All the news for Saturday 22 August 2015
Hosts England get off to a flier while Dutch begin with a win
MEN'S POOL A
Netherlands 2, Spain 0
Netherlands defeated Spain 2-0 in the opening game of the 2015 Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 which began this evening at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Netherlands, ranked number two in the FIH world rankings, dominated the first 15 minutes, before they eventually got on the score sheet as Billy Bakker unleashed a shot past Spanish goalkeeper Quico Cortes after 18 minutes.
Spain, ranked 11th in the world, nearly came straight back into the game with two quick penalty corners. Pau Quemada’s shot was saved by Netherlands goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann and Roc Oliva saw his strike go just wide of the post.
The Dutch extended their lead when Mink van der Weerden scored after 24 minutes from a powerful penalty corner strike, his shot going to the right of the diving Cortes.
Five minutes into the final quarter, Netherlands Van der Meerden nearly scored his second with a well-struck penalty corner and Sander de Wijn was unlucky to see his attempt at a rebound go over the post.
Following their win, Netherlands captain Robert van der Horst said: “We were solid, not good, not bad. We didn’t concede so that was good and we played with consistency – which is something that coach Max Caldas has instilled in our team. There was a time when we always wanted to win 5-0, and sometimes that led to us losing 5-0, so now we are happy with a win.”
Speaking after the game, Spain goalkeeper Quico Cortes said: “We actually played well, it was just a case of conceding the goals – we actually pressed and closed them down well for most of the game. Against a team as skilful as the Dutch if you lose possession then you are likely to concede a penalty corner if not a goal. But, we are relatively happy and looking forward to the next game.”
For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here.
England 10, Russia 1
England defeated Russia 10-1 in their opening game of Pool A, which included a first half hat-trick from David Condon.
The hosts scored six goals in the opening 30 minutes, with Condon scoring three and seven of his team mates also getting on the scoresheet.
Barry Middleton scored after six minutes when he diverted a cross from Mark Gleghorne. They struck again a minute later as Condon doubled England's advantage.
The East Grinstead man scored his second of the match right on the stroke of quarter time, picking the ball up inside the circle and firing a backhand shot into the corner of the net.
It was 4-0 moments into the second quarter thanks to Chris Griffiths. Next, Iain Lewers got in on the act, pouncing on a loose ball inside the Russian half before hitting a low shot into the corner to make it 5-0.
Condon completed his hat-trick five minutes before the break, before Pavel Plesetskii clawed one back for Russia just before half time.
England came out in the third quarter and immediately seized control again. With four minutes on the clock, Ward forced home a goal from close range to get his name on the scoresheet before Mark Gleghorne added the eighth goal with a penalty corner into the roof of the net.
Nick Catlin stabbed in from close range to make it 9-1 with a full quarter still to play before David Ames scored his first goal for England, making it 10-1 to the delight of the home crowd.
After his hattrick, England's David Condon said: “I don’t think we can argue with that. We didn’t have much information on the Russians going into the game so we tried to concentrate on ourselves. We weren’t sure what they would do so we set our stall out and made sure we were aggressive and relentless. With Russia being fairly unknown we weren’t sure how important this game could end up being in our group, so we wanted to set a marker down and make sure we win all our games. We play Holland next, but we’re confident. As a squad we’ve sometimes struggled to create clear chances so to score ten goals will give us plenty of confidence for the next games.”
For more information on this game, visit the match page by clicking here.
England run riot against Russia
ENG men celebrate
A first half hat-trick from David Condon got England’s Unibet EuroHockey Championships off to a dream start as a first half blitz swept aside Russia. The hosts fired in six goals in a searing opening 30 minutes on their way to a dominant 10-1 victory. Condon’s treble set the tone and seven of his team mates also got in on the act ensuring the home crowd went home happy.
England forced their first penalty corner of the match after two minutes but Ashley Jackson couldn’t find the target and his effort fizzed wide of the post. Russia then immediately forced a corner at the other end. Skipper Nikolay Yankun took the shot but his effort also went wide.
England started to impose themselves on the game and with six minutes left in the first quarter the hosts took the lead. Mark Gleghorne’s cross was diverted in by a diving Barry Middleton to the delight of the home crowd. They struck again a minute later, Middleton started the move with a lovely run and pass into the channel to set Sam Ward free, Ward’s cross was inch perfect and a sliding Condon doubled the advantage. The East Grinstead man notched his second of the match right on the stroke of quarter time, picking the ball up inside the circle and firing a lovely backhand shot into the corner of the net.
It was 4-0 moments into the second quarter; Nick Catlin’s mazy run set up Chris Griffiths who slotted home past the stranded goalkeeper. Next, Iain Lewers got in on the act, pouncing on a loose ball inside the Russian half before blasting a low shot into the corner to make it 5-0. Condon completed his hat-trick five minutes before the break, snapping up a rebound after Marat Gafarov had saved Ward’s shot. Pavel Plesetskii clawed one back for Russia just before half time but they had a mountain to climb in the second half.
England came out in the third quarter and immediately seized control again. With four minutes on the clock Ward forced home from close range to get his name on the score sheet and then Mark Gleghorne added the eighth with a bullet penalty corner into the roof of the net. Nick Catlin stabbed in from close range to make it 9-1 with a full quarter still to play.
Gafarov made a stunning save to deny Jackson from a penalty corner before both goalkeepers were replaced allowing James Bailey and Ivan Ozherelev to take to the field. Ozherelev was beaten with two minutes left to play as David Ames scored his first goal for England, making it 10-1 to send the crowd into frenzy and to give Bobby Crutchley’s side an impressive win.
