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News 04 March 2014

All the news for Tuesday 4 March 2014

Australia outclass

By Jugjet Singh

AUSTRALIA thrashed Malaysia 9-0 in Perth on Feb 28 in their final preparation for the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on March 13-23.

The defending champions will be gunning for their eighth Azlan Shah Cup title, against the hosts, Canada, China, South Korea and South Africa in the 23rd edition.

Malaysia went on  a playing tour of  Perth, and played a combination of Western Australian sides before the hammering by  the Australian High Performance Team.

The first goal was scored in the 31st minute, while eight more came during  a second half onslaught.

The  Aussies will come to Ipoh with a strong side, led by five-time World Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer, and nine others who competed in the recent Hockey India League.

Coach Ric Charlesworth's side look set to retain  their title as on board will also be three-time Olympian and Athens 2004 gold medallist Liam De Young.

"The Azlan Shah Cup is our last tournament before the World Cup and the squad have been picked with that in mind," said Charlesworth.

"We've selected based on a range of objectives, including load management. We've got athletes who  have played in the Oceania Cup, World League Finals and Hockey India League and we need to look after them with both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games coming up.

"Some people, like Jamie Dwyer, were rested for the World League Finals but now need to come back and play with the group."

Charlesworth added that despite the recent withdrawal of Pakistan, the now six-team tournament has the quality to test Australia.

"It's unfortunate that a couple of teams (Pakistan and France) had to pull out but the likes of Korea, Malaysia and South Africa in particular are quality teams that will be at the World Cup.

"The tournament format means that we'll also have a few two-day rest periods which is unusual in hockey but which we will experience in The Hague and at the Commonwealth Games so that too will be good preparation,"  Charlesworth added.

In the other matches in Perth against a mixed side, Malaysia went down 5-1, 7-1 and 4-2 and the only ray of hope  was a 3-3 draw.

"We took a mixed side on the tour and the results were expected, but we still have three more matches against Canada in Malacca this weekend to select the best side for the Azlan Shah Cup," said coach K. Dharmaraj.

Malaysia lost 3-2 to Australia in the final of the last edition.

New Straits Times

Ashley Jackson return boosts East Grinstead

By Graham Wilson

Ashley Jackson is back training with his squad Ashley Jackson is back training with his squad [PH]

ASHLEY JACKSON and Mark Gleghorne, fresh from their exploits in the India League, struck the pyschological blow as East Grinstead overtook champions Beeston at the top of the NOW: Pensions League on goal difference.

Both clubs, along with Reading, have now secured their places in the play-offs at Reading on April 5-6th.

The penalty corner power of the Sussex club proved decisive in their double-header with Jackson scoring twice from the set-piece, and Gleghorne scoring a field goal in a rampant 9-3 win over Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday.

Jackson gave Wimbledon only three minutes before he found the net again the next day and then at half-time before Gleghorne added his two corners in a 7-0 crushing of Wimbledon.

“It was nice to have them back,” said manager Matt Jones.

“We still have Iain Lewers to come and then we will be at full strength. Obviously, it was a hell of a spectacle out there for them in India and a different style of play but they soon got back into the nitty gritty of the Premier Division. Sixteen goals scored and three conceded is a fine weekend’s work and comes at the right time in the build-up to the play-offs.”

The Wimbledon goalkeeper Tom Millington had to go off after suffering what was believed to be a slipped disc with the score at 3-0 and field player John Harris was coerced into goal from the bench. With both clubs on 35 points with three games remaining, EG lead Beeston by a vastly superior goal difference, having scored 73 goals in 15 games.

The Nottingham club have their England goalkeeper George Pinner out injured but Sam Ward and Ben Arnold seemed to put the champions in control with goals in the ninth and 22nd minutes.

Canterbury player-coach Kwan Browne had other ideas, though, and as as he has done so many times this season pulled Canterbury back into the game with a 52nd-minute field goal. Michael Farrer converted a corner five minutes from time to thwart Beeston.

