News for 21 November 2013

All the news for Thursday 21 November 2013


SA men’s hockey team head coach reasonably pleased after two matches

JONATHAN COOK in Nairobi


“THERE is always room for improvement but generally I am happy with the performances so far,” South Africa men’s hockey team head coach Charlie Pereira said over lunch at the Fairview Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday in the aftermath of a productive training session.

“I would take 6-2 against Ghana any day,” said the coach of the opening Africa Cup of Nations match that took place at City Park Stadium on Monday.

A 2014 World Cup qualifier tournament, all of SA, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt have been remarkable in the commitment they have displayed on the pitch.

“Egypt on Tuesday was another step up,” said Pereira of the 6-1 win in which the men from Cairo never really had a look-in.

Four penalty corner successes from four attempts against Kenya (captain Austin Smith) and Egypt (Smith twice, and Wade Paton) says much of the corner team’s skill.

“Corners are so important as they put fear into a team, who panic into defensive errors in the strike zone with the threat of conceding a PC in the back of their minds,” said Pereira.

“We have also scored some classic field goals, one-, two-, three-touch stuff that is so simple yet so precise in its construction.”

The players on the end of those sublime finishes have been Taine Paton (2), Lloyd Norris-Jones (2), Geoff Abbott, Clint Panther, Julian Hykes and Pierre de Voux.

SA, whose two wins from two puts them in Saturday’s 2,30 pm final, meet an upbeat Kenya in their final league-phase clash at 3pm (SA time) Thursday and Pereira said that apart from some niggles the players are good to go.

Kenya need no further motivation than the knowledge that an excellent showing could clinch them a shot at gold and with it the chance to win a ticket to the 2014 World Cup.

“We won’t change our preparation, but what I will be looking for in this match is getting our one-on-one defensive skills up and minimising the amount of ball that is lost through unforced errors,” said Pereira.

“I have been really impressed with the youngsters as well as some of the old hands and I expect them to maintain that form against Kenya.”

Ghana and Egypt also have a chance of joining SA in the final, so there is much to play for when they meet Thursday.

Other results: Kenya 2 Ghana 0; Egypt 3 Kenya 2.

South Africa Men's hockey team: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Jacque le Roux (Western Province), Rhett Halkett (vice-capt, WP), Francois Pretorius (Northern Blues), Greg Last (KZN Coastal Raiders), Jethro Eustice (SG), Dylan Swanepoel (WP), Mohamed Mea (KCR), Austin Smith (capt, WP),  Jonty Robinson (NB), Clint Panther (SG), Wade Paton (KCR), Taine Paton (KCR), Tim Drummond (KCR), Julian Hykes (SG), Geoff Abbott (KCR), Pierre de Voux (WP), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP).
Head coach: Charlie Pereira.

SA Hockey Association media release



Accuracy in attack is what Investec SA women’s hockey team coach wants

JONATHAN COOK in Nairobi


“TO execute accurately what has not worked for us is what we are hoping to achieve in the match against Tanzania,” said head coach Fabian Gregory Wednesday, reflecting on the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s performances in their opening games at the Africa Cup of Nations, a 2014 World Cup qualifier tournament, at City Park Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya this week.

After trailing for 20 minutes in the first half, SA beat Kenya 3-1 on Monday before drawing 1-1 with Ghana on Tuesday, the first time the Ghanaians have got a point off the reigning African champions.


The flooded City Park pitch was no match for Investec SA women's hockey team head coach Fabian Gregory and his management staff. Photo: TANU PILLAY

Strikers Jade Mayne, Lilian du Plessis and Tanya Britz netted from field play against Kenya, while Celia Evans got on the scoresheet against Ghana with an opportunist goal that resulted from an untidy corner

Gregory said that especially against Ghana the girls in green and gold’s combination play had at times been superb in the build-up to the strike zone, the use of the full width of the field and vertical progression before attacking along the baseline particularly impressive, but the accurate execution of skills in the attacking zone, coupled to poor decision making in the nine-yard area had cost the team a hatful of goals.

“Taking goal shots instead of making the extra pass in some situations, and making the extra pass when at times the direct shot is on, those scenarios are an aspect of the work we did in training today,” Gregory said at the team training base Wednesday.

Training got off to a soggy start in the morning, as the team arrived at a flooded stadium pitch, but the coaches got on with the job of shovelling water off the turf to ensure that the session would be productive,

The vexed question of what went wrong in the 15 unsuccessful penalty corners against the never-say-die Ghanaians was also a focus.


The Investec South Africa women's hockey team arrived to a flooded City Park Stadium pitch before training in Nairobi, Kenya Wednesday. Photo: TANU PILLAY

“Despite the bumpy pitch, the fact remains that our skills application was poor in the first two games,” said Gregory, who is the director of coaching at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

“So what we worked on was to make sure that the execution from corner injector to trapper to striker was more accurately applied. We also worked on how to react if the corner execution goes wrong so that we can still get something out of the set-piece.”

SA play minnows Tanzania at 9am (SA time) Thursday in their final match in the league phase of this four-country tournament.

Tanzania have conceded 31 goals from their two matches, so victory is almost certain, which would put SA in Saturday’s 3 pm (SA time) final and with it the chance to win a ticket to next year’s World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

SA’s opponents are almost certainly going to be Ghana, who are one point ahead of Kenya going into their match Friday.

http://www.sahockey.co.za/images/stories/relax%20irfan.jpg
The Investec South Africa women's hockey team relaxing outside the Nairobi Club. Photo: TANU PILLAY

Neither Ghana nor Kenya want to play in Friday’s battle for the bronze medal, so their clash is a must-win for Kenya. A draw will be enough for Ghana.

What we do in the end zone will be our focus,” said Gregory.

Remaining SA fixtures
Thursday: vs Tanzania (9am SA time).
Saturday: the final (12 noon SA time).
SA results to date: SA 3 Kenya 1; SA 1 Ghana 1.
Other results: Ghana 18 Tanzania 0; Kenya 13 Tanzania 1.

Investec South Africa Women's hockey team: Hanli Hattingh (WP), Phume Mbande (NB), Marcelle Keet (capt, Border), Lisa Deetlefs (SG), Illse Davids (WP), Celia Evans (North West), Shelley Russell (WP), Kaila Flemming (SG), Quanita Bobbs (WP), Sulette Damons (vice-capt, NW), Christine Roos (SG), Jade Mayne (WP), Bernie Coston (SG), Tanya Britz (Free State), Lilian du Plessis (NB), Izelle Lategan (FS), Kelly Madsen (KCR).
Head coach: Fabian Gregory.

SA Hockey Association media release



Kenyan teams face moment of truth in Nairobi

By Ayumba Ayodi



National Hockey team player Barbara (left) shield the ball away from Tanzania Leah Shani on 19th November 2013 during their Africa Cup for Nations match played at City Park Stadium. Kenya won 13-1. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO

It’s a situation they didn’t want themselves in but Kenyan men and women’s teams have only one option if they must be in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations hockey tournament on Saturday.