England’s next match of the competition is against the Netherlands and takes place on 23 August at 18:15. Coverage is on the BBC Red button and BBC Sport website.
Quotes – David Condon, England:
“I don’t think we can argue with that. We didn’t have much information on the Russians going into the game so we tried to concentrate on ourselves. We weren’t sure what they would do so we set out stall out and made sure we were aggressive and relentless.
With Russia being fairly unknown we weren’t sure how important this game could end up being in our group, so we wanted to set a marker down and make sure we win all our games.
We play Holland next, but we’re confident. As a squad we’ve sometimes struggled to create clear chances so to score ten goals will give us plenty of confidence for the next games.”
England 10 (6)
Barry Middleton 9 (FG)
David Condon 11, 15, 25 (FG, FG, FG)
Chris Griffiths 18 (FG)
Iain Lewers 23 (FG)
Sam Ward 34 (FG)
Mark Gleghorne 34 (PC)
Nick Catlin 41 (FG)
David Ames 58 (FG)
Russia 1 (1)
Pavel Plesetskii 30 (FG)
England Hockey Board Media release
Winning start for England's campaign
By Mike Haymonds
Hat-trick hero David Condon
DAVID CONDON’S first half hat-trick gave England a winning start as they crushed Russia 10-1 in their opening game at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in the Olympic Park.
It was Condon’s first international treble and Russia’s heaviest defeat as England were six up by half-time with seven other England scorers on target by the end.
Skipper Barry Middleton got his team off the mark in the ninth minute, diving to put away Mark Gleghorne’s cross before Condon added a second two minutes later after Middleton fed Sam Ward in the build-up.
Condon bagged his second just before the end of the first quarter, netting with a spectacular backhand shot.
Three minutes into the second quarter a Nick Catlin run led to Chris Griffiths adding a fourth before Iain Lewers drilled home a fifth.
Condon completed his hat-trick on 25 minutes, converting a rebound after Sam Ward’s shot had been saved, before Pavel Plesetskii got on the score sheet for the Russians.
England’s goal fest continued after 34 minutes with Ward firing home from close range before Gleghorne’s drag flick converted his side’s fourth penalty corner.
Catlin made it nine with a quarter still to be played and David Ames completed the rout with his first England goal two minutes before the end.
Condon said: “We didn’t have much information on the Russians so we tried to concentrate on ourselves. We weren’t sure what they would do so we made sure we were aggressive and relentless.
“We weren’t sure how important this game could end up being in our group, so we wanted to set a marker down and make sure we win all our games.
“We play Holland next (Sunday) but we’re confident. As a squad we’ve sometimes struggled to create clear chances so to score ten goals will give us plenty of confidence for the next games.”
Ashleigh Ball comes into England squad
Ashleigh Ball comes into England squad
England Head Coach Danny Kerry has made a change to his squad for the Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015. Clifton’s Joie Leigh has been taken ill and so ruled out, her place will be taken by Slough’s Ashleigh Ball.
Ball has 129 caps, 79 of which have come whilst playing for England and she has scored nine times for her country. The No22 will be featuring for the first time in a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup in The Hague. Ball sustained torn knee ligaments in the final game of the competition, sidelining her for nine months. Having successfully completed her rehabilitation she returned to training and has impressed in the last block of preparation to force her way into the group after the news of Leigh’s withdrawal.
England Hockey Board Media release
England looking to home fans to inspire them to European titles
Hosts England will be looking to use their passionate home support to inspire them to victory at the Unibet EuroHockey Championships which begin in London later today.
With over 30,000 tickets already sold, both England men and women will be hoping the majority of fans coming along to Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will be cheering them on.
Both England teams enter this year's competition following a good run of form at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals, where they participated as Great Britain and guaranteed Olympic qualification for Rio 2016.
The men finished in third spot in Antwerp behind world number one ranked Australia and hosts Belgium, ranked fourth in the world.
In London, England, ranked fifth in the world, will face Netherlands (2), Spain (11) and Russia (19) in Pool A of the tournament.
The 18 man squad who will represent England includes one change from the squad who competed in Antwerp. Reading’s Dan Shingles, who missed the Hockey World League Semi-Final through injury is recalled and replaces Tim Whiteman.
Notably, the squad contains four players who won this tournament back in 2009: Barry Middleton, Alastair Brogdon, Ashley Jackson and Adam Dixon.
Two key players will be aiming to reach personal milestones during the competition in London. Captain Barry Middleton has scored 97 times for England and Great Britain and could reach the century mark.
Holcombe defender Dan Fox, currently on 95 England caps, will reach 100 in the final game if he features in every match.
Looking towards the Championship, England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said: "We’re really excited about playing in front of a home crowd. We’re in good shape and we’re looking forward to what will be a tough tournament. The European Championships is one of the hardest competitions there is.”
England's women meanwhile won the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Valencia, Spain whilst representing Great Britain.
Their coach, Danny Kerry, has named 18 athletes for this year’s EuroHockey Championship, 14 of whom picked up a silver medal at this event in 2013.
Alex Danson, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Sam Quek, Helen Richardson-Walsh, Susie Gilbert, Laura Unsworth, Nicola White, Georgie Twigg, Hannah Macleod, Susannah Townsend, Maddie Hinch, Giselle Ansley, Hollie Webb and Lily Owsley will all be hoping to go one better and win gold this time out.
