News for 10 September 2013

All the news for Tuesday 10 September 2013

Bangkok Joy for Sri Lanka and Thailand

Inaugural men’s and women’s Asian Challenge events draw to a close

Sandaruwan Priyalanka was one of the scorers in Sri Lanka's 3-1 men's final victory against Myanmar in the 1st Asia Challenge in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo: Asian Hockey Federation)

It was a weekend to remember for the respective men’s and women’s international teams of Sri Lanka and Thailand, who claimed victory in the 1st Asian Challenge tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

The inaugural tournaments – which were played between 1-8 September – are an initiative by the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) to give the second tier countries in Asia greater opportunity to participate in international competition against opponents of a relative standard.

Sri Lanka were winners of the men’s event, defeating Myanmar 3-1 in the tournament final. Despite trailing to an open play strike from Myanmar’s Oo Htun Htun, Sri Lanka hit back with strikes from Sandaruwan Priyalanka (pictured), Lahiru Weerasooriya and Ishanka Jayasundara to grab the glory. Thailand finished third in the competition.

Thailand produced a fine performance in the women’s final to defeat Sri Lanka 3-0, reversing the result of the pool match played between the two teams. Sakunpithak Tikhamporn, Pimsan Suratwadee and Losakul Salocha got their names on the score-sheet at Thailand claimed their first international success, banishing the memory of two final defeats in the Indoor Asia Cup in previous years. In an earlier game, Singapore defeated Pakistan 2-1 to win the bronze medal.

A selection of images from the tournament can be enjoyed on the AHF’s Facebook page by clicking here.

Asian Hockey Federation

Police, Selangor share spoils

By Jugjet Singh

FORMER national player Kelvinder Singh salvaged a point for Police when he delivered the equaliser in their 3-3 draw with Selangor in Division Two of the Razak Cup at Kuantan Stadium yesterday.

The draw took Selangor to the top of the standings on seven points after three matches, and they look good for the title this season after being boosted by recruits.

Kelvinder and national player Jivan Mohan joined the Police training this year, and together with former national junior Baljit Singh Sarjab Singh, they have strengthened the side.

"It was not an easy match as even though we took a 2-0 lead (by the 12th minute), Selangor came back strongly and fortunately I managed to nail the equaliser to share points," said Kelvinder.

All three Selangor goals were scored by former juniors skipper Noor Faeez in the 34th, 53rd, 63rd minutes. Noor Faeez was the skipper of the national juniors who won the Junior Asia Cup which booked Malaysia's spot in the New Delhi World Cup.

The other Police goals were scored by Baljit Singh (18th) and Azinorzilan Hamid (12th).

"We won two earlier matches and with this hard-fought draw, we hope keep up the momentum when we play Armed Forces tomorrow (today)," said Kelvinder.

Armed Forces were also on fire as they hammered Kedah 7-0. Armed Forces and Selangor have played one match less as their opening day encounter was washed away by rain.

Both teams will square off on Friday.

RESULTS -- Division One Group A: Malacca 5 Johor 1, Negri Sembilan 3 Terengganu 2.

Division Two: Kedah 0 Armed Forces 7, Perlis 1 Sabah 0, Selangor 3 Police 3.

TODAY -- Division One Group B: Pahang v Penang (8pm, Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Perak (8pm, Pitch II).

Division Two: Selangor v Perlis (4pm, Pitch I), Police v Armed Forces (6pm, Pitch I), Sabah v Kedah (6pm, Pitch II).

New Straits Times

Terengganu crash out after humiliating loss to Negri


KUALA LUMPUR: Defending champions Terengganu suffered a double blow in the Razak Cup hockey tournament at the Wisma Belia Stadium in Kuantan on Monday.

The east coast side suffered their second straight defeat in Group A, losing 3-2 to Negri Sembilan to crash out of the Division One semi-finals. To add to Terengganu’s embarrassment, Arief Iskandar Khamdan was flashed the red card for hitting a Negri’s Suhaimi Ibrahim head with his stick in the 49th minute.

