All the news for Tuesday 25 August 2015
Germany & England battle into women’s semi-finals
Although there were only two matches played at the 2015 Unibet EuroHockey Championships in London on Monday (24th August), the women’s encounters proved to be extremely important as reigning champions Germany and host nation England sealed their places in the competition semi-finals with respective Pool B victories over Scotland and Italy.
Both sides were given stern tests by their opponents, but did enough to reach the final four and will play each other on Wednesday (26th August) in a match that will decide who wins Pool B and, perhaps crucially, avoids a semi-final meeting with the winner of Pool A.
WOMEN’S POOL B
Scotland 1-2 Germany
Goals from Franzisca Hauke and Marie Mävers ensured that Germany earned maximum points from their two Pool B games and a secured a place in the competition semi-finals. However, they far from dominated their match against a battling Scotland team who netted a late goal through Nikki Kidd and ran the reigning European champions to the wire.
The excellence of German defensive duo Nina Hasselmann – who won her 200th cap – and Janne Müller-Wieland meant that Scotland were hard pushed to get in the danger zone, but they did make some incursions and Scotland coach Gordon Shepherd will want to see his side make more of their opportunities when they get them.
Germany coach Jami Mülders will be looking for more clinical and structured play from a side who looked like reigning champions for only limited periods of this game, and who allowed Scotland to force them into making uncharacteristic mistakes.
“We are happy with the result, but I think we will draw a line under this game,” said Müller-Wieland after the game. “We have played Scotland a lot recently, perhaps we know each other too well. Now we concentrate on the next game and prepare for the semi-finals.”
Italy 0-2 England
England were relieved to have taken all three points in a frustrating encounter against a very resilient Italian side, a result which leaves England needing to beat Germany in their final Pool B match to top the group.
A tap-in from Helen Richardson-Walsh and a late goal from Sophie Bray while Italy were fielding a kicking back were the differences in a far from convincing outcome between two sides with nine ranking places separating them. The Italians in contrast will be relatively pleased with their performance – a largely defensive display that served to put England under pressure in all areas of the pitch.
“We played well, we just didn’t put our chances away,” said England’s Susannah Townsend after the match. “The important thing was we didn’t panic, and that was important because Italy are a good side, with a good defence and we had to work hard to wear them down.”
Italy will play Scotland with both sides looking to record their first win of the tournament and avoid relegation from Europe’s elite competition.
England into semi-finals after completing Italian job
England celebrate against Italy
An inspired display by Italy goalkeeper Martina Chirico and some superb defending by the Azzurri proved to be in vain as Helen Richardson-Walsh’s 25th goal for England and a late goal from Nicola White gave England a 2-0 win. Richardson-Walsh struck with 15 minutes remaining and then White secured the win with a last-minute goal. Danny Kerry’s side made it two wins from two in the pool stage and booked their place in the semi-finals.
England started brightly and Sophie Bray was first to threaten. Her persistence paid off as she robbed the Italian defender and forced Martina Chirico into an early save. The Italy goalkeeper was then called upon twice in quick succession to deny Ashleigh Ball. England won their first penalty corner with three minutes left in the quarter but Chirico was at it again, making a fine save from Giselle Ansley who she denied again from another set piece moments later. A driving run by Susannah Townsend set up Alex Danson but the No15’s snap shot went the wrong side of the post, ensuring it was 0-0 at quarter time.
Italy enjoyed a spell of possession in the second quarter but it was England who fashioned the better chances. Danson’s turn and shot flashed just wide as the hosts hunted the opening goal. Bray too went close but Italy’s stubborn resistance was frustrating Danny Kerry’s team.
With less than two minutes to half time, England won a penalty corner. Italy asked for a referral but the decision stood. Ansley took the shot again but her effort whistled past the post leaving it level at the half time break.
Italy’s rigid and organised defence looked like it would keep England out in the third quarter but a bit of magic from Lily Owsley won them a penalty corner with two minutes left on the clock. The move was slick and the deflection hit a foot on the line resulting in a penalty stroke. Danson stepped up but her effort went wide to the disbelief of the crowd.
With the time ticking down to the end of the quarter Georgie Twigg broke forwards and played the ball into the circle. Although Italy seemed set to clear Bray’s determination kept the chance alive and Helen Richardson-Walsh was on hand to stab the ball in from close range.
Danson did brilliantly to break the line and get into the Italian circle in the final quarter but was left to rue the woodwork as her bullet strike cannoned back off the post. Italy took off Chirico and went to 11 outfield players but a yellow card to Giuliana Ruggieri straight after, curbed their attacking intent. England took advantage and with no goalkeeper White forced home from close range to secure the win.
England’s next match is against Germany on 26 August at 19:30 live on the BBC Red Button and the BBC Sport Website
Quotes – Susie Gilbert, England:
“We always knew they’d give us a tough challenge and we would need to be on form to get the win. It took us a while to break them down but it was great that we kept to our processes, kept going and eventually it paid dividends.
The mental challenge when a game goes like that is to not get anxious and to stick to your game plan and processes. We kept doing what we do and believed in the plans we had in place. We knew if we stuck to our strengths we’d get there, which we did.”
“Germany are a class outfit and we know they have skilful players so we’ll have to be on it. We have a day to recover and prepare before we give it our all against Germany. It’s exciting to be in the business end of a tournament we’re glad to being the semi-finals but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We will concentrate on Germany, aim to get the win and keep the momentum going. It’s an old cliché but we have to take it one game at a time.”
England 2 (0)
Helen Richardson-Walsh 45 (FG)
Nicola White 60 (FG)
Italy 0 (0)
England Hockey Board Media release
England women beat Italy to make it into semi-finals of EuroHockey Championship
By Graham Wilson
England women beat Italy to make into the semis. GETTY
DANNY KERRY’S faith in bringing Helen Richardson-Walsh back into the England fold paid dividends again at the Olympic Park last night as she scored the goal to break Italy in the Unibet EuroHockey Championships.
