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News 08 March 2014

All the news for Saturday 8 March 2014

Germany make it 2 from 2 against SA

Double Olympic champs Germany beat South Africa 5-1 in the second Test at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town Friday night after leading 2-1 at half-time.

This follows the world’s second-ranked side having won the first Test 7-2 on Wednesday. The third and final Test is at 4pm Saturday.

Tournament director Feico Mulder said that the weather conditions were perfect; mercifully no wind and a 14-degree Celsius temperature. Add a great crowd, lusty singing of the national anthems and plenty of fans waving their flags in the stands and the stage was set for some high-class hockey.

New SA head coach Fabian Gregory has his big squad undergoing taxing physical training on match days, as this short series over four days forms part of an intensive training camp for the men in green and gold, while it also serves to give the new team mentor an opportunity to cast his net as wide as possible and experiment with combinations before settling on a final selection closer to the World Cup in June.

A number of South Africans including regular captain Austin Smith are unavailable due to injury, studies, work or overseas club commitments.

What would have impressed Gregory was another clean sheet in the sin-bin sector of the match report, as it would his counterpart Markus Weise, the celebrated coach of the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games-winning German teams, the Europeans picking up just one two-minute sanction in the first Test.

The constructive nature of the game gave Cape Town and SA umpires Sean Rapaport and Erik Etsebeth a reasonably comfortable ride, as was the case Wednesday night when Rapaport and Port Elizabeth’s Riaan Osman wielded the whistle.

Germany got off to a quick start when Niklas Wellen opened the scoring with a field goal in the sixth minute. It took the Germans 25 minutes to add a second (31st minute), this time a penalty corner by skipper Martine Haner.

Captain Wade Paton’s world number 12 South Africans pulled one back a minute later (32nd) when Capetonian Craig Haley netted a goal from open play (2-1).

Seven minutes after the changeover (42nd minute) the prolific Florian Fuchs nailed down a field goal, which was followed by a strike from the stick of first Test goalscorer Mats Grambusch (46th) before Fuchs rounded off the 5-1 win with his second goal, which came from a penalty corner in the 55th minute.

SA Hockey Association media release

Under 18 boys beat Vanuatu to open Youth Olympic Qualifier with a win

Australia's under 18 boys got their Youth Olympic Games qualifying tournament off to the perfect start with a 21-0 win over hosts Vanuatu on Saturday afternoon. The result sets up Sunday's match against New Zealand as a "winner takes all" battle with the winner guaranteed a spot in Tuesday's final, and crucially a spot at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

Backed by a parochial home crowd, Vanuatu came out of the blocks to great effect, holding Australia to just three goals' deficit at the end of the first period. A tactical change saw the Aussie boys find their way in the second period, netting 12 unanswered goals in hockey's new 5-a-side format. Six more followed in the third period to seal the comprehensive victory.

Speaking afterwards, Head Coach David Guest said, "We had a slow start; we were caught a little by how well Vanuatu responded to the boisterous home crowd. After the first period we made some tactical changes and that made the difference. We went from rolling substitutes to full line changes of four players and the guys became used to playing with their mini group."

Talking about the result, he added, "It's a step in the right direction towards the top two. On and off the field the team has bonded well and that will stand us in good stead as we look to progress to the final. We know the winner of our game against New Zealand will go through and qualify for the Youth Olympic Games so I'll really be pressing that home to the team."

Australia take on New Zealand for a place at Nanjing 2014 at 3:45pm AEDT on Sunday. New Zealand beat Fiji 17-0 in their opening match.

Simon Benetti 4, 29, 33
Isaac Farmillo 6, 13, 19, 26, 33
Tim Howard 8, 14, 27
Corey Weyer 15
Kurt Lovett 16, 23, 24
Andrew Scanlon 17, 18, 30
James Benetti 19, 20
Danny Fletcher 23


(All Australian goals were field goals)

Hockey Australia media release

Uttarakhand beat J&K 5-3

Lucknow - Namdhari XI, Bihar, Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd. and Uttarakhand resgistered easy victories in their respective pool matches of the fourth Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2014 at Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

In Pool A, Namdhari thrashed Gujarat 9-0 to claim their first win in the tournament. Namdhari went all out from the beginning of the match, and took a 2-0 lead when Bhagat Singh Dhillon converted two penalty corners in the fifth and 15th minutes before Santa Singh (27th) and captain Kuldeep Singh (29th) extended their lead to 4-0 at halftime through field strikes.

After the change of ends, Namdhari pumped in five more goals to complete the rout. Udham Preet Singh scored two goals (37th, 54th) while Avtar Singh (50th), Mehkeet Singh (54th) and Gurjant Singh (68th) found the net once each for the winners.

In another Pool A match, Bihar defeated Rajasthan 4-2. in Pool A. In the first match of Pool B, Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd routed Goa 13-0, while in the other game of the same pool Uttarakhand beat Jammu and Kashmir 5-3.

Result: Pool A: Namdhari XI 9 Bhagat Singh Dhillon (5th, 15th); Santa Singh (27th); Kuldeep Singh (29th); Udham Preet Singh (37th); Avtaar Singh (50th); Hartaj Singh Aujla (53rd); Mehkeet Singh (54th); Gurjant Singh (68th) vs Gujarat 0.

