News for 18 August 2013

All the news for Sunday 18 August 2013


Four-star Peillat fires Argentina to PanAm glory

Canada denied place at 2014 Hockey World Cup by Retegui's heroes



CHAMPIONS: Argentina claimed the Men's Pan American Cup thanks to a 4-0 win over host nation Canada. (Photo: PAHF / Yan Huckendubler)

Argentina have been crowned as the winners of the Men's Pan American Cup thanks to a hugely impressive 4-0 victory in the tournament final on Sunday. Ace defender and penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat was the star of the show, scoring all four goals in the second half to earn a memorable victory over the defending champions and tournament hosts. It was a brilliant performance by the South American giants, a team that under new coach Carlos Retegui is rapidly developing a reputation as one of the most feared in the game.

Argentina's triumph means that they will go through to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup as continental champions, with Canada missing out on a place at next year's showpiece event in The Hague. Argentina had already reached the required qualifying standard thanks to a second place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, an achievement that has now been superseded by their Pan American Cup win. The Pan American Cup result was good news for Korea, who were promoted from first reserves to guaranteed World Cup qualifiers thanks to Argentina's success. More information about this story can be found by clicking here.

Earlier in the day, Trinidad & Tobago earned their first Pan American medal since 1967, coming back from an early deficit to win the Bronze Medal match against the USA (3-1). Chile edged aside Mexico (6-3) for 5th place in a wide open game. Brazil needed a shoot-out to grab 7th place from Uruguay after a 2-2 draw.

More information about the matches can be found below, with complete tournament information being available on www.panamhockey.org .

Match 20 - Final - Argentina vs. Canada: 4-0 (half-time: 0-0)

Canada came into the tournament final knowing that a victory would be enough to seal a berth at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup. However, a win for Argentina - who have already achieved World Cup qualification thanks to a second place finish at the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia - would guarantee first reserves Korea, who finished fourth in Johor, a place at next year's showpiece event in The Hague.

The two teams started nervously, with the Canadian defenders making errmishandling a few balls and Lucas Rey missing a virtually open net in the opening minute of play. The first serious chance was for Canada when Matthew Sarmento forced a penalty-corner on a powerful circle entry after sprinting 50 meters to save the ball from the back-line. The Canadians chose a fancy option but it did not work and play settled in midfield for a short while.

Argentina had most of ball possession but the Canadians were closing very quickly on them. Matias Paredes nevertheless managed to enter the circle to challenge Dave Carter, but the Canadian keeper stood tall in front of him to deny the attempt. The Canadian defense was overwhelmed by a few swift Argentinean moves and free hits played quickly, and Argentina forced a series of penalty-corners, but Dave Carter saved brilliantly two of them and two other went wide.

The Canadians were only dangerous on sporadic counter-attacks, and the match was slowly turning into a classic encounter between the continental arch-rivals, with Argentina dominating the proceedings and Canada frustrating them again and again.

Argentina thought that they had scored in the 28th minute on yet another penalty-corner but the goal was denied, and the Canadians were still very much alive, with even a handful of good chances in the final minutes of the period, finally forcing Juan Vivaldi to show his talent in the Argentinean goal.

Argentina were promptly on the scoreboard at the beginning of second period, on a penalty-corner by Gonzalo Peillat. The same Peillat powered another penalty-corner 3 minutes later, and the Canadians were suddenly facing a steep slope to go back in the game.

Gonzalo Peillat completed his hat-trick of penalty-corners in the 48th minute, putting the match virtually out of reach of the Canadian squad. They nevertheless kept pushing, encouraged by the local crowd, but could never really challenge dangerously Juan Vivaldi. The Canadian defenders were getting tired, conceding a number of penalty-corners, and Gonzalo Peillat tallied his fourth goal of the Final in the 57th minute.

Argentina controlled the end of the match to cruise to a convincing 4-0 win against home team Canada, to wrestle back the Pan American Cup from the hands of the 2009 winners. They were soon celebrating at the centre of the pitch, while the Canadian players were dejected, their World Cup dreams evaporated.

For more information and pictures of ARG vs. CAN, click here.

Match 19 - 3rd-4th - Trinidad & Tobago vs. USA: 3-1 (half-time: 1-1)

Both teams played well in this competition, with a similar free-flowing attacking style, and did not want to leave Brampton empty handed. The match started with an observation period, the defenses leaving little manoeuvering room around the circle and Kwan Browne under close watch from Sean Harris.

The Trinidadians tried to inject some speed in the game but were hindered by unforced errors, and there was hardly any serious danger for the goal-keepers in the first ten minutes of play. The first opportunity was for the USA on a penalty-corner in the 12th minute and Aki Kaeppeler stepped up to propel the ball out of reach of the Trinidadian defense to open the score. Pat Harris had an opportunity soon after but Andrey Rocke did well to protect the Trinidadian goal.

Harris promptly created another chance with a long solitary run and a little lob over the sliding goal-keeper, but the ball was saved on the line by a desperate retreating dive by Mickell Pierre. Trinidad & Tobago had two penalty-corners immediately after, and Wayne Legerton powered a phenomenal bullet high in goal after calmly picking-up the rebound from the first shot by Kwan Browne. Both teams were back at square one with ten minutes to go in the half..

The USA applied intense pressure in the last five minutes of the period but it nearly backfires on a swift counter-attack by Mickell Pierre illegally stopped by Jon Ginolfi at the cost of a yellow card, but Trinidad & Tobago could not do much of the subsequent penalty-corner. Half-time was reached on a level score and the impression that the match could quickly switch either way.

The USA conceded a penalty-corner on the first action of second period but Chris Rea was up to the task in the American goal. He was however clearly beaten from close range by Mickell Pierre in the 43rd minute, on a penalty-corner that did not seem to go anywhere but Kwan Browne still managing to slide the ball across the running defenders.

The USA started to be unhappy, with themselves and the umpires, and some cards had to be shown. The Americans managed to settle down their emotions and applied more and more pressure, but their last passes were inaccurate and the Trinidadians seemed happy just trying to weather the storm for a while. They were saved by Dwain Quan Chan with a spectacular stick save on the post but were pushed back further and further on their heels by the Americans, playing now with real urgency to come back in the game.

It was however Trinidad & Tobago who were next on the scoreboard on a penalty-corner forced in a rare counter-attack, and once again powered under the crossbar by Wayne Legerton to establish a slightly more comfortable cushion with 9 minutes to go.

Soon Trinidad & Tobago were celebrating their first Pan American medal since 1967 (Pan Am Games + Pan Am Cups), while the Americans were dejected to be pushed off the podium, certainly regretting their first period missed opportunities.

For more information and pictures of TTO vs. USA, click here.

Match 18 - 5th-6th - Chile vs. Mexico: 6-3 (half-time: 2-2)

Jaime Zarhi was honoured before the match for his 100th international Cap for Chile.

