Malaysia at the moment and will not be able to pay my last respects.

To his family and loved ones, this is an untimely death, especially when Chua had made it clear to me that he was he'll bent to play on until the Rio Olympics.

Words are not flowing freely as I come to terms with this tragedy, praying that its not true.

I will indeed miss you my friend.

UPDATE:

Just received an email from Paul Revington and amongst others it reads as follows-

"I am mailing now to say sorry that you have lost one of your young stars, I am mailing to say thank you for creating Chua and for giving me the opportunity as a coach to spend time with a great athlete and warrior during my time in Malaysia. Not a day went by when I was not extremely thankful that Chua was in our locker room and on our side. I have admired Chua since I first watched him in the 2000 Olympics, then in Hobart 2001 and always secretly hoped I would get an opportunity to coach him. "

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



National hockey player Chua Boon Huat killed in road accident

By AUSTIN CAMOENS




PETALING JAYA: National hockey player Chua Boon Huat, 33, was killed in an accident on the Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP) early Thursday.

Selangor officer-in-charge of traffic, Deputy Supt Azmi Mansor, said Chua was driving his Proton Perdana V6 car heading towards Damansara when it collided with a water tanker that was watering plants along the LDP at about 2am.

A Fire & Rescue team from Damansara rushed to the scene of the accident to remove Chua who was trapped in his car.

It is learnt that Chua died at the scene due to head injuries. The Malacca-born Chua was one of the longest-serving hockey players in the country.

The Star of Malaysia



Chua Boon Huat: Champion, inspiration

By MICHELLE TAM



Chua (yellow jersey) fights for the ball during the TNB MHL 2013 Final in Bukit Jalil in May. Starpix by SHAHRUL FAZRY ISMAIL

PETALING JAYA: Hockey fans, sportsmen and even non-followers of the sport paid tribute to national player Chua Boon Huat who died in a car crash early Thursday.

Chua, 33, inspired youngsters to take up hockey as @ScottLeeYM tweeted: “CANNOT BELIEVE THIS. He was the reason why I played hockey in Standard Five. RIP Chua Boon Huat. Waking up to such a bitter news.”

@adreenazman tweeted: “You influenced me a lot when i was in school hockey team. RIP Chua Boon Huat.”

Chua, 33, was killed in an accident on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) early Thursday. He was driving towards Damansara at about 2.30am when his Proton Perdana V6 collided with a water tanker that was watering the plants along the road.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin @Khairykj tweeted his condolences: “Sad to hear about the passing of Chua Boon Huat, national hockey star, in a traffic accident. Condolences to his family”.

In a posting on his Facebook page, Khairy added: “He was a hockey star who brought glory to the nation’s name at an international level, and was an excellent athlete who was disciplined, always positive, and an inspiration to young players. Thank you, Boon Huat. Your service will always be remembered by the nation.”

National cyclist and three-time Olympian Josiah Ng @JosiahCyclist: “Condolences to Chua's friends and family. Such tragedy to pass at the prime of his life. May you rest in peace.”

For national squash player Mohd Azlan Iskandar @azziskandar, it was a bitter morning: “Woke up to the saddest news ... RIP Chua Boon Huat ... A friend and a national hero ... Longest-serving hockey player in my generation”.

National bowler Zandra Aziela @ZandraAziela said her goodbyes: “If only I could tell you one last time of how much respect I have in you and the team. Sigh. A major loss to the country. RIP Chua Boon Huat.”

Singer Nita Hamzah (@nitahamzah) called it shocking news and included a happy picture of the two: “Rest In Peace My Friend Marcus Chua Boon Huat ... You gone too soon friend …”.

Many others honoured Chua’s contributions to the nation.

@daveencypini tweeted: Today one of Malaysian hockey biggest names with over 300 appearances for Malaysia passed away. You will be remembered Chua Boon Huat.

@firdausapandi tweeted: “Chua Boon Huat brought much glory and honour to Malaysia. Heroes never die, they turn into legends #RIPChuaBoonHuat”.

Chua’s track record made him a household name even for those who were not fans of the sport.