Pool B: Mumbai 13 Manprit Singh Chahal (11th, 28th, 61st, 62nd); Harjit Singh (33rd, 56th, 63rd); Ambika Pratap Singh (50th, 67th); Nitin Kumar Nandanoori (13th); Sajit Lakra (26th); Tyron Pereira (31st); Amit Goswami (64th) vs Goa 0; Uttarakhand 5: Amit Aswal(18th); Prakash Mehra (23rd, 44th); Manoj Tamta (46th); Vijay Pal (49th) vs J&K 3: Amrinder Singh (8th); Sunil Kalsotra (22nd); Amarjeet Singh (69th).

The Tribune

Sadha slams hat-trick in Chhattisgarh win

Sunil Subbaiah

MYSORE: Sadha Sengar slammed in five goals including a hat trick as Chhattisgarh outclassed Goa 13-0 at the 4th National Junior Hockey Championship for women at the Chamundi Vihar hockey turf here on Thursday.

Sadha was the star of day as she scored thrice in the space of four minutes. Besides Sadha, Akanksha Parmar too was impressive, chipping with three goals. It was striker Upsana Singh, who opened the goal glut in the sixth minute.

If not for custodian Chitra Naidu, who made several impressive saves, Goa would have lost by a much bigger margin. Chhattisgarh defensc was solid while their midfielders combined well to make way for their strikers to find the target with regularity.

In another match, Manipur rode on Gitarani Devi and Chaoba Chanu for a 2-0 win over Uttarakhand.

Results: Pool 'C': Chhattisgarh: 13 (Upsana Singh 6 & 64; Akanksha Parmar 15, 17 & 63; Sadha Sengar 10, 44, 46, 48 & 65; Seema Verma 34; Neeraj Rana 49; Kratika Chandra 66) bt Goa: 0; Himachal Pradesh vs Hockey Mizoram (Cancelled as both teams failed to register); Vidarbha: 13 (Reshma Urkunde 12, Niharika Thakur 22 & 30; Ashwini Shinde 37; Laxmi Khandare 38; Manali Khewala 53, 55, 57 & 62; Tanvi Badki 59 & 61; Sharau Shiwankar 67) bt Tripura 0; Manipur: 2 (Gitarani Devi 5; Chaoba Chanu 26) bt Uttarakhand: 0.

The Times of India

Cedric D’Souza: “2002 made me stronger”

K Arumugam

Sportsmen live as long as sports do, and those who torment them perish as time wears on. This is in a nutshell latest piece of story in the case of successful coach and former Bombay player Cedric D’Souza.

Cedric D’Souza, a goalie in his playing days, lifted Delhi Waverriders, a franchise in the hockey world’s costliest entity, Hockey India League, from defending finalists to reigning champions, recently.

Delhi Waverriders defeated in-form Punjab Warriros, led by Jamie Dwyer and coached by Barrry Dancer, only coach to give Australian men their long due Olympic gold, last fortnight in the finals of the HHIL 2014.

But the same coach and his support staff, who gave India its first FIH title and a slot in the Champions Trophy in many years, underwent a humiliation of sort during the early 2000s. An episode that will dot the chequered modern history of India, forever.

When then Chief Coach Cedric was sacked midway through the 18-team Kuala Lumpur 2002 World Cup, the KPS Gill’s Indian Hockey Federation became the first National Federation in the hockey world to do so – chief coach asked to leave in between a tournament.

“This only made me stronger”, said Cedric who was recently in Delhi to participate in the thanksgiving party thrown by Wave group, owners of Delhi Waveriders.

“Yes, I had to return midway through, but it only made me to work harder and challenge myself, prove to myself”, the suave coach said with spark in his eyes.

Being the lone FIH Master Coach in India that time, Cedric felt that the global hockey community stood by him, and embraced him.

“Yes I left India, but the world took it on me. I got opportunity to train other nations and clubs in Europe. Never even a minute I was away from hockey sport”, he emphasized.

Cedric trained national hockey team of Greece, the host of the 2004 Olympics, in 2003 and 2004 giving a shot for the team to qualify for the home Olympics, which did not happen. Then, he went on to train clubs in Europe before relinquishing an assignment in Austria to take up HHIL 2014 responsibility recently.

With almost Asian teams in the pool, Cedric’s India was expected to well in the 2002 number, but it was not to be. India started their campaign with a draw against Japan before going down to Malaysia and South Korea.

Some of the loses were so close and the goals conceded were so astonishing that forced analyst Cedric casually comment: “I expect a divine intervention”.

Along the course, the IHF found fault in his choice of players, wanted Baljit Singh Saini, current Junior India coach, as substitute, not in the first eleven as Cedric used him despite prompting to this end by the IHF. Cedric, who trained the boys for long spells in Ipoh, did not listen, and had to face the axe.

“When the coach expect divine to intervene, why can’t IFH intervene,” said the IHF justifying its decision in a largely attended press conference in which Ric Charlesworth was present as a writer. Cedric, his assistant coach Man Mohan and doctor Pugalenthi left Kuala Lumpur, leaving another assistant coach CR Kumar to continue with a just arrived doctor Tuli.