The Reading midfielder’s career-threatening back injury seems well in the past now but, as coach Kerry had always predicted, her experience would mean she would always be in the right place at the right time and that was the case when she tapped home seconds from the end of the third quarter to ease England’s frustrations against the underdogs.
It was her second goal of the tournament after the 2-1 victory against Scotland, her 25th for England which came just after striker Alex Danson had put wide a penalty stroke awarded for a foot on the line after a penalty corner deflection.
Richardson-Walsh’s strike made up for an earlier hesitation when she delayed a clear shot on goal.
Danson also had a fine effort cannon off the post in a match where England had all the pressure but rushed their approach work. They had six penalty corners and finally made the scoreline respectable when Nicola White angled home a shot in the last minute.
England are now in the semi-finals along with holders Germany, who they play on Wednesday to decide who finishes top of their pool in a bid to avoid Olympic champions the Netherlands.
Player of the match Lily Owsley said: “Italy had nothing to lose and we knew it could go down to the third and last quarters but we got there in the end. We want to win, we want to beat the Germans.”
Her team-mate Susie Gilbert said: “We always knew Italy would give us a tough challenge and we would need to be on form to get the win. It took us a while to break them down but it was great that we kept to our processes, kept going and eventually it paid dividends.
The mental challenge when a game goes like that is to not get anxious and to stick to your game plan and processes. We kept doing what we do and believed in the plans we had in place. We knew if we stuck to our strengths we’d get there, which we did.
“Germany are a class outfit. We have a day to recover and prepare before we give it our all against Germany. It’s exciting to be in the business end of a tournament we’re glad to being the semi-finals but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We will concentrate on Germany, aim to get the win and keep the momentum going."
England women battle into EuroHockey semi-finals with narrow 2-0 victory against Italy
England 2-0 Italy: Helen Richardson-Walsh and Nicola White got the goals but England failed to reach their free-flowing best
By Rod Gilmour, Lee Valley
England celebrate a goal against Italy. Photo: EPA
For all England women’s success in 2015 – unbeaten in 12 matches, including their fine World League victory in Great Britain colours – their incisiveness at penalty corners remains a weakness, as they edged past Italy into the European Championships semi-finals last night.
England were indebted to Helen Richardson-Walsh’s tight-angled goal before the final quarter, while a simple push home by Nicola White in the last minute added gloss.
Against the world No 17 outfit, England's first-half performance underlined why seeing Crista Cullen back playing international hockey is now such a mouthwatering thought, with the likes of Holland and Australia possessing such gifted corner strikers.
Cullen, the 30-year-old defender who retired after London 2012, is regarded as England’s finest short corner specialist, announcing earlier this month that she would be returning to the GB programme for a trial period.
How Danny Kerry, the coach, could have done with her last night and he was forthright in his comments afterwards.
The England team line-up
“We have been putting players under pressure at penalty corners with Rio in mind and if they don’t deliver it could cost them,” he said.
“Crista has a proven track record in Olympics and World Cups and what she has to do is prove herself after three years out.”
By the end of the first-half, England had enjoyed nearly 80 per cent possession, mustered five shots on goal and saw four penalty corners go begging.
Three of those saw Italy shy of a defender after failing to ready themselves inside 40 seconds. Still their two-pronged moves couldn’t forge a goal as Giselle Ansley and Kate Richardson-Walsh went wide.
Playing to Kerry’s coaching ethos of patience and discipline, England began to make hay in the third quarter.
Italy's Traverso fights for the ball
They finally won a penalty stroke, but Alex Danson pushed it wide of the impressive Natalia Schinoni’s post.
Seconds later, a circle melee saw Sophie Bray’s unique stick skills find an unmarked Helen Richardson-Walsh, who angled home on the goal line.
Danson hit the post late on with the cleanest of strikes before England’s late onslaught saw a gallant Italy run out of gas.
To sum up England’s superiority, goalkeeper Maddie Hinch’s only action came with 30 seconds left, dealing with a routine clearance.
England play Germany tomorrow, needing a win to avoid the might of the Netherlands, the world and Olympic champions, in the last four.
After being outwitted by Holland on Sunday 2-0, England men, who play tonight, must avoid defeat to qualify for the semi-final.
Defending champions Germany defeat gutsy Scotland
Scotland midfielder Nikki Kidd scored a stunning penalty corner against Germany. Photo Credit: Ady Kerry.
A gutsy, spirited performance wasn’t enough to stop Germany inflicting another narrow 2-1 defeat on Scotland Senior Women in their Pool B encounter at the EuroHockey Nations Championships in London this evening.
Goals from Eileen Hoffman and Marie Mavers were enough to give the Germans their second win of the competition. Scotland’s goal came from a ferocious drag-flick shot by Nikki Kidd five minutes from time.
Speaking after the match, Scotland Senior Women Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said,
“We didn’t play for the full sixty minutes there. We were not good enough in the first half and if you’re playing a team who are ranked fifth in the world, we had to bring our ‘A’ game and we had to bring it for the full sixty minutes.
“For the second half we changed the system and it made a big difference. We were far more in the game and in the last quarter we just tweaked it again and I was happier with the second half performance. We’ve shown we can compete with these higher ranked teams.
“The players were brilliant in terms of the effort and commitment they gave but they are actually a bit down and disappointed with that tonight. However, nothing changes, the big game is Wednesday against Italy and our confidence is good.”
It was Scotland who made the first foray into opposition territory in the third minute when Nikki Lloyd collected the ball on the left and advanced to the baseline to release a dangerous cross. Unfortunately for the supporting runner Nikki Kidd, the ball cannoned off her foot just as she was about to control the ball inside the circle.
A looping, deflected pass from the German midfield in the ninth minute was met by a vicious Tina Hillmann snap-shot from above her shoulder, but Scotland goalkeeper Amy Gibson displayed lightening quick reactions to execute a stunning save to keep the scores level.