The men’s team must upset all form books and prevail against champions South Africa while the women’s side must overcome Ghana  to stay in the race for the 2014 World Championships in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Kenya men lost 2-3 to Egypt in the opening match before recovering to beat Ghana 2-0 while the women’s team lost to champions South Africa 1-3 before thumping Tanzania 13-1.

GAME PLAN

South Africa and Kenya last met at the 2011 Africa Cup of Nations where the South Africans won 8-3 but coach Meshak Senge has vowed that his men will carry the day.

“South Africa have shown little respect to their opponents but we have crafted a game plan that will silence them,” Senge said. “They beat Egypt and Ghana comfortably but every game has a different dimension.”

Senge noted that the South Africans are strong in set-pieces and movement but his boys know how to handle them.

South Africa team manager Anthony Van Rooyen said they are in the country for nothing less than a ticket to The Hague.

“We always respect our opponents and what works for us is our team work,” said Van Rooyen.  

In the women’s battle, the 1-1 draw between Ghana and South Africa complicated matters for Kenya who must now beat Ghana.

LETHAL STRIKER

“It’s a must win match. We will go into the match positively and stick to our game plan,” said Kenya women’s coach Fidelis Kimanzi. “Our approach will be quite different from when we played South Africa and Tanzania.”

Kimanzi said they have a strategy on how to open up the defensive Ghanaians but said they will keep a close eye on their lethal striker Elizabeth Opoku and midfielder Umaru Nafisatu.

“Opoku scored a brilliant equaliser against South Africa but we shall take care of her,” said Kimanzi. “I know they are fit but we are technically superior.”

Skipper Betsy Omalla rallied her charges, calling on them to settle match early. “Only victory can save us and the players know what is at stake here,” said Omalla, who will me marshalling the defence.

Daily Nation



Black Sticks down Chile in warm up


Krystal Forgesson in action. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Women have overcome a slow start to defeat Chile 6-2 in the first of three warm-up games in Santiago before heading to the World League Final in Argentina.

Chile caught the Black Sticks off guard in the first half, scoring goals in the 21st and 26th minutes and leading 2-1 at halftime following a lone Kayla Sharland field goal.

But a much improved second half saw the Kiwis swing the momentum their way and pour on a further five unanswered goals.

Sharland added a penalty corner strike to finish with a double while Julia King, Olivia Merry, Krystal Forgesson and Rose Keddell all found the back of the net.

Sharland and Forgesson were the game’s two standout players.

Head coach Mark Hager said his side’s second half comeback was pleasing following a lacklustre opening period.

“We just showed some poor basics in the first half. We had no flow or rhythm and didn’t have the kind of energy we wanted,” he said.

“We were much better in the second half and created some good chances. Chile played with tempo but we really overcame that in the later stages of the game.”

The Black Sticks now look to carry their momentum into game two against Chile at 4am tomorrow (NZ time).

New Zealand’s opening game of the World League Final is against China on Sunday 1 December in Tucuman, Argentina. All World League Final games are live on SKY Sport.

Along with China, the Black Sticks will also face current World Champions Argentina and Australia in Pool B, while Pool A includes reigning Olympic champions the Netherlands alongside England, Germany and Korea. The format of the tournament is the same as World League Three. 

Black Sticks: 6 Kayla Sharland 2 (30’, 60’), Julia King (42’), Olivia Merry (47’), Krystal Forgesson (55’), Rose Keddell (66’).
Chile: 2
Halftime: Chile 2-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks sink Chile

New Zealand kicked off their pre-World League final series against Chile with a 6-2 win in Santiago today.

The women's Black Sticks made a slow start and conceded goals to the 18th-ranked Chileans in the 21st and 26th minutes.

The world No 3 team had pulled one back by halftime through captain Kayla Sharland, before New Zealand turned on the style in the second half.

Sharland added a penalty corner strike, with other goals coming from Julia King, Olivia Merry, Krystal Forgesson and Rose Keddell.

"We just showed some poor basics in the first half. We had no flow or rhythm and didn't have the kind of energy we wanted," Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said.

"We were much better in the second half and created some good chances. Chile played with tempo but we really overcame that in the later stages of the game."

The second of three games in Santiago is on early tomorrow.

The New Zealand Herald



Black Sticks overcome slow start to beat Chile

The Black Sticks' women have overcome a slow start to defeat Chile 6-2 in the first of three warm-up games in Santiago this morning (NZ Time).

Chile caught the Black Sticks off guard in the first half, scoring goals in the 21st and 26th minutes and lead 2-1 at halftime following a lone Kayla Sharland field goal.

A much improved second half saw New Zealand swing the momentum their way and pour on a further five unanswered goals.

Sharland added a penalty corner strike to finish with a double, while Julia King, Olivia Merry, Krystal Forgesson and Rose Keddell all found the back of the net.

Sharland and Forgesson were the game's standout players.

The Black Sticks are using the series as a build up to next week's World League final tournament in Argentina.

Head coach Mark Hager said his side's second half comeback was pleasing following a lacklustre opening period.

''We just showed some poor basics in the first half. We had no flow or rhythm and didn't have the kind of energy we wanted,'' he said.

''We were much better in the second half and created some good chances. Chile played with tempo but we really overcame that in the later stages of the game.''

The Black Sticks now look to carry their momentum into game two against Chile at 4am tomorrow (NZ time).

New Zealand's opening game of the World League Final is against China on  December 1 in Tucuman.

Along with China, the Black Sticks will also face current world champions Argentina and Australia in Pool B.

Stuff



Khalsa, Punjab Head-To-Head in HK Hockey Premier Division

By Bill Cox, Epoch Times



Mudassar Ali Khan, the new signing of Punjab-A, on the ball during Punjab-A’s match with Khalsa at Happy Valley on Sunday Nov 17, 2013. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)

The Khalsa-A match with the star studded Punjab-A team on Sunday Nov17 was the highlight match of the Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division season so far. The highly anticipated match brought out the crowds to Happy Valley to watch and support.

Punjab have added a fourth Pakistan Olympian Mudassar Ali Khan to their squad to join Sohail Abbas, Waseem Ahmed and Sukhwinder Singh Gabbar, although all four are in their mid-30’s they make a formidable addition to the side and add great interest for the spectators.

Khalsa have also added two more Indian players to strengthen their squad Harpreet Singh and Bikramjeet Singh making it a real Clash of the Titans.

No one was disappointed. It was a marvellous spectacle of field hockey played to a very high standard by both sides.

Punjab struck first 27 minutes into the match, with a drag flick first goal by Abbas who celebrated a little with team mates at his first HK success.

Sukhwinder scored next, just three minutes later, to put Punjab 2-0 in the lead and that is how it stayed until the break.