The Chileans were bitterly disappointed to be relegated to the second-tier play-off matches, missing the semi-finals of a Pan American competition for the first time since 1995. They started the game slowly and were immediately under pressure from the young Mexicans, in fine form after the rest day. Francisco Aguilar managed to steal a ball from a defender, setting up Guillermo Pedraza for the first goal for Mexico in the 10th minute of play.

This was the wake-up call Chile needed and they scores two quick goals by Martin Rodriguez to jump into the lead. Play settled after the initial burst of actions, with Chile trying to control the proceedings. They had a few chances, including on penalty-corner, but were denied by Moisés Vargas in the Mexican goal and could not deepen the gap.

Mexico were more efficient at the other end, forcing a penalty-corner in one of their rare forays in Chilean territory by Francisco Aguilar, who converted it himself to level the score just before the half-time break. 

Chile pushed forward early and thought that they had taken the lead again on a penalty-corner, but the umpire had whistled a penalty-stroke before and Moisés Vargas kept his team in the game with an excellent save on the stroke. Chile were however successful on their next penalty-corner attempt by Vicente Martin for a narrow one-goal lead, then quickly added another goal by Fernando Fernandez to establish a more comfortable two-goal cushion.

The Mexicans were not down yet and Francisco Aguilar added another penalty-corner, his 2nd goal of the match and 7th of the competition. They threw caution to the wind in the final minutes to try and level the score, but they had to loosen their defense to push forward and Chile added a 5th goal after a superbly executed combination on a penalty-corner that ended on the post at Jaime Zarhi, celebrating in style his 100th Cap.

The Mexicans kept trying, but the slope was too steep now to climb back in the game, and Chile grabbed 5th place of the competition, pushing down Mexico to 6th (but still one step higher than their ranking entering the competition).

For more information and pictures of CHI vs. MEX, click here.

Match 17 - 7-8 - Uruguay vs. Brazil: 2-2 (half-time: 1-1, shoot-out 2-0)

Brazil played well in this competition, losing their three pool matches but giving their opponents a good fight (Canada 1-3, Trinidad & Tobago 2-5 then Chile 0-5). They were unlucky in their cross-over game, only losing in the final minutes to Mexico (2-3) after leading during most of the match.  Uruguay lost all their matches by hefty margins but came into this classification match well determined to give a hard time to their South American rivals.

Brazil took control of the tempo of play and were early on the scoreboard by Lucas Paixão, exploiting well an hesitation of the defense. Uruguay reacted immediately, pushing forward and surprising Brazil to force a penalty-corner, converted by Maximiliano Tixe.

After this burst of activity, play settled in midfield, slowing a notch. Brazil had more possession but could not challenge dangerously the Uruguayan circle and half-time was reached on a tied score 1-1.

Fatigue of five high-level matches in a week started to creep up in second period, and play became unsettled, with unforced errors and passes going astray on both sides. Brazil missed a couple of chances but their captain Ernst Rost Onnes was on target on a penalty-corner in the 52nd minute, slotting a low flick out of reach of Jose Lasa in the Uruguayan goal.

With time passing, tempers flared a tad, with some rough tackles as a result of fatigue and frustration. Uruguay had a late surge, forced a penalty-corner with five minutes to go in the period and Hubertus Reinbach in the Brazilian goal seemed surprised by Juan Canessa’s low flick directly to the centre of goal, leveling the score and setting the stage for a very animated end of regular time.

With the tied score, match was to be decided by shoot-outs, for the first time in this competition. Hubertus Reinbach saved the first 4 Uruguayan attempts and, after some controversy, Brazil went on to win the shoot-out competition to grab 7th place, leaving Uruguay upset and dejected with the wooden spoon. 

For more information and pictures of URU vs. BRA, click here.

Final Standings:
1) Argentina
2) Canada
3) Trinidad & Tobago
4) USA
5) Chile
6) Mexico
7) Brazil
8) Uruguay

Player of the Tournament: Kwan BROWNE (Trinidad & Tobago)
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: Hubertus REINBACH (Brazil)

Tournament XI:
Hubertus REINBACH (GK, Brazil))
Facundo CALLIONI (Argentina)
Lucas REY  (Argentina)
Lucas VILA  (Argentina)
Ernst ROST ONNES (Brazil)
Scott TUPPER (Canada)
Mark PEARSON (Canada)
Francisco AGUILAR (Mexico)
Kwan BROWNE (Trinidad & Tobago)
Akim TOUSSAINT (Trinidad & Tobago)
Pat HARRIS (USA)

Pan American Hockey Federation media release



Canada falls to Argentina in Pan American Cup field hockey final

Canadians out for 2014 World Cup, in for 2017 event.



Canada's Sukhi Panesar winces after the ball hits him while battling with Argentina's Matias Rey in Saturday's Pan American Cup field hockey final in Brampton. Rick Madonik / Toronto Star

Gonzalo Peillat scored four goals, lift Argentina to a 4-0 victory over Canada at the Pan American Cup field hockey qualifying final in Brampton on Saturday.

Canada failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, but the second-place finish earned a berth in the 2017 Pan American Cup.

Peillat scored his first goal on a penalty corner at the beginning of the second period and converted his second penalty corner three minutes later. The Argentine completed the hat trick in the 48th minute of the game, and tallied his fourth goal nine minutes later.

Canada defeated the United States 2-1 in Chile for the Pan American Cup title four years ago.

The Toronto Star



T&T win Pan Am bronze

Kwan Browne named top player


T&T’s Kwandwane Browne emerged the “Player of the Tournament” after guiding T&T to its best ever finish at a Pan American Cup with a convincing 3-1 victory over the USA in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, yesterday. The England-based hockey player/coach was also named on the Pan Am Cup team along with teammate Akim Toussaint. T&T beat USA 3-1 to take the bronze medal, while South American powerhouses Argentina swamped Canada 4-0 in the final match of the tournament to secure the gold medal. All eight goals in the last two matches of the tournament yesterday came via the penalty corner route.

A second half beavertrick from Gonzalo Peillat was the decider for Argentina. Peillat converted in the 38th, 41st, 48th and 57th minutes. In the earlier match, burly striker Wayne Legerton came off the bench to level the score for T&T in the 22nd minute after Aki Kaeppeler had given the Americans the lead in the 12th. But it was all T&T in the second half as Mickell Pierre (43rd) and veteran standout Browne (61st) sealed the issue for the “Calypso Stickmen”.

In two previous appearances of the tournament which is now in its fourth edition, T&T had finishes of fourth in 2004 in London, Canada, and fifth four years ago in Santiago, Chile, while the Americans were runner-up to Canada in Chile after a seventh placed finish in Canada 2004 and fifth in Cuba, 2000. Argentina has already qualified for the World Cup after their performance at the recent FIH World League semifinal in Johor, Malaysia, where they finished second to Germany, ahead of England and Korea. In yesterday’s other matches Brazil finished in seventh position after beating Uruguay 2-0 in a  penalty shootout. The two had battled 2-2 in regulation time.  Chile stopped Mexico 6-3 in the fifth and sixth place playoff. The T&T team is expected to return home tomorrow.