Terengganu, who lost to Johor 5-4 on Sunday, trailed Negri as early as the fifth minute with Suhaimi on target. Negri doubled their lead 10 minutes later through veteran S. Kuhan.

Terengganu gave themselves a glimmer of hope by reducing the score in the 44th minute through Lukman Nor Hakim.

It was as good as over for Terengganu when Dangerous Lee increased the lead to 3-1 for Negri in the 62nd minute. Engku Abdul Malek managed to reduce the deficit two minutes later but Negri held on to become the first team to reach the last four.

Negri coach S. Chandran was delighted with the win.

“A number of cards were flashed to players from both teams for rough play. But my players stayed calm to collect full points to reach the semi-finals,” said Chandran.

The Star of Malaysia

Multistix win Prampram Homowo hockey gala

Ghana hockey seniors’ sensational team, SAPHOLDA,last Saturday flopped when it mattered most during the maiden Prampram Homowo hockey gala.

Multistix proved too strong as they lifted the ultimate trophy at the expense of NDK Financiers.

Runners- up, NDK were scheduled to play the leaders in the competition, Multistix, in the grand final to determine the real champion, but it was called off due to time constraints. In the event, Multistix were crowned champions as leaders on the table.

The two teams were tied on five points but Multistix had superior goals and, therefore, could not be denied the trophy.

SAPHOLDA fumbled from the push-off as they lost 0-2 to Mulstistix and were also beaten 1-0 by NDK.

The fun-filled competition led to the reunion of former national stars and familiar faces mostly former teammates of the late President Prof Evans Atta Mills, in whose honour the tournament was played.

It brought back some nostalgic memories of the good old days as the Anglican Park in Prampram bubbled with action throughout last Saturday.

In what is expected to be an annual competition, to commemorate the passing of President Mills, a public-spirited citizen of the area, Lengi Chawe-Nartey, said under the patronage of the Greater Accra Hockey Association, it is expected that the tournament would be expanded to accommodate more teams.

Beverage distributors, T. T. Brothers, sponsored the maiden competition with cash and products.


Sam Ward pitches up for Beeston

By Graham Wilson

Sam Ward scored a hat trick against Sheffield Hallam [PA]

SAM WARD was at fever pitch for English champions Beeston as he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win against newly promoted Sheffield Hallam.

The Bees have lost Simon Egerton to Dutch club HGC but Ward soon made up for his absence as Sheffield were treated to a taste of life in the Premier Division.

Nothing could stop Sheffield from enjoying their day, GB Olympic bronze medallist Sally Walton opening the blue and pink pitch taken from the Olympic Games venue in Stratford.

British Olympic Association chairman Seb Coe said: “This is an example of the legacy of London 2012. The pitch will be used by the local community and elite hockey players as well as the School Games. It will also give the club a piece of Olympic history.”

Beeston open up the NOW: Pensions League against promoted Wimbledon on Saturday, while Sheffield travel to East Grinstead.

Daily Express

London 2012 Olympic Pitch officially opened in Sheffield

A game underway on Sheffield's Olympic Pitch

Last weekend Sheffield's new Olympic Pitch was officially opened, tying in with Harvester's National Club Weekend and the new season which starts next week.

Head of sport services at Sheffield Hallam, Dan Porter, said:

"We couldn't ask for a better example of the Olympic legacy in action. Our students will benefit greatly from the Olympic hockey pitch. It is obviously a world-class facility, and I'm sure they will feel inspired when they play and compete for the University on the iconic blue turf."

Sally Walton Opens Olympic Pitch

Much of the work to relay the pitch was done during May and June and although the first match on the new surface was played in June, the 8th September marked its official opening for use at Abbeydale Sports Club in Sheffield, in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.

LOCOG chairman Seb Coe said: "This is an example of the legacy of London 2012. The pitch will be used by both the local community and elite hockey players as well as for the School Games. It will also give the club a piece of Olympic history", so Sheffield can look forward to continuing that legacy with their bright new pitch.