Beeston’s GB forward Ben Arnold said: “To a certain extent the pressure is now off us and firmly on East Grinstead. We will take each game as it comes and intend to sit quietly behind East Grinstead waiting to see if they slip up on the final run-in. We certainly expect Reading to be following the same approach.”

Chasing that fourth spot are Surbiton, whose Alan Forsyth scored four goals in an 8-2 win that sent Loughborough Students to the bottom of the division.

Two goals each from Chris Newman and Chris Cargo helped third-placed Reading to a 5-0 win over Hampstead while Sheffield Hallam stole a point in a 2-2 draw against Cannock in their battle against relegation.

Player-coach Jen Wilson scored a 15th-minute goal for Canterbury as they beat off the threat of rivals Leicester 1-0. It was their fourth successive clean sheet and they qualify for the women’s Investec League play-offs on April 12-13th alongside champions Reading who swept to a 5-3 win over Sutton Coldfield.

Abi Robinson struck a double for third-placed Surbiton in their 3-1 win over the University of Birmingham and fourth-placed Clifton enjoyed an excellent 5-2 win over Bowdon Hightown. Sophie Robinson scored five goals as Beeston swept aside pointless Olton 9-0.

Daily Express

Ashley Jackson at the double for rampant East Grinstead

By Rod Gilmour

On song: Ashley Jackson bagged four goals over two games for East Grinstead at the weekend Photo: ADY KERRY

East Grinstead 7 Wimbledon 0

In a memorable double header weekend, the Sussex outfit mustered 16 goals to go top of the Premier Division.

Following their 9-3 win over hapless Hampstead & Westminster on Saturday, Wimbledon were put to the sword 24 hours later.

East Grinstead welcomed back Ashley Jackson and Mark Gleghorne from the Hockey India League and the pair got in on the act with seven goals between them over two days.

Yesterday, East Grinstead racked up five penalty corner goals, Jackson’s first-half brace setting up the three points.

Tweet of the day

“On reflection, a gutting result and couldn't be more frustrated! All you can do is aim high again next week. #fighthard”
Sam Ward, Beeston forward

Elsewhere in the division…

Beeston let slip top position as Canterbury fought back from two goals down, Kwan Browne and Michael Farrar securing a battling point. Alan Forsyth kept Surbiton in a play-off hunt with a four-goal haul in an 8-2 drubbing of Loughborough Students. Reading stay two points off top after a fine 5-0 win away at Hampstead & Westminster.


Women's round-up

Robinson double inches Surbiton towards play-offs

University of B’ham 1 Surbiton 3

Surbiton are one point away from qualifying for the season-ending play-off weekend following an impressive win on the road.

Birmingham pressure had seen them take an early lead through Hannah Martin.

But with several England internationals returning for Surbiton duty, they were instead indebted to Abi Robinson’s first-half brace, a deflected penalty corner strike and a neat goal from open play.

Victory was sealed after the break when Sandra Frankland struck hard, again from open play.

Tweet of the day

“Tough out there, but a well-drilled performance from Beeston meant we simply lost to a better team.”
After 9-0 loss, Olton’s Emma Rosser looks on the bright side

Elsewhere in the Division…

Leaders Canterbury maintained their fine record when they beat rivals Leicester 1-0 thanks to Jen Wilson’s strike. Reading maintained their play-off status with a 5-3 win over Sutton Coldfield, five different players finding the net. Sophie Robinson’s five goals included a first-half hat-trick as Beeston beat Olton and West Warwickshire 9-0.

The Telegraph

Bengal register 2nd successive win in hockey nationals

LUCKNOW: Susheel Gupta slammed a hat-trick to help Bengal thrash Mizoram 5-0 in a league match and register their second consecutive win in Pool C on the fifth day of the fourth Hockey India Senior Men National Championship at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, on Monday.

Apart from from Susheel, Asheesh Sengar and Sunil Shah scored a goal each to complete Bengal's tally.

In another Pool C league match, Kunal Jagdale struck three goals as Maharashtra beat Vidarbha Hockey Association 6-1 to record their third win out of four matches, while the other ended in a 4-4 draw against Chattoshgarh.

