News for 22 November 2013

All the news for Friday 22 November 2013
South Africa teams blast into Africa Cup for Nations finals

Egypt men and Ghana women also gunning for a place at next year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands



GOAL MACHINE: South Africa's Lilian du Plessis scored eight times in her team's 25-0 triumph over Tanzania on Thursday. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek. )

Following a high-scoring third day of action at the Africa Cup for Nations continental championships, the finalists for both the men’s and women’s competitions are now known.

The men’s final will be contested between South Africa and Egypt, while the women’s showpiece will feature South Africa and Ghana. The finals both take place on Saturday, with the winning teams sealing their places at next summer’s spectacular Rabobank Hockey World Cup, which takes place in The Hague, Netherlands. 

South Africa men cruised to 5-1 win against Kenya on Thursday, with team captain Austin Smith scoring four penalty corners. Julian Hykes was also on target as tournament favourites continued their fine form in Nairobi.

Egypt’s place in the final was sealed when they emerged as narrow victors of a thrilling contest against Ghana.  Egypt found themselves trailing 3-1 with 20 minutes left, but a tremendous fight-back was completed when Ashraf Said scored a 69th minute winner to give the north Africans a remarkable win.

South Africa sealed top spot in the women’s league table courtesy of a thumping 25-0 victory over Tanzania. Lilian du Plessis scored eight times in the rout, with Sulette Damons chipping in with four. The result saw the South Africans move ahead of Ghana – who were winners against Kenya on Thursday – on goal-difference.

Ghana and South Africa could not be separated in their league match, with the scores finishing locked at 1-1. The two will meet again in Saturday’s final, and this time there has to be a winner.

Hockey Kenya are providing regular updates on the tournament via their Facebook and Twitter pages. Click the below links to find out more.
Hockey Kenya Facebook
Hockey Kenya Twitter

2013 Africa Cup For Nations – Day 3 Results.

Ghana 3 Egypt 4
South Africa 5 Kenya 1

TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTs
RSA 3 3 0 0 17 4 13 9
EGY 3 2 0 1 8 11 -3 6
KEN 3 1 0 2 5 8 -3 3
GHA 3 0 0 3 5 12 -7 0

Women

South Africa 25 Tanzania 0
Kenya 2 Ghana 3

TEAM P W D L GF GA GD PTs
RSA 3 2 1 0 29 2 27 7
GHA 3 2 1 0 21 3 19 7
KEN 3 1 0 2 16 7 9 3
TAN 3 0 0 3 1 56 -55 0

FIH site



Smith sends SA hockey men soaring into Africa Cup final against old foes Egypt

JONATHAN COOK in Nairobi


South Africa men’s hockey team captain Austin Smith scored two pinpoint penalty corner goals in each half against Kenya at City Park Stadium in Nairobi Thursday and Julian Hykes added a second-half field goal in a 5-1 win that has sent the men in green and gold into Saturday’s final of the Africa Cup of Nations with a sizeable slice of confidence.

Smith nailed down to corners before the changeover, while Davis Wanangwe replied in a second half that had begun with the Kenyans trailing 2-0.

Earlier, South Africa’s arch-rivals, Egypt, edged Ghana 4-3 in an absolute thriller to clinch their spot in the final. It was a blockbuster affair that had the raucous Nairobi crowd on the edge of their seats heading into the final quarter, particularly since the men from the land of the Pharaohs had been trailing 3-1 with 20 minutes left.

The SA/Kenya match started badly as neither side was able to string enough passes together to make a difference and it was goalkeeper Jaques le Roux who was brought into the match first.

The final pass was still eluding both sides until the South Africans won their first penalty corner in the 13th minute and the world-class PC machine sat the ball up for Smith to deliver a trademark flash of the stick that saw the ball go low to goalkeeper James Kayieko’s right for the opening goal.

In the 15th a neat pass under pressure from Pierre de Voux allowed Beijing 2008 veteran Geoff Abbot a smart turn and snap-shot at goal. Minutes later, a visionary pass from the on-song Smith found Abbott, whose return from an international sabbatical has been a success, the Durban man’s strike going just inches wide.

South Africa were dictating the game, building attacks with care and controlling the pace, thereby negating the Kenyan counter-attacking threat. Yet seven minutes from half-time a stunning pass from Allan Iningu saw Leon Magomede’s flat-stick deflection well-covered by Le Roux.

In the 28th the SA defence were again caught napping, only for Bryan Musasia to flick past the wrong side of the post, much to the disappointment of the vociferous home supporters.

Precise build-up down the right saw Hykes win SA’s second PC and this time Smith went high to Kayieko’s right and the ball ripped into the netting to make it six from six in the tournament.