The Trinidad Guardian



Young U.S. Pan American Cup Squad finishes just off of podium

The U.S. finishes in fourth place after 3-1 loss to Trinidad and Tobago in bronze-medal match


BRAMPTON, Ontario – The U.S. Men’s National Team finished just off of the podium at the Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario, falling to Trinidad and Tobago, 3-1, in the bronze-medal match. Trinidad and Tobago picked up their first-ever Pan American Cup medal with winning performances against Brazil, Chile and the U.S throughout the week-long tournament.  

“We had a tough finish to the tournament today as we were looking to come home with a medal,” said head coach Chris Clements. “We started the match well, executing our game plan. Both teams struggled with fatigue, however Trinidad and Tobago were more clinical in the moments they had throughout the match. We have a fantastic young group and we have established the culture and the direction of the program here. These players did us proud in representing USA this week.”

The U.S. opened the match with speed, precision and composure, firing the first shot on goal and earning the first penalty corner in the 11th minute. Aki Kaepeller (Ventura, Cali.) capitalized with a powerful drag flick, putting the U.S. ahead early, 1-nil.

Trinidad and Tobago was efficient and successful on penalty corners, scoring the first of three corner goals in the 22nd minute to draw the match, 1-1, in the first half.

Trinidad and Tobago opened the second half with two penalty corners and capitalized on the second in the 43rd minute, earning their first lead, 2-1. The U.S. had an opportunity to equalize the match with a penalty corner in the 57th minute, but Kaepeller’s drag flick was batted over the endline. In the 61st minute, Trinidad and Tobago were awarded with another penalty corner and once again were successful in converting their opportunity into a goal.

Despite an all-out U.S. effort to come back from a two-goal deficit, Trinidad and Tobago were able to maintain their lead in the final ten minutes for a 3-1 victorious performance and the Pan American Cup bronze medal.

“I don’t think we stuck quite to the game plan we wanted to put in place,” said U.S. goalkeeper Chris Rea. “Preparation wise we did everything we could have done but for some reason we didn’t come out firing as much as we should have. We are disappointed. We wanted to go home with bronze, but full credit to Trinidad and Tobago for a good performance today.”

The U.S. finished second in pool play by defeating Uruguay, 12-0, and Mexico, 3-2, to advance to the semifinal against Canada. The cordial United States-Canada field hockey rivalry produced a fierce battle under the lights at the Cassie Campbell Community Centre for a spot in the final. An early goal for Canada in the tenth minute was enough to send the hosts to the gold medal match against undefeated Argentina. With World Cup qualification on the line, Canada and Argentina fought to a 0-0 draw in the first half. But Argentina quickly lit up the scoreboard in the second half, recording four penalty corner goals for a final score of 4-0.

U.S. striker Patrick Harris (Moorpark, Cali.) was named to the Tournament 11 Team, which recognizes the top eleven players at the Pan American Cup tournament.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will return to the States tomorrow. After a short break from hockey, nineteen players will continue their full-time training program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali.

“The centralized training program provides a lot of opportunity for us to excel our game,” said Michael Barminski. “We had some good and some not so good performances and there are things we will take away from this tournament. Overall, it was a great collective effort and we will continue to polish up our skills in San Diego.”

Originally from Ventura, Cali., Barminski is one of many players who now call San Diego home. Barminski works, studies and trains in southern California and aspires to represent his country in the Olympic Games.

USFHA media release



Korea men confirmed as latest qualifier for Rabobank Hockey World Cup

Pan American Cup success for Argentina sends Asian giants through to 2014 showpiece



(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Following the completion of the Men’s Pan American Cup 2013 in Brampton, Canada, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) can reveal that Korea are the latest team to be confirmed as qualifiers for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014.  The hugely anticipated joint men’s and women’s event takes place at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Netherlands from 31st May to 15th June next year. 

Korea – who just missed out on direct World Cup qualification by finishing fourth at the recent Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia – were promoted from first reserves to guaranteed participants courtesy of Argentina’s success in the Pan American continental championship on Saturday.

Like all of the continental championships, the big prize on offer at the Men’s Pan American Cup was direct qualification for next year’s Hockey World Cup. However, with Argentina having already achieved World Cup qualification thanks to a second place finish at last month’s Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johor Bahru, a World Cup ticket was immediately handed to first reserves Korea.

Korea become the eighth men’s team to qualify for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, with four more places up for grabs at the upcoming continental championships in Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa. Seven women’s teams have also been confirmed for the event, with the five remaining places currently available through the continental championships.

More information about the World Cup qualifiers and qualifying process can be found below.

Further information about the World Cup qualifiers and qualifying process can also be found below.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup – Men’s Qualifiers

Netherlands: Hosts.
Germany: 1st place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS)
Argentina: Pan American champions
England: 3rd place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS)
Belgium: 1st place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
Australia: 2nd place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
New Zealand: 4th place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED) *
Korea: 4th place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS).**

* Netherlands finished third in the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Rotterdam.  As they are already pre-qualified as the host, this means that the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi-Final events earns direct qualification to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. This place goes to New Zealand, who were fourth in Rotterdam and currently sit fifth in the FIH World Rankings.
** Korea qualified for World Cup as first reserve courtesy of Argentina’s victory in the Pan American Cup.

World Cup Qualification - The Next Stage

The remaining places at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup for men will be filled by the winners of the final four continental championships. However, if any of the above listed teams also becomes continental champion it will open the door to the teams that finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that have not yet qualified for the World Cup. These teams can be found below, in order of their placing in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.   

Spain: 5th in Rotterdam / 2nd reserve for World Cup *
Malaysia: 5th in Johor Bahru / 3rd reserve for World Cup *
India: 6th in Rotterdam / 4th reserve for World Cup

* Spain named second reserve ahead of Malaysia courtesy of a superior placing in the FIH World Rankings.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup – Women’s Qualifiers.

Netherlands: Hosts
Australia: 1st place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
England: 2nd place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
Argentina: 3rd place – Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final,  London (ENG)
Germany: 1st place -  Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
Korea: 3rd place -  Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
New Zealand: 4th place -  Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED) *

* Netherlands finished second in the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Rotterdam.  As they are already pre-qualified as the host, this means that the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi-Final events earns direct qualification to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. This place goes to New Zealand, who were fourth in Rotterdam and currently sit third in the FIH World Rankings.

World Cup Qualification - The Next Stage

The remaining places at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup for women will be filled by the winners of the five continental championships. However, if any of the above listed teams also becomes continental champion, this opens the door to the teams that finished outside the top three (minus New Zealand) at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals. These teams can be found below, in order of their placing in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.  

China: 4th in London / 1st reserve for World Cup
Japan: 5th in Rotterdam / 2nd reserve for World Cup *
USA: 5th in London / 3rd reserve for World Cup *
Belgium: 6th in Rotterdam / 4th reserve for World Cup

* Japan named second reserve ahead of USA courtesy of a superior placing in the FIH World Rankings.