Earlier, Cedric’s boys won the First Champions Challenge in Kulala Lumpur in 2001 with Baljit Singh Dhillon at the helm, which gave India its entry for the Champions Trophy in six years, and then got India qualify for the World Cup despite shaky opener against New Zealand in the Manchester World Cup Qualifier, of which Narinder Batra was the manager.

Before returning to national scene in 2000 December, Cedric trained Indian team for the 1994 World Cup and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. India finished fifth in the World Cup while a distant seventh in the latter.

The HHIL 2014 has surely brought Cedric back in the limelight, as his team wins the Cup despite the presence of ‘world’s best’ coaches in charge of other franchises. Only time will tell as to which will be his next destination. The club in Austria, where he was till recently attached with, faces financial crunch, and for sure he is not going back immediately.


Division Two players get national call-up

By Jugjet Singh   

NATIONAL Juniors coach Arul Selvaraj named 25 trainees for the 2016 Junior World Cup yesterday, with Division Two outfits Politek-KPM and Olak-PKT providing six and three players respectively.

This was a pleasant surprise, as in previous selections, Junior Hockey League Division Two teams normally do not have players who are good enough to break into the National Juniors training.

Division One champions SSTMI Thunderbolts, as expected, contributed seven players, while the rest were from UniKL Young Guns, MSP Juniors and Petaling Jaya City Council.

Arul also selected five other players as attachment.

"Time is not on my side and that's why I selected players who are 19 and 18 years old as the immediate target is the Junior Asia Cup which is the World Cup Qualifier."

Malaysia won the last Junior Asia Cup gold medal in Malacca, and went on to finish fourth in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi last December.

"We have placed a bid to host the Junior Asia Cup, and the Asian Hockey Federation will decide on the hosts in April when they hold their congress in Sri Lanka.

"Hopefully we will be awarded the host job, as home ground advantage saw us qualify for the last Junior World Cup," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation senior vice president Nur Azmi Ahmad.

"Although the players would be released to play in the Malaysia Hockey League  Division One for their respective clubs, I have an understanding with the coaches to release players on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays so I can train them for the Razak Cup and the Premier Division of the MHL," said Arul.

Nur Azmi  said  national coaches should not get themselves involved in playing for clubs or their states in the Razak Cup, and the Premier Division of the MHL.

"I will bring out this matter in the next MHC Executive Board meeting as it has come to my attention that several current assistant junior coaches might be playing for clubs in the MHL Premier Division.

"Personally speaking, I don't think this is right,"  said Nur Azmi.

Project 2016 training squad: Thunderbolts -- Aminudin Zain, Najmi Farizal, Najib Hassan, Firdaus Omar, Sufi Ismat, Azril Misron, Amirol Aideed.

UniKL -- Adi fazri Rahim (gk), Ashraf Alias, Nor Azrul Rahman, Jamil Johari, Azwar Rahman, Nashafiq Sumantri.

Politeknik-KPM  --  Ashran Hamsani, Kamarul Ariffin, Safeed Roslan, Ridzwan Azmi (gk), Luqman Nur Hakim, Fareez Rasidi.

Olak-PKT  -- Maxhans Christi, Mawardi Hamirin, Shabariq Shamsuri.

MSP Juniors --  Amirul Yusuf (gk).

PJCC  --  Zul Pidaus Mizun.

ATTACHMENTS  -- Hafif Elkan (UniKL), Haikal Zamri (UniKL), Rafizul Ezry (UniKL), Helmi Jaafar (PJCC), Nor Ikhwan Rahman (PJCC).

New Straits Times

Thunderbolt biggest feeder to Project 2016 squad

By S. Ramaguru

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven SSTMI-Thunderbolt players will spearhead the 25-member Project 2016 training squad.

UniKL and Politeknik Johor are contributing six players each while three Sabahans who play for Olak-PKT are also named in the team.

The other three players in the list come from Anderson, MBPJ and MSP Pahang Juniors.

Project 2016 chief coach A. Arulselvaraj named the team on Friday and said that the squad was picked based on their availability until the Junior World Cup in 2016.

“There are three other players who are aged 20 and training with the senior team. They are part of the team for the Junior Asia Cup next year, which is the qualifier for the Junior World Cup.

“They will remain with the national team until we need them or they are dropped from the senior squad.

“The 25 players we picked are all either 18 or 19 years old. They are all eligible for the Finals in 2016. We have a little over two years to prepare the team and we need to make sure they get as much exposure as possible,” he said.

Arulselvaraj said that the programme this year is rather low-key with one tour (either Australia or Europe) and three tournaments for the team.

“He said they will play in the Razak Cup and the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) as a team and also in the Sultan of Johor Cup,” he added.

Arulselvaraj also named five other players on attachment with the training team.