Khalsa were a bit hesitant in the first half and not playing their normal flowing game. but in the second half, after an earnest talk by Manager Gurcharan Singh, they settled down, started moving the ball more freely and got to grips with the opposition.

Khalsa had one period of about 10 minutes when it was clear that they were beginning to dominate with more attacking moves. They forced a penalty corner which Ahmed Ewis slotted home and just a couple of minutes later they scored a second goal tying the score line 2-2.

Punjab – a little shaken—then played more earnestly trying to regain the lead, but it was Khalsa that were playing hot and notched up a third goal to take them in front.

The ensuing celebration of that goal triggered a response from the already vocal crowd. This time it erupted into confrontation with many supporters rushing onto the pitch. It did not seem to be between the opposing teams, but part of the crowd took exception to the celebration actions of the goal scorer. It did not seem violent, just a lot of shouting, but the game was stopped for 10 or 15 minutes while order was restored.

When the match restarted all was normal with some great hockey. Punjab scored seven minutes before the final whistle to even up the match at 3-3.

Although there was frantic action from both sides to get the winner, maybe fortunately it ended 3-3. Both deserved to win, so a draw was fitting.

Players and coaches of teams from the earlier matches in the day stayed on to see this important milestone game in addition to the many fans that arrived for the match.

The other matches played at Happy Valley were put in the shadows, but Shaheen-A beat KNS-A 4-3; Valley-A had a good 6-3 win over SSSC-B; and SSSC-A won 4-2 against Pak-A. Pak-A put up a good show in this match and were quite competitive, but lost out in the final period.

At the Football Club Ground, HKFB-B won 1-0 against Elite-A; and HKFC-A also won their match against KCC-A 4-2.

Standings

HKFC-A are still top of the standings on 18 points, Punjab-A are second on 16 points and Khalsa-A are on 14 points.

SSSC-A are currently third on 15 points, but they have played one more match and have no game this coming week.

HKFC-A have had some fairly soft fixtures so far this season, but their match against Punjab-A on Dec 1 will be the next big encounter.

Next Matches

The best matches next week Sunday (Nov 24) are expected to be KCC-A against Pak-A and Shaheen-A against Punjab-A, both at Happy Valley. Meanwhile, the HKFC-B match against Valley-A should also be exciting.

The Women’s match between Valley-A and HKFC-A at Football Cub should also be a close contest.

The Epoch Times



England win the first Men's over 75s international hockey match


England Over 75s - winning inaugural team in Holland 12th Nov 2013

An England Over 75s squad was recently selected to play in an inaugural match against The Netherlands on 12 November 2013 at Den Bosch Hockey Club, Netherlands. An application has been made to include this in the Guinness Book of Records as the first Men's over 75s international hockey match - which England's Over 75s won 4-1.

Taking to the field in typical English weather, fine drizzle turning to heavier rain, England immediately took the game to the Dutch but the early pressure failed to produce any goals and the Dutch came more into the game, making inroads into the English half and forcing a penalty corner. The Dutch then moved into an early lead as England struggled to clear and the ball was bundled into the net.

With Mike Fripp in goal, Colin Pinks, Brian Heelis and Leon Mack at the heart of a solid English defence and Keith Hunt and Gilbert Grace working both wings the Dutch had to work overtime to keep the English at bay. The equaliser finally arrived when the Dutch defenders were slow to deal with a simple clearance and John Land slotted home past an unsighted ‘keeper.

Now back on level terms, England warmed to their task and the Dutch were pinned into their own half of the field. A Dutch foot prevented a further goal and Bill Greenwood stepped up to increase the lead from the resultant penalty stroke, resulting in a 2-1 half time score to England.

From the restart the Dutch endeavoured to raise their game and were able to force a couple of penalty corners but they failed to trouble the defence and England, prompted by David Wright, John Land and Gerald Wilkinson, always looked likely to increase their lead. A penalty corner proved to be the Dutch undoing when the ‘keeper failed to clear and Bill Warrender pounced to touch the ball over the line. With Gurney White, Barrie Roberts and Fred Crouch providing fresh legs, there was no respite for the Dutch and England moved into a 3 goal lead with the goal of the game as Keith Hunt diverted a David Wright pass beyond the helpless ‘keeper. A good team performance from the Over 75s!

After the game a plaque was also presented to the England party which captain John Land accepted and proposed that it should become a trophy to be held by the winning team in all future matches between the Netherlands and England Over 75 teams. It's hoped that there will be some more countries producing over 75s men teams, so as to make a viable category in the forthcoming World Cup at The Hague in June 2014.

England O75s squad

Fred Crouch
Mike Fripp (GK)
Gilbert Grace
Bill Greenwood
Bryan Heelis
Keith Hunt
John Land (Captain)
Leon Mack
Colin Pinks
Barrie Roberts
Bill Warrender
Gurney White
Gerald Wilkinson
David Wright

England Hockey Board Media release



In-form Wimbledon face leaders Beeston


Wimbledon plan

THREE consecutive victories have seen Wimbledon climb to fifth in the NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League Premier Division, and they could make it to fourth with another win – but unbeaten Beeston stand in their way this Sunday.

The newly-promoted side (pictured) have taken many by surprise, and at the halfway stage of the season they have lost just four of their nine matches.

They lost out 3-1 to Beeston on the opening day of the season after taking an early lead, but can they take anything from Sunday’s match?

“We’re really looking forward to playing Beeston again,” said Wimbledon player/coach Ben Marsden. “We’ve been enjoying a good run of form and have won the last three matches so who knows how we will do. We will just do the best we can and see what comes of it.

“We came out of the blocks well in the first match against them and actually led 2-1 at half time. We took a lot of heart from that. We will train hard this week and go there to do our best and enjoy the experience.”

Hamstring injuries to Ben Hawes and Jonny Kinder mean they are doubts for the Beeston match.

Elsewhere, the other newly-promoted team Sheffield Hallam face a tough home match against second-placed East Grinstead, while Reading head to Canterbury for a double header with their respective women’s teams.

Two teams battling for a top-four spot, Hampstead and Westminster and Surbiton meet at Paddington Rec, while Cannock play host to Loughborough Students.

In the NOW: Pensions Conference East, leaders Southgate head to third-placed Teddington, while Holcombe go to Cambridge in a 2nd v 4th battle.

Brooklands Manchester University are the new leaders of the NOW: Pensions Conference North, and they go to Wakefield on Sunday, while University of Durham could re-take top spot if they win at Olton and West Warwickshire.

And in the NOW: Pensions Conference West, Cardiff & Met could go top if they beat visitors Cheltenham. But Team Bath Buccaneers will preserve their lead if they win at Havant.