@HarizGhazalli tweeted: “I didn't follow much on hockey, but then I knew him as a key figure in our national hockey team. Goodbye Chua Boon Huat.”

@faridFared tweeted: “Chua Boon Huat was a great hockey player . Not a major fan of hockey but I watched him many times on TV and also on the field.”

The Star of Malaysia



National hockey player Chua Boon Huat dies in car crash

Teoh El Sen


KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey player Chua Boon Huat died in an accident early this morning. He was 33.

The 2.55am accident, along the Damansara-Puchong Highway near Kelana Jaya LRT station, involved his car and a lorry, according to an online report in New Straits Times.

The player, from Bukit Cina, Malacca, was one of the longest serving hockey players in the country.

He made his debut when he was 17-year-old with the Malaysia hockey team in the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

He is has played in all major hockey events since making his debut.

Chua had earned more than 300 caps for Malaysia and has played in competitions such as the World Cup, Olympics, Champions Trophy, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Asia Cup.

Astro Awani



Team-mates describe Boon Huat's death as a great loss to hockey in the country

KUALA LUMPUR: Team-mates of the late national hockey stalwart Chua Boon Huat who died in a pre-dawn accident this morning, said his death was a big loss to hockey in the country.

Boon Huat, 33, the livewire of the National men's hockey team, was killed in an accident along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) at about 3am when his Proton Perdana V6 car collided with a tanker near the Kelana Jaya LRT Station.

National hockey goalkeeper S. Kumar who is a close friend of Boon Huat said he had lost a very dear friend and the country lost a great hockey player.

"He is a person who always valued friendship, no matter what race they are. He is very dedicated and committed hockey player and never hesitated to advise new or young players," he said when met at the University Malaya Medical Centre, here, today.

Kumar said the last time he met Boon Huat was when they were together at the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) 'buka puasa' function yesterday with team mates Baljit Singh and Jivan Mohan.

"We sat together and had a chat for about 30 minutes. I still cannot accept the fact that he is gone. I have known Boon Huat since 1998 when we played in the National Junior Hockey league. Though I was from Negeri Sembilan, he invited me to play for Melaka.

"He taught me how to become a dedicated player. He was always committed in his game, whether in training or match," he said.

Former National player and assistant coach Nur Saiful Zaini Nasaruddin said he had played together with Boon Huat in the 2008 TNB Cup.

"When we played together, I noticed that he was not only dedicated and committed, he was a very talented player. I am disappointed that I could not meet him at the 'buka puasa' yesterday because I had to attend a function organised by TNB," he said.

Nur Saiful added that Boon Huat's death would greatly felt by the National hockey team while the emotion of the players in the National team would also be affected.

Astro Awani



Young SA hockey girls one of the surprise JWC quarter-finalists in Germany

JONATHAN COOK



Izelle Lategan will lead the SA U21 side against defending champs The Netherlands in the Junior World Cup quarter-finals in Germany Thursday. File photo: Plate Pictures

Captain Izelle Lategan's South Africa U21 women’s hockey team’s exciting 6-3 win over Canada on day three of the Women's Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany Tuesday has set the world’s 11th-ranked women’s hockey nation up against world number one and defending champions The Netherlands in the fourth quarter-final at 5 pm (SA time) Thursday.

While there are no official U21 world rankings, the rankings at senior level are a reasonable guide to where the countries should be rated at world junior level.

The countries that outperformed expectations by reaching the top eight at the 2013 edition of the JWC are world number 10 the USA, world 11 South Africa, world 12 India and world 14 Spain.

Highly regarded world top 10-rated countries who didn’t make the JWC top eight are world number three New Zealand, world five Germany, world seven China and world number eight and twice JWC champions South Korea, who will now all be playing for positions nine to 16 along with Belgium, Canada, Ghana and Russia. World number nine Japan did not qualify at regional level for the JWC and are consequently not in Germany.

Thursday’s quarter-finals (all SA time) on the Mönchengladbach Hockey Park’s stadium pitch will see Spain versus India at 9.30 am; world number two and 2009 silver medallists Argentina up against the USA at 12.00 pm and world six Australia clashing sticks with world four England at 2.30 pm and then the South Africa/Netherlands match-up at 5 pm.