FIH site



Red Lions sneak past Olympic champions at TriFinance EuroHockey Championships

Favorites dominate Day 1 in the men's and women's competitions in Boom



Tom Boon scored one goal in the Red Devils' opening win (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

In the first round of pool play for the women, England got the better of Spain, Germany bagged a lucky win against Scotland, Belgium sailed past Belarus and the Netherlands had no difficulty with Ireland. The men's opening day matches had Spain defeat the Czech Republic and Belgium wrestle down Germany.

Women: England - Spain 3-0 (2-0)

The TriFinance EuroHockey Championships got underway today with the match between the women’s teams of England and Spain. The English ladies had firm control over most of the match and booked a 3-0 win that was never in much danger.

Rushing forward from the sound of the whistle, England put pressure on Spain from the opening minutes, and soon took the lead through Hannah Macleod. A second penalty corner goal midway through the first half through team captain Kate Walsh established a 2-0 lead that England took into halftime. Spain continued to put down a good effort in defense in the second half but struggled to push back and young Lily Owsley managed to score England’s third goal a few minutes into the second half with the match’s only goal from open play.

The 3-0 opening victory gives England’s campaign for the semi-finals a big boost, while Spain will have to regroup and refocus before tomorrow’s clash with the tough Scottish side.

Women: Germany - Scotland 1-0 (1-0)

In the women's other pool B encounter, Germany took a lucky win against a gritty Scottish side with a 20th minute own goal from the Scots after an unlucky deflection. Germany had a number of opportunities through the encounter but could not find the target, while the Scottish side stood fast in defense but were not able to make it count on the attack. Germany held on to the lone goal until the final whistle to secure an opening win to strengthen their bid for the semi-finals.

Women: Belgium - Belarus 5-1 (1-0)

Spurred on by a visit from their king that constituted his first official appearance as the King of Belgium, the Red Panthers dispatched Belarus 5-1.

After a rocky start which had the hosts waste a number of opportunities, Stefanie de Groof finally got her side on the scoreboard in the 30th minute with a penalty corner conversion. In the second half, Belgium were better able to take advantage of their chances and raced away to a 5-0 lead before Belarus managed a consolation goal through Krestina Kulinkovich in the dying minutes of the match.

Men: Spain - Czech Republic 6-1 (3-1)

In the first men's match of the event, Spain sailed to a 6-1 win over the Czech Republic, including a double hit from Edi Tubau plus one goal each from Miki Delás, Pau Quemada, Roc Oliva and Alex Casasayas.  The Czechs' lone goal came from a standard situation as defensive anchor Tomas Prochazka sunk a penalty corner in the 16th minute that was also the Czech Republic’s first ever goal in the top tier of European Championships history.

The win gives Spain a headstart in the strong men's pool A, in which Spain will be competing for a semi-final spot with powerhouses Germany and Belgium.

Women: Netherlands - Ireland 6-0 (1-0)

The final women's clash of the day pitted Ireland against the reigning European Champions Netherlands. The favored Dutch struggled in the first half against a bravely defending Irish side that stifled plenty of orange attacks but could not avoid a goal from deadly penalty corner flicker Maartje Paumen.

In the second half however, the world number 1 gathered momentum and pulled away, adding goals at a steady pace with another from Paumen, a double from Ellen Hoog and a goal a piece from Kitty van Male and Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel for a 6-0 win.

Men: Germany - Belgium 1-2 (1-2)

The day concluded with a nailbiter of a clash between Germany and the home team in front of a stadium packed to the last seat with enthusiastic supporters of the Red Lions who witnessed Belgium recording an important opening win against Olympic champions Germany.

An early goal from Mats Grambusch had gotten Germany on the scoreboard first but Belgium soon took the reigns and a quick double hit with two penalty corner conversions in as many minutes through Loïck Luypaert and Tom Boon set the hosts back on track. German goalkeeper Nico Jacobi was crucial in keeping the scoreline close with some extraordinary goalkeeping efforts in both halves, but Germany could not get past the Belgians on the attack and Belgium celebrated their win in the opening match with more than 8.000 vocal fans.

To follow the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in more detail, please visit www.trifinanceeurohockey2013.be or www.eurohockey.org.

FIH site



A Royal kick off for Belgium teams...



King Philip and Prince Gabriel where a good luck charm for the Belgian players. After  the majestic victory of the Red Panthers this afternoon, it was the Red Lions turn to meet the King. This in front of thousands of fans, whom they just treated to a moving a cappella version of the Belgian national anthem.

There is no doubt, The King and his son - a hockey player himself - enjoyed their day at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships 2013.

The big Belgian hockey family thanks his royal highness King Philip for his support.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



England dominate Spain in EuroHockey opener



Lily Owsley celebrates scoring England's third goal against Spain in their opening game at the EuroHockey Championships in Belgium

England's women got the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships off to a fantastic start with a dominant 3-0 victory over Spain. With goals from Hannah Macleod, Kate Walsh and Lily Owsley it was a real team performance from head coach Jason Lee's side, as they played strong attacking hockey against a team renowned for its defensive strength.

It was London 2012 Olympian Hannah Macleod who got England off the mark when she fired home from a penalty corner in the fourth minute. Captain Kate Walsh then made it 2-0 with a low drag flick to the left of Spain's Lopez de Eguilaz in goal to take her side into the break with a comfortable lead.

After the break Lily Owsley scored her second senior international goal from close range after some fantastic work from Alex Danson. At 3-0 the game was all but over and despite some nervy moments the team kept their clean sheet and took the three points.

In the other Pool B game Scotland faced Germany and it was Germany who took the win, but with only one goal scored England will sit at the top of the group going into day two.

Speaking after the game head coach Jason Lee said, “We drew with Spain 1-1 at the Investec World League and we knew it would be a tight and difficult game for us today. They are a good defensive side so it was very pleasing to get a 3-0 win today. It was good to score from a couple of early corners and I think on another day we might have scored a few more, but we showed some first game nerves towards the end which probably stopped us playing the style we wanted. But with a 3-0 lead the job had already been done, so I’m very happy.”

When questioned further about the difference between the performance at the Investec World League, Lee added, "We played a different system in this game compared to the one at Chiswick. We've effectively doubled our preparation time in from the last tournament and the girls have got incrementally better in a lot of areas since June.” And commenting on the team’s chances at the tournament, he said, “We're just taking one game at a time and we haven't really set any specific targets about where we’ll finish. Of course there's been plenty said about the colour of the medals the girls have won in the past and obviously we'd really like to change that, but for now we're just taking each game as it comes."

Captain Kate Walsh was full of praise for her team following the game, “We’re as happy as we could be and scoring two early goals helped settle the nerves. We have a lot more to give so it was a good start. We’ve been working hard on our penalty corners and hopefully that will continue to pay dividends as it has done today.”