Smith added two more goals from four second-half penalty corners to cement an 80% conversion rate. Hykes scored SA’s lone field goal of the match in that second half, yet while SA could have scored more, Kenya, too, saw at least three efforts go off target.

SA have beaten Ghana 6-2, Egypt 6-1 and now Kenya 5-1 in this four-country tournament but there can be no doubt that the men from Cairo should be better in the final. The Egyptians edged Kenya 3-2 and tipped past Ghana 4-3 either side of their five-goal drubbing by defending champs South Africa, but a final is just that.

Nothing that is past counts when the opening whistle sounds - and the underdog has seen enough from previous matches to know full well that maybe, just maybe, the gold medal can be won ... and with it the coveted ticket as Africa's sole representatives at the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague.

SA Hockey Association media release



Investec SA hockey women surge into Africa Cup final against Ghana

JONATHAN COOK in Nairobi


IT was a case of mission accomplished for the Investec South African women's hockey team when they booked their place in Saturday’s Africa Cup of Nations final by beating minnows Tanzania 25-0 in Nairobi Thursday, after leading 13-0 at half-time.

Captain Marcelle Keet’s side will play Ghana, 3-2 winners over host nation Kenya in the last match in the league phase of the event, in Saturday’s 12 noon (SA time) final.

Moving the ball left and right, drawing defenders out of position and slipping passes into the pocket, SA unlocked the packed Tanzanian defence with ease and scored goals through Kelly Madsen, Celia Evans (2), Shelley Russell (2), Sulette Damons (4), Bernie Coston (3), Lilian du Plessis (8), Lisa Deetlefs, Tanya Britz (2) and Quanita Bobbs (2). Tanzania goalkeeper Flora Simbamkole was under constant pressure but had the consolation of knowing that she kept out as many as those goals that were scored.

Nine players getting onto the scoresheet was a pleasing aspect of the South Africans’ performance. Striker Jade Mayne was rested because of a knee niggle but will be fit for the final.

SA scored from nine of their 12 penalty corners, through Deetlefs, Du Plessis (6), Russell and Coston, a fact that pleased head coach Fabian Gregory. “Our percentage was much, much better,” Gregory said. SA scored one of 16 corners in the 1-1 draw with Ghana on Wednesday.

“The girls worked exceptionally hard in training on Wednesday at turning that stat around, so all credit to the corner team,” said Gregory.

“Our build-up play down the right-hand side was the standout for me,” said the coach. “Shelley Russell at right midfield, Bernie utilising her pace to go around the defence, and then Ilse Davids providing the variant with the type of ball that she plays on the inside.

“Our midfielders were a lot more direct, so in all I am pleased with that aspect but there is still a bit of work to do to bring the left-hand side up to the same level, where we were not as direct as I would have liked us to be.”

Tanzania, whose women’s hockey was resurrected recently by the arrival of their Italian coach, Valentina Quaranta, had conceded 31 goals going into the match (1-13 versus Kenya and 0-18 versus Ghana) and SA had the indirect aim of bettering those scorelines, which has now given the defending champions the psychological advantage going into the gold medal match, which will see either the girls in green and gold or Ghana booking a ticket to the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands at the end of May.

SA results to date: SA 3 Kenya 1; SA 1 Ghana 1; SA 25 Tanzania 0.
Other results: Ghana 18 Tanzania 0; Kenya 13 Tanzania 1; Ghana 3 Kenya 2.

SA Hockey Association media release



Black Sticks turn up heat against Chile


Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

The Black Sticks Women put together a much improved performance to beat Chile 7-0 in their second warm-up game in Santiago ahead of the World League Final in Argentina.

After rallying to a come from behind win yesterday, this was a much different story with the Black Sticks dominating from the opening whistle in temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius on the turf.

North Harbour’s Petrea Webster opened the scoring, with Rhiannon Dennison, Gemma Flynn and Krystal Forgesson also scoring goals to take New Zealand into halftime with a 4-0 lead.

The Black Sticks kept the pressure on in the second half with captain Kayla Sharland taking charge and scoring a double, while Forgesson also added her second goal of the game.

Along with a threatening attack, New Zealand played much better on defence and kept a clean sheet against the Chileans.

Head coach Mark Hager was impressed with the way his side responded after a slow start in game one of the three test series.

“It was a solid performance today and great to come away with a win like that in the heat,” he said.

“I thought we put together a much more complete game and our work rate and energy levels were much higher.”

Hager noted Sam Charlton and Anita Punt and stand out performers in the game.

The Black Sticks play their third and final test against Chile on Sunday at 8am (NZ time), before finalising preparations for the World League Final.