South Africa’s Nicole Walraven and Suléke Brand are tie fourth in the tournament goalscoring stakes with three strikes apiece, while an indication of the attacking hockey SA are playing is that at 12 goals in the three matches so far they are fifth out of the 16 nations in terms of total number of goals scored. A concern is that at nine goals against they have conceded the fifth-most number of goals in the competition.

There will be live streaming of all the quarter-finals on http://splink.tv/hockey/live-hockey-juniorinnen-wm-u21.

SA U21 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 Marks (Eastern Province); Nika Nel (Southern Gauteng).

SA Hockey Association media release



“With each game comes a new captain”

FIH.ch talks to Jane Claxton, one of the leaders in the Jillaroo squad



Jane Claxton and Amelia Spence get ready to take a penalty corner. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Jane Claxton is in the leadership group of the Jillaroos at the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup. The 20-year-old Australian was also part of the Hockeyroos squad who recently won the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London. When talking to FIH.ch, Claxton explains why the Jillaroos have a new captain in every game and when Georgia Nanscawen, who has not played a single game in this tournament so far, will be back in the team.

FIH.ch: Hi Jane, thanks for talking to us! The Jillaroos remain unbeaten after the pool stage. How satisfied are you with your team’s performance so far?
Jane Claxton:
„We are fairly satisfied with our performance, you can't be disappointed with coming top of your pool but we have a lot of work ahead and are still capable of giving a lot more in this tournament than we have already.“

FIH.ch: As Pool C winners you will now face England who defeated host nation Germany to become second in Pool D. What do you expect from this quarter-final?
JC:
„We expect that it will be a tough match - any team that has made it through to the quarters is a quality team.“

FIH.ch: What do the Jillaroos want to achieve here in Mönchengladbach?
JC:
„Like any other team arriving here... Gold!“

FIH.ch: You were also part of the Hockeyroos who recently won the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London. Can you make out a difference between playing for the Hockeyroos and playing for the Jillaroos?
JC:
“At senior level, the game is a lot quicker and the basic skill level is higher but that is expected within any senior competition when comparing it against the junior level.”

FIH.ch: You were captain in the first game, Emily Smith led the group in the second match, Anna Flanagan was captain in the third game. Why do you use a rotating captain system? Will you hold on to it throughout the whole tournament?
JC:
“We have a core group of leaders in the teams, and so we rotate the captain band through these players. With each game comes a new captain. I think the girls like how it is a shared leadership amongst team members since we are all more than capable leaders.“

FIH.ch: Georgia Nanscawen, another Hockeyroo in the Jillaroos group, has missed all three pool matches due to bone bruising on her knee. Will she be back for the quarter-finals?
JC:
“Yes, our ‚secret weapon’. Georgia Nanscawen is scheduled to commence playing in the quarter-finals. And she will be sure to add an extra edge to the team.”

Please tell us something about your top-scorer Madison Fitzpatrick! The 16-year-old has scored five goals so far and is second in the tournament topscorer list.
JC:
“Maddy definitely is a young talent coming through and has a very handy drag flick. With another Junior World Cup left in her she will definitely get stronger as she gets older.”

Today is a rest day. What did you do?
JC:
“I just caught up with my parents for lunch and spent the rest of the day relaxing.”

FIH site



Road to Rio Umpires are developed at ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Umpires Manager Renee Cohen explains what RtR is about



Umpire Sarah Wilson from Scotland. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach is a key tournament for the development of young umpires on the Road to Rio (RtR) list. The Road to Rio group of umpires currently comprises 47 members who have either already have a proven track record such as the World Panel, World Development Panel and Grade l umpires, or those who show high potential from the Promising Umpires list or International level.

“The key is the commitment from every single umpire to work with their assigned Umpire Manager on a Personal Development Plan and to follow the FIH fitness programme and to be available for FIH appointment to tournaments” says Renee Cohen who is one of the three Umpires Managers here in Mönchengladbach.