Mounting pressure on the Scottish defence led to Becky Ward making two vital blocks in quick time, including a vital diversion on Charlotte Stapenhorst’s attempted pass to Marie Mavers as she anticipated the easiest of tap-ins from a couple of yards out.
Germany were then awarded a penalty corner shortly before the end of the first quarter, but Mavers could not connect with Janne Muller-Weiland’s shot from the edge of the circle and Gibson’s outstretched stick cleared the ball away from the danger-zone as the deadlock remained unbroken.
Scotland's Kareena Marshall in action against Germany. Photo Credit: Ady Kerry
With the defending European champions dominating possession, it was almost inevitable that they would open the scoring though.
Anne Schroeder found Franzisca Hauke in space in front of the scoring circle and her penetrating run and cross was neatly deflected into the bottom left corner by Eileen Hoffman to give her side a deserved 1-0 advantage in the 18th minute.
Hamburg’s Lisa Altenburg was proving to be a real handful for the Scots’ defence during the contest, expertly making space for herself on the right of the circle to strike a great effort on target that Gibson blocked with her legs.
As the half entered its closing stages, a Hannah Kruger penalty corner attempt was valiantly defended by first runner Ali Howie, before a Kidd drag-flick was stopped by Hoffman as it careered towards the right hand top corner right on the stroke of half-time.
After conceding 80% of the first half possession, Head Coach Shepherd made necessary tactical changes during the interval that led to Scotland starting the second period brightly, enjoying more possession inside Germany’s half and causing Jamilion Mulders’ side defensive problems.
In the 40th minute, good build-up play by Emily Maguire and Aileen Davis led to Becky Merchant collecting the ball inside the circle, only for her reverse stick shot to drift wide of the left hand upright.
Becky Merchant strikes on goal. Photo Credit: Ady Kerry
Despite the Scots showing far more attacking intent in the second half, a German sucker-punch was delivered shortly before the end of the third period.
Gibson could only divert Cecile Pieper’s initial shot into the path of Altenburg on the right of the circle and her cross beat the Scottish defenders’ outstretched sticks to leave Mavers the easiest of opportunities to score from two yards out.
Three minutes into the final quarter, Kruger let Scotland’s defence off the hook after a penalty corner set-play involving Nina Hasselmann led to the Münchner SC forward’s shot being dragged wide of the target from only a few yards out.
It was a reprieve that Scotland quickly took advantage of.
The second of two penalty corner awards in rapid succession saw Kidd rifle an unstoppable drag-flick past German goalkeeper Yvonne Frank into the top left hand corner and pull her side right back into the contest.
Scotland celebrate Kidd's goal. Photo Credit: Ady Kerry
With time running out and his side in the ascendency, Shepherd threw caution to the wind for the second match running, replacing Gibson with a kicking back as the search for an equaliser gathered momentum.
Alas, excellent retention of the ball by Germany in the final few minutes resulted in limited opportunities for any efforts on goal, resigning Scotland to another narrow defeat and an important clash against the Italians.
“Italy are no pushovers”, stated Shepherd. “They are a very difficult team to break down and score goals against. We again are going to have to be at our best and I know that if we at our best, we will win the game. We will not treat them lightly and give it 100%.”
Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 (W)
Pool B Result
Scotland (Nikki Kidd 65') 1 -2 Germany (Eileen Hoffman 18', Marie Mavers 42')
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)
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Netherlands and Germany through to Euro semis
Image credit: Koen Suyk
The Unibet EuroHockey Nations Championships group stages are perfectly poised going into Tuesday’s final round of games with lots of sides still in the mix.
Spain charged back into contention in Pool A on Sunday morning as KHC Leuven’s Pau Quemada fired home five times in a 9-0 win over Russia.
The Netherlands beat Spain 2-0 in game one on Saturday. Spanish captain Sergei Enrique said afterwards that it was easy for his side to bounce back against Russia: “After the Hockey World League we changed our philosophy so now we take it one game at a time. And we are Spain, we pride ourselves on playing as a team and that is what you saw today.”
Max Caldas’s Dutch team is all but through as they added to that win over Spain with a deserved 2-0 win over hosts England in a game where they were in control for the most part.
Mirco Pruijser’s corner follow-up in the first half and a classy Constantijn Jonker deflection to Rogier Hofman’s cross killed off the tie with a few minutes to go.
Jaap Stockmann said his team were satisfied with the result but added the team still needed to discover greater consistency. “We played well for periods but, like our performance against Spain, we did let the intensity slip for a time.”
England meet Spain on Tuesday in a straight battle for a semi-final berth behind the Dutch.
Pool A is being led by Germany as they remained patient before scoring twice in the last six minutes as Lukas Windfeder and a Florian Fuchs wonder goal earned a 2-0 win over Ireland.
For Moritz Fuerste, it was a game that was tough, but “on reflection, one we probably deserved to win based on possession.
“Ireland defended well as we knew they would, but for us it was a game of patience and now we have achieved our aim of reaching the semi-finals.”
Despite the scoreline, Ireland are still in second place in the group and know a draw against Belgium on Tuesday will earn them a first ever semi-final spot from this competition.
“Taking the bigger picture that was an okay result for us,” said John Jackson. “We had a very specific game plan and we stuck to it for most of the game, and that was to keep the goal difference down. We now have a great chance of making the semi-finals and that will be a first.”
The Belgians lost 4-0 to Germany in their first game before scrambling a 4-3 win over France on Sunday. They need a win over Ireland to keep alive their medal hopes.
Euro Hockey League media release
EuroHockey Championships Live streaming
The Unibet EuroHockey Championships 2015 are being live streamed worldwide, with the exception of all games in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
In the UK and Ireland, the matches involving England, Scotland and Ireland are geoblocked. Please see below the TV and website listings for all 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
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
Qualification games and Finals
Koshy needs to do CPR on MHL
by Jugjet Singh
WHILE the best will head for Hockey India League (HIL), the rest came to play in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
Just as this column was being written, in came an email and the intro was -- HIL to conduct auction for 135 Indian and 141 foreign players on Sept 17.