On the EuroHockey Championships in general she added “I love the venue and it’s going to be a fantastic tournament. It’s the old cliché – we’ll take one game at a time but we’re happy with today’s performance.”

Click here to read the full match report.

England women’s next game is tomorrow at 13:00 (UK time) when they will face Germany. Watch it live on the BBC Red Button and Eurosport.

Meanwhile England’s men will be in action tomorrow at 09:00am (UK time) in their first match against Poland. Watch it live on the BBC Red Button and Eurosport.

For more information about the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships please visit the official website www.trifinanceeurohockey2013.be

England Hockey Board Media release



Euros Women: Ireland 0-6 Netherlands.

Ireland's Electric Ireland Women played The Netherlands, world number 1's, in their opening match of the women's European Hockey Championships this evening, taking place in Belgium. Despite keeping the score line close for 50 minutes a flood of Dutch goals in the final 20 saw Ireland on the wrong side of a 6-0 scoreline.

Ireland felt the Dutch pressure early on when Derkx won a corner in the third minute but Ireland's most experienced player Nikki Symmons was on form to bat it off the line keeping Ireland out of trouble.

Ireland continued to defend well denying the Dutch early goals from their attacking efforts, including five penalty corners, but eventually they found a way through the deadlock when Paumen roofed her sides sixth penalty corner effort to take the goal lead in the 27th minute. Ireland showed composure and kept the defence clean, including a top drawer helmet save from Gray in goals  to close out the half trailing just one goal behind the Dutch.

Fresh from the break Ireland showed keeness to attack with young Naomi Carroll bouncing through to the Dutch circle but she was closed out before any meaningful shot was taken. Ireland were back under pressure moments later but a cool Sargent plucked a near certain Dutch goal off the line. Ireland put in a series of brave tackles to deny the Dutch onslaught but the constant Dutch attack finally paid dividends when Hoog popped home from close range in an effort that came off O'Flynns face for a 2-0 lead.

Ireland must have felt penned inside their own 25 at times as the Dutch found attacking rhythm leading to a further four goals, Paumen in the 58th after an exchange with Hoog tipping in the rebound from Gray's initial save. For the fourth Gray did well to save from a loose Dutch player but Male was on hand to mop up and convert. Van Den Heuvel was on hand for the 5th goal after an Irish turnover before Hoog showed serious class squeezing home a reverse shot from the tightest of angles.

Commenting after the game Coach Darren Smith was upbeat "There was a lot to like about the first half where I thought we were very competitve and defended quite well. Through the second half we got a little bit tired which was an accumulation of the defensive work we were doing and we lost a couple of players off the rotation. Both our players (Alex Speers and Shirley McCay) will be back tomorrow"

Ireland will now have their eyes firmly set on tomorrows must win game against Belarus 3pm Irish Time.

IRELAND 0 (0) - NETHERLANDS 6 (1) Maartje Paumen x2 -27th PC; 58m OP; E Hoog x 2 OP;  Male 60m OP; Van Den Heuvel 65m OP

(Other Group Result Pool A: Belgium 5-1 Belarus)

Ireland Starting XI:
Emma Gray; Alex Speers; Shirley McCay; Naomi Carroll; Nikki Symmons; Audrey O'Flynn; Chloe Watkins; Nicci Daly; Niamh Atcheler; Anna O'Flanagan; Gillian Pinder;

Reserves: Cliodhna Sargent; Emma Smyth; Megan Frazer; Lisa Jacob; Niamh Small; Nicola Gray; Grace O'Flanagan.

Pool A IRELAND Fixtures (WOMEN)

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

Pool B: England (4); Germany (5); Spain (14)  & Scotland (19).

Full Schedule http://www.trifinanceeurohockey2013.be/index.php?websitestructid=98

Results will be sent out after each game and available on Twitter, Facebook and hockey.ie

Irish Hockey Association media release



Narrow defeat for Scotland in Euro opener against Germany


Scotland goalkeeper Amy Gibson was in inspired form against Germany. Credit: Frank M.L Uijlenbroek

Scotland Senior Women were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Germany in the opening game of the EuroHockey Nations Championship in Boom today.

A first half own goal credited to Scotland goalkeeper Amy Gibson gave the Germans the win, but there were positives for Head Coach Gordon Shepherd and his side to take into the second pool match against Spain tomorrow following a good second half display.

Gibson, in particular, was fantastic in the Scottish goal and made a number of brilliant saves in a player of the match performance.


Scotland Senior Women line-up before their encounter with Germany. Credit: Frank M.L. Uijlenbroek

The Scots were put under early pressure with Germany winning a number of penalty corners in the opening stages of the contest. Scotland defender Kareena Marshall made a vital goal-line block from Tina Bachmann, while goalkeeper Amy Gibson produced a couple of important saves from Eileen Hoffmann and Hannah Gablac.


Germany's Hannah Gablac diverts the ball on target. Credit: Frank M.L. Uijlenbroek

However, the national side found themselves behind in the 20th minute when Bachmann drilled a speculative pass into the Scottish circle where ball took a wicked deflection off Susan McGilveray, catching Gibson off guard, and the Clydesdale Western shot-stopper could only parry the ball in to the net to give Germany a 1-0 lead.

Nevertheless, Gibson responded two minutes later to make an impressive double block from German youngster Lea Stockel to prevent the 2011 European runners-up from increasing their advantage.

Scotland's number one was in inspired form and in the 28th minute she again denied the Germans with two excellent stops from Hoffman.

Hoffman was frustrated again in the 30th minute when she just failed to get on the end of Bachmann's drag flick pass following a penalty corner set-play.

Chances also fell to Gablac and Lydia Hasse with half-time approaching, and Scotland midfielder Vikki Bunce almost snatched an equaliser right on the half-time hooter but her outstretched stick narrowly deflected the ball jsut past the post.


Scotland's Nikki Kidd on the attack today against Germany. Credit: Frank M.L. Uijlenbroek

Two minutes into the second half, Gibson again was up to the challenge as she diverted Bachmann's penalty corner drag flick past her left hand post.

Scotland had an excellent opportunity to get back on level terms in the 39th minute when Bunce led a counter-attack from deep inside her own half to play in Ali Bell one-on-one with German goalkeeper Kim Platten. Unfortunately, Bell elected to shoot straight at Germany's number one instead of rounding the shot-stopper and the ball was cleared.

In the 51st minute, Bachmann played an equisite pass through the Scotland defence to find Stockel but once again Gibson was off her line early to prevent the striker from getting a shot on target.

Gordon Shepherd's sides had their opportunities as the match entered the latter stages, with both Sam Judge, Linda Clement and Nikki Kidd coming close. Indeed, in the 63rd minute, Kidd thought she had grabbed a leveller at a penalty corner, but Platten brilliantly diverted her goalbound drag-flick with a save low to her right.

There was just time for Gibson to make another great save from Gablac in the 68th minute before the match ended with Germany taking the three points with a slender 1-0 win.