The Project 2016 training squad:

Mohamed Aminudin Mohd Zain, Mohamed Najmi Farizal Jazlan, Mohamed Najib Abu Hassan, Mohamed Firdaus Omar, Mohamed Sufi Ismat Rohulamin, Azril Misron, Mohamed Amirol Aideed Md Arshad (all SSTMI-Thunderbolt), Mohd Adi Fazri Ab Rahim (Gk), Ahmad Ashraf Alias, Nor Azrul Abd Rahman, Jamil Johari Ghazali, Mohamed Azwar Abd Rahman, Noshafiq Sumantri (all UniKL), Mohd Ashran Hamsani, Mohd Kamarul Arrifin Kamaruddin, Safeed Roslan, Mohd Ridzwan Azmi (Gk), Luqman Nur Hakim Saiful, Mohamed Fareed Rasidi (all Politeknik Johor), Maxhans Christi, Mawardi Hamirin, Mohd Shabariq Shamsuri (all Olak-PKT), S. Deveandran (Anderson), Mohamed Amirul Mohd Yusuf (Gk) (MSP Pahang Juniors), Zul Pidaus Mizun (MBPJ).

On attachment: Mohd Hafif Elkan, Mohamed Haikal Zamri, Rafizul Ezry Mustafa (all UniKL), Mohd Helmi Jaafar, Mohamed Nor Ikhwan Nor Rahman (both MBPJ).

The Star of Malaysia

Young Guns fired up for revenge

By Jugjet Singh

UniKL goalkeeper Muhd Fitri Jasni saves an attempt by MBPJ’s Nur Amin Zulkipli (second left) during their Junior Hockey League Milo Cup second-leg semi-final at Bukit Jalil yesterday. UniKL won 2-1 for a 7-3 aggregate win. Pic by Hasan Ismail

UNIKL Young Guns will meet SSTMI Thunderbolts in the final of the Junior Hockey League Milo Cup tomorrow.

Yesterday  in the second leg semi-finals, UniKL beat Petaling Jaya City Council 2-1 for a 7-3 aggregate win, while SSTMI Thunderbolts thrashed  Olak-PKT 8-0 for a 14-1 aggregate win.

For the record, Thunderbolts  defeated UniKL 4-1 in the league, and the Johor Sports School hold the edge as they gun for their third consecutive JHL double.

The UniKL goals were scored by Zizi Azwan in the eighth minute, while skipper Nor Azrul Rahman scored off a penalty stroke in the 61st minute.

The PJCC goal was scored by Zulaniq Adib in the 70th minute.

And the Thunderbolts goal avalanche came through  Danial Asyraf (11th), Ammar Zahan (18th, 34th), Zulhamizan Awang (33rd, 36th, 42nd), Aminuddin Zain (31st) and  Amirol Aidded (58th).

UniKL coach Rodhanizah Radzi said: "We played much better in the first leg, and the boys took it easy in the return leg but still we won and now we have a chance to avenge our League defeat to them on Sunday."

Rodhanizam, a former national player, feels his charges are now better prepared after going through the quarters and semis.

"We had a problem of scoring from penalty corners in the League and that's why we lost to Thunderbolts (4-1) in the League.

"But my players have overcome that problem in the knockout stages and we are better prepared to face Thunderbolts in the Milo Cup final," said Rodhanizam.

Thunderbolts coach Wan Roslan Rahman was elated with his team's 14-goal spree in the semi-finals.

"We expected to win against Olak and move into the final, but scoring 14 goals in the process showed that my players are primed to go for their third consecutive JHL double."

RESULTS --  Milo Cup semi-finals (second leg): SSTMI Thunderbolts 8 Olak-PKT 0 (Thunderbolts win on 14-1 aggregate); UniKL Young Guns 2 Petaling Jaya City Council 1 (UniKL win on 7-2 aggregate).

SUNDAY: Final --  UniKL Young Guns v SSTMI Thunderbolts (6pm); Third-Fourth: Olak-PKT v Petaling Jaya City Council (4pm). Both matches at Pitch I and II of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times

The double is on for ruthless Thunderbolt

By S. Ramaguru

Thunderbolt player Danial Asyrat Abd Ghani up against Olak goalkeeper Syarifuddin Mohd Zain during their Malaysia Junior Hockey League semi-final second leg match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Friday. Thunderbolt won 8-0. - SHAARI CHEMAT / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s confirmed. Defending champions SSTMI-Thunderbolt and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) will contest the final of the MHC-Milo-NSC Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) for the fifth year in a row.

Both teams saw off their opponents in the second-leg of the semi-finals at the National Hockey Stadium on Friday.

Thunderbolt routed Olak-PKT 8-0 for a 14-1 aggregate win while UniKL, 5-2 winners in the first leg, edged Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) 2-1 for a 7-3 aggregate win.

Thunderbolt have won the overall title for the last three years while UniKL were champions in 2010.

Thunderbolt were in top form against Olak, scoring six goals in the first half alone.

Daniel Asyraf started the rout with a field goal in the 11th minute. This was followed by a brace from Mohd Najib Abu Hassan (18th, 34th) and Mohd Zulhamisan Awang Abas (33th, 35th).

Mohd Aminuddin Mohd Zain’s 31st minute strike took his goal tally to 17 for the tournament.

Thunderbolt added two more goals after the break through Zulhamizam, who completed his hat-trick in the 42nd minute, and Mohd Amirol Aideed (68th).