Among the foreign players to be auctioned, Australian ace Jamie Dwyer's name stood out. Dwyer has played in four World Cups, and will be playing in his fourth Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after helping Australia become champions at the Belgium World League Semifinals.
Five out of six teams in the Premier Division hired players from Argentina, Pakistan, Ireland, South Africa and Germany -- but the hired guns have yet to impress in any manner.
Tenaga Nasional, the title sponsors, were the only team who believed in locals and they are doing much better than foreign-injected Sapura, Maybank and UniKL at the start of the Second Round.
Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) are the only two teams in battle for the League title, and are on 19 and 18 points respectively after seven matches.
The pretenders are Sapura (10 points), Tenaga (nine), Maybank (three) and yet-to-win-a-point UniKL.
And even KLHC and THT are being carried by their local players, while their foreign imports are in the shadows.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) had said at the start of the MHL that the foreign players are needed to inject prestige and also attract fans.
However, the imports have failed in every department. The Premier Division matches at Bukit Jalil have yet to attract the desired number of fans, and in fact, 70 percent of those who come to watch the matches are family members and friends of players.
Both the stadiums in Bukit Jalil only see about 100 to 200 'fans' turning up to watch the Premier Division matches, but the presence of hockey players from other teams waiting for the next match, adds to the numbers.
Sadly, even MHC officials are normally missing from the stands.
Nobody but KLHC and THT seem to be enjoying the spotlight, and a top MHC official said it all: "We tried everything to attract the fans, but failed."
MHC Deputy President and Competitions Chairman George Koshy had promised drastic changes in the MHL when he went on his election rounds early this year.
But he did not have enough time to implement them this season. Lets see if Koshy, who is also the KLHC team manager, can give this dead-end league a kiss of life, and make it as interesting and lucrative as the HIL.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
MHL title battle boils down to T’gganu and KLHC
by S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: The battle for the Malaysia Hockey League’s Premier Division title is all set to go down to the wire.
Double champions Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) are the two teams fighting for the crown following the collapse of the other four teams.
KLHC lead the six-team league with 19 points, just one ahead of Terengganu with three more matches to go.
The interesting thing is that both teams will meet in the last match on Sept 2.
Last season, both teams met in the penultimate game with Terengganu beating KLHC 5-1 to eventually clinch the crown.
KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj recalled the intense battle before conceding the title to Terengganu.
“We led the table with two matches remaining and then lost the game to Terengganu in the penultimate game. And they went on to snatch the title away from us.
“This year we are not going to let it happen again. Now we need to win the next two matches against UniKL (Universiti Kuala Lumpur) on Friday and Sapura on Sunday to set up the ‘final’ clash,” said Dharmaraj.
But he admitted it would not be easy to beat bottom side UniKL and third-placed Sapura, who are on 10 points.
“UniKL and Sapura are still strong teams despite being out of the title fight. Sapura were in the title mix until they lost (5-2 to Terengganu) on Sunday,” said Dharmaraj.
For Dharmaraj, his biggest concern is that his team have been slow starters this season.
“On many occasions we fell behind to early goals. Fortunately, we managed to comeback. But we cannot let it happen again. At this stage of the league, there is no room for errors,” said Dharmaraj.
Terengganu certainly know what needs to be done to retain the title. Their last three matches are against Tenaga Nasional, Maybank and KLHC.
“The team who win the last three matches will win the title. It is as simple as that,” said Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh.
“The only advantage we have is that all our three matches are at home in Kuala Terengganu. We have to take advantage of it and make sure there is no slip-ups,” he said.
The Star of Malaysia
Fitri feels ready to don national colours again
by Joash Ee de Silva
Fitri Saari (right) in action for Malaysia in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey meet in Ipoh last year. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Terengganu’s Fitri Saari is ready to reclaim his place in the national hockey team.
The talented midfielder made his last appearance for the team at the World Hockey League Round Two in Singapore in February.
But a family commitment saw him taking a four-month break from the sport. Fitri’s wife suffered a miscarriage and he felt that his presence was needed at home. The decision caused him to miss the World League Semi-Finals, an Olympic qualifier, in Belgium in June.
But now he is ready to fight his way back into the team.
The 22-year-old is in inspired form for Terengganu in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The east coast side are just three wins away from clinching the title. They are second in the six-team league with 18 points, one point behind leaders Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC).
Fitri, who has scored three goals so far, believes that an improved showing with Terengganu will convince the national selectors.
“I want my place back in the national team. By keeping up my current form, hopefully I will get the opportunity to play for Malaysia again,” said Fitri, a member of the national junior team who finished fourth in the 2013 Junior World Cup in New Delhi.
The Star of Malaysia
Katie Glynn itching to get back on the turf
Auckland striker Katie Glynn can’t wait to get back in action when Round 1 of the Ford National Hockey League gets underway this weekend.
The 26-year-old has been sidelined from competitive hockey since playing for the Black Sticks at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games almost a year ago.
Having been taken out of action in 2013 after rupturing her ACL, Glynn was struck by injury again late last year with several bulging discs in her back.
“It’s been a pretty slow process, and almost a year since I last played hockey competitively so it’s been really nice to be back on the turf. Hockey is something I love and I’ve really missed it,” she said.
“I still get pain in my back but it’s decreasing over time. The main thing is managing it and seeing how it reacts as I get back into top level hockey.”
Glynn is part of a talented Auckland side, who are defending champions after defeating Midlands 3-0 in last year’s final.
The team is led by current Black Sticks Glynn, Liz Thompson, Julia King and Ameila Gibson along with Development Squad players Danielle Sutherland, Maddison Dowe and Su Arn Kwek.
Auckland also boasts the firepower and experience of former Black Sticks Krystal Forgesson and Charlotte and Samantha Harrison who have 496 international caps between them.
“We’ve got a really good mix in our group, a couple of current Black Sticks and former ones with a lot of experience as well as talented young players.