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: 7 (Kayla Sharland 2, Krystal Forgesson 2, Petrea Webster, Rhiannon Dennison, Gemma Flynn)
Chile: 0
Halftime: Black Sticks 4-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks blitz Chile in warm-up match


The New Zealand women's hockey team has blitzed Chile 7-0 in their second warm-up game in Santiago ahead of the World League final in Argentina.

After coming from behind to win the first match 6-2 yesterday, this was a much different story with the Black Sticks dominating from the opening whistle in temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius on the turf.

North Harbour's Petrea Webster opened the scoring, with Rhiannon Dennison, Gemma Flynn and Krystal Forgesson also scoring goals to take New Zealand into halftime with a 4-0 lead.

The Black Sticks kept the pressure on in the second half with captain Kayla Sharland taking charge and scoring a double, while Forgesson also added her second goal of the game.

Along with a threatening attack, New Zealand played much better on defence and kept a clean sheet against the Chileans, coach Mark Hager said.

"It was a solid performance today and great to come away with a win like that in the heat.

"I thought we put together a much more complete game and our work rate and energy levels were much higher."

Hager noted Sam Charlton and Anita Punt and stand-out performers.

The Black Sticks play their third and final test against Chile on Sunday at 8am (NZT), before finalising preparations for the World League final.

Black Sticks 7 (Kayla Sharland 2, Krystal Forgesson 2, Petrea Webster, Rhiannon Dennison, Gemma Flynn) Chile 0. HT: 4-0.

Stuff



Black Sticks capable of delivering even more

BRENDON EGAN



POTENTIAL: New Zealand women's hockey coach Mark Hager believes his team has only scratched the surface of their potential. ANDY JACKSON/Fairfax Media

New Zealand women's hockey coach Mark Hager believes his team has only scratched the surface of their potential in 2013.

The Black Sticks have been inconsistent at major tournaments this year, which is to be expected given it is the start of the new Olympic cycle.

Several experienced performers have stepped away, with promising young talents gaining their first taste of international hockey.

They have also had to contend with long-term knee injuries to two of their top performers and most capped players in Stacey Michelsen and Katie Glynn.

The Black Sticks will look to take confidence into next year's congested hockey season when they compete in the World League final tournament in Tucuman, Argentina.

New Zealand produced a disappointing third place finish at their World League Three tournament in the Netherlands in June, which was coupled with a shootout loss to Australia in the final of the Oceania Cup last month.

Hager felt the Black Sticks were capable of delivering far more than they had showed and said it was important to finish the year on a positive note.

"I think we're a long way off our best. This team is still learning how to win tight matches," he said.

"Currently, I don't think we're at that level yet. There's a whole heap of senior girls, who know what it takes, but at the moment our younger ones are learning how to do that."

The Black Sticks arrived in South America this week and are building up for the World League Final tournament with a three-game series against Chile in Santiago.

They will then head across to Argentina in preparation for their opening pool game against China next Sunday. World No 2 Argentina and Australia are also in New Zealand's group. The other pool contains England, Germany, Korea and the Netherlands.

New Zealand will have to soldier on without co-captain and 225-cap defender Emily Naylor, who is missing the event to be the bridesmaid at former international team-mate and Canterbury captain Stacey Carr's wedding.

Hager was comfortable with the depth in the squad and believed it was an ideal chance for many of the team's emerging talents to showcase their skills ahead of next year's world cup, Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy.

"I look at this [tournament] as experience and exposure. Our bigger picture is the world cup next year. That's where we really want to do well.

"It's about stepping up towards that. We know if we don't perform to our best, we're going to be under a lot of pressure."

Hager was pleased with the efforts of Black Sticks rookies Sophie Cocks, Brooke Neal and Liz Thompson, who debuted at the Oceania Cup series. He said they would be better for the experience and was looking for them to make an impression in Argentina.

The Black Sticks struggled with their retention of possession in the Oceania Cup final loss to Australia and Hager said they failed to adjust to their opponents' defensive press.

"We couldn't control the ball for long periods of time or put any sequences of passes together mainly due to what Australia were deploying against us."

Temperatures in Tucuman are expected to be hot and sticky next week and Hager said they needed to learn from that experience.

"If we're chasing the ball all day, we're going to struggle. We've got to make sure we hold possession for long periods of time."

Black Sticks' women World League Final schedule (All NZT)

December 1 v China 10.30am

December 2 v Argentina 1pm

December 4 v Australia 10.30am

Stuff



World League warm-up

Hockeyroos to play Argentina, England & Korea next week




The Hockeyroos have landed in Argentina as they commence final preparations for the World League Finals, which begin next weekend and will be shown on ABC TV in Australia and worldwide on the FIH YouTube channel.