There are two changes from the Great Britain squad that secured Olympic Qualification in Valencia. One of those changes is enforced, as Emily Maguire will represent Scotland at the EuroHockey Championships.
Her place is taken by Sam Quek who returns to the squad for the first time since the Champions Trophy in December.
Kate Richardson-Walsh, who captains the side, has 48 international goals for England and Great Britain combined, so could reach a half century at the tournament.
Striker Alex Danson, who has been named as vice-captain, is also closing on 50 goals. Currently she has scored 47 times for England and will be aiming to reach the 50 mark in London.
There is also a call up for Leicester goalkeeper Sabbie Heesh who has represented Great Britain on two occasions so far. Heesh replaces East Grinstead goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay in the squad.
England men: David Ames (Beeston); James Bailey (Wimbledon); Alastair Brogdon (Wimbledon); Nick Catlin (Holcombe); David Condon (East Grinstead); Adam Dixon (Beeston); Dan Fox (Holcombe); Mark Gleghorne (Beeston); Chris Griffiths (East Grinstead); Michael Hoare (Wimbledon); Ashley Jackson (Holcombe); Iain Lewers (Holcombe); Harry Martin (Beeston); Barry Middleton (Holcombe); George Pinner (Holcombe); Dan Shingles (Reading); Sam Ward (Holcombe); Henry Weir (Wimbledon).
England women: Giselle Ansley (Surbiton); Sophie Bray (East Grinstead); Alex Danson (Reading); Susie Gilbert (Reading); Sabbie Heesh (Leicester); Maddie Hinch (Holcombe); Joie Leigh (Clifton); Hannah Macleod (St Albans); Shona McCallin (Slough); Lily Owsley (University of Birmingham); Sam Quek (Holcombe); Helen Richardson-Walsh (Reading); Kate Richardson-Walsh (Reading); Susannah Townsend (Canterbury); Georgie Twigg (Surbiton); Laura Unsworth (East Grinstead); Hollie Webb (Surbiton); Nicola White (Holcombe).
Crutchley calls on England to step up
Bobby Crutchley England Head Coach
“We’ve been here a few times and we really like the venue. With the extra seats and all the other things going on it looks great. Those involved have done a fantastic job getting everything ready and we’re really excited for the tournament to start.”
Bobby Crutchley takes a rare moment of reflection to take in the scene around him at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre ahead of the opening match of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships.
With his side’s first task of the international calendar – qualification for Rio, achieved, the England Coach can now focus on getting his side ready to take on Europe’s best. With the confidence gained from a good World League tournament and the backing of the home crowd, Crutchley’s team are well set for a tilt at the title they won in 2009:
“We’re in a good place. Our preparations have gone well and we should be able to perform at a high level. I’ve said before the Europeans is a tough tournament but we’re one of the sides who could win it.”
Whilst the confidence is there, the England Coach is taking nothing for granted and is fully aware of the challenges ahead:
“First and foremost we have to get to the semi-final which in itself is a big task. There isn’t much room for error in the group stages; you have to be good from the start. Once you get to the semis anything can happen but we have to get there first.”
The backing of a fervent home crowd is a recurring theme in the build up to the tournament, and whilst there are some inexperienced players in the squad, Crutchley does not believe they will be overawed by it:
“With the players we’ve got I’m not worried about them losing focus because of the distraction of a home tournament. We haven’t got many who experienced it before but I’m confident it will be an advantage and help the team rather than hinder us.”
The form of the likes of Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton, Iain Lewers and Nick Catlin makes the hosts a genuine contender. Having such talents at his disposal is fantastic for Crutchley but he has called on the rest of his squad to step up to the plate at the tournament:
“You don’t become a good team without good players and it’s well known who our key players are. We’re looking for a few more to step up and push on to become better players. We have some exciting talents: David Condon, Sam Ward, Chris Griffiths and Alastair Brogdon have really done well latterly as well as the usual names so things are really exciting at the moment.”
With such positive mood in the camp, the question inevitably turns to where England can finish in the tournament. Crutchley is characteristically determined:
“We want to win it. We want to achieve a podium finish but whilst we know what a tough tournament this is, we don’t enter competitions aiming for anything other than first place.”
The home fans will be hoping to see the England Coach and his players lifting that trophy at the end of the competition.
England Hockey Board Media release
Scotland aiming to perform in London
With no less than 24 hours to go until their first match, the build-up to Scotland’s participation in the EuroHockey Nations Championship in London is reaching a crescendo
Head Coach Gordon Shepherd and his players are fully focussed on retaining their place in the continent’s premier competition over the next nine days and ahead of tomorrow’s crunch match with England in Pool B, we preview the side’s preparations and chances.
As a number of commentators have highlighted in the lead-up to the competition, Scotland have not had the advantage of competing in the recent World League Semi-Final tournaments.
Unlike many of the sides competing in London that also featured in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) flag-ship competition earlier this summer, Scotland’s last official tournament outing was as far back as the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games over a year ago.
But it would take a brave soul to suggest that their preparations for EuroHockey 2015 have lacked anything in intensity and attention to detail.
A sportscotland funded full-time performance programme this summer has featured matches against Wales, Czech Republic, Germany and Spain, as well as numerous sessions focussed on skills, strength and conditioning, and match analysis during their training camps in Glasgow, Hamburg and Madrid.
As a result, the Scots should have no fear going into the event and having defeated both Wales and Czech Republic comprehensively in home internationals, while also beating Germany and Spain, sides who sit higher in the FIH World Rankings, the target of retaining 'A’ Division status is more than achievable.