Earlier in the day, Chhattisgarh defeated Delhi 2-0 in a Pool D league game.

Chhattisgarh took an early lead in the ninth minute through a field goal by Upendra Pillay before Shaheed Shaikh doubled the scorline in the 62nd minute.

Todays Results: Pool C: Bengal Hockey Association 5 Susheel Gupta (38th, 46th, 53rd minutes) Asheesh Sengar (18th) and Sunil Shah (30th) vs Mizoram 0.

Maharashtra 6 Kunal Jagdale (23rd, 34th, 56th), Manpreet Singh (37th, 44th) and Vinod Nimbore (70th) vs Vidarbha Hockey Association 1 Mohd Ajaz Qureshi (52nd).

Pool D: Chhattisgarh 2 Upendra Pillay (9th) and Shaheed Shaikh (62nd) vs Delhi 0.

The Times of India

Gurbaj rewarded for strong HIL show

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

Delhi Waveriders’ successful Hockey India League-2 campaign saw a number of standout performances, both from national and overseas players. But one man who shone throughout was midfielder Gurbaj Singh.

The 26-year-old’s attacking display along with skipper Sardar Singh, his incisive runs from the right flank and quick anticipation ensured that he was coach Cedric D’Souza’s go-to-man in crisis situations.

And if the HIL-2 trophy was a just reward for the team, a recall to the national camp has been the icing on the cake for the talented midfielder. Gurbaj is among the 33 national campers who will gather in the capital on March 9 to prepare for the World Cup, it is learnt.

Another player who is likely to be included for his consistent show is defender Sandeep Singh, top-scorer in both editions of the league.

Hockey India is yet to make the list official.

Said Gurbaj from Ferozepur, "I am not aware of the India list, but I am glad I contributed to the Delhi Waveriders’ campaign. It was special to lift the trophy.

"Playing for the country is the ultimate and I never lost confidence in my abilities despite being out for more than an year, I have trained every single day with the same intensity. If the opportunity arrives, I am ready for it."

Gurbaj, who has played more than 150 international matches since his debut in 2006, fell out of favour after his run-ins with former India coach Michael Nobbs.

National coach Terry Walsh said selection would be based purely on "performance".

"My view is that performance levels and form will alter in a player’s development and continue throughout his international career. When these are sufficiently high to warrant  an opportunity in the squad, we must be wise enough to provide that.

"In the end, we all want the very best available to play for the country."

He, however, refused to reply on specific queries for both the players.

"The players have to understand that performance levels are always being observed.

"The reality is that ‘there is always someone watching’. Players who provide the most in the training camps will be given the opportunities to perform in the national team."

The Asian Age

We’ve got nothing to lose, Olak

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak-PKT) are making their foray into the semi-final stage of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) after a 14-year hiatus.

But they know going any further will need a mammoth task considering their opponents are defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt, who have been unbeaten thus far.

Olak last made the semi-finals in 2000. They went on to win the overall title by beating Tenaga Nasional 2-0 in the final. Olak have three league (1997, 1998, 1999) and three overall (1998, 1999, 2000) titles to their name. After reaching the heights in 2000, they fell into the doldrums and were demoted to Division Two.

Olak, however, are back in Division One next season, having won promotion this year.

“Coming this far has been a bonus for the team. But we are not throwing in the towel just yet although SSTMI are just far too strong and we are no where near their level of consistency,” said Olak team manager Joseph de Silva.

“In the early years of the MJHL we were able to build a strong team but when the players were over-aged we could not entice new talents to our stable. During that time, the two sports schools (Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar) came into the picture and were making inroads in the MJHL.

“But now we have PKT as our sponsors and they are fully committed in supporting us in our bid to rebuild the team. This year, the inclusion of talented players from Sabah and Negri Sembilan has helped us. Now that we are back in Division One, we have to improve further on the strength of our team,” he added.

For Wednesday’s first leg, Olak will be without midfielder Mohamed Fakrul Razi as he is under suspension.

As usual, Olak will depend on the three Sabahans – skipper Mohamed Syabariq Shamsuri, Mawardi Hamirin and Maxhans Christi – to get the team going.