NOW: Pensions Men’s Hockey League (Sunday, November 24 2013):

NOW: Pensions Premier Division

Sheffield Hallam v East Grinstead 13:30
Hampstead & Westminster v Surbiton 14:00
Cannock v Loughborough Students 14:00
Beeston v Wimbledon 14:00
Canterbury v Reading 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference East
Cambridge City v Holcombe 12:30
Oxted v St Albans 12:45
Teddington v Southgate 13:00
Brighton and Hove v Old Loughtonians 13:00
Bromley and Beckenham v Richmond 13:00

NOW: Pensions Conference North
Olton & West Warwicks v Univ of Durham 13:30
Leek v Deeside Ramblers 14:00
Wakefield v Brooklands MU 14:00
Bowdon v Belper 14:00
Khalsa (Warks) v West Bridgford 14:30

NOW: Pensions Conference West
Guildford v Univ of Exeter 12:00
Isca v Univ of Birmingham 12:30
Cardiff & Met v Cheltenham 13:00
Havant v Team Bath Buccaneers 14:00
Indian Gymkhana v Fareham 14:00

England Hockey Board Media release



Top two prepare for battle in Investec Premier Division


Canterbury celebrate a goal 2012-13

LEVEL on points at the top of the table, Reading head to Canterbury on Sunday for a match which could prove crucial to both sides hopes in the Investec Women’s Hockey League Premier Division.

Both sides have identical records with Reading only top on goal difference, so a mouth-watering clash is expected at Polo Farm (12.30pm start).

The two sides met on the opening day of the season at Sonning Lane and Canterbury edged a close 2-1 victory, but Reading haven’t lost a league match since.

We’ve got a clear vision that we take each game one at a time, but obviously there’s a big focus on the Reading match,” said Canterbury coach Jen Wilson. “There’s always things that you can take out of previous matches and it was great to beat Reading, but that was several weeks ago and things have changed for both sides.

“That was the first match of the season, whereas now we are both more established and have different personnel available. Luckily for us we have a full squad available.

“it should be a fantastic day with the men’s game afterwards, but also we have several hundred young hockey players in action in the morning, so we’re looking forward to an exciting day for the club, and for hockey as a whole.”

For Reading’s part, they will be without six key players who have flown to Argentina with the England squad, while many other internationals will be unable to turn out for their teams this weekend.

Following the women’s clash between Canterbury and Reading, it is the turn of the men’s teams in the NOW: Pensions Premier Division (2.30pm start).

Meanwhile, Surbiton will want to continue their climb up the table when they go to Clifton on Saturday. Currently third, a victory would bring them to within just two points of Reading and Canterbury.

Fourth-placed Leicester entertain University of Birmingham. A win could lift them above Surbiton, but if they lose and Clifton win they will drop out of the top four.

Bowdon Hightown are also chasing a spot in the top four and are just two points behind Leicester. They go to bottom of the league Olton and West Warwickshire on Saturday.

The middle of the table is very close, and Beeston, currently in seventh, could move up three spots if they win at Sutton Coldfield and other results go their way.

In the Investec Conference West, third-placed Isca head to fourth-placed Oxford Hawks in a match which is crucial to both sides hopes of catching up with the teams above them.

Elsewhere in the Investec Conference West, leaders Slough entertain Trojans while Buckingham could go top if they win at Bristol Firebrands.

Second-placed Brooklands Poynton go to Stourport in the Investec Conference North, while leaders Wakefield entertain Ben Rhydding.

And in the Investec Conference East, leaders Holcombe head to Wimbledon.

Investec Women’s Hockey League

Saturday, November 23 2013

Investec Premier Division

Clifton v Surbiton 13:00
Leicester v Univ of Birmingham 14:00
Olton & West Warwicks v Bowdon Hightown 12:00
Sutton Coldfield v Beeston 14:00

Investec Conference East
Chelmsford v East Grinstead 14:00
Harleston Magpies v St Albans 12:30
Ipswich v Horsham 14:00
Sevenoaks v Old Loughtonians 13:30
Wimbledon v Holcombe 14:00

Investec Conference North
Boots v Doncaster 12:30
Stourport v Brooklands Poynton 12:00
Univ of Durham v Loughborough Students 12:00
Whitley Bay & Tynemouth v Kendal 12:30
Wakefield v Ben Rhydding 13:30

Investec Conference West
Barnes v Swansea City 12:00
Bristol Firebrands v Buckingham 13:30
Exe v Gloucester City 13:00
Oxford Hawks v Isca 12:00
Slough v Trojans 13:00

Sunday, November 24 2013

Investec Premier Division

Canterbury v Reading 12:30

England Hockey Board Media release



Beeston rally around Martin Scanlon after cancer readmission sees club aiming for charity goals

Family approach has seen Nottingham side cope with off-field events, according to Beeston captain Adam Dixon

By Rod Gilmour



Fighting back: Martin Scanlon (right) was first diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer last year  Photo: ADY KERRY

Adam Dixon, the Beeston captain, admits that forward Martin Scanlon’s readmission for chemotherapy treatment has had a “massive impact” as the Nottingham club rallies around the former under-21 international on his road to recovery.

Scanlon, 23, was first diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer last year before being given the all clear to return to the NOW: Pensions’ Premier Division champions this season.

Dixon said: “It’s been tough to take and a very tough situation to be in when you find out that one of your top strikers has fallen ill to cancer.

“It’s going to have a massive impact. The players are talking about it and it has filtered through to the GB and England squads too.

“We don’t want to make it a big thing as we don’t want to add to his worries, but as long as he knows that the squad is behind him as well as the British hockey community.”

As a result, the league’s top scorer, Sam Ward, recently announced that he would donate £50 to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Researchfor every goal he scores this season. He has currently netted 12 in nine games.

Scanlon scored in Beeston’s second game of the season before keeping news of his readmission a secret from the squad ahead of his final game last month, where he netted in a 5-2 win over Sheffield Hallam.

“Looking back, I can’t imagine Martin playing under those kinds of pressures, coming out and scoring a crucial goal and helping us win the game,” said Dixon.

“He overcame almost tragic circumstances and came through strong. I can’t even start to imagine how he must feel now he has to fight it again. We are all behind him.

“You have to have a family approach to that kind of thing and at Beeston we have that. Before every game we have a team huddle and we are not immune to these situations.”

Dixon was referring to Beeston’s passionate president David Williams, who passed away in February, aged 67, just as the club were focusing on one of the biggest games of the season.

Two days’ later, Beeston went top of the division after beating rivals East Grinstead 6-1.


Adam Dixon (centre) says whole of British hockey community is behind Scanlon

“Without a few words of motivation in the middle we wouldn’t have won a game like that,” added Dixon.

Beeston are yet to experience defeat this season thanks to a nine-game winning streak. However, thoughts of remaining unbeaten until April couldn’t be further from Dixon’s mind.

He said: “We are aware of it but we don’t make a big thing of it as it would be the worst possible thing to do. We might psychologically start playing a different style of hockey towards the end of games.

“We want to win every game, with as many goals as possible. If we do that consistently then we will win the league.”