“We’re defending champions so that adds a bit of pressure, but we don’t really think too much about that.
“I personally think this year will be one of the best national leagues we’ve ever had. The women’s programme has a lot of depth and having every Black Stick playing along with the juniors will create a very high standard of hockey.”
The Auckland Women open their Ford NHL campaign against Midlands at midday this Saturday in Pukekohe.
Following Round 1 this Saturday, Round 2 will be played the following Sunday at various venues around the country before all teams head to the ITM Hockey Centre in Whangarei for finals week from 12-20 September.
Earlybird tournament passes are still available online and are cheaper than purchasing at the gate. Daily passes will be available at the gate only.
The 2015 Ford National Hockey League is proudly supported by the Whangarei District Council and Trillian Trust.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
2015-16 U-21 Women's National Squad Announced
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following Junior National Camp's humid days, intense competition and elite training, USA Field Hockey is pleased to announce the newly selected 2015-16 U.S. U-21 Women's National Team. These young, standout athletes exemplify the growth and progress of the sport within the country as they look to further develop more advanced and impressive skill sets and abilities.
Beginning in mid-June, athletes showcased their talents in front of an array of selectors in hopes of receiving an invitation to Junior National Camp. Among the Young Women's National Championship, National Futures Championship and Futures Elite Championship, the top 110 athletes were selected to attend either the U-21 Junior National Camp or the U-17/U19 Junior National Camp. During the camps, athletes learned from some of the best coaches in the country and based on their performances competed for the sought-after slots on the Junior National Teams.
Congratulations to the following athletes who have been named to the U.S. U-21 Women's National Team:
Maddie Bacskai (Berwyn, Pa.), Kelsey Bing (Houston, Texas), Anna Bottino (Clifton Park. N.Y.), Catherine Caro (Martinsville, N.J.), Linnea Gonzales (Bel Air, Md.), Carrie Hanks (Niskayuna, N.Y.), Sarah Helgeson (Landisville, Pa.), Ashley Hoffman (Mohnton, Pa.), Laura Hurff (Newark, Del.), Kelly Johnson (Westminster, Md.), Emma Lamison (Liverpool, N.Y.), Amanda Magadan (Randolph, N.J.), Erin Matson (Chadds Ford, Pa.), Lauren Moyer (York, Pa.), Margaux Paolino (Villanova, Pa.), Moria Putsch (Media, Pa.), Julianna Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Sophia Tornetta (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Tara Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.), Nicole Woods (Beverly, Mass.), Julia Young (Yorktown, Va.)
The full U-21 squad met for the first time in August. This was the start of an important period of training sessions and meetings as well as a time to try and build on the progression the team made last year.
"We have an important year ahead of us with a competition schedule that includes the Junior Pan American Championship in March to qualify for the Junior World Cup in November 2016," said Janneke Schopman, U.S. U-21 Women's National Team Head Coach.
"Over the summer we began developing well as a team and determined what our major goals are and how to achieve them," said Julia Young, U.S. U-21 Women's National Team Athlete. "One thing that's really important that we did in August was established an environment where everyone feels included and comfortable with one another, which is going to be important for our team's success this coming year."
"As athletes on the U-21 team look to the U.S. Women's National Team to try to play in a similar high intensity, playing forward with speed mindsets and focusing in the training sessions as well as deliberate execution of basic skills, while continually developing and implementing new skills are constant goals," said Schopman. "In the different meetings, the athletes were asked to think about the upcoming season and to design their own path to success."
At the end of the week, Schopman couldn't have been happier as a coach with the how hard the team trained but also while having fun. She added, "The base for this important year has been firmly established and this will give the team what is necessary in their journey to develop and succeed."
The U.S. U-21 Women's National Team has a full schedule in the coming months in preparation for the Junior Pan American Championship, March 29 - April, 10 2016 in Trinidad & Tobago. Training Camp weekends will be held in November, February and March, with two of those consisting of games against college teams in their spring seasons. The team will host Great Britain's U-21 team for a five game test series January 4-12, 2016 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. before heading to the Junior Pan American Championship, a qualification for the 2016 Junior World Cup in November.
"We are looking forward to the series against Great Britain," said Young. "It will show us where we are as a team, and where we need to go to be successful at the Junior Pan Ams."
USA Field Hockey and Schopman would like to send a special thanks to Jamie Montgomery, Kristin Holmes-Winn, Ange Bradley and Jun Kentwell for all their help during camp.
USFHA media release
Yuvraj fires five past SC Railway
MUMBAI: For now, he may not be in the India scheme of things. That snub, though, hasn't stopped Mumbai boy Yuvraj Walmiki from dishing out his best hockey. Playing in the ongoing Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup hockey tournament at the Mumbai Hockey Association ground in Churchgate, Walmiki, with ten goals, is already the top scorer in the tournament.
On Monday, when he turned out for Central Railway against South Central Railway in a Pool B league match, the artistic striker was at his scoring best. Of the half a dozen goals that Central Railway hammered past their opponents, five were scored by Walmiki alone. Affan Yusuf opened the scoring and it was Walmiki all the way thereafter.Central Railway eventually won 6-4.
"I know I have to keep scoring goals. Scoring goals is very important. No matter how well you play and how influential you are in a game, it counts for nothing if your name is not on the scoreboard," Walmiki, told TOI after his rewarding effort.
His performance earned Central a passage to the semifinal. " Absolutely important match it was for us," Walmiki stressed. "Being a local team, there was this added pressure. But I am glad that we handled the situation brilliantly and came up trumps" Walmiki is just a couple of years old in the organization but with his performances for the national team and his employer, he has begun to command respect from his teammates -even from some of the seniors. Does that add to the pressure then? "I wouldn't call it pressure. It is more of a responsibility. Taking the team along and ensuring that we play as a unit is a huge task."