Having had to manage the loss of several high quality players to retirement following the Commonwealth Games, Head Coach Gordon Shepherd and his coaching team have set about their task of remoulding the side in a meticulous manner.
Players such as Louise Campbell, Fiona Bruce and Amy Brodie, who have had previous exposure to training and playing international matches with the Senior Women’s side in recent seasons, have all staked comprehensive claims to represent their country in a senior European competition for the first time and each player will bring a new dimension to the team.
Equally, Shepherd also can call upon a number of experienced heads to demonstrate their prowess at this level, including cap centurions Leigh Fawcett, Vikki Bunce, Nikki Kidd and Great Britain Olympian Emily Maguire, as well as defensive stalwarts Becky Ward, Kareena Marshall and Becky Merchant.
With Great Britain squad members Amy Gibson and Sarah Robertson also included, there is more than enough quality in this team to worry their opponents.
Speaking in Friday's edition of the Herald, captain Leigh Fawcett said, “We’re feeling really good about this tournament. We had some good results in our warm-up matches but the biggest thing for me was the performances; we were really consistent and we competed with two teams that will be aiming for the top four at the Europeans.
“Our first target is to stay up in the A Division but after our performances in the last few weeks, I think it’s given us a new confidence and belief that we can aim for the top four. Italy is our target game but we’re also confident that we can put in a couple of good performances against England and Germany, so who knows what will come of that.”
Scotland Senior Women: Amy Brodie, Leigh Fawcett, captain (both Grove Menzieshill), Fiona Bruce, Ali Howie, Susan McGilveray, Nicki Skrastin (all Clydesdale Western), Louise Campbell, Nikki Cochrane, Becky Merchant (all Edinburgh University), Vikki Bunce, Becky Ward (both Dundee Wanderers), Aileen Davis (Clifton), Amy Gibson (Slough), Nikki Kidd (Mannheimer), Nikki Lloyd (Wimbledon), Emily Maguire (Reading), Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats), Sarah Robertson (Holcolme)
Any sporting contest featuring Scotland versus England is bound to generate interest.
The two sides go head-to-head in the opening Pool B match tomorrow night knowing that the last two tournament clashes have ended in narrow defeats for the Scots, but also with a nagging realisation that their opponents were there for the taking.
On both occasions, the national side gave Danny Kerry’s side a two-goal start; any hopes of causing an upset in front of a home support will be dependent on avoiding a similar repeat against the hosts on Saturday night.
Monday brings a match-up with the defending champions Germany. A 4-3 win in Hamburg was a real confidence booster for Scotland but there is no doubt that the Germans will be a tough proposition next week.
The final pool B encounter is with Italy in an early afternoon push-back next Wednesday. While the Scots will be targeting maximum points, the Italians recently demonstrated reasonable results in the World League Semi-Final and could provide an upset within the group.
It is highly likely that the Scots will need two wins from the Pool to qualify for the semi-finals; a tough task against two of Europe’s most consistent teams in these championships. But it is an outcome that it is definitely within their capabilities.
Should they find themselves in the classification matches however, then the pressure to retain their place in the top European division will increase markedly. But it is an achievement they met two years ago in Boom.
So, likely outcome? A difficult assignment ahead but hopefully a top 6 finish and a place in the championships for 2017.
Saturday 22 August
Scotland v England (18.15)
Monday 24 August
Scotland v Germany (17.15)
Wednesday 26 August
Scotland v Italy (13.15)
BBC will provide live coverage of Scotland's three pool matches on TV via BBC Red Button, online via BBC Sport website and streamed via their free BBC Sport smartphone app.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Brinkman confident for big tournament debut
Thierry Brinkman says he is feeling “strong and confident” and ready to “really enjoy my first major tournament” as the young Dutch star looks forward to lining out this evening against Spain.
Son of the Dutch legend Jacques – a double Olympic gold medallist – Thierry is hoping to make his first steps toward making his own Olympic memories by shining as part of a big group effort in this tournament.
“It's a cliché, but we want to win gold so it's all about team-performance. And I'm a forward, so of course I want to contribute with scoring goals, giving assists and give 100% pressure in our team-defence.
“We are ready for take-off. We cannot wait till the tournament starts. We know training matches are something different than real matches, but the wins against Ireland, Germany and France in the build-up will give us a lot of confidence. But all matches start with 0-0. So first of all, we will start working hard from the first minute of the game.”
Looking at their group opponents, Brinkman says that when the Dutch hit their potential, they are confident they can push toward the medals.
“We will respect all of our opponents but, when we play like we are able to play, we are on paper stronger than England, Spain and Russia. We are the number two of the FIH world ranking, so we don't shy away from the position of favourites during this European Championship.”
Euro Hockey League media release
Where to watch the Unibet EuroHockey Championships
Lots of broadcasting outlets are showing live coverage of the Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London. Here is the breakdown of where you can catch the games.