In the early game in Pool B, England recorded a 3-0 win over Spain. Scotland win now play Spain tomorrow at 11.00 BST. The match will be live on the BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

For fixtures, results and pool standings, please visit the EuroHockey Nations Championship website.

Scotland Senior Women: Amy Gibson (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Cochrane (Edinburgh University), Vikki Bunce (Dundee Wanderers), Morag McLellan (Clydesdale Western), Alison Bell (Grove Menzieshill), Catriona Ralph (Clydesdale Western), Samantha Judge (Edinburgh University), Holly Cram (Clydesdale Western), Linda Clement (Captain, Grove Menzieshill), Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats), Leigh Fawcett (Grove Menzieshill), Rebecca Merchant (Edinburgh University), Nikki Kidd (Edinburgh University), Susan McGilveray (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Lloyd (Sevenoaks), Alison Howie (Clydesdale Western), Nicola Skrastin (Clydesdale Western), Emily Maguire (Reading).

Highlights from today's Scotland v Germany match in EuroHockey2013 are now available online on the BBC Sport website

Scottish Hockey Union media release

 



Malaysia Living the Dream...

By Jugjet Singh


The late Chua Boon Huat tattooed his bicep with Living the Dream after the
end of the World League in Johor Baru.

Malaysian assistant coach Arul Selvaraj gets an identical
Living the Dream tattoo

MALAYSIA have virtually made the grade for the Netherlands World Cup next year, but the even better news is that Paul Revington’s men are determined to win the Asia Cup starting in Ipoh on Saturday.

The team is Living The Dream, the phrase that the late Chua Boon Huat tattooed on his left bicep after he helped Malaysia finish fifth in the Johor Baru World League.

And with Argentina beating Canada 4-0 in the Pan American Cup in Toronto yesterday, the fourth placed team in Johor Baru, South Korea, also qualified for the World Cup as stipulated in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) qualification criteria.

Argentina, who had qualified for the World Cup by finishing second in Johor Baru, aslo did a big favour to start the ball rolling as now it is the turn of Spain, who finished fifth in the World League in Netherlands, to qualify.

And Spain have the easiest task, as in the ongoing Euro Championships; Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and England have qualified for the World Cup, and if any of the above win the title, or Spain wins it themselves, it will then be Malaysia’s turn.

And if all goes to plan, as the big four in Europe are not expected to fail, Malaysia need not break sweat in the Asia Cup but qualify for the World Cup via the Oceania Championships -- where Australia and New Zealand play and it does not matter who becomes the champion -- Malaysia will be the winners.

“By finishing fifth in the World League, we knew to a certain degree that we have a foot in the World Cup, and the vision is becoming clearer after Argentina won the Pan American Cup.

“But that does not change our plans to win the Asia Cup in Ipoh (for the first time) and double qualify for the World Cup,” said team manager George Koshy.

On Saturday in Group A of the Euro Championships, Spain hammered Czech Republic 6-1 while Belgium beat Germany 1-0. In Group B are England, Netherlands, Poland and Ireland.

“Well Argentina (winning the Pan Am) is certainly good news, and barring an upset in the Euro Championships from the lower ranked teams, Spain should qualify for the World Cup. Hopefully all goes well and Malaysia’s fifth finish in the World League will be duly rewarded,” said Revington.

And since the semi-finalists of the Euro Championships will be known a few days before the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia and South Korea might just be the two Asian teams who had made the grade on merit for the World Cup.

Assistant coach Arul Selvaraj, who was among Boon Huat’s close circle of friends, on Friday (16-8-2013) at 3pm, also tattooed his left bicep with Living The Dream -- as Malaysia are almost certain to play in the World Cup after a hiatus of 12 years.

The number 3 was Boon Huat's special...

Teams which have qualified for the World Cup:

From World League in Netherlands: Belgium, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand

From World League in Johor Baru: Germany, Argentina, England, South Korea.

FIH first reserve: Spain; Second Reserve: Malaysia; Third Reserve: India.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Determined India check in early for Asia Cup

By S. RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: The Indian hockey team, with a new management in place to lead their challenge in the Asia Cup, arrived in Ipoh on Saturday for their final phase of preparation.

Dutchman Roelant Altmans, the technical director, has taken over as chief coach following the sacking of Australian Michael Nobbs.

Former Indian national coach M.K. Kaushik has been roped in as the team coach, while South African Dave Stan­iforth was hired to handle the goalkeepers.

India know that winning the Asia Cup is the only way for them to make the World Cup in Holland next year.

Otherwise, they will be missing from the World Cup for the first time since its inception in 1971.

There have also been changes in terms of players, with several top stars missing through injuries including the likes of Danish Mujtaba, S. V. Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Akash­deep Singh.

India have named quite a young side for the Asia Cup, with midfielder Sardar Singh tasked with leading the team.

Among the newcomers are forwards Ramandeep Singh and Nikin Thimmaiah and defender Amit Rohidas while Mandeep Singh and Malak Singh are making a comeback with limited experience in the senior side.

Goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh has been named deputy captain in place of penalty corner drag flicker V.R. Raghunath.

However, the road to the semi-finals looks easier for India, who are in Group B with South Korea, Bangladesh and Oman. Arch-rivals Pakistan, however, have to contend with Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan in Group A.

India will begin their campaign against Oman on Aug 24 before taking on South Korea (Aug 26) and Bangladesh (Aug 28).

Oltmans is aware of the pressure faced by India but the Dutchman is confident that “my team are ready to stand and deliver”.

The Star of Malaysia



Bigger international role for Amarjit

By Jugjet Singh


FORMER international hockey umpire Amarjit Singh has moved up to the next level, as an International Hockey Federation (FIH) manager and umpires coach.

This year alone, the 48-year-old bank officer was given the rare honour of being the Umpires Manager in five international meets.

Starting with the Azlan Shah Cup in March, the World League in Johor in June, Amarjit will next be the Umpires Manager at the upcoming Asia Cup in Ipoh, the Sultan of Johor Cup in September and the Junior World Cup in December in New Delhi, India.

"It is a great honour not only to me but also the country, for being given the opportunity to be involved as an Umpires' Manager for so many tournaments this year.

"And there are many more major tournaments next year, and I see this endorsement by the FIH as a stepping stone as preparations for a bigger role in the management of hockey," said Amarjit.

Amarjit's hockey career started back in the 1990s when he was selected to train with the National B team in 1992.

He then took up umpiring as his career, and to his distinction, Amarjit has umpired in four World Cups - 1998 Utrecht, 2002 Kuala Lumpur, 2006 Munchengladbach, and 2010 New Delhi.

"I was also given the honour to umpire the 2005 Junior World Cup (Rotterdam) final between Australia and Argentina. I also umpired in three Olympics (2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing)."

Amarjit has also umpired in two Champions Trophy and two Commonwealth Games.

He has officiated in 154 international matches during his umpiring career and was the first Asian umpire and currently the only Malaysian to receive the FIH Golden Whistle.