The Times of India
Sardar Singh, Jamie Dwyer Among 276 for Hockey Indian League Players' Auction
File photo of Sardar Singh playing for Delhi Waveriders. © NDTV
India captain Sardar Singh, five-time world hockey player of the year Jamie Dwyer of Australia, talismanic German midfielders Moritz Furste and Tobias Hauke will be among the 276 players who will be part of the Hockey India League (HIL) players' auction to be held here on September 17.
Out of the listed players, 135 are home-grown while the rest are foreigners.
Centre-half Sardar, who captained Delhi Waveriders (DWR) to the title in 2014, was released by the Capital's franchise. Playmaker Dwyer, 36, played for Jaypee Punjab Warriors (JPW) for three years before the Chandigarh-based side released the Australian.
Waveriders also released defender-dragflicker Rupinderpal Singh, forwards Akashdeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba and German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi. The quartet will also be on the radar of the franchisees.
Apart from Dwyer, JPW released experienced players like Kieran Govers, Sandeep Singh, Lucas Rey, Dharamvir Singh and Simon Orchard and they are also expected to be picked.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards (UPW) released two important young Indian internationals -- Nikkin and Nithin Thimmaiah along with midfielder S.K. Uthappa giving a good option for the franchises to bid for the released attackers.
Not retaining the dependable Australian goalkeeper George Bazeley by the Wizards makes the upcoming auction more interesting as the choice to pick up from experienced custodians increases. Also with Pardeep Mor available for the auction, the young defender will also prove to be a good pick for the franchisees.
The release of Chinglensana Singh by Dabang Mumbai gives many the option to get him on board with the hope that he will provide goals like he did last season. Also with Mathew Swann and Glenn Turner set to feature in the auction, the franchisees will not mind having the experience of the Australian attackers at their disposal.
Kalinga Lancers released foreigners Gonzalo Peillat, Glenn Simpson and Lucas Villa, which will make the auction interesting. In Harjot Singh, the franchises will have a world class goalkeeper to bid for.
Post making the choice of holding back their six key players, Ranchi Rays had to release names like Trent Mitton, Furste, Austin Smith, Justin Reid-Ross along with Sushant Tirkey, Mandeep Singh and Stanli Victor Minz.
Apart from the released players from each team, many new players will also be available through the bidding process for the first time. Young and agile goalkeeper Akash Chikte, who made many heads turn during this year's 5th Hockey India National Championship, along with Sunil Yadav will have every franchisee actively bidding for them.
Yadav has scored 10 goals for his state team this year.
Apart from these names, young Indian internationals like Jasjit Singh Kular, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Malak Singh, Affan Yousuf and Amit Rohidas will also feature in the auction.
From reigning Olympic champions Germany, former world players of the years -- Furste and Hauke, forwards Florian Fuchs, Oliver Korn, Christopher Ruhr, Mats Grambush, Jaan Philippe Rabente and goalkeeper Jacobi will go under the hammer.
New Zealanders Stephen Jenness, Hugo Inglis, Nick Wilson, veteran Phil Burrows, Arun Panchia, Ryan Archibald, Shea McAleese, Andrew Hayward and Devon Manchester will also be part of the auction to be conducted by auctioneer Bob Hayton of London.
In the last few years, Argentina have grown into a strong team -- the highlight being the bronze medal at the 2014 World Cup. Their players -- Juan Manuel Vivaldi, Juan Ignacio Gilardi, Peillat, Matias Rey, Pedro Ibarra, Lucas Rey, Juan Martin Lopez, Agustin Mazilli, Matias Paredes, Facunbdo Callioni -- could be hot properties.
HIL's costliest player -- star Belgian striker Tom Boon with $103,000 -- won't go under the hammer despite being released by Mumbai.
Paragon women, Fatima men top QPCC hockey festival
Queen's Park players pose for a team photo after beating Courts Malvern 5-1 in the Veterans Division final of the inaugural Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) Eight-A-Side Carnival Hockey festival at the Queen’s Park Oval Ground, St Clair on Saturday night.
Paragon women and Fatima men were crowned champions when the inaugural Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC) Eight-A-Side Carnival Hockey festival concluded under lights at the Queen’s Park Oval Ground, St Clair on Saturday night. In the women’s decider, pre-tournament favorites Paragon made light work of Pink and came away with a 2-0 triumph thanks to goals from Alanna Lewis and Gabrielle Thompson for the $4,000 top prize.
Pink got $2,000 for ending second while Guyana’s Hikers edged Magtastic 1-0 in the $1,000 third place playoff. The men’s Open was a much closer battle with underdogs Fatima getting the better of Petrotrin 1-0 on sudden-death penalties after a 1-1 deadlock thanks to a conversion from Jordan Vieira after team-mate Justin Pascal saved Mickell Pierre’s attempt.
Vieira was also the scorer of Fatima’s go-ahead goal in regulation time which was cancelled out by Shaquille Daniel in the dying minutes of regulation time. Queen’s Park Cricket Club II battled past Queen’s Park Cricket Club I, 4-3 for third spot. Petrotrin and Queen’s Park better outcomes in the Mixed and Veterans Divisions respectively, beating Drinks United 4-1 and Queen’s Park CC, 5-1 in their deciders.
For the Oilmen, Wayne Legerton got a hat trick and Atiba Whittington the other while Daniel, playing for Drinks United, this time around was on target for Drinks United. The Parkites got a double from Ryan Mouttet and one each from Raphael Govia, Gary Chin and Devin Munroe in their one-sided contest while Nicholas Wren got Malvern’s consolation.
