All the news for Monday 22 December 2014
Italian Women no longer coming to New Zealand
Pictured: Anita Punt (Credit: Dirk Markgraf)
There has been disappointing news for Kiwi hockey fans overnight, with the Italian Women announcing they won't be coming to Hamilton to play a four-test series against the Black Sticks Women.
The games were scheduled for 21 Jan, 22 Jan, 24 Jan and 25 Jan at the Gallagher Hockey Centre.
The series against Canada scheduled for early-Feb in Whangarei is still going ahead as planned.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Another tough year for SA men’s hockey
The South African men’s and women’s hockey teams had contrasting fortunes in 2014, but overall, there was little to smile about for the country’s hockey lovers.
Two major tournaments dominated the calendar year, with the 2014 World Cup in June, followed by the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow less than a month later.
The World Cup was a tournament to forget for the two teams, both failing to get out of the group stages.
The men’s team finished bottom of their group with no wins from five outings. However, they did manage to win their 11th/12th place playoff against Malaysia, finishing the tournament second from last.
The ladies team did marginally better but still finished second last in their group, before settling for ninth place after beating Japan in their playoff.
The following month there was disappointment once again for the men’s team, who failed to qualify for the semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games after finishing third in group A. The men’s team would eventually beat Canada in a thrilling 7-3 finish to claim fifth place.
The women, on the other hand, narrowly missed out on a medal when they were beaten 5-2 by New Zealand in the bronze medal playoff.
They looked to be in brilliant form leading up to that last game, trouncing Trinidad and Tobago 16-0 in their opening game, before going on to beat Canada and India.
That was it – in terms of international outings – as competitive games continued to elude and remain a concern for the country’s administrators, who were under pressure to arrange tournaments and games to keep the country competitive on the world stage.
There was further bad news for the women in December when title sponsor Investec ended its partnership with the team.
The financial institution had allowed the women’s team to outshine their male counterparts thanks to funding and influence overseas, which led to a number of tournaments and series which pitted the ladies against strong opponents.
With the aid of sponsorship, the women were able to benefit from training schedules and professional programmes, in stark contrast to the men’s team, who continued to struggle to attract major investment.
De Saedeleer calls time on Red Lions career
Waterloo Ducks captain Alexandre de Saedeleer has decided to call time on his international career after 185 caps for Belgium, confirming the decision to Red Lions coaching team Jeroen Delmee and Philip Goldberg last Thursday.
De Saedeleer told hockeybelgium.be that he was struggling to reconcile his working career along with the demands of playing at the very highest level.
After an injury-hit start to the season, the defender missed out on selection for the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, a situation that allowed him time to take stock of his position after seven years of international hockey.
"I intended to continue my international career to the Rio Games but I am aware that the national team requires ever-increasing commitment," he said.
“I could not give that investment to the Lions in parallel to my career which has taken a new direction with new responsibilities.It became impossible to combine the two."
Euro Hockey League media release
Khalsa Move into Second Place with Win against Punjab
By Bill Cox
Khalsa-A’s goalie made many important blocks and saves in their HKHA Premier Division match against Punjab-A at King’s Park on Sunday Dec. 14, 2014. (Bill Cox/Epoch Times)
HONG KONG—Khalsa-A won their match with Punjab-A last Sunday Dec. 14 to move into second place in the Hong Kong Hockey Association Premier Division standings and just 1-point behind leaders SSSC-A. Punjab-A have now dropped to 3rd place and are 3-points below the leaders at the half way stage of the HKFA Premier Division season.
SSSC-A maintain their top table position by beating HKFC-A 4-1 in a clean, fast moving match played at the Hong Kong Football Club. HKFC-A have faltered of late against increasingly competitive Khalsa, SSSC and Punjab sides. SSSC-A were under strength for the match as their Captain is injured, their two Malaysian players did not come as they were involved in the Cup Final in Malaysia and Muhammad Imran was on duty Captaining Pakistan in the Champions Trophy Final against German. HKFC-A was also missing their captain Kieran Smith.
Punjab vs Khalsa
In the Khalsa-A match with Punjab-A at King’s Park, Khalsa soon stamped their intention on the game by scoring in the first minute of play with a deflection so fast the Punjab goalie did not even move. Punjab, missing some top players, were not at their devastating best, but it was still a competitive, skilful, fast moving match. Khalsa also were not quite on their game as they had been the previous week against HKFC-A. But Khalsa kept attacking and succeeded in scoring a second goal after 19 minutes of play with a strike from a fine angle by Inderpal Singh after the Punjab goalie had advanced to block the attack.
Punjab pulled a goal back from a penalty corner with just 10 minutes remaining in the first half to go into the break at 1-2.
Khalsa made it 3-1 after 5 minutes of play in the second half. Punjab put in extra attacking efforts forcing several penalty corners in succession, but they could not convert these into goals. There was a period when green and yellow cards were issued by umpires Tony Cheung and Khalid Hussain mainly against Khalsa players, but Punjab could still not break through.
Eventually with Punjab pressing up field, Khalsa scored goal number four with just 4-minutes left to play to secure the 4-1 win. The Khalsa goalie, Arvindar Singh, played exceptionally well making a number of important blocks and saves.
In the other matches KCC-A and Rhino-A drew 2-2, Valley-A beat HKCC-A 2-0, KNS defeated Pak-A 8-2 and HKFC-B lost 4-6 to Shaheen-A. Shaheen were 2-1 down at half time, but Arif Ali scored 4 goals in the second half to secure the win.
KNS-A are closing the gap on HKFC-A who have been set back by defeats by Punjab-A, Khalsa-A and now by SSSC-A in the last three matches, and Valley-A also are moving up the table and have secured a place in the Elite Group for the second half of the season and still have a game in hand to play against Rhino-A.
The division will be split into two groups of 6 teams (A & B) to play 5-matches in the second half of the season. Group A will include SSSC-A, Khalsa-A, Punjab-A, HKFC-A, KNS-A and Valley-A. Group B will comprise Shaheen-A, HKFC-B, HKCC-A, KCC-A, Rhino-A and Pak-A. Hockey now takes a break until January.
The Epoch Times