There are three warm-up matches lined up for next week with the Hockeyroos taking on Argentina, England and Korea. Reports from the warm-up matches will be available on the Hockey Australia website and via social media. The matches against Argentina, England and Korea will not be broadcast or streamed.

The Hockeyroos begin their World League campaign against Argentina at 11:00am AEDT (8:00am AWST) next Sunday, 1 December.

The schedule including warm up matches is as follows, however, is subject to change at late notice.

Monday 25 November – 9:30am AEDT / 6:30am AWST – Warm-up: Hockeyroos v Argentina
Wednesday 27 November – 6:00am AEDT / 3:00am AWST – Warm-up: Hockeyroos v England
Thursday 28 November – 00:00am* AEDT / 9:00pm* (27th) AWST – Warm-up: Hockeyroos v Korea
Sunday 1 December – 11:00am AEDT / 8:00am AWST – World League: Hockeyroos v Argentina
Monday 2 December – 8:30am AEDT / 5:30am AWST – World League: Hockeyroos v China
Wednesday 4 December – 8:30am AEDT / 5:30am AWST – World League: Hockeyroos v New Zealand

*details of this match are still to be confirmed.

Quarter Final fixtures will be determined following the conclusion of the pool phase.

For the full schedule of the tournament and the Hockeyroos squad list visit our World League page.

See your message of support for the team displayed on the Hockey Australia website.

Tweet or use Instagram to post your message of support for the Hockeyroos using #hockeyroos and see it appear on the Hockeyroos social hub.

Hockey Australia media release



Bianca Joyce retires

South Australian to return to SA following trip round Australia




South Australian Bianca Joyce has announced her intention to retire from hockey. Joyce, who made her Hockeyroos debut in 2011 as Bianca Greenshields before getting married, has played 38 times for the Hockeyroos. Most recently, she was a member of the team that beat Argentina and Canada in Test series and won gold at the International Super Series in Perth.

The 23 year old will now travel around Australia with her husband, Tom, before moving home to his family farm in Crystal Brook, South Australia.

She made her international debut on 13 February 2011 in a 3-2 win over Argentina in Mendoza going on to earn 38 caps and scoring once against India. The highlight of her Hockeyroos career came last September in Dublin when the team won gold at the Champions Challenge.

Announcing her decision and paying tribute to those that helped her achieve her dream of playing for Australia, Joyce said, “I am forever grateful to have been given this opportunity to represent my country. It is with a sad heart that I leave this great group of girls but the future is bright and I am most excited about what awaits. 

“I would especially like to acknowledge the dedicated and loving support from my family and my husband Tom. Without their continuous support and encouragement this dream would not have become a reality.

“I would also like to thank the High Performance Program staff in Perth for their support and the expertise they instilled in me over the entire period of my scholarships.

“The South Australian Sports Institute, Hockey South Australia and my home club Port Adelaide Districts Hockey Club have all played a tremendous part in my development and I thank them for their unwavering and generous support of me, even in my absence.

“I would also like to recognise the backing of my local community in Balaklava, South Australia, and the Yorke Peninsula Hockey Association who have followed and supported me over my journey from the junior ranks to the senior team.

“Finally, I would like to send a huge thank you to the team at Kookaburra Hockey for their exceptional support and sponsorship.”

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens, who handed Joyce her debut, said, “Bianca’s been a good contributor to our program over the last three years. She was part of our Olympic squad leading up to London and has been a dedicated athlete throughout her time in the Hockeyroos. She should be proud of the part she has played. 

“Bianca was one of the most popular members of our squad and I’m sure she will be sorely missed by everyone. We all wish her the very best in her future endeavours and her life with Tom.”

Hockey Australia media release



Joel, Hafiz and Nor Aqmal make the cut

It is truly a day that the Van Huizen family will cherish. For Lawrence van Huizen was inducted into the Olympic Council of Malaysia Hall of Fame.

And hours earlier in the day, Joel van Huizen made the cut to be included into the final 18 of the national team for the Junior World Cup that will be held in New Delhi from December 6-15.

Joel had never represented the national juniors in any tournament since the team was formed and his selection was as a result of the hard work he has put in over the past few months, skipping one semester of his course in order to make the grade.

Two other players, Mohd Shahril Saabah and Muhammad Haziq Samsul are relatively new inclusions into the squad as they only played in the 2-13 edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup.

Overall it is a well balanced side with players like skipper Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Faiz Helmi Jali, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Meor Muhammad Azuan and Mohd Rashid Baharom having had the experience of playing in the national senior squad.