The FIH has selected several events which are designated as Road to Rio tournaments. These include World League Round 3 and 4, Champions Trophy, Champions Challenge I and the Junior World Cup. Cohen explains: “At these Road to Rio tournaments, if possible, we all arrive a day earlier than normal to work on what we call ‘the five competences of good umpiring’.”

These are
-       technical skills
-       mental skills
-       physical skills
-       communication and management skills
-       social skills

Technical skills mean the knowledge of the rules and their interpretation. As a preparation for the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup each appointed umpire watched a series of videos set up on a Dartfish Rules of Hockey private channel. Here it was possible to review a series of situations including tackles, the breaking down of play and self pass situations in order to agree interpretations and how these same situations would be dealt with in Monchengladbach. “These are the things we focussed on. When we met here in Mönchengladbach, we discussed the videos and comments together” Cohen says.

To strengthen their mental skills the group spent a full day with a sports psychologist who explained how to handle stress and improve mental preparations for a match. The group also went on a cycling tour in Cologne as part of the improvement of social skills. Cohen explains the importance of social skills: “They are also very important because you normally spend up to two weeks with the same group.”

Being on the Road to Rio list also means that each umpire works with her own personal mentor. “We give each RtR member opportunities to improve themselves and become better umpires. If necessary, we also get in touch with their National Associations or the Association in the country in which they currently live to ask for their support” says Cohen.

Sarah Wilson is a Promising List umpire and a RtR member. The 24 year-old is the youngest umpire at the Women’s ERGO Junior World Cup. “It’s an amazing opportunity to work with such experienced colleagues” says Wilson. This appointment is the biggest she has received in her umpiring career to date: “It’s my first FIH World level tournament. It’s so wonderful. I have already learned a lot of valuable skills.”

The umpire from Scotland was also part of the Umpires Development Programme (UDP) of the European Hockey Federation where she graduated last year. “The UDP was brilliant. It has given me the foundation to move forward” says Wilson.

The 24-year-old is working as a Physical Education teacher in Scotland. Her school supports her umpiring career giving her the necessary free time to take appointments. Asked about her objectives in umpiring Wilson says: “I would love to go all the way to the World Panel and to Rio.” 

FIH site



Day 3 EuroHockey Youth Championships Round Up

There were only games today from Pool B on show today at the Electric Ireland EuroHockey Championships in UCD today. Belgium got back on track with a 3-0 win over Russia in the early game of the day. The Belgians had a two goal advantage at half time thanks to two goals within a minute from Marie Ronquettiin the 15th & 16th minute. Belgium sealed the win in the 38th minute when Lauriane Stappaerts scored.

In the 2nd game of the day, Germany beat England 4-2 to cement their place at the top of Pool B table with 6 points. Germany took the lead in the first half through Paula Velmans but England came fighting back and were back on level terms before half time as Clio O'Malley scored the equaliser. Germany took control of the game early in the second as two goals from Lea Albrecht & Elisa Grave looked to have killed off England's challenge. Germany extended the lead to 4-1 with Grave grabbing her second of the game before England pulled one back with 8 minutes to play from Kitty McWhirter.

Updated Pool Tables & Match Sheets following today's results can be found by clicking here

Irish Hockey Association media release



Battling England U18 Girls go down to Germany


England U18 Girls team

England Under-18 Girls lost out 4-2 to table-topping Germany in the EuroHockey Youth Championships in Dublin on Wednesday, despite a strong performance from the team.

Drawing 1-1 at half time, England leaked three goals after the break and must now beat Belgium tomorrow if they are to progress to the semi-finals on Saturday.

“It was an open game and Germany made their possession in the final third count better than we did,” said Head Coach Andy Bradshaw. “But what was pleasing was that we were able to score two goals and put them under real pressure in the final 15 minutes.

“If we can get a result against Belgium tomorrow we can still make the semi-finals. We played Belgium three times recently and drew twice and lost once so it’ll be tough, we’re confident.”

Germany took the lead in the 20th minute with captain Paula Velmans finding the net from a penalty corner, but England hit back eight minutes later when Clio O’Malley deflected in at the left at a penalty corner.

England continued to soak up German pressure well through the first half and the score remained unchanged to the break, but three minutes into the second half Germany retook the lead through Lea Albrecht, again from a penalty corner.