“We did not set any target for the players other than telling them to do their best and avoid picking up unnecessary cards and injuries. We are focused on the final ... that is the match that matters to us. We want to clinch the double,” said Thunderbolt team manager Adam Izamry Idrus.

In the other semi-final, Zizi Azwan scored a field goal in the 18th minute to give UniKL a 6-2 aggregate lead.

UniKL then made it 2-0 for the day – and 7-2 on aggregate – when Nor Azrul Abdul Rahman converted a penalty stroke in the second half.

MBPJ pulled a goal back through Zulaniq Adib in a penalty corner set piece in the 70th minute.

The Star of Malaysia

Playoff spots up for grabs this weekend

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 1

Round seventeen of the men’s top league serves up some fascinating matches this weekend.  First up is the ever prolific Glynhill Kelburne against Scottish Cup holders Grove Menzieshill.  With Glynhill Kelburne assured of a play off spot the pressure is off, however, they will look to consign their opponents to a mid table finish with three points on Saturday.  A close fought defeat to Hillhead for Chris Anderson’s men last weekend effectively ended Grove Menzieshill’s slim chance of making the play offs, albeit mathematically still a possibility.  A  Glynhill Kelburne victory likely in this encounter.

There is another crucial match in Glasgow later in the day with PSL Team Sports Clydesdale welcoming Western Wildcats to Titwood.  Wildcats will travel in a confident mood having secured their place in the play offs after two terrific victories against inverleith and Grange last weekend.  PSL Team Sports Clydesdale like Grove can still make the play offs, but are relying on city rivals Hillhead not picking up any more points this season.  A must win match for John McKnight’s young team, they managed to edge a win last time the two sides met but they will have to be on top form for another win.

Hillhead men will be looking to complete a remarkable season with a result away to Inverleith on Saturday.  The Glasgow men avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, but have remarkably been in terrific form and are in need of one point from their remaining two matches to secure a play off spot.  With PSL Team Sport Clydesdale to come in their last match, Hillhead will be keen to pick up points against mid tabled Inverleith, who have come into form recently and will prove a formidable opposition.

Towards the bottom of the table bottom side Dundee Wanderers travel to Edinburgh to play Graham Moodie’s student side. Neither team is likely to make any real move up the league table with a victory in this fixture so may use this match as an opportunity to experiment with one eye on the relegation play offs which they are both consigned to.  Another tightly contested match, which is most likely to end honours shared.

The final of the weekend sees Grange host AMM Gordonians, in what is a very important match for the capital side, on the back of a resounding defeat to Western Wildcats on Sunday.  With a cushion of four points over play off hopefuls PSL Team Sports Clydesdale and Grove Menzieshill, Grange need one more win to guarantee a play off spot.  The last time the two sides played, Grange were comfortable winners, 3-0.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 1

The most intriguing fixture of round seventeen brings top four sides Dundee Wanderers and Edinburgh University together at Mayfield.  A win for the students would guarantee them second place going into the play off pot, meanwhile a win for Dundee Wanderers would maintain hope of pipping Milne Craig Clydesdale Western to third place, if other results go in their favour.  The last time the two sides met the students came out on top with a 4-2 victory.

Across the city league leaders Grove Menzieshill play Grange ladies at DISC.  Boasting a perfect record both home and away, Grange face an ominous task if they are to break the Dundonians dominance.  Grange are anchored at the bottom of the league so will struggle against the league leaders.

In Glasgow, Milne Craig Clydesdale Western ladies have the small matter of a local derby with Glynhill Kelburne ladies at Titwood.  Milne Craig Clydesdale Western will be looking for an assured performance and three points from the squad, as they look to pressure Edinburgh University's grip on second place.  Whilst Glynhill Kelburne have performed well this season against lower opposition they have not picked up any points against the top four, and will be hard pushed to do so this weekend having been loss 7-0 earlier in the season.

Elsewhere in Glasgow, GHK ladies welcome Western Wildcats to Auchenhowie for a relegation battle as the fight for league standings heats up.  Both teams have had disappointing seasons so far and will both see this match as an opportunity to build some momentum going into the relegation play offs.  The last time the two sides met at Glasgow Green Western Wildcats won a high scoring encounter 7-4.

The final match of the weekend sees CALA Edinburgh travel the short distance across the city to play Watsonians.  The capital sides are separate by a solitary point making this match a proverbial six pointer.  A win for CALA would guarantee them a sixth place finish, meanwhile a win for the Watsonian's ladies would give them an outside chance of stealing the sixth place spot off their rivals.  When the two teams met in October, they shared four goals in an entertaining draw.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Multiple top of the table clashes over the weekend

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 2

Second place Watsonians hope the home advantage will be enough to beat Uddingston this weekend, which will sure to be thriller. There was only one goal in it last time these two sides met, ending 3-2 to the league champions.

At the other end of the table bottom sides FMGM Monarchs welcome also strugglers CALA Edinburgh, both sides having lost 17 matches with CALA ahead on 4 points. They will both want to capitalise on this opportunity and will promise to be a close call.