The Telegraph



Spanish test for junior Scots in Madrid

Scotland U21 Men have been presented with an early opportunity to gauge the level of their European ambitions ahead of the EuroHockey Junior Nations Championships next summer with two junior international matches against Spain in Madrid on 26 & 27 November.

Head Coach Graham Moodie has named seventeen players for the encounters with their Spanish counterparts, who are in preparation for the FIH Junior World Cup in India next month.

The ex-Great Britain international has also included seven individuals from the Scotland U18 squad that retained its place in the EuroHockey U18 Championship last summer.

“The matches against Spain offer us a great early season opportunity to see the players in action against quality opposition ahead of the Europeans next summer”, said Moodie.

“Spain are in preparation for the Junior World Cup next month so I expect the matches to be high in intensity and it presents the players stepping up from the U18 squad with the chance to experience the level of hockey we are likely to encounter next summer.”

Glynhill Kelburne trio Ed Greaves, Jack McKenzie and Lee Morton have already experienced continental competition this season having competed in the EHL Round 1.1 in October, although club team-mate Ross McIntyre misses out after incurring an ankle injury against Western Wildcats last weekend.

PSL Team Sport Clydesdale are also well represented with five players, including Grant Scott, Michael McKenzie, Gregor Hirst, Murray Collins and Peter Baldwin.

“It’s great to get these matches so early in the season”, continued Moodie. “Everyone will get a chance to impress against Spain and we’re looking forward to the trip.”

Scotland U21 Men: Grant Scott (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Michael McKenzie (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), David Paterson (Watsonians), Jamie Wong (Edinburgh University), Gregor Hirst (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Murray Collins (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Andy Malcolm (Inverleith), Ed Greaves (Glynhill Kelburne), Peter Baldwin (PSL Team Sport Clydesdale), Gordon Amour (Edinburgh University), Fergus Sandison (MHC Ede), Craig Falconer (Sardinero), Jake Hibbert (Durham University), Lee Morton (Glynhill Kelburne), Jack McKenzie (Glynhill Kelburne), Scott Lindsay (White Star), Aedan McCrossan (Edinburgh University).
Match Schedule:
26 November, 17.00, Scotland U21 v Spain, Madrid
27 November, 17.00, Scotland U21 v Spain, Madrid

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Dunfermline CHC increasing participation with new facility

Hockey’s happening in Central Fife




It’s been a year since the new sand based pitch was built at the Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes and since the beginning of Summer 2013 Dunfermline Carnegie HC are doing all that they can to increase hockey in the Fife area.

Dunfermline Carnegie HC realised that to create a hockey base in Glenrothes it would take more than just moving senior games to the pitch. They also wanted to build on their success of developing their youth activity in Dunfermline & West Fife area.

In 2012 work began ahead of the pitch being completed to create a youth session at Balwearie High School in Kirkcaldy, this being the only pitch in the area. This session was aimed to start to raise interest amongst the local schools for hockey. In the meantime, plans were put in place to kick start a full programme once the new pitch became available. Awards for All funding was secured for the facility and coach costs and links were made to Active Fife (Sports Development & Active Schools).

The new pitch opened in early summer 2013 and DCHC started the 2013-14 season with an open day at Glenrothes for seniors and juniors. They also rolled out a programme of school tasters to 18 primary schools around Glenrothes and started up a youth session on a Tuesday evening, this resulted 20 new youth players regularly attending the session. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, a recent games day at Glenrothes saw 36 youths attend, with over half new to the club.

They didn’t just focus on the youth development of the club as DCHC started up a ‘Come Back to Hockey’ session for adults to encourage ex-players back into hockey. This has been a real success, particularly for the ladies section. The ladies now have enough players to start up a 3rd XI that are playing friendly fixtures and with a new coach; a local gentleman who also wanted to come back to hockey and do more than play.

As well as attracting new players to the club, the project has increased the volunteer base with five new teacher volunteers and four new club volunteers helping deliver the activities. This has been crucial to the success of the project with the new volunteers in Dunfermline are able to free up coaches to lead the central Fife project. The next stage of the project will see club coaches mentoring the new volunteers to help them firmly establish hockey within the schools. A STIX course and equipment loan (via Active Fife) has also helped to support the primary schools.

Now that the Glenrothes activity is well established, the next step is to replicate the structure in Kirkcaldy. The new Kirkcaldy Sports Centre is providing a new indoor facility for the club and school tasters that have been put on have started to attract pupils to their indoor and outdoor sessions. These sessions will act as a feeder into the main youth sessions in Glenrothes and will be an important local opportunity for players in Kirkcaldy to take the first step into a club hockey.

The challenge in Kirkcaldy and across Fife is to grow the participation for Secondary pupils. With new competition opportunities for the schools we hope to see an increase in participation in schools and the club. With the success and experience they have gained so far, the club are in a good position to continue to grow, raise the profile of hockey in Fife and widen their base of players, coaches and volunteers for a strong sustainable future for the club.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Tickets on Sale for Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Men 2013

Ticket Prices Rs. 50 for General Admission and Rs. 1000 for VIP Seating - Tickets can be booked online at www.ticketgenie.in

New Delhi : Hockey India is pleased to announce the commencement of the ticket sales for the forthcoming Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Men 2013 to be held at Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium in New Delhi from 6-15 December 2013.

The tickets can now be booked online at www.ticketgenie.in which is the official Ticketing Partner of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Men 2013.

The prices of the tickets will be Rs.50 for General Admission and Rs. 1000 for VIP seating. Each ticket entitles the spectator to watch all the matches being held on each day. The stadium has the capacity of accommodating almost 16,000 spectators.

Hockey India Secretary General Dr. Narinder Batra said we are looking forward to the participation of hockey lovers to cheer not only Team India but also all participating nations. Keeping the spirit of Hockey Lovers we have decided to keep the cost of ticket just Rs. 50. This would entail maximum participation of spectators.

To encourage hockey fans to watch all India games, the timings of Indian matches are scheduled at 2000hrs in the pool stage.

The ten day event will feature sixteen international teams fight it out for the title playing 44 matches at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The tournament schedule is set with four pools of four teams followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals, classification and medal matches. Pool A will feature Germany, Pakistan, Belgium and Egypt, while Australia, Spain, Argentina and France are competing in Pool B. India is placed in Pool C with The Netherlands, Korea and Canada will challenge each other in Pool C with England, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia going head to head in Pool D.

The opening day of the event (Friday 6 December 2013), will feature all sixteen teams including India who will open its campaign against The Netherlands in Pool C, followed by matches against Canada on 7 December and Korea on 10 December.

Stick2Hockey.com



Tickets on sale for junior men's hockey World Cup

NEW DELHI: Hockey India (HI) on Wednesday announced the commencement of the ticket sales for the forthcoming Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Men to be held here at Major Dhyan Chand National hockey stadium from December 6 to 15.