UK and Ireland – BBC (England, Scotland and Irish matches and Finals – BBC red button, BBC2 if England reaches finals)
BBC Red Button - www.bbc.com/sport/0/hockey/33616830
The Netherlands – NOS (all Dutch games, finals and daily highlights packages)
Germany – Sport 1 (all German matches, men’s final) and ZDF/ARD (highlights package)
Belgium – Telenet (all Belgian matches, semi-finals and finals)
Spain – Teledeporte (all Spanish matches and finals)
France – Ma Chaine (all French matches)
Southern Africa – Supersport (semi-finals and finals)
Star Sports – Qualification games and Finals
Event Website – www.eurohockey2015.co.uk
Follow on – @EuroHockey2015 / @eurohockeyorg #EHC2015 / #UEHC2015
Facebook - www.facebook.com/EuroHockeyorg / www.facebook.com/EuroHockey2015
Euro Hockey League media release
Hockey back in London and discovers remarkable Olympic legacy
London 2012 legacy sees Junior Hockey Club membership up by 40% in England
Photo: England Hockey
The London 2012 Olympic legacy continues this week as Europe’s top men’s and women’s hockey teams return to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to battle it out for the European titles, with the winners guaranteeing qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Hosting this 2015 EuroHockey Championships, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre is a legacy venue built to continue the spirit of the London 2012 Olympic Games. It also played host to the Paralympic Tennis tournament during the 2012 Paralympic Games.
This event, running from 21-30 August, is the latest in a series of success stories highlighting the positive benefits that the London 2012 Olympics provided for the city and wider nation.
Whilst elite hockey takes centre stage once more in London, it’s grassroots hockey that has witnessed the greatest development since the Games. England Hockey recently revealed that junior (under 16) hockey club membership is up by 40 percent while overall participation in clubs was up by 16 percent since 2011.
Since the Olympics in London, where 630,000 people watched live hockey during the event, a pattern of continued growth in the sport has emerged.
In the run up and during the Games, England Hockey had run several campaigns to increase participation. One such programme was Hockey Nation, where tens of thousands of people were given the chance to try hockey at hockey clubs across the UK.
Hockey clubs have reaped the rewards of the improved profile of the sport, focussing on a link with schools to provide excellent opportunities for young players.
Programmes such as Quicksticks – a small-sided version of hockey for 7-11 year olds – in Primary Schools have been hugely successful in allowing new players to take part in the sport from an early age.
Another effective initiative has been an East London wide programme aimed at attracting more local communities to play and watch hockey, with both primary and secondary schools involved in a dedicated local schools programme.
England Hockey is continuing to forge links with a number of local community partners to extend the reach of the sport into new communities. A great example of this is a programme that is seeing a hockey based community club working with schools in Newham. The FRE Flyers are a group of young people who took up hockey in 2011 in the build up to the London Olympics and have flourished ever since.
The Flyers are now an established hockey club and with support from England Hockey, London Sport and local school sector colleagues, they are taking hockey into a number of secondary schools in the area.
In addition to the youth projects, recent growth has also been driven by women who were inspired by Great Britain women’s bronze medal win at the London 2012 Olympics.
These women have been embraced by clubs, whether young players or new to the sport, or adults returning through England Hockey’s extremely successful Back to Hockey initiative. Figures reveal that club membership is now split evenly 50% male and 50% female.
Hockey invited people to ‘be part of it’ during the Olympics in 2012 – and the latest figures show increasing numbers are doing that every year.
Sally Munday, Chief Executive Officer of England Hockey said: ‘We are so proud of our clubs who have created more and more opportunities for people to take part in the sport and latest figures are testament to their commitment and capability. As a National Governing Body we are working hard to raise the profile of the sport and use the visibility of our successful teams and athletes to grow the game.”
The CEO explained how the strategy is working. She said: “Our strategy is based around a ‘virtuous circle’ where international success drives the visibility of the sport, which fuels a growth in participation. This then feeds back into creating international success via the talent pathways in junior hockey, and so the virtuous circle continues.”
England Hockey are certainly an example to follow when it comes to legacy development. Staging the EuroHockey Championships 2015 in the Olympic Park is yet another element to keep the virtuous circle going and get even more people inspired by the sport of hockey.
Black Sticks defender Brad Shaw says Christchurch tests helps game in region
Brad Shaw in action against Canada The Black Sticks won every match in their four test South Island tour to Nelson and Christchurch. Dean Kozanic/FairfaxNZ
Black Sticks player Brad Shaw believes the upcoming tests in Christchurch will contribute to the hockey scene in the Garden City.
The tests against India (men) and Argentina (women) will take place on October 10 and 11 and offer the local community a chance to see how well the Black Sticks are performing, which Shaw believes is important to them and the team.
"They're not really aware of what's going on or they're not really connected directly to it, so it's quite good having these games here and you give the young ones something to look at.
"Then even what it does when you have a New Zealand test is people outside of hockey start getting involved as well, so it lifts the profile of the sport if you can get round the country."
Shaw, who played in the two tests against Canada at the end of 2014, says it is good for the team to be seen by their fans at home as they rarely get the opportunity, particularly against a top team like India.
"It is important because well now, with the National Hockey League starting up, there's still people talking about the Canadian series last year in Christchurch because they don't really have anything else to go on.
"I know there's series overseas and on TV and things but quite often when the Black Sticks play overseas it's the middle of the night."
The women will go up against Argentina and Shaw expected Canterbury Hockey to be working on how to expand the capacity of the Marist Park turf which was packed when the Black Sticks won both their matches there in mid-December.
"You want to push it, and without going to extreme cost whether they can actually still get more people in to view the game properly would be quite interesting."
Shaw, who is a teacher in Christchurch, said it was always nice to play in front of a home crowd, but he realises the game comes first.
"It was nice to score a goal, and it was quite nice to have a few of my class and things there at the same time, but it all that sort of happens in retrospect. I probably didn't even think about it at the time.
It remains to be seen whether Shaw will be selected to play in the matches as he prepares for the NHL campaign with the Canterbury Cavaliers which begins on Saturday 28 at Marist Park.