• Fatima 1 (Jordan Vieira) vs Petrotrin 1 (Shaquille Daniel) - Fatima won 1-0 on sudden-death penalties
• Paragon 2 (Alanna Lewis, Gabrielle Thompson) vs Pink 0
• Petrotrin 4 (Wayne Legerton 3, Atiba Whittington) vs Drinks United 1 (Shaquille Daniel)
• QPCC 5 (Ryan Mouttet 2, Raphael Govia, Gary Chin, Devin Munroe) vs Malvern 1 (Nicholas Wren)
Third place playoffs:
• QPCC II 4 vs QPCC I 3
• Hikers 1 vs Magtastic 0
• Hikers 4 vs Don’t Truss Us 2
• Fatima 5 vs Carib 0
Mixed Division: Devon Munroe (Hikers) & Dominic Young (Don’t Truss Us) - 5
Veterans Division: Nicholas Wren (Malvern) - 5
Women’s Open: Stacey Siu Butt (Pink) - 6
Men’s Open: Jordan Vieira (Fatima) - 8
Most Valuable Player:
Mixed Division: Jordan Vieira (Hikers)
Veterans Division: Jerry Bell (QPCC)
Women’s Open: Krizia Layne (Hikers)
Men’s Open: Jordan Vieira (Fatima)
Most Outstanding Goalkeepers:
Mixed Division: Gregory Haynes (Hikers)
Veterans Division: Hayden Francois (Fatima)
Women’s Open: Stefanie Smith (Paragon)
Men’s Open: Justin Pascal (Fatima)
The Trinidad Guardian
US high school coach set to beat national all-time winning record
Coach Sue Butz-Stavin (bottom right) will break a US win record this year
It’s an achievement any coach would be proud of and is one students, past and present, at Emmaus High School in Pennsylvania, USA will be celebrating on 19 September when it is expected a national record will be broken.
Sue Butz-Stavin has led their team to 838 wins in a career spanning 40 season as Girls Field Hockey Coach at the high school. It is a figure that’s one win away from equalling the national record, currently held by retired coach Nancy Williams from West Long Branch Shore Regional High in New Jersey.
With the high school season starting shortly in the USA, that record of 839 wins is likely to be eclipsed any time in the next few weeks, especially as Sue has a 90 percent win record, accrued over four decades.
Speaking of the formula for her coaching success, Sue, who has been coaching at Emmaus since 1976, says it comes down to the team around her. She said: “We have a great school and athletic environment, a talented pool of athletes and a wonderful coaching staff.”
In her 40 seasons, Emmaus has been crowned District Champion for the past 26 years. The school has also won the highly competitive State Championships 10 times.
Sue herself got into the game from an early age. She said: “My Mom first inspired me to play hockey. She was very athletic and played field hockey for Cedar Crest College in the 1940s. She was very active as a college official in the Leigh Valley. Many times I sat on the sideline and watched. During my junior high and high school years field hockey was played in physical education classes and after school intra-mural competitions. In my junior year at William Allen we formed the first field hockey team at the school. I then played my freshman year at college.”
Sue got a coaching badge while at college and says that coaching provided a means of supporting her college education. After college, she took a year out to travel and work in Australia, returning to the USA with a lot more coaching experience gained during her travels and some new ideas for playing the game.
“The students were used to the old five-man front, three halves, two backs and a sweeper,” she recalled in an earlier interview. “It took three or four years to get the team to believe in a 4-3-3 system.”
Now the students at Emmaus High School accept their coach’s words of wisdom without question. One of the stars of the team last season was Meredith Sholder, who scored 47 goals and was voted district Field Hockey Player of the Year.
She said of her coach: “People who don’t know Sue are intimidated by her, but she’s not scary at all, she’s very supportive. She can be tough, as all coaches can, but I’m really glad she’s my coach.”
An inductee in the National Field Hockey Hall of Fame, Sue has a stream of honours to her name, including US Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year and National High School Coach of the Year. The winning game that breaks Nancy Williams record will provide just one more piece of evidence that experience is an essential element in the coaching tool kit.
And for the future? “I just take each day, game and season in my stride,” said Sue.
Pathetic phase of Pakistan's Hockey
The resignation of Akhtar Rasool as President of Pakistan Hockey Federation on August 20 underlines the pathetic phase of chaos prevailing in the country.
The letter promptly reached the social media with no less than a person than the outstanding forward and former captain, Shabaz Ahmed (Sr) pasting it on FB.
Not surprisingly, the response was tremendous ranging from anguish over the state of hockey to outright condemnation of the officials controlling the destiny of the sport in a country where the passion for hockey should be seen to believe.
A stalwart in every sense of the turn, Akhtar Rasool strove manfully to clear the cobwebs in the highly fractured administration. Acknowledged as one of the World’s best centre halfbacks in the early eighties—he led the national team to the World Cup trophy triumph in 1982 at Bombay-
Aktar’s influence in other spheres, including in the political establishment was quite high. He had a term as a provincial minister of Punjab. In the PHF too, Akhtar donned several caps including that of a coach.
But never in its eventful history since 1947 has hockey in Pakistan hit the nadir as of now. It missed the World Cup last year, failing to qualify, and is out of the Olympics at Rio for the same reason. Internal dissensions and the conflict with the National Olympic Committee came in the way of the team making the grade for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow.
For a country that had passed through more than one golden age in the history of Olympics, World Cups and Champion Trophy, the present status is profoundly disturbing indeed. In the heyday of AIi Iqtadir Shah (Dara), M. H. Atif and Air Marshal Nur Khan, Pakistan not only looked upon as a model of hockey promotion but also commanded a generous measure of influence within the International Hockey Federation (FIH). As the donor of the World Cup in 1971, and the Champions Trophy in 1977 Pakistan earned the gratitude of the hockey community across.
The power and influence stemmed largely from the successes in the Olympics, World Cup, Asian Games and the Champions Trophy, as they did from the quality and content of hockey, the country produced huge number of followers.
It will be difficult to catalogue the classy players who gave the Pakis the image and identity they richly deserved. From the inimitable Khalid Muhammad, Islahuddin, Sheikh Shanaz and Manzur down to the marvelous era of Hassan Sardar, who some local observers compared him as having even an edge over the incomparable Dhyan Chand, to the stunning phase led by the superbly endowed Shahbaz (Sr), and Tahir Zaman.
No one carried the tradition more eloquently than the penalty corner flicker Sohail Abbas, whom the opposition feared and admired. His World record tally of 338 goals makes him a legend without fear of contradiction.