“We have revised the target from the initial top four target to top six having looked into the overall situation and also not to put additional pressure on the team,” said MHC Senior Vice President Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad.

“It is not that we lack the confidence but it was revised taking into consideration the change of pools. But personally I feel this team has the potential to deliver the goods.”

The team will depart for New Delhi on December 1 and will play Germany on December 3.

“We have to negotiate the pool matches and will take it one step at a time. We are looking at the first three matches and after that we will think of the last eight,” said Mirnawan who refused to be drawn into a discussion about playing either Holland or India, their potential last eight opponents.

The Squad:

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, Joel Samuel van Huizen,Mohd Hafiz Zainol, Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar.

MalaysianHockey.com.my



Kavin gets his second Junior World Cup call-up

By Jugjet Singh


G. KAVIN Kartik, 21, will have the distinction of being only the second Malaysian to play in two Junior World Cups after coach K. Dharmaraj named the Tampin lad in his final 18 squad for the New Delhi tournament on Dec 6-15.

The first was defender M. Devendran who played in the 1985 Vancouver and 1989 Ipoh Junior World Cups.

And history ran three-deep in the Van Huizen family when Joel Samuel was also selected to play for the country for the first time.

Joel's grandfather Lawrence and father Stephen had also represented the nation in various hockey tournaments, including the Olympics.

"Kavin will be a valuable asset as he played in the 2009 World Cup, and knows how to handle match pressure in a major junior event.

"As for Joel, he has never played in any tournament for the country, but he has worked hard during the recent tours and friendly matches and warrants a call-up," said juniors coach K. Dharmaraj.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has revised the top-four, to a top-six target for the juniors, which is within their reach, provided they do not bungle in the group stage.

Malaysia are in Group D with New Zealand, England and South Africa.

"I'm taking the target as a challenge for me and my players. However, right now, I am in full planning to win our first match against New Zealand (Dec 6) as a win would almost assure us a place in the quarter-finals, as we will have two more matches against South Africa (Dec 8) and England (Dec 9) to collect at least three points or more for the knockout stage," said Dharmaraj.

New Zealand finished fourth in the 2009 Junior World Cup in Johor Baru, while Malaysia ended 12th in the 20-team tournament when they were beaten 3-2 by Belgium in the classification match.

The pillars of the squad will be skipper Fitri Saari, Firhan Ashaari, Faiz Helmi Jali, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Meor Azuan and Rashid Baharom as they have the experience of playing at senior level.

The team will leave for New Delhi on Dec 1 and will play a friendly against Germany on Dec 3 as the final tune-up.

The squad -- Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri (goalkeeper), Hafizuddin Othman (goalkeeper), Firhan Ashaari, Fitri Saari (capt), Rashid Baharom, G. Kavin Kartik, Syamim Yusof, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Meor Azuan, Haziq Samsul, Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Azri Hassan, Zulhairi Hashim, Faiz Helmi Jali, Shahril Saabah, Joel Samuel van Huizen, Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar, Hafiz Zainol.

New Straits Times



Perak defeat defending champs KL in U-14 hockey meet

by S. Ramaguru


PETALING JAYA: It was the clash of champions when Perak met Kuala Lumpur in their Group A match in the MHC-Milo-NSC National Under-14 Championships in Kuala Terengganu on Thursday.

Perak, champions in 2005 and 2006, took a big step towards qualifying for the semi-finals when they defeated defending champions KL 4-2 in what was their fourth win in as many matches.

They now lead Group A with the maximum 12 points, while KL remain in second place with six points and a game in hand.

KL team manager Ali Sulaiman said that the rain during the match affected the players a little but he is confident they will make it to the last four.

“It was a good match and (Perak) made better use of their chances. We were playing catch-up each each time they scored. The weather later in the match was a problem. But I am happy with the way we played; the players will learn from this experience,” he said.

Perak’s top striker Arief Sabron was the hero of the day as he scored all four goals from field attempts.

His goals came in the seventh, 47th, 62nd and 66th minutes. KL’s goals came from an own goal by Perak in the 25th minute and Mohamed Ishraf Irsyad’s effort in the 52nd minute.

In other Group A matches, Penang won their first match of the tournament with a 5-0 win over Sarawak, while Kedah and Perlis drew 1-1, with both teams having four points each. Both Kedah and Perlis have a slim chance of making the cut but would need to win their remaining matches.

The semi-final race in Group B remains wide open with Selangor, Johor, Terengganu and Malacca in the running.

Johor, last year’s runners-up, defeated Negri Sembilan 1-0 while Terengganu beat Malacca 6-4. In the other Group B match, Selangor defeated Pahang 3-1.