Falkirk GHG dropped to fifth after dropping points last weekend in a tough match over Uddingston, so they will be fancying their chances over Granite City Wanderers who have jumped to seventh out of the relegation battle. Aberdeen GSFP will want to stay fourth as they face Alpha Data Carnegie at home.

Glasgow University have started to turn it around after two back to back wins they move up to ninth, they are away to Stepps who will want to redeem themselves after the back to back losses. It will be a tough task for the students away from home but with confidence on their side who knows what young lads may achieve.

On Sunday Alpha Data Carnegie travel away to Granite City Wanderers, whilst Falkirk GHG take on Erskine Stewart Melville as they battle it out for a playoff position.

Aberdeen Asset Management Men’s National League Division 3

After a tough match last weekend Giffnock will be looking to dust themselves down and look to pick up points against mid table side Waverly Inveresk Trinity. Last time these two met it was goals galore finishing 7-5 to the Edinburgh based side.

University of Strathclyde are in touching distance for a playoff spot, they welcome Harris Academy FP who sit 3 points ahead of the students. The young players just missed out on a point earlier on in the season loosing out 4-3. They will both be hungry for the points so it will a great game to look out for this weekend.

Ninth place Ayr take on bottom side ADT Aberdeen University whilst fellow strugglers Stirling Wanderers face Perthshire away from home.

Highland men face a tough takes as they travel to University of Dundee, despite last weekends loss to Perthshire have been on solids form. They won 2-1 last time these two met so both sides will be confident of taking points.

Regional League

Division 1

Top of the table clash this weekend as Grange II take on second place Thomsons Cycles Kelburne II, five points separate the two sides with the Paisly outfitters coming out on top at the start of the start of the year.

PSL Team Sport Clydesdale II travel East to face Edinburgh University II, the Titwood outfitters will want a solid win over the students so they can jump over Hillhead II.

Inverleith II sit in fifth as they travel west to face Stepps II who have faced a tough season only managing four wins so far. They will be hoping the home advantage will be enough to edge a win over Inverleith II.

Western Wildcats II play bottom side University of Stirling whereas mid table side Grange III take on Edinburgh University III.

Division 2

League Leaders Rottenrow Blue Sox travel South to face second place Uddingston II, with a game in hand and yet to loose a match the Rottenrow lads will go into this match confident of a result after beating them 6-0 earlier in the season.

A battle for the fourth spot continues this weekend as fifth place GHK take on Watsonians II as only a point separates the two sides. GHK will be looking for all three points but will struggle as fourth place Anchor have 3 games in hand. Anchor take on PSL Team Sport Clydesdale III at home.

Third place Clydeside will want to increase their point tally to secure a top four finish as they take on East Kilbride.

Glasgow University II will look to take on Livingston & West Lothian, both side needing points at the end of the table.

North Division

After a shock defeat to their thirds side Aberdeen GSFP II take on bottom side ADTI Aberdeen University II. Second place Grove Menzieshill II will want to reclaim top spot as they face AAM Gordonians III. Granite City Wanderers II play AAM Gordinains II at home.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Erskine Stewart Melville hungry for first win in 2014

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 2

Glasgow University will be looking to get all three points this weekend in attempt to move out of the relegation pool, they face bottom side Haddington. They have a game in hand as Borders Fjordhus Reivers are currently sitting on joint points with the students.

Fellow students, University of Dundee are struggling at the lower half of the table. They face inform AAM Gordonians who are sitting just one point behind Hillhead at the top.

Hillhead travel east to face fourth place Inverleith, who will want to get their first home win of the year under their belts and a few more points to secure a play off position.

Third place Erskine Stewart Melville FP travel north to Granite City Wanderers, who have not had a strong out door season this year. In contrast, the Edinburgh based side have won over half of their games played but with their last two games ending in draws they will want all three points this weekend.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 3

Top the table battle as University of St Andrews play fellow students ADTI Aberdeen University. This is the only match where the league winners have dropped points all season, finishing in a 2-2 draw against the second place students. Expect a thriller of a match from the students this weekend.

Struggling Bon Accord MBC face a tough task away from home playing Waverly Inveresk Trinity, who are sitting comfortably in fourth. Stirling University may have dropped to third but hold two games in hand over ADTI Aberdeen University. They travel away to Ayr then face Aberdeen on Sunday.

Championship League

Division 1

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II hope to extend their unbeaten run as they face fourth place Glasgow Accies who have had a mix of results this season.

Edinburgh University II welcome Milne Craig Clydesdale Western III, the students have only lost one match so will be hoping for another clean sheet.

Bottom side CALA Edinburgh II play also struggling side Grove Menzieshill A, in which Grove came out on top 2-0 last time these two sides met.

Division 2

At the end of the table, Grange EL II welcome Kelburne II, both struggling for points so will fancy their chances against one another this weekend.

Topping the table is Stirling Wanderers, they face Edinburgh University III.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Khalsa Wins Hong Kong Premier Division Hockey Title With a Game to Spare

By Bill Cox

With one game still remaining Khalsa-A has logged enough points to claim the 2013-14 Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division title.