Germany extended their lead on 40 minutes with Elisa Grave scoring from open play, and then repeating the feat on 54 minutes to put her side 4-1 ahead.

But the final 15 minutes belonged to England, who pressured their rivals superbly and managed to reduce the deficit with Kitty McWhirter rifling a shot high into the roof of the het on 62 minutes after good build up play down the right had left her unmarked on the left of the goal.

But with two goals still to pull back, time ran out for England with Germany’s defence clinging on desperately.

England Hockey Board Media release



England men set for Dutch showdown at Wakefield


Barry Middleton in acton for England

England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley has named a squad of 20 players for the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup, which starts tomorrow. The tournament will see England play the world number three side, Netherlands, on Thursday 1, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August. Both sides will operate a rotation system with 18 athletes being selected for each match.

Playing the Netherlands on home turf at Wakefield ahead of the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, which start on August 17, forms a key part of England’s final preparations. And England will be looking to get even with the side ranked one place above them in the world after a 6-1 loss last week at the ERGO Hamburg Masters.

Crutchley has recalled the Beeston duo of Ollie Willars and Ben Arnold to the 20 strong line-up, with the only other change from Hamburg being a goalkeeper switch; Reading’s James Bailey steps back in for Cannock’s Patrick Smith.

Despite the defeat last week, England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley is looking forward to the battle ahead, “We’re really pleased to get such a quality side to come and play us in our final preparations for the European championships and the team is looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd for the first time since the Olympics.”

Adding his thoughts on the Netherlands and recent results, he added, “They are obviously a top team and after hitting peak form in London, coming away with an Olympic silver medal, they have continued that high level of play. We know it will be a strong challenge but it’s one that we have to try and match and given our world rankings [Netherlands number three and England number four] it will be a good indication of where we currently are.”

Summing up last week’s defeat at the Hamburg Masters, Crutchley said, “If we are off our game and do not play at the right intensity then the Netherland have the potential to put a good score on you, like they did in Hamburg. They will exploit us if we are slightly off our game, but we know what we need to do better. Our individual defence will be key, along with our ability to retain possession and create and convert more goal scoring opportunities.”

England Men’s Squad for NOW: Pensions Nations Cup
Ben Arnold (Forward)
James Bailey (Goalkeeper)
Alastair Brogdon (Forward)
Tom Carson (Forward)
Nick Catlin (Midfielder/Forward)
Darren Cheesman (Forward)
David Condon (Midfielder)
Adam Dixon (Midfielder/Defender)
Dan Fox (Defender)
Michael Hoare (Defender)
Iain Lewers (Defender)
Simon Mantell (Forward)
Harry Martin (Midfielder)
Barry Middleton (Midfielder/Forward)
George Pinner (Goalkeeper)
Phil Roper (Forward)
Dan Shingles (Midfielder)
Richard Smith (Defender)
Henry Weir (Midfielder/Defender)
Ollie Willars (Defender)

Match fixtures:
Thursday 1 August 2013 – gates open 16:00

17:30 – England U21s v Malaysia U21s
20:00 – England v Netherlands

Saturday 3 August 2013 – gates open 12:30
14:00 – England U21s v Malaysia U21s
16:30 – England v Netherlands

Sunday 4 August 2013 – gates open 10:30
12:00 – England U21s v Malaysia U21s
14:30 – England v Netherlands

England Hockey Board Media release



Belgium national juniors down Project 2013 squad in Antwerp

By AFTAR SINGH


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Project 2013 squad lost their third friendly – going down 4-2 to the Belgium national juniors – at the Denetage Hockey Club in Antwerp on Tuesday.

The national juniors – who are preparing for the Junior World Cup in Chandigarh, India, from Dec 6-15 – lost the first two matches to their Belgian counterparts 4-2 and 7-0 respectively.

On Tuesday, European champions Belgium started off well by taking a 2-0 lead with quickfire goals in the 18th and 19th minutes.

But Malaysia, who won the Junior Asia Cup in Malacca last year, fought back to equalise through Rashid Baharom, off a penalty corner rebound in the 23rd minute, and Nor Aqmal Ghaffar five minutes later, off yet another penalty corner.