In the girls’ category Terengganu and KL are in command in Group A with six points after two matches played.

Another win by both teams will put them in the last four.

KL defeated Sarawak 3-0 while Terengganu defeated Pahang 8-1 on Thursday.

Meanwhile, in Group B, Kedah, Penang and Selangor are in the running for the two semi-final berths.

Selangor took over as Group B leader on Thursday after thrashing Kelantan 8-0. They lead Penang and Kedah on goal difference.

The Star of Malaysia



Egara’s winning streak ends with tie against Complutense

SPAIN: After winning their opening six Spanish Liga matches, former Euro Hockey League semi-finalists Club Egara’s 100% record came to an end when they drew 2-2 with CH Complutense at the weekend.

Despite the draw, Egara remain the only unbeaten team and sit top of the Liga on 13 points, one point ahead of EHL competitors RC de Polo Barcelona, who claimed a stunning 8-1 win at Atlético San Sebastián.

Atlétic Terrassa are level on points with RC Polo thanks to a 5-1 win at RS Tenis, while Club de Campo Madrid – 5-1 winners over Sardinero - and CH Complutense are both on 10 points.

Spanish league results – 17 November
Junior FC 1-1 UD Taburiente
Club Egara 2-2 CH Complutense
RS Tenis 1-5 Atlètic Terrassa
RC Jolaseta 6-0 CH Barrocás
Club de Campo 5-2 Sardinero
Atlético San Sebastián 1-8 RC Polo

Euro Hockey League media release



Hillhead aim to draw level at the top with Glynhill Kelburne

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1 – Preview


Hillhead men face league leaders Glynhill Kelburne on Saturday at both team’s home pitch at Glasgow’s National Hockey Centre.  The Paisley outfit have found form after an indifferent start to the season.  Recent losses to Western and Grange will serve as a warning to Joss’s men as they look to put pressure on the champions elect.  The last time the two sides met Glynhill Kelburne were comfortable 4-1 winners. Both teams have improved since then. A win for Glynhill Kelburne could see them open up a six point lead at the top, whereas a win for the westenders would see them join Glynhill Kelburne at the top.

There is another intriguing encounter in Dundee, where fifth placed PSL Team Sports Clydesdale play sixth placed Grove Menzieshill in a crucial mid table clash.  Both teams will be disappointed with their league position at this stage in the season and will be only too aware of the importance of a win in this fixture.   There will be great pressure on Anderson’s men, with defeat leaving them up to fifteen points off the top, with only five games to play.  The two sides could not be separated at Titwood earlier in the season.  This promises to be a very competitive encounter that will be decided on the slightest of margins.

At the foot of the table, bottom sides AAM Gordonians and Dundee Wanderers meet at Counteswells.  Both teams are on five points, and with Inverleith above them on eight points, the possibility of moving up the league is the incentive for both teams here.  AAM Gordonians will go into the match with a certain degree of confidence having won 4-1 in Dundee back in September.  Both teams have struggled for form in recent weeks, with neither team returning with three points in the last five fixtures.

The final fixture on the card sees Inverleith up against Edinburgh University at Peffermill.  With the two sides separated by a single point this is tipped to be a close game.  Going into the match, Edinburgh University have the greater momentum with only one defeat in their last five outings, meanwhile Inverleith have lost three of their last five matches.  Both teams though have greatly improved through the season and will both be confident of a positive result as they look to push up the table.  A successful outing for the students will be depend on their ability to stifle Adam MacKenzie’s set piece threat.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 1 – Preview

On paper the closest match of the weekend sees fourth placed Dundee Wanderers travel to play a resurgent CALA Edinburgh who now sit in sixth after a return to form in recent weeks, with wins against Western Wildcats and Glynhill Kelburne.   Dundee Wanderers have also been in good form with wins against lower opposition.  The teams played in late September, with Dundee prevailing 4-1 on Tayside.

Other Capital side Grange are also at home, welcoming fifth placed Glynhill Kelburne to Peffermill.   Despite their higher placing in the league, Grange have had the better recent run form with a draw and a win in their last five outings.  Glynhill Kelburne by contrast have lost four of their last five matches.    A win against GHK last weekend was Grange’s first of the season and may give them confidence going into this fixture.  Grange will have to find their form though to reverse a 2-0 defeat earlier in the season.

Western Wildcats face the ominous task of hosting league leaders Grove Menzieshill at Auchenhowie on Saturday.  So far this season, Edinburgh University have come closest to upsetting Menzieshill’s impeccable start to the league.  Having only conceded seven goals in twelve matches, Western will be hard pushed.  However, a steely performance against Edinburgh University earlier in the season shows that on their day the young Wildcats can prove a hard team to beat.  To reverse an 8-0 defeat on Tayside, the Wildcats will have to tighten defensively and starve Grove’s lively forward line of the ball.