HKHA anticipated the potential season-defining outcome and the trophy was presented to Khalsa after they completed a convincing win over Punjab-A on Sunday Mar 2. The result gave them 41 points and a lead of 5-points over their two main rivals HKFC-A and Punjab-A.

Khalsa again showed their dominant form and consistency in the Premier Division with a 5-1 win over Punjab-A, the second-placed team going into this important penultimate match of the season. A loss or draw would have opened the way for HKFC-A or possibly Punjab-A to challenge for the title in the last match of the season, but Khalsa made sure this was not an option.

Khalsa manager/coach Gurcharan Singh has put together an exceptionally high quality side and raised the standard in all departments in achieving the team’s objectives—not only in play quality and game strategy, but in team spirit and steadfastness.

Gurcharan, in his typically reserved style, commented: “We will try our best for the double,” referring to the Holland Cup contested by the Premier Division teams, which will take place in April.

Meanwhile HKFC-A had another tight and difficult game against SSSC-A, but came away with a 3-2 win to move them into second place ahead of Punjab-A on goal difference.

HKFC-A will take on Khalsa-A next week and will be hoping to retain the runners-up spot, but this is likely to be a difficult task as Punjab-A has an easier match against Valley-A. Although Valley-A have been playing well in recent weeks they will need to go the extra mile if they are to take points off Punjab.

Valley-A’s match against Shaheen-A was postponed because players were away on Hong Kong duty in preparation for the Asia Games Qualifiers in Dakar, Bangladesh starting Mar 13.

Meanwhile, in the lower half of the Premier Division, HKFC-B beat Elite-A 5-2; KNS-A dropped back further behind after a 2-4 loss to KCC-A; while SSSC-B beat Pak-A 3-nil.

Final matches

The final round of Premier Division matches take place on Sunday Mar 9: KNS-A play Pak-A and Punjab-A play Valley-A at the Valley Ground (HV1); while HKFC-B play SSSC-B and Khalsa-A take on HKFC-A at the Football Club Ground.

The other two Premier Division league matches: Shaheen-A against SSSC-A and Elite-A against KCC-A will be played on Mar 30.

No date has yet been set for the postponed Valley-A vs Shaheen-A match.

The Epoch Times

More than just a game

On International Women's Day, two star players explain why hockey is good for you

Kate Richardson-Walsh, the Great Britain team captain said recently that being a sports personality was about more than just playing the sport, it was about being a role model to women and girls. She was speaking at a parliamentary session in the UK about the importance of sport in allowing girls and women to live healthier lives and have higher levels of confidence and self esteem.

With obesity and inactivity levels among women and girls rising, the importance of getting involved in sport has never been greater. Yet, despite all the evidence that participating in team sports is good for you, only a small percentage of females regularly play sport.

We spoke to Australia's Georgie Parker and Kayla Sharland, the New Zealand midfielder, about how they got involved in sport, why hockey is so important to them and how more girls and women can be encouraged to get active.

Georgie Parker: "I grew up in a country town called Berri, in South Australia, which is a really big sporting region. I played a bit of everything growing up, but in winter there was a choice of hockey or netball. I tried netball as my sisters played it, but really didn't like it very much, so hockey was next in line."

Kayla Sharland: "I started playing at school. Playing team sports from a young age helps you make so many life-long friends. Then there are the other qualities such as social interaction, confidence, higher self esteem and the sheer enjoyment of playing with your peers."

GP: "It also gives you a great deal of self respect and respect for others, and the ability to compromise. Girls who are shy are able to feel valued among their peer group"

With girls six times more likely to quit sport than boys, why do the two internationals think so many females drop out of team sports?

KS: "I think many girls will stop playing as they become aware of other interests, both academic and social. Sometimes the cost of playing and the distance they need to travel to games can impact on their decisions."

GP: "I think it's pretty sad that so many girls stop playing sports, but I think there are three main reasons: time wise, it is hard to fit in the demands of training and playing with busy lifestyles; it can be daunting, especially if you haven't played for a while or you don't know anyone in the team – that can be quite an uncomfortable experience; and girls and women simply do not receive the same positive reinforcement about their sports participation, unlike men who are all over the media."

KS: "To overcome the problem we need to see more women role models in the community and visiting schools. There also needs to be a rethink on accessibility for women.

What qualities has sport given our two superstars?

GP: First and foremost, sport has gifted me a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Secondly, life long friends from playing the sport that I love. Not just the girls in my Hockeyroos team, but even the players and club members who helped me and supported me through the years as a junior and club player. I have also learnt many life skills from sport such as team work, respect and the drive to succeed.

KS: "Great friends all over the world, leadership skills, dealing with adversity, communication skills, passion and the drive to succeed.

Follow Kate, Kayla and Georgie on Twitter @katewalsh11 @kaylasharland1 @georgieparker

FIH site

For love, not money

As part of International Women's Day, Anna Flanagan blogs about inspiring change

On International Women's Day, Anna Flanagan blogs about her experiences as a female athlete and, in line with the theme of the 2014 IWD campaign, 'inspiring change'.

You can find Anna online at @anna_flanagan on Twitter, @anna_flanagan on Instagram and AnnaFlanagan09 on Facebook. The hashtag for IWD is #womensday.