Progressively, the sheen began to wear off as the European dominance became more pronounced. Pakistan met the challenges by being the first Asian power to look for foreign coaches despite facing the flak from the former Olympians.
But the efficacy of this effort came clear when the Dutch maestro, Hans Jorritsma, piloted Pakistan to the 1994 World Cup triumph at Sydney in 1994. Two more Dutch coaches, Roelant Oltmans and Michel van den Heuvel Han, not measure up to that level though Heuvel took the team to a gold medal win at Guangzhou in 2010.
It is disagreed in several quarters, and rightly so, that Pakistan is not weak as portrayed by the results. Individually, the players are proficient like Muhammad Imran and Waseem Ahmed, Bhutta, for instance, but it is the level of dissidence and dissonance in the administration has played havoc on the national psyche.
The frequent shuffling of coaches, lack of exposure on the home turf largely due to the security concerns the absence of dynamic leadership like Nur Khan or M.H.Atif, severe weakening of the financial muscle and declining sponsorship deals have combined to knock off the level of confidence. It is also gathered that the talent pool is shrinking fast causing a sense of alarm for the future.
The decline and fall of Pakistan in hockey is very disheartening tidings for the huge community across the globe including the FIH. It is undeniable that Pakistan is great crowd puller in any part of the world, especially in Europe and Asia.
What PHF needs urgently today is a high level of support from the Government and professional management of the federation focused on regaining the luster that made Pakistan a super power in the sport not long ago.
Former Olympian proposes neutral venues for revival of hockey
ISLAMABAD: Hailing the nomination of Brigadier retired Khalid Sajjad Khokhar as the new chief of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), former Olympian Khawaja Muhammad Junaid suggested on Monday that efforts should be made to convince Asian teams to tour Pakistan.
Furthermore, he said should the teams be reluctant to tour the nation then the federation should arrange for a neutral venue, such as Dubai, for international competitions featuring the national side.
“Like Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the PHF should also opt for some neutral venue until revival of international hockey takes place in the country,” he told APP.
“There are several neutral venues including Malaysia, China, Abu Dhabi and Dubai where we can arrange hockey series with foreign teams,” said the 1992 Olympics bronze medallist, who also served as national hockey team’s coach during 2010-2012.
Although he listed several locations, he believes that Dubai is the most suitable site for a neutral series as it has excellent infrastructure and facilities.
“Besides there are several people in Dubai who can sponsor hockey matches,” he said.
Junaid also believes that it will be easier to convince Asian teams to tour Pakistan as opposed to European teams which are very reluctant.
“I think China, Korea, Malaysia, Bangladesh or any other International Hockey Federation (FIH) affiliated outfit can be easily persuaded to visit Pakistan in the near future. This will be very good for Pakistan hockey. It will not only end the drought of hosting international level hockey events in the country but also revitalize our youngsters’ interest towards the national game.”
In response to a question, Junaid hailed Brigadier (Rtd.) Khokar’s nomination as PHF president saying that Khokar is someone who is fully aware of Pakistan hockey’s ups and downs and prudent decision making is expected from him.
“He (Khokhar) is a wise man. He has full knowledge of hockey and I’m sure under him Pakistan hockey is going to flourish.”
For hockey’s improvement, he said the new PHF chief would have to work simultaneously on short term, medium term and long term plans.
“Initially he will have to give a short plan of two to three years that should include players’ development plan.
“The federation should get engaged in talks with various departments and organizations and try to get jobs for at least 200 budding players so that they may feel secure and focus on their game only,” he added.
The Express Tribune
PHF secretary general Mujahid to complete his tenure
LAHORE: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general Rana Mujahid Ali will complete his term as the new nominated president of the national federation, Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, has shown confidence in him.
Sources told Daily Times Monday that new PHF chief Khalid had a meeting with Mujahid and asked him to keep working as there would no further administrative changes in the national federation. “There will be no more changes in the national federation. Mujahid is an elected official and the new president knows it very well,” sources added. It is pertinent to mention that many former hockey Olympians, with their axe own to grind, were intentionally spreading rumours that after resignation of Akhtar Rasool Chaudhary, change was imminent at the post of PHF secretary general. “With the vote of confidence in Mujahid by PHF chief Khalid, all speculations have ended now,” sources maintained. There were rumours in the country for the last two weeks that former Olympians Shahbaz Senior and Naveed Alam were trying their best to become the PHF secretary general. “But their efforts have failed,” sources said. Mujahid was previously working as the PHF associate secretary, however, the executive board of the PHF appointed him in place of Asif Bajwa who stepped down as secretary, and later he won the elections for the coveted post. Mujahid won a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Mujhaid was awarded ‘Pride of Performance’ in 1994.
PHF president Akhtar stepped down from his post last Thursday, days after rejecting reports in the media that he was removed from office by the government following the hockey team’s failure to qualify for the 2016 Olympics. The former center-half Akhtar, who represented Pakistan at two Olympics and four World Cups, was elected unopposed as the PHF president of the hockey federation in 2013, along with Mujahid. Pakistan had secured eighth position in the qualifying event for the Olympics held in Belgium and as a result failed to qualify for the 2016 Games. It was the first time in the game’s history that Pakistan missed out on a spot at the Olympics. Pakistan are winners of Olympic gold three times and the world championship four times.
After the debacle, the Inter-provincial ministry and the PHF had formed their separate committees to probe the performance. Akhtar’s resignation came the day after the PHF fact-finding committee submitted its report to the federation. “I have resigned from the post for the best interests of the country and for the sake of our national sport,” Akhtar had said in a press conference in Islamabad. Khokhar had said he would try to resurrect the sport in Pakistan. “It’s a great honour to lead Pakistan hockey and I will do my best to fulfil the task handed to me,” Khokhar had said. Pakistan’s hockey has seen a serious slump since they won the 1994 world title in Australia. Pakistan finished last in the World Cup held in India in 2010, and have also failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands.
The Daily Times