League chasing Milne Craig Clydesdale Western should continue to put pressure on leaders Grove as they host bottom side Watsonians at Titwood. Watsonians have two points to show for their last five matches, their last win against Western Wildcats, so it looks like a struggle this weekend.  Milne Craig Clydesdale Western by contrast have won their last five matches, with the goals galore.  A seven goal defeat earlier in the season the Edinburgh outfitters will be hoping for a better performance.

The final fixture of the day sees Glasgow side GHK travel east to play Edinburgh University.   Despite losing two matches to the league pace setters Menzieshill and Western, the students are still in the hunt for the top spot, with good wins against Watsonians and Grange ladies.  Whilst the wins are still coming their profligacy in front of goal has been tamed somewhat in recent outings.  GHK will be keen to kick start their season, having faltered after a promising start, the most recent defeat to Grange.  GHK clearly have potential based on three wins earlier in the season, but will face a challenge this weekend.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Hero HIL Closed Bid to be held on 22 November 2013



-         154 players including 95 Indians and 59 Overseas have signed for Closed Bid

-         Closed Bid will see players from 14 Countries

Follow the Hockey India League Closed Auction also on Twitter @HockeyIndiaLeag or #HHILClosedBids

New Delhi - The Hero Hockey India League Closed Bid 2013 will take place at Hotel The Lalit in New Delhi on 22 November 2013, nearly two months ahead of the second season of Hero HIL.

Hockey India Secretary General and Hero Hockey India League Chairman Dr Narinder Batra said the Closed Bid would give the franchisees the chance to buy new players to replace permanent withdrawals and complete their squads for the coming season. “The base prices for the players vary from $ 2,600 to $ 25,000” he said.

“Nearly 154 players from 14 countries including 95 from India and 59 overseas have made themselves available for the Closed Bid. The Bid is expected to see a lot of competition between young Indian and overseas players. The second season will be an exciting opportunity for the young and coming talent to leave its mark on the tournament” said Dr. Batra.

The list of 95 Indians has some young talented players who have recently performed well at various tournaments. Forward Affan Yousuf who was Vice-Captain of the Indian Junior Men’s team that won gold medal in the 3rd Sultan of Johar Cup last month.

Forward Ramandeep Singh who scored his maiden goal in his debut match at the 9th Men’s Asia Cup and six goals in the 3rd Sultan of Johar Cup 2013 has also signed for the Closed Bid. Goalkeeper Harjot Singh and forward Mohammad Amir Khan are the other young talents who were part of the Junior National Team that won 3rd Sultan of Johar Cup.

Forward Nikin Thimmaiah who made his debut in the recently concluded 9th Men’s Asia Cup in Malaysia and Defender Gurjinder Singh who scored a goal in his maiden debut during FIH World League Round 2 early this year are also among the stellar attractions from domestic players who have signed in their willingness to be featured in the Closed Bid.

The list of 95 Indians comprises of 10 Goalkeepers, 16 Defenders, 27 Midfielders and 42 Forwards.

In the list of 59 Overseas players maximum number of players have signed from World Champion Australia and Argentina. The most experienced player in the Overseas list is Malaysian defender Azlan Misron with 317 caps. He participated in the Commonwealth Games 2010 (Bronze), Asian Games 2010 (Silver) and other major events including Asia Cup and Champions Challenge.

Korean Defender Jongho Seo who was member of the national team in four Olympics Games 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, three World Cups 2002, 2006, 2010, seven Champions Trophy 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009 and three Asian Games 2002, 2006, 2010 is also set to join the league is also available for the Closed Bid.

New Zealand’s trustworthy midfielder Ryan Archibald has played in 280 internationals including Two Olympics in 2008, 2012, three World Cups 2002, 2006, 2010 and Commonwealth Games 1998, 2002, 2006 and Champions Trophy 2004, 2010, 2011. He was also the part of FIH World All Star Team in 2007.

England’s experienced midfielder/forward Barry Middleton who played 275 internationals has signed for the Closed Bid. He has been key member of the England team in three Olympics 2004, 2008 and 2012. Having participated in two World Cups in 2006 and 2010, Barry has also participated in four Champions Trophy Tournaments in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012. He was continuous member of the World All Star Team from 2008 to 2010.