White Fern Sophie Devine returns to National Hockey League with Capital
Former Black Stick Sophie Devine is back playing hockey for the Capital NHL team. KEVIN STENT/FAIRFAX NZ
Sophie Devine is back in a black hockey kit but isn't expecting a silver fern across her chest any time soon.
The New Zealand cricketing star played her last hockey international for the Black Sticks in 2012 - a year later she earned one of four women's contracts from New Zealand Cricket and hockey took a back seat.
Since then she has played just two National Hockey League (NHL) games, so it was somewhat surprising to see her name included in the team to play in Capital's black strip for the entire 2015 NHL season, but she said it was something she was able to fit in between her White Ferns commitments.
"I've been able to come back and dedicate a couple of good months to hockey since the White Ferns tour of India."
However, this isn't about trying to make a return to the Black Sticks in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics, although it is something she would be open to after narrowly missing out on selection for the 2012 London Olympics, she said.
"I haven't had any conversations with anyone from New Zealand Hockey, so it's just going to be play, enjoy myself and if anything comes of it then we'll deal with it, but at this stage [the Olympics] is nothing more than a thought.
"It's a big carrot and something that will be there and that's going to have something over cricket, that Olympic medal.
"It's always going to be itching away at me, especially after the crack I had in 2012 and missing out, it's always hard missing out and it does drive you to have another crack."
Devine isn't really in a position to commit to hockey, with so many opportunities about to be presented in cricket.
Along with her New Zealand Cricket contract, she is highly sought after for the inaugural women's Big Bash T20 competition in Australia in December because of her reputation as the biggest hitter in women's cricket.
That reputation was enhanced when she hit the fastest women's T20 half century off 18 balls in July and the Adelaide Strikers are believed to be closest to signing her after she played for South Australia in the 2014 Australian domestic season.
But for now, her focus is solely on hockey and helping Capital improve on a disastrous 2014 NHL campaign which saw them finish last.
"We've been pretty disappointing the last few years, so first and foremost it's getting into the top four and then we can look at medals."
Capital boast Black Sticks Anita Punt and Ani Roberts, as well as Black Sticks development player Felicity Reidy and former Dutch age-grade international Frederique de Klijn, who qualifies as a local player after completing a season of Wellington club hockey.
They also have the two top scorers from the 2014 NHL, with Katarina O'Callaghan returning and prolific Australian Renee Ashton joining the squad after two seasons with Midlands.
Devine could be Capital's not-so-secret weapon, with her drag-flick improving after a few training sessions with Central women's coach Greg Nicol.
"He's a world leader in drag-flick coaching, so fingers crossed I get a couple of cracks at the tournament to let rip."
Capital open their campaign in Palmerston North against Central on August 29, before playing their sole home game against Canterbury on September 6.
Rounds three to seven will be played in Whangarei from September 12-17, with the semifinals and final to be played at the same venue on September 19-20 and televised live on Sky Sport.
Capital women's hockey squad: Renee Ashton, Frederique de Klijn, Danielle Deans (GK), Sophie Devine, Rachel Lilley (GK), Freya Hawes, Genevieve Macilquham, Charlotte Eastman, Sarah Munn, Hannah Naftel, Katarina O'Callaghan, Sangita Patel, Anita Punt, Felicity Reidy, Aniwaka Roberts, Sophie Rider, Madeleine Simmonds, Kelsey Smith
Women's National Program holding talent identification camps this fall
Camps to be held in Brampton and Vancouver
The Canadian Women's National Team Junior Development Camp is wrapping up on Vancouver Island, but there are two more opportunities for young female field hockey players to impress National Team staff coming up this fall.
The Women's National Program will be holding two Talent Identification Camps this fall for the Under-16 and Under-18 age groups. The camps will take place on the following dates:
October 9-11th, 2015 - Brampton, Ontario
November 27-29th, 2015 - Vancouver, British Columbia
The aim of these camps is to provide skill development across the country for athletes who have future potential of representing Canada.
Leading both camps will be Women's National Team assistant coach and Junior Women's head coach Steph Andrews.
Athletes who have been identified will be contacted within the next week with formal invitation. Cost and all other details for the camp will be included in the invitation.
Field Hockey Canada media release
KLHC edge Maybank
KUALA LUMPUR Hockey Club (KLHC) came back from a goal down to edge Maybank 2-1 to keep their grip on the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) yesterday.
Playing at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Maybank's Pakistan import Muhammad Toseeq scored a field goal in the 36th minute, but the joy was short lived as a minute later, Mohamed Syamim nailed the equaliser.
KLHC were saved the blushes by Pakistan's Ali Shan, who scored a penalty corner rebound in the 42nd minute.
"We went in expecting a tough match and I'm glad that we did not crack when we were trailing but kept pushing for a win," said KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj.
KLHC had beaten Maybank 3-1 in the first round but yesterday's match was a close shave.
"Entering into the second round we should have done much better, and that's the one aspect that I'm not happy with our progress so far. Otherwise, we are doing just enough to challenge for the title," said Dharmaraj.
After six matches, KLHC top the standings on 16 points with five wins and one draw.
Maybank, on the other hand, have yet to win a game: "Even though we have yet to win a point after five matches, I believe the team is improving and we should claim a win against UniKL (Sunday)," said Maybank coach S. Vellapan.
Maybank and UniKL also have yet to complete their first round fixtures which was washed away by rain. That abandoned match will be played on September 2.