The pitch will host the Sainsbury's 2013 School Games in September, the first major event to be held on the new pitch. Most of the old pitch in Sheffield has been recycled into hanging baskets, but part was used to create pitches in Bulgaria and Ireland.

England Hockey Board Media release

Club Weekend round-up

Giselle Ansley and Devonport Dragons HC

September 8 and 9 saw the return of the annual Harvester National Club Weekend. While there are some more club weekends still to come, we thought we'd take a look at what went on last weekend.

The weather may not have been as nice as it has been recently, but hundreds of clubs opened their doors to the public to get more people interested and involved in hockey. With families and friends turning up at clubs across the country, it looks like there could be many more new players joining the hockey ranks.

John Inverdale at Ashford HC

Some clubs were even joined by some international players, visiting their own or old clubs as well as some that they had never been to before. In Sheffield Sally Walton officially opened their new Olympic pitch, moved from London to enjoy a new life in the north, Alex Danson opened a new pitch for Bournemouth and Ashford HC had their new pitch opened by John Inverdale.

Facebook and Twitter were awash with messages about the club weekend, so here are a few that we've picked out to give you an idea of what went on at the weekend:

"Attended the Longridge Hockey Club weekend, the sun came out & the rain stayed away. Just umpired some space hopper hockey & I still can't flick a ball above the back board! Thank you to the organisers for a great morning." Wing-Shum Lee Waltham Forest Club Day

"best day, met alex danson, held her bronze medal and watched her play some quality hockey @AlexDanson15 @EnglandHockey #inspiration" @GeorgieBethany

"Lovely morning @NestonHockey catching &meeting the youngsters-Some talent! Just watching the Ladies play my 1st ever club @ChesterHockey" @SamanthaQuek

"Great morning visiting @oxhcjuniors for the @EnglandHockey #Harvesterweekend. Some great talent and thanks for having me!" @tomcarson90Plymouth HC and Giselle Ansley Club Day 2013

Our congratulations go out to every club that organised an event this weekend, and thanks to every player that managed to visit a club. Good luck to everyone with an event still to come this weekend - we look forward to seeing the pictures!

England Hockey Board Media release

Return of Soundarya and Joydeep Kaur augur well for our Asia cup campaign

K. Arumugam

Indian women hockey, for long condemned – reasonably so -- as under performers, have all of a sudden shed the image and came out triumphant at the recent Junior World Cup at Monchengladbach.

The enthusiasm that the Bronze created on pan India level is quite unexpected though fully deserved.

Being into the limelight is one thing and able to sustain it is quite another, the latter often proved to be more arduous and difficult task than getting on to the limelight zone.

Indian women hockey, that aspires to make a mark in the forthcoming Asia Cup, is exactly in the pass.

Indian women, being regular in the last two world cups, would like to continue the tradition, but the task is formidable.

With China, Korea and Japan, all equal teams, are also in the same predicament.

Only a ticket available at Kuala Lumpur Asia Cup, only the winner getting it.

Against the backdrop and the near incredible history of our women in this genre of competition, one can be optimistic.

There were two slot up for grab for the World Cup in the last two Asia Cup, held respectively in Bangkok and Hong Kong. India was the finalist on both occasion.

So creditable was it show at Bangkok where it defeated Korea in the semis to ensure its World Cup passage. Those three penalty corners that came in the Korea’s way in the semis, and the way the Asuantas and Subhadras combined to catapult India from the onslaught are still fresh in the memory.

Asunta, despite doubtful fitness is lurking around the national team, having been kept in the standbye list. Subhadra has long been forgotten.

Joydeep Kaur, who comes back to Indian side after a good gap, shoulders the defence in the foothold of Subhadra.

While her return reinforces the defence, which is always brittle, equally good turn around is Saundarya Yadala’s.

A fit Soundarya on her day is Jothi Sunita Kullu, a poetry in motion, pleasing stride, rhythmic sway and all that.

Soundarya came into the team with big hope, and was often touted as under-study of purposeful and thrustful cog in the wheel, Jasjeet Kaur.