And for the record, he is not a member of any committee in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, Asian Hockey Federation or the FIH.

New Straits Times



North Harbour men win battle of the bridge


Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The North Harbour men took bragging rights in front of a vocal home crowd with a 5-3 win over Auckland in Round 4 of the Ford National Hockey League today.

Joseph Bartholomew scored a brilliant hat-trick of penalty corner drag flicks while veteran Jan Peterson delivered a double to ensure the result for Harbour.

Auckland struggled to keep up with the free-flowing attack of North Harbour, leading to their first loss of the tournament after yesterday’s game against Southern was postponed due to heavy rain.

Earlier in the day, Northland men got their first win of the tournament with a solid 5-4 win over Central. After falling behind by two, Northland scored five unanswered goals with international guest player Gauthier Boccard netting twice.

The Canterbury Cavaliers stunned Capital 5-1, with Mirco Pruyser scoring a double and Richard Bain, Jason Niles and William Davidson filling out the scoresheet. The result has seen Canterbury jump up to the top of the men’s points table.

Southern versus Midlands went right to the wire with the game level 1-1 for much of the second half before a Kane Russell drag flick gave Southern the advantage. Midlands won a penalty corner right on fulltime but the flick was padded away by Hamish McGregor in goal.

On the women’s side of the draw, the Auckland women ended Capital’s undefeated streak with a 3-2 win in a high intensity clash.

Krystal Forgesson, Sam Harrison and Elizabeth Thompson scored for Auckland, who are now clear on top of the table with 13 points.

Auckland captain Krystal Forgesson was pleased with the result, which has given her side momentum going into Round 5 tomorrow.

“Today’s win was really satisfying and we’ve been working pretty hard since the first game. Capital were undefeated coming into this so to beat them has given us huge confidence for the rest of the week.”

Also on the women’s side of the draw, the Canterbury Cats edged Northland 2-1 in a tight encounter with goals from Rachel McCann and Sian Fremaux.

Midlands took a straightforward 6-0 victory over Southern Storm guided by a brace of goals from Renee Ashton.

In the final women’s game of the day, North Harbour thrashed the Central Mysticks 6-1.

CLICK HERE for full results, points tables and goal scorers

FORD NHL RESULTS
SUNDAY 18 AUGUST

MEN

MARSDEN COVE NORTHLAND 5: (Gauthier Boccard 2, Keeley Johnson, Sean Laidlaw, Own Goal)
CENTRAL MAVERICKS 4: (Simon Beaton 2, Veeran Morar, Martin Atkinson)

NORTH HARBOUR 5: (Joseph Bartholomew 3, Jan Peterson 2)
AUCKLAND FURY 3: (Dwayne Rowsell, Sam Miskimmin, Own Goal)

CANTERBURY CAVALIERS 5: (Richard Bain, Jason Niles, Mirco Pruyser 2, William Davidson)
TRUST HOUSE CAPITAL 1: (Gabriel Kepes)

SOUTHERN DOGS 2: (Callum Bailey, Kane Russell)
BAYLEYS MIDLANDS 1: (Ronald Brouwer)

WOMEN
AUCKLAND FURY 3: (Elizabeth Thompson, Sam Harrison, Krystal Forgesson)
TRUST HOUSE CAPITAL 2: (Carolina Welten, Katarina O’Callaghan)

CANTERBURY CATS 2: (Rachel McCann, Sian Fremaux)
MARK CROMIE HOLDEN NORTHLAND 1: (Own Goal)

BAYLEYES MIDLANDS 6: (Imogen Neil, Renee Ashton 2, Shiloh Gloyn, Katie Long, Own Goal)
SOUTHERN STORM 0

NORTH HARBOUR 6: (Erin Goad, Michelle Borren, Holly Evans, Tori Taylor, Rhiannon Dennison, Petrea Webster)
CENTRAL MYSTICKS 1: (Kandice Olivieri)

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Women's o40s Masters Finish on Top

After losing 0-1 to Australia the day before, Scotland came back fighting and beat England 1–0 in the final to win the European Masters in Belfast.

Having played Australia on Friday the Scottish Select Over 40s team, just failed to complete a trio of victories in the pool stage. From start to finish it was a battle between these two determined teams. Australia had the lead in both territory and possession but the Scottish team made them fight for every ball.

The Australians dominated the midfield, allowing the Scots to bring the ball from defence before turning it over and attacking in force. They were a highly skilled, well drilled team who passed accurately at speed. Time and time again the Scots denied them shots at goal and broke down the attack in the twenty five. Just three minutes to half-time Australia got a penalty corner and managed to slot the ball home from a scramble in front of goal.

The second half was played in the same vein although Scotland managed to secure two penalty corners but could not score that elusive equaliser.  It was a hard fought contest with Australia displaying great skills and teamwork, playing together as a well-oiled, highly competent machine. The Scottish team, stuck to first principles and remained compact, committed and working for each other.

Despite the loss to Australia, the Scots went into the final as top qualifiers against an English side who were eager to avenge their recent defeat. Having beaten them just 48 hours earlier in a closely fought match both teams were obviously feeling the effect of three games in three days but their desire to win was clear from the start.

England pressed forward from midfield but were held by a focussed Scotland playing a 4:4:2.  Sue Mitchell (GK), working hard with her defence to block any shots at goal, was lucky when a couple of balls drifted across an open goal were not picked up.  England did get the ball in the net but had to be content with a penalty corner for a foot by Maggie Conacher.  With ten minutes to the break, the hamstring injury sustained against the Aussies forced Marge Taylor off for treatment and was replaced by Sandra Pattison.

The second half continued with England having the territorial advantage but they were becoming increasingly frustrated.  Scotland’s luck continued to hold when Lisa Prince netted two penalty corners but hit each too high.  The Scottish pairs of Norma Brownie with Gail Nelson and Rosie McColgan with Netty Horne continued to work relentlessly, substituting in five minute slots, to press the English defence and were increasingly getting more of the play.  Having soaked up a lot of pressure Scotland began to gain possession and their efforts were rewarded in the 63rd minute with a penalty corner.  Lizzie Sturrock struck the ball well, Sharon Duncan was there for the deflection and the ball was in the back of the net off the keeper. The last seven minutes were ours as England offered no real threat and Scotland were crowned European Open Champions 2013 through a tremendous display of teamwork, commitment and effort throughout the tournament.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Gen Arif requests CGF to extend hockey event deadline

LAHORE - The Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) has again requested the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) to extend for another month in the already extended deadline so that the green shirts may feature in the hockey event of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014.

But this perhaps is the final opportunity for the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) to see the light of day, as POA president Lt Gen (retd) Syed Arif Hasan’s letter itself reflects that asking the CGF to show any further flexibility may not be appropriate.

Gen Arif wrote: “I assure you this would go a long way in keeping the interest of the players of hockey in Pakistan supreme and we would be satisfied that we have tried our best and left no stone unturned in this regard. If, in a month, we are unable to do so, you may take any decision as deemed appropriate by you.”