After the breather, the hosts added another two goals – in the 46th minute off a penalty corner and in the 59th minute with a field goal.

Three Malaysian players – Azrul Hasbullah (45th), G. Kavin Khartik (64th) and Azri Hassan (65th) – were shown the yellow card in the second-half for rough tackles.

Team manager Mirnawan Nawawi was unhappy with the umpire’s decision to send three Malaysian players to the sin bin after the breather as “it cost us the match”.

“Overall, they were very good practice matches for the team ... they definitely gave us an insight on the Belgian team’s strength,” he said.

“Belgium are definitely the better team in the three friendlies ... but we were also without five key players who are training with the national senior team in preparation for the Asia Cup in Ipoh (from Aug 24 to Sept 1).”

The Project squad will play three more matches against England’s junior team – today, Saturday and Sunday – before returning home on Monday.

The Star of Malaysia



Tengku Abdullah Wants Malaysia To Take Advantage Of Playing On Home Turf To Win Asia Cup

KUALA LUMPUR - The National hockey squad must seize the opportunity of playing on home turf (Azlan Shah Hockey Stadium in Ipoh) to win the Asia Cup 2013, which will be held from Aug 24 to Sept 1.

The champion of the Asia Cup 2013 in Ipoh will represent Asia in the World Cup that will feature 12 of the best teams in the world at The Hague, Holland from June 2 to 15, next year.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said there was no reason for the National squad to not perform well because the local fans would be strongly backing the team as well.

"I hope the players will realise how important the Asia Cup competition is. We have never won the title in the history of Malaysian hockey. If possible, we want to break that jinx.

"With a combination of talented new players and experienced campaigners, we have a good chance of winning. This is the team's best chance to showcase their talent," he told reporters after handing out incentives for the men's hockey team, here, Wednesday.

Tengku Abdullah hoped National coach Paul Revington would be able to identify and rectify the weaknesses of players before the tournament.

He described the fifth place finish at the World Hockey League in Johor Baharu recently, as a splendid achievement.

Tengku Abdullah who acknowledged the fact that beating World and Olympic champion Germany who eventually beat Argentina 4-2 in the final of the World Hockey League, would be a mammoth task, it cannot be an excuse to continue losing.

"Losing to the world champion cannot be used as an excuse but rather we must continue to perform consistently. It doesn't matter if we are playing a strong or weak team but we must keep improving in every match," he said.

In the 2009 Asia Cup held in Kuantan, Pahang, the National squad finished in fourth place after losing 6-7 to China on penalties since regulation time had ended in a 3-3 draw.

For the record, Malaysia has played six times in the World Cup since 1973 and the best position was a fourth place finish in 1975 while in the 2002 edition played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia finished in eighth place and since then has yet to qualify for the World Cup.

Bernama



Hockey camp to be shifted to Delhi

BANGALORE: India's hockey mandarins have decided to abandon the Sports Authority of India, South Centre yet again and shift the camps to New Delhi. The reason: the worn-out Polytan turf.

Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra confirmed on Wednesday that the camp would be shifted to the Capital soon. "We need to get the pitch ready as it has been raining heavily for the past few days," he said.

Incidentally, the next phase of the junior camp has already been shifted to Delhi. It begins on August 11.

Niggles to a few players during practice and the general apprehension that it is impossible to go all out on the slippery turf without inviting injuries have forced HI to make the move.

Last week, Gurmail Singh, Harbir Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh sent the team think-tank into a tizzy when they sustained minor injuries during training. With Gurvinder Singh Chandi recovering from injury and promising striker Akashdeep Singh ruled out of Asia Cup owing to shin splints, the thoughts now are primarily on preparing the squad without mishaps.

In April 2012, the then chief coach Michael Nobbs ruled the turf at the South Centre unsuitable for high-intensity training and had the senior camp shifted out of Bangalore. But curiously, both the senior and junior camps returned to the south centre in May this year.

Hockey India sources made it clear that they wouldn't prefer to have camps in Bangalore till a new turf is installed. "Our coaches have been in discussing this point with us for the past few days. It is best to shift the camp out of Bangalore," they said.