“We are not perturbed about Thunderbolt’s reputation. We have nothing to lose as we have achieved our target for this year. We are looking forward to the 2015 challenge. But there is no harm in giving our best in the last four and making Thunderbolt work for their place in the final,” said Joseph.

Compared to Olak’s labouring 4-3 aggregate triumph over Malacca High School in the two-leg quarter-finals, Thunderbolt scored a massive 22-2 aggregate triumph over MSP Pahang Juniors.

Thunderbolt will again deploy an attacking strategy.

“Our objective is simple and that is to win. We are gunning for the double and there will be no let-up on our side,” said Thunderbolt team manager Adam Izamry Idrus.

The Star of Malaysia

Ministry recognizes Hockey India as the sole hockey body in India

s2h team

Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, in an order, gave National Sports recognition to Hockey India to govern the sport in India.

This set at rest so many of litigations going on in many courts between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation.

The said Ministry's five page order elaborates sequence of events and court decisions of past many years and also rulings of FIH and Indian Olympic Association to support its decision.

Recently, a court in India refused to include FIH from the IHF - HI litigation.

Indian Hockey Federation, an 80-year old sports federation, first in Asia for the sport of hockey, was dissolved by the Indian Olympic Association in the after math of a sting operation by Aaj Tak television mid way through 2008. The action was in sync with the then FIH directive and also on popular demand, as India had just been failed to figure in the Olympics.

The IOA formed an adhoc committee Aslam Khan as Secretary with selection committee headed by Aslam Sher Khan.

Later, Hockey India was put in place by the combined deal of IOA and FIH, with each state asked to form a new body after merging men and women associations.

Then came the biggest twist of Delhi High Court ruling the dissolution of IHF was wrong on technical grounds, but subsequent leeway offered by Supreme Court to field Indian team by Hockey India for the 2010 Commonwealth Games changed the course in favour of new body Hockey India, since then it was only time before it is recognized by the government of India. Hockey India press release adds:

Any Nationals Sports Body needs to be recognized as the body by both International Federation as well as Indian Olympic Association. Hockey India has fulfilled both the criteria since the year 2009 wherein International Hockey Federation (FIH) as well as Asian Hockey Federation have considered Hockey India as the body and major tournaments have been organized in association with Hockey India since then.

Since 2012, Hockey India and FIH have organized major tournaments like FIH Olympic Qualifiers, FIH World League Round 2, FIH Junior Men World Cup and FIH World League Round Final.

The manner in which Hockey India has been successfully conducting International tournaments in the last few years, has helped them bag major events between 2014 -2018 which includes Champions Trophy which is slotted for later in the year and which includes FIH Women’s World League Round-2 and FIH Men’s World League Final in 2015, FIH Junior Men’s World Cup 2016, FIH Men’s World League Round Final in 2017 and FIH Senior Men’s World Cup in 2018. This effort towards ensuring that International tournaments being played in India helped Hockey India get this recognition by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports.

Hockey India has 27 Affiliated Members, 19 Associate Members and two members through State Olympic Association. Hockey India has been regularly holding National Championships since 2011 under men and women’s category at senior, junior and sub-junior levels. The 4th Hockey India National Championships 2014 are already underway. Besides this, Hockey India has also organised FIH-HI High Performance Coaching Course 2012-2015 and FIH Umpiring Seminar in 2012.


Hockey India is sole governing body

The long-standing dispute over the administration of hockey in the country appears to be coming to an end with the Sports Ministry finally recognising Hockey India (HI) as the game’s sole governing body.

In a letter dated February 28, the ministry has stated that “Hockey India is made responsible and accountable for the overall management, direction, control, regulation, promotion and development of hockey (men and women).”

The decision, the letter states, was taken after going through all the documents submitted by both HI and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), which was suspended and derecognised in 2008. The associations have been engaged in a legal battle since then.

The letter says the government had sought evidence from both factions on June 16, 2011 to prove their compliance with requirements for recognition — a unified body for men and women, recognition from the international body (FIH), recognition from IOA, free and fair elections and acceptance of the government guidelines, along with an application form for recognition — and that only HI has fulfilled all conditions.