The prices of the tickets will be Rs. 50 for general admission and Rs. 1000 for VIP seating. Each ticket entitles the spectator to watch all the matches being held on each day at the stadium, which has the capacity to accommodate almost 16,000 spectators.

"Keeping the spirit of hockey lovers we have decided to keep the cost of ticket to just Rs. 50. This would entail maximum participation of spectators," Narinder Batra, HI secretary general, said.

"To encourage fans to watch all India games, the timings of Indian matches are scheduled at 2000hrs in the pool stage," he added.

The tickets can be booked online at www.ticketgenie.in, which is the official ticketing partner of the event.

The 10-day event will feature 16 international teams, divided in four pools of four teams each, who will fight it out for the title playing 44 matches.

Pool A will feature Germany, Pakistan, Belgium and Egypt, while Australia, Spain, Argentina and France are competing in Pool B.

India is placed in Pool C along with The Netherlands, Korea and Canada. Pool D consists England, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia.

The first day of the event (December 6) will witness India opening their campaign against The Netherlands, followed by matches against Canada on December 7 and Korea on December 10.

The Times of India



V Baskaran Deputy coach for Senior Men Hockey Team

Hockey India appoints V Baskaran as Coach of the Senior Men Hockey Team


New Delhi, 20 November 2013: Hockey India today announced the appointment of Olympic Gold Medalist Mr. V Baskaran as Coach of the Senior Men Hockey Team. Mr. Baskaran will work under the recently appointed Chief Coach Mr. Terry Walsh.

Mr. Baskaran has joined the training camp of the senior men hockey team at SAI Centre, Bhopal for preparations of the FIH World League Finals in Delhi in January 2014 and the FIH World Cup to be held in The Netherlands next year.

“Mr. Baskaran will form an integral part of the coaching staff headed by Mr. Terry Walsh. I am sure his valuable experience will help the Indian team in its 2014 World Cup and help take Indian hockey to new heights”, said HI General Secretary Narinder Batra.

Baskaran said “It’s a pleasant comeback for me with the senior men national team. It will be excellent to work with Mr. Terry Walsh for the betterment of Indian Hockey”.

Baskaran who was the captain of the team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow has 287 internationals caps and has represented India in the Olympic Games in 1976 Montreal, two World Cups in 1973 Amsterdam (Silver) and in 1978 Buenos Aires, two Asian Games in 1974 Tehran (Silver) and in 1978 Bangkok (Silver) and Champions Trophy in 1978 Pakistan (Bronze).

Baskaran coached the senior men national team for ten years. Under his coaching India had played 187 matches including major tournaments such as the Olympic Games in 2000 (Sydney), two World Cups in 1998 in Utrecht and 2006 in Germany, Asian Games 2006 in Doha, Junior World Cup in 1997 in Milton Keynes (Silver) and Champions Trophy in 1997 in Chennai. In 1980, he received the Arjuna Award and in the next year he received Padamshri Award.

Hockey India



Baskaran to coach Indian team again


V. Baskaran.

Olympics gold medallist and coach V. Baskaran returns to competitive hockey as coach again for the senior team and will work under chief coach Terry Walsh of Australia.

“It is a pleasant surprise for me and am looking forward to working with Terry Walsh for the betterment of Indian hockey,” Baskaran said.

He will be with the senior team now training at Bhopal SAI Centre in preparation for the FIH World Hockey League finals in Delhi in January next and the World Cup at the Hague in May-June.

The Hindu



Baskaran to be part of Indian hockey team's coaching staff

NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Wednesday appointed former Olympic gold-medallist V Baskaran as a coach of the men's national team to work under the recently-appointed chief coach Terry Walsh.

"Baskaran has joined the training camp of the senior men's hockey team at SAI Centre, Bhopal for preparations of the FIH World League Finals in Delhi in January 2014 and the FIH World Cup to be held in The Netherlands next year," the HI said in a statement.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra felt Baskaran's experience will come in handy for the team. Baskaran has coached the team several times, the last time at the 2006 Men's Hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach.

Currently he is the chief coach of Bhopal Badshahs in World Series Hockey league.

"Mr Baskaran will form an integral part of the coaching staff headed by Mr Terry Walsh. I am sure his valuable experience will help the Indian team in its 2014 World Cup and help take Indian hockey to new heights," Batra said.

Baskaran said he was pleased to come back as coach for the side.

"It's a pleasant comeback for me with the senior men national team. It will be excellent to work with Mr. Terry Walsh for the betterment of Indian Hockey," he said.

Baskaran, who was the captain of the team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, has 287 international caps and has represented India in the Olympic Games in 1976 Montreal, two World Cups in 1973 Amsterdam (Silver) and in 1978 Buenos Aires.

He has also been a part of two Asian Games -- in 1974 Tehran (Silver) and in 1978 Bangkok (Silver) -- and a Champions Trophy in 1978 Pakistan (Bronze).

Baskaran coached the senior men national team for 10 years. Under his coaching, India played 187 matches including major tournaments such as the Olympic Games in 2000 ( Sydney), two World Cups in 1998 in Utrecht and 2006 in Germany, Asian Games 2006 in Doha, Junior World Cup in 1997 in Milton Keynes (Silver) and Champions Trophy in 1997 in Chennai.

In 1980, he received the Arjuna Award and in the next year he received Padamshri.

The Times of India



HI appoints Baskaran as coach

New Delh - Hockey India has appointed former Indian captain Vasudevan Baskaran as the coach of the senior men’s team. Baskaran will work under recently-appointed chief coach Terry Walsh.

Baskaran has joined the senior team’s training camp at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Bhopal for thepreparation of the team for the FIH World League finals in Delhi in January 2014 and the World Cup, in The Netherlands, next year.

Baskaran said: “It’s a pleasant comeback for me with the senior men’s national team. It will be excellent to work with Terry Walsh for the betterment of Indian Hockey”.

HI secretary-general Narinder Batra said Baskaran will form an integral part of the coaching staff headed by Terry Walsh and his valuable experience will help the Indian team in their 2014 World Cup campaign.

Previously, Baskaran had coached the senior men’s national team for ten years.

The Tribune



Inderjit Singh Gill 1954-2013

National women’s hockey coach killed in accident, wife injured

Gagan K. Teja




Patiala : Indian women’s hockey team coach Inderjit Singh Gill, 59, died in a road accident near Bhindera village, 14 km from Sangrur, today. His wife Daljeet Kaur also suffered serious injuries and has been admitted at the Civil Hospital in Sangrur.

The accident occurred around 2.15 pm when the two were travelling in their car from Patiala to Sangrur to meet their daughter. The car collided with a truck coming from the opposite direction when the driver of the truck lost control of his vehicle.

The coach died on the spot while his wife suffered rib fractures and other injuries, according Bakshian Singh, Balian police station SHO.

Harphool Singh, the chief hockey coach at the NIS, said that Gill had sought a leave from the camp today noon to meet his daughter, who is married to a navy officer from Faridkot and who was visiting her in-laws.