RESULTS: Premier Division (Round Two): KLHC 2 Maybank 1, UniKL 0 THT 3, Tenaga 2 Sapura 1.
Division One Group A: BJSS 1 Thunderbolts 3, MSP-YP-SSP 2 MBI 5; Group B: PKS-KPM 4 SSTMI 2, UiTM 1 ATM Airod 1.
Women's Group A: MSNT-PHT 0 Penang Juniors 1; Group B: Manjung 0 SSTMI 4, BJSS 0 Thunderbolts 3.
SATURDAY: Division One: Group A: BJSS v MASUM-USM (Kuantan, 5pm); Group B: PKS-KPM v ATM AIROD (NHS I, 5pm), UITM v NUR INSAFI (NHS II, 7pm).
Women -- Group B: KL-SUKMA v PKS-KPM (KLHA, 8pm).
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
KLHC remain unbeaten to stay on top of hockey league
By S. Ramaguru
Maybank player Mohd Syafiq Mohd Zain (left) and KLHC Muhd Umar Bhutta during the Malaysia Hockey League match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. - DARRAN TAN / The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Former champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) staged a late fightback to maintain their unbeaten run in the Premier Division with a 2-1 win over Maybank in a Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Four-time champions KLHC were 3-1 winners over the same side in the first round of their MHL clash.
A tigerish Maybank started aggressively and took the lead in the 36th minute through Muhammad Toseef who pounced on an Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin long shot into the penalty box to leave KLHC goalkeeper Shahrul Azaddin with no chance.
It took only one minute later for KLHC to equalise through a field goal after Mohamed Shamim Yusof deflected the ball past Maybank’s Pakistan national goalkeeper Muhammad Irfan Bhutt.
KLHC then extended their lead in the 42nd minute from a penalty corner. Drag-flick specialist Muhammad Razie’s shot was thwarted by Irfan only for Ali Shan, another Pakistani, to flick in the rebound to give KLHC their fifth win in six matches.
KLHC lead the standings with 16 points and will face Tenaga Nasional on Sunday at the same venue.
KLHC head coach K. Dharmaraj said: “We had expected the game to be close as we know Maybank have the ability to create an upset.”
His counterpart S. Vellapan was disappointed by another defeat but applauded his players for putting up a great effort.
“We made some unforced errors and will need to check on this for our next match against UniKL on Sunday,” said Vellapan.
Terengganu, the double champions, kept pace with the leaders KLHC after a convincing 3-0 win over UniKL in another match.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored in the fifth minute off a field goal and this was followed by goals from brothers Fitri and Faizal Saari in the 42nd and 45th minutes to leave Terengganu trailing the leaders by one point.
Tenaga finally snapped a three-match losing streak when they defeated third placed Sapura 2-1.
Goals from Mohamed Aminuddin Zain and Mohamed Amin Rahim in the fourth and 45th minutes were enough to give them full points. Sapura scored their consolation goal through Mohamed Azfar Yacoob in the 36th minute.
The Star of Malaysia
HIL to conduct player auction on Sept 17 for upcoming season
-135 Indian and 142 Foreign Players to feature in the Auction
Hockey India League will be conducting a fresh auction of players for the upcoming season of the League on September 17 at New Delhi. The six franchisee will bid for players from India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, Malaysia, Japan and Korea to complete their teams.
Earlier in August 2015, Hockey India League had provided all the franchisees the option to retain up to 3 Indian and 3 Foreign players, while releasing the rest of the squad. A total of 277 players are listed for the auction and among them, 135 players are from India and 142 players belong to other leading hockey nations. Under the new Rules and Regulations, Franchisees can build a team of 20 players, which allows each franchisee to have 12 Indian players and 8 foreign players.
Defending Champions Ranchi Rays retained its total quota of 6 players including team captain Ashley Jackson along with Barry Middleton and Fergus Kavanagh. The three Indian stalwarts retained included Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh. The players held back are known for their experience as well as delivering successfully under pressure situations which will help complement the new team that will come on board post the auctions.
JAYPEE PUNJAB WARRIORS
On the other hand Runner-up team, Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be eyeing for the most suitable 9 Indian and 5 foreign players who will help complete the line-up. With the release of Jaap Stockmann the franchisee will also have to get a goalkeeper as agile and as world class as him. JPW for the upcoming actions has a pocket of USD 472,500, while they have already spent USD 252,500 on the players that they have retained. JPW had held back the entire quota of their six players including the agile SV Sunil along with the young and vibrant Satbir Singh and Varun Kumar. The foreign players retained boasts of the huge experience of the three Australian players - Chris Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jacob Whetton.
Last season’s debutants, Dabang Mumbai held back only 3 players and released the rest of the squad for the auctions including Tom Boon. Retaining Harmanpreet Singh was expected and was the ideal choice. With the latter’s retention he is the only Indian retained in the side along with 2 foreign players – David Harte and Jeremy Hayward. With a kitty of USD 563,000, Dabang Mumbai has to pick 11 Indian and 6 Foreign players, while they have already spent USD 162,000 on the three retained players.
Delhi based Delhi Waveriders also held back their quota of 6 players including the experienced Simon Child, Tristan White and Steven Edwards along with the young brigade from India – Talwinder Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki and Surender Kumar. To bid for 9 Indian and 5 foreign players, the franchisee is left with USD 514,000 post spending USD 211,000 on the six players held back. DWR will be aiming to recreate the same magic team which left many in awe during the first two seasons.