Spanish defender Ramon Alegre has also signed for the Closed Bid. Having an experience of 237 international caps, Ramon was Vice-Captain of the Spain team that finished sixth at the Olympic Games in London 2012. He represented his national team in Olympic Games 2004, 2008 (Silver Medal), World Cup 2002, 2006 (Bronze Medal), 2010 and also participated in the Champions Trophy from 2004 to 2011. He was selected in the FIH World All Star Team 2011.

The break-up of Overseas Players (by nationality): Argentina 12, Australia 10, Canada 2, Czech Republic 1, England 6, Germany 1, Ireland 1, Italy 3, Korea 1, Malaysia 4, New  Zealand 6, South Africa 7 and Spain 5.

In the inaugural season, 70 top domestic players including the Indian national side as well as 50 international players who are part of the national squads of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, and Argentina played for the five teams.

Of the 120 players who played in the inaugural Hero Hockey India League, 60 were Olympians. The list includes winners of the prestigious FIH Player of the Year Award including. Jamie Dwyer (2004, 2009, 2010, 2011), Teun de Nooijer (2003, 2005, 2006) and Moritz Fuerste (2012). Seven of the top 10 FIH rated players played in the Hero HIL 2013.

More than 69 million fans across the world watched the inaugural tournament. The inaugural season, won by the Ranchi Rhinos, was telecast in 146 countries. The largest marketing campaign for a hockey tournament saw record stadium walk ins and more than half a million fans liked the official Facebook page.

Star Sports, Broadcast Partner of the Hero HIL will telecast live all the matches. The second edition of the world’s most exciting and innovative hockey league will be played from 25 January 2014 with the final being scheduled for Sunday 23 February 2014.

Hockey India League media release



Olympians, former players to get complimentary tickets from HI

NEW DELHI: Hockey India on Thursday announced that it will provide complimentary tickets of the forthcoming Junior World Cup Men to former hockey Olympians and international players.

The World is scheduled to be held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here from November 6-15.

"All former hockey Olympians and International players are encouraged to contact Mr. Ajit Pal Singh and Dr RP Singh, Selector Hockey India to request their tickets," an HI release said.

"It would a privilege for Hockey India to invite all former hockey Olympians and international players to witness the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Men. Their presence will be a great motivation for the young Indian team who is ready for the challenge and all the organisers of the tournament," Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra said in the release.

The 10-day event will feature 16 international teams fight it out for the title playing 44 matches.

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 Times of India



Dhyanchand also deserves Bharat Ratna: Milkha Singh

BANGALORE: Legendary athlete Milkha Singh today said Dhyanchand also deserves the Bharat Ratna and that the government should honour the hockey legend.

"Dhyanchand deserves Bharat Ratna. Such a sportsman has never been born in India. The award has been given to Sachin...it's okay. Nevertheless, they should think about Dhyanchand immediately," Milkha said today.

Retired batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar became the first sportsperson to receive the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.

Milkha said Tendulkar could learn the tricks of administration if he becomes a Sports Minister.

"I have worked as the Director of Sports in Punjab. So, was I director from the beginning? These are the things which you learn (after assuming charge) - not to worry at all. If Sachin becomes Sports Minister, he will learn all about it (administration)," he said after reporters asked if a sportsman could make a good administrator.

The Times of India



Bring the Game Home

As club and high school coaches we advise our athletes to leave it all on the turf but this year at the 2013 US National Field Hockey Festival sponsored by CranBarry, you don’t necessarily have to. While all of the athletes’ energy and knowledge will be exhausted on the pitch, participating teams can take a piece of the game home with them.

Goal Sports, an official USA Field Hockey partner, is selling their elite cages used only for this tournament at a reduced price of $1,149. All 33 of the pristine pitches at Palm Beach County, Fla. will sport the state-of-the-art cages.

Regardless if an athlete’s specialty is shooting or saving, Goal Sports cages will bring your team’s training to another level.

For further details about purchasing your exclusive Festival cage contact:
Goal Sporting Goods
Jon Fishman
800-334-4625
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

USFHA media release



Excitment in Chiclayo for the Bolivarian Games



Chiclayo , Peru - Today, PAHF technical committee made a final visit to the Hockey Stadium at San Jose School, site of the Hockey Tournament of the XVII Bolivarian Games,  where work has been completed . Teams are working hard at training sessions looking forward to the coming tournament.

Ecuador’s men team will face their first ever international tournament in the opening match against Chile, a country with important hockey background.  Technical Officials are getting ready to offer their best effort in this event.

It was interesting to see stands populated with lot of young students. The young fans showed excitement when watching the training sessions of the teams. San Jose School, host of our sport, counts more than 6000 students at various levels.

Bolivarian Games legacy will boost hockey development and spread out of our sport in the region expanding hockey within Peru.

Pan American Hockey Federation media release