“Gill’s dedication and passion towards hockey was beyond comparison,” Harphool said. “His only aim was to see the women’s team win a medal at the Olympics. He always said it was just a matter of time before hockey regained its lost glory.”

Gill, who did his NIS Diploma in 1979, started his coaching career in 1986 and had been working with the junior & senior women’s hockey teams since 1999. Gill was part of the coaching staff of the Indian team that won a silver medal at the recent Asian Champions Trophy in Japan. He was also part of the India team in major tournaments including the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2002, Asia Cup in 2007, the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012 and the FIH World League Round 2 early this year.

Narinder Kaur Aulakh, his batchmate at the NIS, said she met Gill four days ago at the first ever alumni meet organised by Kurukshetra University.

“He was one of the liveliest players I had come across. He was always full of energy, was ever ready to help others,” Aulakh said. “Unlike many of our classmates who were doing the diploma just to find a good job, he wanted to serve hockey all his life. “

Hockey India condoled the shocking demise of Gill. “He was associated with women’s hockey for a long time and has contributed immensely,” HI president Mariamma Koshy said. “I, on behalf of Hockey India, offer my condolences to the bereaved family.”

Gill will be cremated in Barnala tomorrow.

Inderjit Singh Gill

 

  • Sports Authority of India coach Inderjit Singh Gill, who did his NIS Diploma of Coaching in 1979, started his coaching career in 1986. He worked with the Junior & Senior women’s teams since 1999.
  • Gill was also part of the coaching staff of the senior women’s team that won a silver medal at the recently concluded 3rd Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in Japan.
  • He had been with the Indian women’s team in many major tournaments, including the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, 2002 Asian Games in Busan, 2007 Asia Cup in Hong Kong, FIH Olympic Qualifying Tournament in 2012 New Delhi and FIH World League Round 2 in New Delhi in 2013.

The Tribune



Women's national hockey team coach Inderjit Singh dies in accident

NEW DELHI: India's senior women's hockey team coach Inderjit Singh Gill on Thursday passed away in a fatal road accident near Sangrur in Punjab.

His wife suffered serious injuries in a road accident that took place when their car collided with a truck, police said. Both of them were on their way from Patiala to Dhanaula.

Gill died at the age of 59. He was a Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach who did his NIS Diploma of Coaching in 1979.

Gill started his coaching career in 1986 and was working with the junior and senior women hockey teams since 1999.

Gill was also part of the coaching staff of the senior women's team that won the silver medal at the recently concluded third women's Asian Champions Trophy in Japan.

He was also part of the Indian women's team in major tournaments, including the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, Asian 2002 Games in Busan, 2007 Asia Cup in Hong Kong, 2012 FIH Olympic Qualifying Tournament in New Delhi and FIH World League Round 2 in New Delhi early this year.

Hockey India today condoled the sudden demise of Gill. "The untimely demise of Inderjit Singh Gill is a big loss to all of us in the hockey fraternity. He was associated with the Indian women's hockey for a long time and has contributed immensely for the development of our women teams," HI president Mariamma Koshy said.

"I, on behalf of Hockey India, offer my condolences to the bereaved family."

The Times of India



Kalinga Lancers for hockey league launched

Ahead of the second edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday formally launched Kalinga lancers, the latest franchise to join the tournament.

Patnaik also unveiled Kalinga Lancers' logo and jersey for the members of the Odisha team.

The Lancers would be the sixth team in the tournament which is scheduled to start from January 23 next year.

The state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) have joined hands and formed Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company to own the franchise.

An agreement was also signed between Odisha Sports Development, Promotion Company and HIL in the presence of the chief minister and HIL officers led by its general secretary Narendra Batra.

The company has, meanwhile, set up a special purpose vehicle with the objective of promotion of sports and welfare of sportspersons of the state with authorised share capital of Rs 50 lakh each.

Kalinga Stadium which boasts of synthetic hockey surface conforming to the international specification will be a venue for the league matches of the tournament.

Former India captain Dilip Tirkey is the chief mentor and advisor of the special purpose vehicle.

Terry Walsh has been named as the coach of the Kalinga Lancers.

With a rich history in hockey, Odisha has produced international players like Ignes Tirkey, Dillip Tirkey, Lazarus Barla, Michael Kindo and 15 other known players in recent years.

The franchise would promote sports at grass-root level, the chief minister hoped.

He said that the franchise would enhance the city's image on an international scale as many international sports events would be held and the state would be a part of the global league.

Hockey Asia



Hockey India coach Terry Walsh appointed as chief coach of Odisha's newly created Kalinga Lancer team


Hockey India coach Terry Walsh appointed as chief coach of Odisha's newly created Kalinga Lancer team

Hockey India coach Terry Walsh has been appointed as the chief coach of Odisha’s newly created Kalinga Lancer team, said chief adviser Dillip Tirkey. Australian striker Terry twice played in the Olympic. Presently working as coach for the senior hockey team of India. We are proud that Terry would guide our State team and he will accompanied by experienced Lajrus Barla as assistant-coach, added Dillip. The joint venture between the

State-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha (Idco) and Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd (MCL), a Coal India subsidiary are the new franchise of the sixth team (Kalinga Lancer) in the 2nd Edition Hockey India League, a professional league for field hockey competition in the country to be held from January 23 to February 23.

The team would be comprised of 24 members in which 10 overseas players would get the chance, the franchise owner would spend total ` 3.5 crores for the players auction, said chief adviser Olympian Dillip Tirkey.

Hockey Asia



D-Day for Malaysian Juniors



It will be D- day for eight players vying for three players in the final 18 to represent Malaysia in the Junior World Cup to be held in New Delhi from the 6th to 15th December.

After three years of preparation, the players are well aware of the expectations of the coaches and the fact that the decision of which 18 actually board the plane to Delhi comes barely two weeks to the start of the tournament actually augurs well for hockey in the country.

“We are still deliberating on who the three players will be and will hold a final discussion tonight,” said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

“All the players have shown tremendous determination and this has made the selection a difficult one.

“We will inform the players on Thursday morning and only after that will the names be released. One thing is certain, the selection is done on the requirements of the team as well as their performance over a period and not just over the last few days.”

Though the press conference to name the final 18 will happen today (Thursday), in actual fact 15 players had already done enough to convince the panel of coaches that they deserve to be penned in since the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup in September.

After the tournament, where Malaysia finished runners up, losing 3-0 to India in the final, it was a case of picking the final three players and it was a decision that the coaches had to make from a pool of eight players.

The eight who were given plenty of playing time on the tour to India last month and the four friendly matches against Egypt earlier this month are - Shazrul Imran Nazli, Mohd Aslam Mohd Hanafiah, Dangerous Lee, Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Mohd Aminuddin Mat Zain, Faridzul Afiq, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Gaffar, Mohd Hafiz Zainol and Sobirin Ilias.