Looking at playing their third edition next year, Kalinga Lancers has already decided to hold back Devindar Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay and Gurjinder Singh. They are confident that the move will prove beneficial for the team in the long run keeping in mind that all three Indian players are regarded as the next Indian players to look out for on the astro-turf. Post the decision of holding on to young blood, the franchise went ahead to retain its dependable goalkeeper Andrew Charter along with Aran Zalewski who is known for his ability to surprise the opponents on the field because of his play. With USD 520,000 left in their kitty, the franchisee will look at creating the ideal team that they have been wanting since they made their debut in HIL 2014.
UTTAR PRADESH WIZARDS
Uttar Pradesh Wizards on the other, held on to the experience of PR Sreejesh, Ramandeep Singh, VR Raghunath, Jolie Wouter and Edward Ockenden while releasing the rest of the team. With the already 6 most important players in place the franchisee will feel more confident in picking up young players who will complement and complete the team line-up during the auctions. Having spent USD 284,000, the franchisee has a kitty base of USD 441,000 to pick up their rest 15 players. UPW will look at having the best forwards as well as midfielders in place who will help support the defence which they have held back.
The HIL Auction 2015 will be conducted by renowned auctioneer Bob Hayton of London, who has 30 years of experience in this profession.
The HIL Auction 2015 will be held on 17 September 2015 at Hotel The Lalit in New Delhi.
HIL-4 players auction to be held on Sept. 17
A total of 135 Indian and 142 foreign players will go under the hammer when the players auction for the fourth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL) gets underway at city hotel in New Delhi on September 17.
The six franchisee will bid for players from India, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Scotland, Malaysia, Japan and Korea to complete their teams.
Earlier in August this year, HIL had provided all the franchisees the option to retain upto three Indian and as many foreign players, while releasing the rest of the squad.
A total of 276 players are listed for the auction and among them, 135 players are from India and 142 players belong to other leading hockey nations.
Under the new rules and regulations, franchisees can build a team of 20 players, which allows each franchisee to have 12 Indian players and 8 foreign players.
Defending champions Ranchi Rays retained its total quota of six players, including team captain Ashley Jackson along with Barry Middleton and Fergus Kavanagh. The three Indian players retained by the team include Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh.
On the other hand last year’s runners-up Jaypee Punjab Warriors will be eyeing for the most suitable nine Indian and five foreign players.
With the release of Jaap Stockmann the franchisee will also have to get a goalkeeper as agile and as world class as the Dutchman.
Punjab Warriors has a pocket of $472,500, while they have already spent $252,500 on the players that they have retained for the upcoming season.
Punjab Warriors had held back the entire quota of their six players including SV Sunil along with the young and vibrant Satbir Singh and Varun Kumar. The foreign players retained by the franchise include three Australians — Chris Ciriello, Mark Knowles and Jacob Whetton.
Last season’s debutants Dabang Mumbai have retained only three players and released the rest of the squad for the auctions including star striker Tom Boon of Belgium.
With a kitty of $563,000, Dabang Mumbai has to pick 11 Indian and six foreign players, while they have already spent $162,000 on the three retained players.
Delhi based Waveriders have also retained their quota of six players including the experienced Simon Child, Tristan White and Steven Edwards along with India’s Talwinder Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki and Surender Kumar.
To bid for the remaining nine Indian and five foreign players, the franchisee is left with USD 514,000 after spending $211,000 on the six players they had held back.
Kalinga Lancers have reatined Devindar Walmiki, Lalit Upadhyay and Gurjinder Singh besides goalkeeper Andrew Charter and Aran Zalewski.
With $520,000 left in their kitty, the Lancers will look at creating the ideal team that they have been wanting since they made their debut in 2014.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards, on the other hand, have retained experienced Indian trio of PR Sreejesh, Ramandeep Singh, V.R. Raghunath, Jolie Wouter and Edward Ockenden while releasing the rest of the team.
Having already spent $284,000, the franchisee has a kitty base of $441,000 to pick up their rest 15 players.
The HIL Auction 2015 will be conducted by renowned auctioneer Bob Hayton of London, who has 30 years of experience in this profession.
PM nominates former Pakistan player for post of PHF president
KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation announced that its Patron-in-Chief, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has nominated former player and manager Brig (retired) Mohammad Khalid S Khokhar for the President's post of PHF.
Khokhar was present at the press conference in Islamabad on Thursday when former Olympian Akhtar Rasool resigned as head of PHF.
PHF secretary Rana Mujahid said a formal council meeting would be held next week to elect the retired Brigadier.
Khokar has played for and captained Pakistan Army team from 1973-84 and was named in several Pakistan training camps.
He also served as manager of the Pakistan team for nearly three years, including the 2002 World Cup, held in Kuala Lumpur.
He has served as national selector and was appointed as chairman of the present PHF Disciplinary Committee and also served as Director General Army Sports Board.
Mujahid said that Brig (rtd) Khokhar's hockey knowledge and administrative abilities are expected to bring in changes, required for the uplift of the game at grassroots, national and international level.
It is also expected that once Khokar takes charge there will be other changes in PHF and national team management.
He will have to review a recommendation of the fact finding committee that there is no need to have a national selection committee and teams should be selected by the manager and coach.
Rasool was forced to resign following the national team's failure to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time in Pakistan's history.
The shock ouster in the World Hockey League semifinals in Belgium two months ago led to the formation of a government fact finding committee to determine the reasons for hockey's decline in Pakistan and the poor performance of the federation and team.
The Times of India