This personal letter was dispatched through electronic mail on August 16, and was addressed to the CGF Chief Executive Officer Mike Hooper. The communication was essential because the previous CGF deadline expired on August 16, and was made exactly on the date after awaiting the PHF’s communication.

Gen Arif, who is also president CGA Pakistan, has requested the CGF to extend the deadline for another month, from the day of the said letter.  To keep the FIH in the loop, the letter has also been copied by the same electronic mail to the world body’s officials CEO Kelly Fairweather and Director of Sport David Luckes.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), in a vain effort to sidestep and further undermine the POA, had tried to directly submit its Letter of Intent to the CGF. The CGF had promptly rebuffed it by asking the PHF secretary to route his communication through the POA; this CGF instruction was not complied – hence the request for another extension of the extension.  “I do not understand as to what comes first for the PHF: the interest of Pakistan hockey, its international image, its future assignments, its players’ professional and personal welfare or aimless petty and personal agendas,” said Gen Arif.

The Nation



World’s First hockey museum

By Eric Weil


LONDON — Last week I went to see the first field hockey museum in the world in Woking, near London, which was launched in October last year. It has all kinds of historical hockey objects and an extensive library covering the history of the game. The idea was started in the late 1980s at the national hockey stadium in Milton Keynes, which later had to be sold as England’s Hockey HA could not afford its upkeep.

Meanwhile, the Olympic hockey stadium has been dismantled and moved a mile away where a smaller stadium is being built for 15,000 spectators. Yet it is still rather out of the way. The recent Women’s World League semifinal in London — in which Argentina, although under no obligation to qualify, were lucky to reach the final — brought up several points for discussion.

The time allowed for penalty corners is 45 seconds. If this is exceeded by the defending team, it loses a defender from the goal-line. In Argentina only the playing time clock is stopped with no sanctions which should be imposed. Although unlikely, the attacking team could cause the delay. What would the sanction be? The rule does not cover this point.

In the matter of own goals, which at the moment are not awarded to any player, there seemed to be general agreement that the last attacker to touch the ball should be awarded the goal. Field hockey is a sport which makes most rule changes, but they don’t always get it right. There were also continued complaints about the format now used in the World League, Champions and Champions Challenge (also Junior World Cups) in which eight teams play each other in two groups and then all start again in a knock-out.

ARGENTINA ACCUSED. Argentina has also been accused of gamesmanship (bad sportsmanship) by holding this year’s Women’s World League finals in the heat of Tucumán from November 30 to December 8. On top of that next year’s Women’s Champions Trophy will also be held there during the same period. But the complaints fall on deaf ears. The presidents of the International Hockey Federation (Leandro Negre) and the Argentine Hockey Federation (Aníbal Fernández) — who should play there — refuse to listen.

Buenos Aires Herald



High school coaches try to grow field hockey

By Kevin Carmody



Palmer Ridge midfielder Ashley Walker and Colorado Academy midfielder Sterre Van Ede battle for the ball at the field hockey state championship Monday, October 29, 2012 at All-City Stadium in Denver where Palmer Ridge was edged out for the state title by Colorado Academy in an overtime shootout. Michael Ciaglo/The Gazette

Six years ago, former U.S. men's national field hockey player Paul Lewis took the reins of a startup program at Palmer Ridge.

The culture of field hockey in Colorado took him by surprise.

"Things were pretty scarce when I first started," said Lewis, set to start his fifth varsity season on the sideline at Palmer Ridge, now a perennial contender for the state championship. "It needed some help. I got a lot of help from the field hockey family, and I know it's catching on in this area now."

The prep field hockey season starts Aug. 31 at two Pikes Peak region schools on opposite sides of the city. Their recent histories are just as opposite.

While Palmer Ridge enjoyed its finest hour last season, despite suffering a heartbreaking loss to Colorado Academy in a sudden-death shootout, Cheyenne Mountain struggled to a 2-10-3 season under first-year coach Paula Rizzi.

Lewis has reaped the rewards of introducing the sport to younger girls. Besides encouraging six local elementary schools to allow field hockey in their physical education classes and after-school programs, Lewis oversees a youth program that gives players experience long before they reach high school.

It's probably no coincidence that the Bears have reached double digits in victories in three of their four seasons of varsity play.

That's what Rizzi would like to see at Cheyenne Mountain. And she believes that, with the revival of a middle school program, the needle is pointed in the right direction.

"We're building a program again, and Paul and I are on the same page," said Rizzi who, like Lewis, hails from California, a field hockey hotbed. "We have the same goals, to have field hockey grow in Colorado Springs."

Now, the victories aren't only on the field. Several of Palmer Ridge's top players have been courted by elite colleges and universities. Just this past spring, Bears standout midfielder Casey Deeds accepted a scholarship to Stanford.

"I've always wanted to inspire field hockey players to do good things," Lewis said. "Coaching is my calling, and it's neat to see them be successful."

Even as a coaching counterpart, Lewis has joined forces with Rizzi to a certain extent in a supportive role. The results have been astounding. At the recently held Rocky Mountain State Games, Cheyenne Mountain's entry took third place after not having won a game previously.

That's progress.

"They have a taste of winning, and they like it," Rizzi said. "It's not a popular sport here, but I'm seeing it grow at Cheyenne Mountain. The culture is changing. The girls are excited for practice and now really like the game. They're telling their friends. It's a nice turnaround to have the support of people like Paul. We both want to grow the game here and have fun."

Cheyenne Mountain

Coach: Paula Rizzi

Key players: None.

Outlook: In her first season on her second coaching tour at Cheyenne Mountain, Rizzi's team gradually improved and finished 2-10-3 after going winless in 2011. She expects the progress to continue this season with a young team that continues to build toward the future.

Palmer Ridge

Coach: Paul Lewis

Key players: Daelynn DeMello, sr.; Jessica Berg, sr.; Edie Statham, so.; Cherydan Pettit, jr.; Courtney Child, jr.; Ashley Walker, jr.

Outlook: The Bears have plenty of pieces in place to make another run at the state title. They'll have to replace Casey Deeds at midfield and most of their defense but return plenty of firepower on offense with DeMello and Berg.

The Gazette



Chhattisgarh Governor congratulates junior women hockey team

NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh Governor Shekhar Dutt has congratulated Indian junior women hockey team for winning first ever bronze medal in the FIH Junior Women's Hockey World Cup held in Germany earlier this month.

In the letter sent to Hockey India (HI), Dutt said "I take this opportunity to congratulate the Indian Junior Women Hockey team for their excellent performance. The team has indeed brought laurels to India."

Dutt also lauded the efforts of Hockey India and said, "The performance of the Junior Women Hockey team has become possible because of the excellent training provided by the Hockey India."

Narinder Batra, secretary general of HI thanked Dutt for his letter and said the body will continue to put all out efforts to retrieve past glory of Indian Hockey.

The Times of India