The close battle for the final three spots are actually narrowed down to just six players – Aslam, Joel, Nor Aqmal, Hafiz, Aminuddin and Azwar.

Azwa and Hafiz both played in the SOJC but both are forwards, thus only one might get the nod between them. As for Joel, he has to stave off the challenge of Aslam who can double up as a midfielder and defender.

And for the final spot, with the team already having three penalty corner aces in the likes of Zulhairi Hashim, Mohd Shahril Saabah and Kavin Karthik, it will be tough for Nor Aqmal thus giving Aminuddin an edge.

Putting aside the selection, Kavin Karthik will be playing in his second Junior World Cup, having featured in the 2009 edition, thus joining M. Davendran, the only Malaysian player to have done so in 1985 in Vancouver and 1989 in Ipoh.

Those who are assured of a place

Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Meor Mohamed Azuan, Mohd Haziq Samsul, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Azri Hassan, Mohd Shahril Saabah.

The eight who are fighting for three available places

Shazrul Imran Nazli, Mohd Aslam Mohd Hanafiah, Dangerous Lee, Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Mohd Aminuddin Mat Zain, Faridzul Afiq, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Gaffar, Mohd Hafiz Zainol and Sobirin Ilias.

Hockey Asia



Rain causes havoc with schedule

By Zainuddin Muhammad


RAIN, rain go away, come again another day.

The organisers of the MHC-Milo-NSC Under-14 hockey championships in Kuala Terengganu must have been humming that nursery rhyme all day yesterday.

Heavy rain from the wee hours wreaked havoc on the day's three fixtures with matches being delayed, postponed or moved to other venues.

Terengganu Hockey Association secretary Mohd Sabri Salleh said early schedules were of no use as the rain, which started the night before, continued throughout the day.

"Morning matches scheduled for Batu Buruk had to be moved to Padang Midin as their pitch has better drainage and does not hold water for too long.

"It was a good thing that we managed to play several matches during the day and we will go into the night to clear today's (yesterday's) schedules if we have to," said Sabri after watching the match between Perak and Kedah being stopped five minutes before time due to a water-logged pitch.

But according to Perak team manager Mohd Shokri Mohd Zain, Kedah had agreed to allow Perak to collect full points from the boys' Group A match.

"We were leading 3-0 with about five minutes left on the clock and after a short discussion with Kedah officials, both parties agreed that Perak should be announced the winners," said Shokri.

"It is not easy to play in this condition as we cannot play our usual game and on top of that it is very difficult to read our opponents' game." Perak had beaten Perlis 3-1 and Sarawak 8-0 in their earlier matches.

RESULTS -- Boys' Group A: Perak 8 Sarawak 0, Penang 0 Kuala Lumpur 2, Perak 3 Kedah 0; Group B: Negri Sembilan 2 Pahang 1, Selangor 3 Johor 0.

Girls' Group A: Sarawak 2 Pahang 1; Group B: Kelantan 0 Kedah 1, Penang 4 Selangor 3.

TODAY -- Boys' Group A: Perlis v Sarawak, Negri Sembilan v Selangor, Kuala Lumpur v Sabah; Group B: Pahang v Selangor, Johore v Negri Sembilan, Terengganu v Malacca.

Girls' Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Sarawak, Pahang v Terengganu; Group B: Kelantan v Selangor.

New Straits Times



US National Indoor Qualifier Assignments Announced

Colorado Springs, Colo. – USA Field Hockey has released the 2014 National Indoor Qualifier Assignments today on usafieldhockey.com. The assignments come after a 14 percent increase in the number of applications received.

This year, both the Under-16 and Under-19 Indoor Qualifiers will enable the top 40 percent of teams to attend the National Indoor Tournament in March of 2014. This is a 10 percent increase from last year for the Under-16 division.

Per new changes to the FIH rules of indoor hockey, the 2014 National Indoor Qualifiers and 2014 National Indoor Tournaments will adopt the Hockey 5’s model, decreasing the number of players on the court from six to five.

Assignments can be found on the National Indoor Qualifiers event page on usafieldhockey.com.

The National Indoor Qualifiers, held annually during December through February, are the official qualifying tournaments for the National Indoor Tournament. The National Indoor Tournament, held annually in late February and early March, pulls together standout indoor clubs and competitors from across the nation for the opportunity to compete on the national stage and be crowned an indoor national champion.

USFHA media release



US Mens National Volunteers Time with Youth and Veterans

The US Men’s National Field Hockey Squad has kept busy the last few weeks with various clinics and volunteer opportunities around the Chula Vista, Cali. community. The clinics served as opportunities to thank sponsors, honor veterans and expose individuals to the sport of field hockey.

The team recently hosted a hockey clinic sponsored by AT&T at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. The clinic involved corporate AT&T employees and for most, the experience was their first run-in with the sport.

The squad hosted two 45 minute clinics for almost 60 participants. After introductions, the squad went on to explain the game, demonstrate basic fundamentals, and describe equipment and precautions all before they even got a stick in their hands. The participants were able to test out their skills with a small circuit consisting of dribbling, goal scoring and 3v3 small game stations.

To end, the US Men’s National Squad showed off their own skills by giving the employees a goal scoring demonstration, wowing them with drag flicks, chip shots and backhand goals. After a final huddle of “Thank you’s” and cheers for USA, the participants took a little bit of field hockey back to the office and the squad went back to practice.

For Veteran’s Day, members of the US Men’s National Squad honored those who have served in the military by participating in a city-wide event on the naval vessel the USS Midway. The USS Midway is docked in San Diego Bay, and each year, hosts a celebratory Veteran’s Day event on the flight deck.

The celebration included a variety of festivities for the whole family, food vendors, concerts, and fly overs by vintage planes. Members of the squad represented Team USA alongside the US Women’s Rugby team in the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center Booth. The squad signed autographs, handed out posters and hosted a small clinic.

During the clinic, the team set up small games for children taking part in the Veteran’s Day celebration. Games ranged from the fan-favorite “Sharks and Minnows” to goal scoring and dribbling drills. Many of the participants were not familiar with the sport, but took a quick liking to the game and enjoyed the experience of learning from Team USA athletes.

The squad enjoyed a day of growing the game with community youth and honoring those who have served in the military.

USFHA media release



SP leader advocates Bharat Ratna for Dhayan Chand

BALLIA (UP): Samajwadi Party MP Neeraj Shekhar on Wednesday said Dhyan Chand deserved Bharat Ratna and demanded that the Centre should honour the hockey player.

"Giving Bharat Ratna to Sachin is a welcome step but Dhyan Chand also deserves it. The Centre should award Bharat Ratna to him," Shekhar told reporters.

Praising Dhyan Chand he said that the player promoted hockey at the international level and did India proud.

Dhyan Chand helped India in winning gold medals in hockey in three successive Olympics games and led the gold medal winner Indian Hockey team in the historic 1936 Berlin Olympics.

The hockey wizard was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 1956.

The Times of India