Even as Jasjeet’s career, long but unceremonious, came to an end Soundarya slugged with frequent injuries. He out of form must count among others a serious factor that India could not produce any result of worth, regional and global levels, in the interregnum last and present Asia Cups, a Great Depression in Women’s hockey annals.

Now that Soundarya returns with Joydeep Kaur thing look bright for self-motivated India which has come out of its own after self-inflicted hara-kiri of accusing coaches of everything!

One aspect that would concern is absence of lanky Jaspreet Singh, who double up as sharp shooter in penalty corner drills and also a proven asset at the rear.

Therefore, it is left to the experienced lot of the team, the likes of Rani and Rani, Chanchans and others to knit the team to crack the final.

Thankfully for India, neither Korea nor China are what they are believed to be till recently; they are on downslide, without proper replenishment of resources.

It is where the euphoria created by the Junior team’s success at Monchengladbach, and its youthful content, give us a ray of hope.

The KL Asia Cup is essentially extension of the same bronze team, and with the return of time tested Joydeep and Soundarya, the beads of optimism sounds pleasant.

India is placed in Pool A with China, hosts Malaysia and Hong Kong China while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei are placed in Pool B. India will open their campaign against Hong Kong China on 21 September followed by China on 22 September and hosts Malaysia on 24 September.

The 8th Women’s Asia Cup is the continental qualification tournament for the FIH Women’s World Cup 2014 to be played in The Hague, The Netherlands from 31 May-14 June 2014.

THE TEAM: Goalkeepers: Rajani Etimarpu, Savita Punia, Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Namita Toppo, P Sushila Chanu, M N Ponnamma, Midfielders: Ritu Rani (Captain), Chanchan Devi Thokchom (Vice-Captain), Soundarya Yendala, Lily Chanu, Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani, Vandana Katariya, Anuradha Devi Thokchom. Standbys: Sanarik Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Monika Malik, Navjot Kaur, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla

Mandeep Singh: I think my positioning was the key.

Tazeen Qureshy

Mandeep Singh, shot into the limelight with his exploits in the striking circle for Ranhi Rhinos, kept his trait of being a terror striker in the recent Asia Cup. Our reporter Tazeen Qureshy had a chat with him; tries to map the youngster’s mind morphology.

India has finally qualified for the World Cup. Are you satisfied with the team's performance?
Yes, I am happy with the way we have performed. Before the Asia Cup, our captain Sardar paji had a talk with all the young players and told us this was a huge opportunity and we need to play our part well. I am glad we pulled according to the expectations of our seniors, and also the management.

You have earlier represented the senior team in Azlan Shah and World Hockey League, Round 2 and 3. But, in all these tournaments your HIL form was missing. With your performance in Asia Cup, do you believe you have regained the form?
I made my senior debut with WHL, R-1. At that time, I was new and less confident. Performance in Azlan Shah was satisfactory. But, with WHL, R-3 at Rotterdam, I began to gain confidence and started playing my usual game. I am satisfied with my performance in Asia Cup.

In fact, you made some really good deflections at the goalmouth in Asia Cup. Any special tactics for this tour?
I think my positioning was the key. Although, I missed converting on some occasions, I managed to score well. My main aim was to score goal or at least earn a Penalty Corner whenever the ball entered the D.

You paired with Ramandeep this time, a new comer, and you seem to gel well with him.
Ramandeep and I have played earlier in the junior team. We practiced a lot before Asia Cup which was visible in the tournament.

Your goal against Malaysia where you and Ramandeep collaborated to give a stunner. Wasn't it similar to the goal in the Chak De movie?
I am still surprised at that goal. I was standing behind Ramandeep and had no clue he would pass it on to me. I got a hint at the very last moment and positioned myself accordingly. Ramandeep could have also scored had he tried. I give him all the credit for that goal.

Are you disappointed in.not winning the last match against South Korea?
I think we played well. Had that last Penalty Corner not conceded against us, we would have won the tournament. Asia Cup was your first outing with Oltsman as the coach and MK Kaushik as Assistant Coach. How was the experience with them?