Interestingly, both HI and IHF have remained derecognised since August 2010 even though the ministry has continued footing their bills for training camps and international participation.

The Hindu

Govt gives NSF status to Hockey India

NEW DELHI: Hockey India's (HI) bid to be the sole body of governance for the national sport in the country, has got a shot in the arm after the Government of India recently accorded it the status of a National Sports Federation (NSF).

HI, which was derecognised by the Union Sports Ministry in 2012 for not adhering to government guidelines, internal disputes and mismanagement, have finally been recognised as the sole body for the promotion of hockey in the country by the government.

In a letter addressed to HI secretary general Narinder Batra, dated February 28, Under Secretary to the Government of India, A K Patro said that HI will be the sole body responsible for running the game of hockey in the country.

"The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India recognises the importance of the sport of hockey in India, its popularity among the masses and medal prospects of India in various international events. Keeping these factors in view, the Ministry realises the need to quickly resolve the long-pending issue of granting recognition to a federation as NSF for the sport of hockey," the letter read.

"After a careful and detailed examination of the documents on record and keeping in view all the relevant factors, Government of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has reached the conclusion that 'Hockey India' may be given recognition as the National Sports Federation for governing the sport of hockey (both men and women) in India," it said.

"Accordingly, Hockey India is made responsible and accountable for the overall management, direction, control, regulation, promotion and development of the sport discipline, i.e. hockey," the letter added.

The letter further said that in order to get assistance and continued recognition from the Sports Ministry, HI will have to follow the guidelines of the government and the National Sports Development Code of India.

Batra thanked the Sports Ministry for recognising the federation's efforts and said it was a "moment of pride" for the entire hockey fraternity.

"It is a moment of pride for not only Hockey India but even for players and coaches who have worked towards this goal in their own ways and efforts," he said.

"Our endeavour will always be to make hockey the number one sport in the country and we aim to motivate the Indian team to achieve feats which Indians will remember and talk about when the history of hockey is being discussed. We will continue our effort in that direction till the time we do not achieve what we set out to do," Batra said.

In order to get the government's recognition, a NSF needs to be recognised by its international body, in this case the International Hockey Federation (FIH), as well as the Indian Olympic Association.

HI has fulfilled both the criteria since 2009 as the FIH, Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and IOA have considered it as the sole body responsible for the governance of the game in India.

Since 2012, HI and FIH have jointly organised major tournaments like the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, FIH World League Round 2, FIH Junior Men World Cup and FIH World League Round Final in India.

The manner in which HI has been successfully conducting international tournaments in the last few years, has helped it to bag major events between the period 2014 to 2018, which includes this year's Champions Trophy, FIH Women's World League Round-2 and FIH Men's World League Final in 2015, FIH Junior Men's World Cup in 2016, FIH Men's World League Round Final in 2017 and FIH Senior Men's World Cup in 2018.

HI has also been conducting nationals in all the categories since 2011, besides the Hockey India League, which completed its second editions only last month.

HI has 27 affiliated members, 19 associate members and two members through state Olympic associations.

The Times of India

Ministry's recognition for us: Hockey India

NEW DELHI: In what could finally end the controversy over control of hockey in the country, the sports ministry has made Hockey India (HI) the sole body responsible for the promotion of the sport.

"After a careful and detailed examination of the documents on record and keeping in view all the relevant factors, government of India, ministry of youth affairs and sports has reached the conclusion that 'Hockey India' may be given recognition as the National Sports Federation for governing the sport of hockey (both men and women) in India," sports ministry said in a letter to HI secretary Narinder Batra.

The ministry's letter, written on February 28, was released by HI on Monday.

"It's a moment of ecstasy for Hockey India today as we have finally been assigned the responsibility of promoting hockey in India. Government of India through sports ministry recognized Hockey India as the sole body responsible towards promotion of sport in the national and international arenas," HI said in a release on Monday.

The development is a body blow to the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) which has been fighting legal battles against HI over the control of the sport in the country.

The Times of India

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