The Times of India



Hockey camp shifted to Delhi

The Indian men’s hockey camp, currently being conducted at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Southern Centre near here, will be shifted to New Delhi because the turf has not been found up to the mark.

Hockey India secretary general Narinder Batra confirmed this development saying: “The camp will be shifted to New Delhi. We need to get the pitch ready as it has been raining heavily for the past few days.” However, he did not mention when exactly the camp would be shifted.

When the camp began, high performance director Roelant Oltmans had said that SAI turf was dirty in some areas. But apparently, the turf has not been up to the mark as defenders Gurmail Singh, Harbir Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh had slipped and suffered minor injuries. This probably prompted the coaches to get the camp out of Bangalore.

With Akashdeep Singh and Gurvinder Singh Chandi already out due to injuries, it would be unwise to risk more injuries to other players. From this, it is obvious that the hockey team will not return till a better turf is in place. All the players named above are in the pruned list of 33 players who will form the core probable group. Another reason for the camp being shifted out is apparently that the weather is cold here. Since the Asia Cup tournament, in August, will be played in Ipoh (Malaysia) and the weather will be humid, it may not do the players much good if they train in colder weather.

DNA



Italy Supports Tanzanian Ladies Hockey Team

By Mbonile Burton


ITALIAN Hockey Federation and a non governmental organisation Cooperazione Paesi Emergenti (COPE) have come forward to support the Tanzanian national ladies hockey team's participation in the Africa Cup of Nations Championship.

The African championship is slated for September 26 to October 10 this year in Nairobi, Kenya. The good news was confirmed to the 'Daily News' by the Dar es Salaam Region Hockey Association (DRHA) secretary Mnonda Magani.

He said the two bodies are joined by two other Italian firms -- Tulime Onlusa and Lion Club Savona - as well as individual Italian players in financing the team.

"The Italians pledged their support through the national ladies coach Valentina Quaranta, a former Italian national team member," he said. "We thank them because their support has confirmed our maiden participation in the continental championship," he added.

DRHA has been tasked to prepare the ladies team that is training off-camp in the city. Magani, who is Quaranta's assistant, said the team needs a proper training camp and per diem allowances for the players and officials.

"The ladies are currently undergoing extensive off-camp training at the Lugalo Barracks ground in Dar es Salaam but they need a descent camp and allowances to fine tune for the grueling competitions ahead," he said.

"We are so happy that our friends from Italy have made it possible for us to send a team to Nairobi as they will foot transports and accommodation expenses as well as sports gear. "But we lack cash to insure smooth preparations and allowances during the two-week event." Tanzania ladies and men's teams are expected to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations Championship for the first time in history.

Magani said the ladies' participation in the Nairobi event will spearhead the promotion of the game in the country. Recently the Tanzania Hockey Association (THA) appealed to companies and well-wishers to support the men's team which has yet to secure a sponsor.

The Africa Nations Cup serves as a qualifier for the World Cup Hockey Competition schedule for 2014. The event was last held in Zimbabwe in 2011 where South Africa qualified after beating Egypt in the final.

AllAfrica.com



Toni Cronk calls time on Hockeyroos career

Olympian goalkeeper calls it a day




Hockeyroos goalkeeper Toni Cronk has announced her retirement from international hockey. The 33 year old from Sydney, NSW, has decided to hang up her helmet and pads after more than a decade playing for Australia’s women’s hockey team.

Cronk, who was named in the 2009 World All Stars Team, ends her career as a double Commonwealth Games gold medallist and double Champions Trophy silver medallist. In all, she was capped 135 times for the Hockeyroos and represented Australia at two Olympic Games, the World Cup, two Commonwealth Games, five Champions Trophy tournaments and three Oceania Cups.

Announcing her decision to retire, Cronk admitted, “There’s never going to be a ‘right time’ [to retire], but maybe in time I’ll feel this has been the right time. It’s a bit like ripping a band aid off.”

She was a key member of the team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where Australia conceded just two goals. It was her third Olympic call-up following a squad place at the Athens Games of 2004 and the role of reserve at Beijing 2008. The tournament, in which she played every game, ranks as her number one career highlight.