I remember it like yesterday. It was 1-all against Germany. There were twenty thousand screaming fans on the edge of their seats. Green and gold dominated the crowd. It was a night game, and the towering lights illuminated the blue field…

It was the Olympic Games. A must win match against a team ranked higher than us, and I was stepping up to take a short corner to put us in front. I was twenty, at my first Olympics, and in the biggest stadium of my life.

At that moment in time, I blocked it all out. I saw the top left corner of the goal, my hours of practice. The ball came out, Germany was charging, I ran in and flicked the ball exactly where I saw it in my mind. 2-1 up. The crowd was on its feet and to this day I have never celebrated so hard in my life.

The power of the mind is an amazing thing. Doing what you love, striving to be the best is what all athletes are about. I am a proud member of the Hockeyroos, and I want to be in the best team in the world.

We train every day but Sunday. Sessions that last three hours in 37 degree heat, followed by gym sessions that leave you walking out like you have aged 50 years, only to do the same thing the very next day.

I have often thought if people knew what it took to be an elite athlete they would not choose this path, but that is exactly what it is, a choice. You live on a knife’s edge, constantly judged and critiqued, pushing exhaustion and fatigue, and after all of this you still might not make it.

We do it for the money though. Ha! Just kidding. We are in the wrong sport for that. This is why so many female sports people inspire me. They achieve amazing things without the lure of fame and fortune, with equal if not more dedication as those earning millions.

We all want the same thing. The hard work, feeling uncomfortable, it is a choice we make, and it is all worth it when you perform and achieve the results you are after.

I recently met rower Kim Crow at a radio interview in Canberra. She had just been crowned Australian athlete of the year at the AIS awards. I could not believe she was a lawyer and at the top of her game. Her work ethic and dedication was a huge motivation for me. Through her achievements she showed me that if you set your my mind to something it is amazing the things that you can do.

I recently graduated with a journalism degree from university, and was inspired by Kim to start a postgraduate legal studies course externally. It won’t be easy to juggle hockey - my number one priority - as well as studying and looking for opportunities to work in media. But I was also hoping to get Centrelink to ease some financial pressure.

Nothing grounds you more sitting in the waiting room of Centrelink and walking up to the counter saying;

“Hi, my name is Anna Flanagan. I have a degree, my PT qualifications, a Commonwealth Games Gold medal and am an Olympian…. Can I please have Centrelink?”

Of course, I did not actually say that but you get my drift. Furthermore, I just quit my job doing weekend bar work, so hoping they can help a sister out. Going from playing in front of thousands of people to pouring beers is quite a contrast but a reality some sports people must consider.

Sport will always be my number one love. And working or studying fall in neatly behind as I try to get a little perspective and life balance. At the end of the day I am an athlete, and all my decisions need to be based around what will make me a better player.

And this is the message I want to pass on. I know as a female athlete in a respected team I am a role model to many young girls. We play sport for the love of it, not the money. And sometimes it gets hard. It takes persistence, dedication and an unwavering commitment to be the very best you can be. Because standing in front of twenty thousand people in the biggest stadium of your life is worth more than anything money can buy, and you can’t buy hard work.

About International Women's Day

Each year International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. The first International Women's Day was held in 1911. Thousands of events occur to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. Organisations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women's groups, corporations and the media celebrate the day.

Inspiring Change is the 2014 theme for the internationalwomensday.com global hub and encourages advocacy for women's advancement everywhere in every way. It calls for challenging the status quo for women's equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

Find out more by visiting www.internationalwomensday.com.

Hockey Australia media release

Saving hockey's history before the final whistle

FIH front monumental task to save hockey's global heritage

(Photo: Henk Offenberg)

As the hockey world and beyond mourns the passing of two hockey legends – David Metter and Luis Ciancia – a more mortal problem has arisen. There is a wealth of history and anecdotal information about our game, it's characters and it's great moments that is in danger of going to the grave with the older generations.

Today, every match, every goal, every statistic, indeed every comment uttered, will be recorded for posterity thanks to the technological wizardry we have at our disposal, but how much important and fascinating history has been buried with some of the great hockey personalities of days gone by? Certainly, Dave Metter was a great raconteur of hockey stories, and we will now never be able to reproduce his words.

The FIH is fronting an ambitious project to gather hockey history and memorabilia from around the world, and anyone who wants to donate time, energy or hockey artefacts will be welcomed with open arms. One such project that is spearheading the hockey memorabilia movement is the National Hockey Museum (NHM) in England. The museum houses equipment, books, magazines, pictures and cuttings – some more than 150 years old and it will be working with the FIH to collect and capture archives from all hockey playing nations. Whether it is a 19th century programme, a signed shirt from the 1908 Olympics or a recorded interview with one of our veteran players, it will all go towards creating a rich source of hockey heritage.

As one of the oldest team sports in existence and with a history that goes back to Saxon, Egyptian and Roman times, we should be celebrating the history of our sport.

To see some of the great work that has already been done at the NHM visit www.hockeymuseum.org and to find out how you can get involved contact Mike Smith at the NHM on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FIH site

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