Both were very supportive. Oltsman sir had told us to forget everything and just play hockey. He was there for us everytime. Kaushik sir was helpful too. We wanted to win this tournamnet for both of them.

Which was your favorite match and favorite personal goal?
First match against Korea and semi final against Malaysia was good. I liked the goal I scored against Oman using a reverse flick.

Finally,your next target?
I will soon be joining the ongoing junior camp on Delhi for Sultan Johor Cup.

Former Hockeyroo Nova makes history...again

Nova Peris becomes first indigenous woman elected to Federal Parliament

Former Hockeyroo Nova Peris has become the first indigenous woman elected to the Federal Parliament following her election victory at the weekend.

Peris, who stood for the Labor Party, won Olympic gold with the Hockeyroos at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and becomes the first indigenous woman to win a seat in the Senate. She also becomes only the fourth indigenous person to sit in Parliament House.

No stranger to breaking down boundaries, when Ric Charlesworth’s Hockeyroos stood on the top step of the podium in Atlanta, Darwin-born Peris became the first Aboriginal Australian to do so. Two years earlier she was a member of the Hockeyroos team that won World Cup gold in Dublin.

After switching from hockey to athletics in 1997 she became a double Commonwealth Games gold medallist, winning the 200m and 4x100m relay.

Nova’s cousin Brooke Peris is a current member of the Jillaroos and has made two appearances for the Hockeyroos.

Hockey Australia media release

New Sportplan website gives teachers and coaches inspiration for the new season - now faster and fully mobile

A sports coaching company has launched a new super-fast WebApp (website based application) which is fully mobile friendly, so coaches can take their training plans with them wherever they go., an online sports coaching resource with over 12,000 drills, used monthly by over 150,000 sports coaches and teachers around the world, has recently undergone the largest changes to its WebApp since its launch over a decade ago in June 2002. Following 10 months of development the new mobile-friendly WebApp was unveiled this week (September 9) meaning sports coaches can now take their coaching with them on the move.

Where Sportplan differs from other coaching sites is that in addition to having a large library of plans and drills it also gives you the tools to write your own "interactive plans" that come alive with animation and video demonstrations. Coaches can either use drills from the online library or sketch their own diagrams and animations. These plans can be easily printed, sent to an interactive whiteboard, or better still shared with players and other coaches and viewed on mobile.

"For coaches looking for a library of animated drills/clips and a simple way of creating professional looking session plans this software is great." Dylan Blain, The Physical Education Teacher: (Independent review of Sportplan)

Sportplan provides resources for over 15 sports, including football, rugby, field hockey, netball, basketball, cricket and tennis. The website works on a “freemium” basis, with a two-tier system where free members have limited access to the tools and resources, whereas paying members have full access to the site.

If you have ever played for a school sports team or weekend side chances are you will have experienced Sportplan, even if you were not aware of it at the time. That's because Sportplan is used by over 40,000 sports coaches and teachers every week - to give them more confidence, add variety to their training and improve their team's performance. With the launch of this new site, Sportplan hopes to be able to help even more coaches and their players.

"It is always a challenge to keep the girls interested with fun training sessions that are also challenging. Sportplan has provided me with new drills and skills to achieve this. The session planner saves a lot of time when planning my training sessions. I have recommended Sportplan to my fellow coaches and they absolutely love it too." Karen Kiri, Netball coach, New Zealand.

Sportplan are keen to hear feedback on the new website to help them continue to make the lives of people who give up their evenings and weekends to coach as easy and rewarding as possible.

"Having spent over 30 years working in coaching and sports development, I wanted to create something to transform the communication of coaching knowledge. I am pleased to say over the years Sportplan has helped over half a million coaches and teachers, and it makes me smile to think how many children and athletes that means we have helped. We continue to innovate both in technology and coaching best practice, and now Sportplan is fully mobile we look forward to helping even more people." Bram van Asselt, Senior Coach, Managing Director and Founder of Sportplan.

Sportplan media release