Remembering it, Cronk said, “I played in every game, which was great. I’d never been to a major tournament and played in every game. I had done two Olympic campaigns before that and in the previous two Olympics I’d played eight minutes.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to Commo [Head Coach Adam Commens] for believing in me and giving me the chance to prove I still had the ability to play at that level. There are so many other people I would like to thank, too, and it would be an extremely long list but suffice to say they know who they are. I hope to get in touch with all of them at some point over the coming months, all the people who’ve had an impact on my career.”

Cronk added thanks in particular to Kathleen Partridge, the Hockeyroos’ goalkeeping coach who worked with her in the 18 months prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. She said, “I would also like to thank Kath for all that she did for me in the lead up to London Olympics. She challenged me to be the best that I could be and she put me out of my comfort zone in an environment that was consistent. For that I am very grateful.”

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens paid tribute to his goalkeeper, saying, “Toni’s somebody who epitomises what it means to work hard for their success. Since her debut in 2001, she hasn’t always been first choice goalkeeper but she kept working hard and improving. She was a key player for us at London 2012.

“She continued to work hard and had belief in what she was doing. Her career shows that if you stick to your guns the rewards will come, but maybe not in the first year, or the second, or even the eighth. She cherished every game she played, persisted through disappointments and continued to improve her game culminating in her memorable Olympic Games performances in London. Players like that are few and far between and we need more like her in Australia."

“Toni has always been very professional, very driven. She loved playing for the Hockeyroos, right up until the day she called an end to it but she’s made a choice in terms of her family and other commitments and I wish her well.”

In the coming months, Cronk is set for perhaps an even greater challenge than cementing a place at the Olympics. With her partner pregnant, Cronk is set to become a mother in December, something she says has played a significant part in her decision to retire.

“The baby’s arrival would have made me unavailable for the World League finals in December and that might have meant I wouldn’t play in matches leading up to it. I’d have wanted to take time off when the baby was born and then there’s the question of whether my body is going to handle me playing. I find now, as I get older, that the body tends to hold on to those little niggles a bit longer that it used to.”

As well as becoming a mum, Cronk is hoping to build her goalkeeper coaching business. Away from hockey, she’ll be looking to step into the world of motivational speaking and coaching. She also has plans to build a property portfolio.

Hockey Australia congratulates Toni on a fantastic career and wishes her all the best for the future.

Visit Toni's website, Toni Cronk GK online at www.tonicronk.com.au, to learn more about her goalkeeper coaching clinics for hockey clubs and individuals.

Toni Cronk’s Career
October 2001 – Makes senior international debut for Hockeyroos against New Zealand
August 2002 – Member of the Hockeyroos squad that finishes fourth at Champions Trophy
May 2003 – Plays in first Oceania Cup. Hockeyroos win the tournament
August 2004 – Plays in fifth-place playoff at 2004 Olympics. Hockeyroos beat New Zealand 3-0
November 2004 – Finishes fourth with Hockeyroos at Champions Trophy
December 2005 – Wins silver medal at Champions Trophy in Canberra as Australia lose to Netherlands on penalties in the final
March 2006 – Wins Commonwealth Games gold medal
September 2007 – Plays in Oceania Cup
August 2008 – ‘P’ accredited reserve athlete for the Beijing Olympic Games. Doesn’t play
July 2009 – Wins Champions Trophy silver medal in home city of Sydney. Australia denied gold on penalties again, this time by Argentina
August 2009 – Third Oceania Cup
December 2009 – Named in FIH World All Stars team alongside teammates Madonna Blyth and Casey Eastham, and then coach Frank Murray
September 2010 – Member of the Hockeyroos’ World Cup squad that finishes fifth
October 2010 – Wins second Commonwealth Games gold medal
July 2011 – Plays in fifth Champions Trophy campaign
August 2012 – Concedes just two goals as Hockeyroos finish fifth at Olympic Games in London
June 2013 – Member of the squad that wins gold medal at World League Semi-Final in London
August 2013 – Announces international retirement

Hockey Australia media release