All the news for Saturday 7 November 2015
FIH release latest World Rankings
Australia men and Netherlands women remain top
England women have moved up to sixth place Photo: FIH/Grant Treeby
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) released the latest World Rankings earlier today following the conclusion of all five Continental Championships.
Men’s World Cup holders Australia and women’s Olympic and World champions Netherlands remain at the top of the FIH World Rankings.
There’s no change in the men’s top three nations, with Netherlands ranked second and Germany third. While England move into fourth, Argentina continue their rise as they move up to fifth place.
India jumped up two places into sixth as they look to enter the top five nations in the world, while the biggest rise in the men’s rankings saw Venezuela move up 22 places to 47.
In the women’s rankings, despite losing the EuroHockey Championships 2015 final to England, Netherlands remain in top spot.
Australia followed by Argentina make up the top three, New Zealand in fourth, whilst only 13 points separate China, England and the USA positioned fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively. Dominican Republic made the biggest rise as they moved from 51 to 37.
The rankings were confirmed following the conclusion of the African Hockey Championships 2015.
The next update to the FIH World Rankings will be published following the last two events of the year - the men’s Hero Hockey World League Final in Raipur, India (27 November–6 December) and the women’s Argentina Hockey World League Final in Rosario, Argentina (5-13 December).
For a complete guide to the FIH World Rankings click here.
Spotlight on: Germany men
One of the undisputed giants of global hockey, Germany (FIH World Ranking: 3) have been a powerhouse of the game for decades and the current group is certainly no different.
They are the holders of the Olympic and Champions Trophy titles and are always capable of winning every tournament that they enter.
2014 was far less successful than Head Coach Markus Weise would have hoped, with a seventh place finish at the Hero Hockey World League Final being followed by an even more surprising sixth place finish at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague.
However, any conversations about the demise Germany’s “golden generation” were halted at the end of that year when they returned to form by winning the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, India.
The team continued their good form in 2015 by winning the Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final in Buenos Aires, although a 6-1 hammering at the hands of the Netherlands in the final of August’s Unibet EuroHockey Championships showed that they are certainly not faultless. That said, with some of the most gifted players in the game available for selection, it would be foolish to write them off on the basis of one bad day at the office.
The current training squad for Raipur includes two winners of the FIH Men’s Player of the Year Award, with Tobias Hauke (2013) and Moritz Fürste (2012) being rated among the very best midfielders in the game.
22-year-old attacker Christopher Rühr, the FIH Young Player of the Year for 2013, has already proven himself to be an explosive game-changer with a very bright future ahead of him, while fellow striker Florian Fuchs, the 2012 winner of the FIH Young Player of the Year, is one of the best finishers in the game.
Germany will be considered amongst the favourites in Raipur and will have high hopes of becoming Olympic champions for a third time in succession at Rio 2016.
Nickname: Die Honomas
Key player: Tobias Hauke. A classy midfielder blessed with skill, vision and intelligence. 2013 FIH Player of the Year Hauke is a double Olympic Gold medallist, having been a central figure in the Germany teams that emerged triumphant at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. At 28 years of age, his best years may still be ahead of him. He is the elder brother of Franzisca Hauke, who is a key player for Die Danas, the German women’s international team.
4x Olympic Gold medallists (1972, 1992, 2008, 2012)
2x World champions (2002, 2006)
9x Champions Trophy winners (1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2014)
8x European champions (1970, 1978, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2013)
1st place – Argentina Hockey World League Semi-Final (2015)
Additional information: Although Germany’s numerous world class players always grab the headlines, Head Coach Markus Weise is undoubtedly the team’s mastermind. Weise is one of the most successful sports coaches in Germany, having guided Germany’s women to Olympic Gold at the Athens 2004 Games before taking the men to Olympic glory at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012. A fourth successive Olympic Gold medal is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility, and achieving it would surely cement his place as one of the greatest hockey coaches in the history of the game.
Champions Trophy GB matches now known
Alex Danson celebrates scoring for Great Britain
Does the excitement and the glory of the summer’s Unibet EuroHockey Championships now seem to be a distant memory? Well don’t worry, as the Champions Trophy at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre is just a few months away.
The much-anticipated tournament takes place 18-26 June and tickets for the sessions are due to go on sale Wednesday 11 November 2015 at noon so you can book the best seats and return to the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre for more top class international hockey, more drama and more historic moments.
The Champions Trophy pits the best of the best against each other as they bid to strike a psychological blow to their rivals on the last stop on the Road to Rio. It’s back to Great Britain as England, Scotland and Wales join forces to see off the best teams world hockey has to offer. The Netherlands and the USA are already confirmed as opponents with three places in the tournament still up for grabs. Match times are detailed below.
Tickets to Finals day are already on sale, where you will enjoy three matches; the 5/6 play-off, 3/4 play-off and of course, the grand final. The rest of the tournament goes on sale next week, so make sure you don't miss out!
The Men’s and Women’s Unibet EuroHockey Championships Finals, held at Lee Valley in 2015 both sold out in advance of the event and we are expecting high demand for the Champions Trophy, too. There’s much more than hockey, with a Fan Park, Fun Zone for children, autograph signing sessions, opportunity to purchase merchandise, food, drink, plus much more.
Teams qualified as of 6 November 2015:
To be advised 1
To be advised 2
To be advised 3
Saturday 18 June:
16:00 Great Britain
Sunday 19 June
16:00 Great Britain
Monday 20 June
Tuesday 21 June
20:00 Great Britain
Wednesday 22 June
Thursday 23 June
20:00 Great Britain
Friday 24 June
Saturday 25 June
16:00 Great Britain
Sunday 26 June
England Hockey Board Media release
England Women crowned Team of the Year
England Hockey’s Women have been crowned Vitality Team of the Year at the Sunday Times & Sky Sports Sportswoman of the Year Awards.
Now in their 28th year, the awards recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution to sport made by elite performers, coaches, administrators, community volunteers and inspirational women.
This summer the team came from behind to win the Unibet EuroHockey Championships defeating World and Olympic Champions the Netherlands on shootout. Tonight, they beat more stiff competition in the shape of Chelsea Women's Football Team, England Women's Football Team and rowing pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning.
Alex Danson, speaking after the award was presented told England Hockey:
“We’re absolutely delighted to win the Vitality Team of the Year Award. It’s an absolutely fantastic achievement. It’ a testament to the hard work the girls have put in every single day."
"This award really showcases the high quality of sportswomen out there at the moment. The Chelsea and England ladies have done amazingly and Helen and Heather are phenomenal as a pair. To take the award ahead of them is incredible. This is for everyone who’s pulled on an England shirt for us and for everyone who voted and supported us. We couldn’t do it without you.”
England Hockey would like to thank everyone who voted and congratulate the team on their terrific achievement.
England Hockey Board Media release
Investec Women's Cup takes centre stage
Clifton prepare to defend a penalty corner. Credit Peter Smith
With the drama and shock results of the last round of the Investec Women’s Cup still fresh in the memory, the third round is already upon us this weekend.
Barnes, of the South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League, who produced the upset of the last round by knocking out holders Surbiton, will pit their wits against Chelmsford of the Investec Women’s East Conference. Chelmsford have made a start to the season but will have their work cut out to see off a Barnes side still riding high off their win in the last round.
East Grinstead, winners over Gloucester City in the last round take on last season’s beaten finalists, Clifton in an all Premier Division clash. Staines, who saw off Old Loughtonians in the previous round are set to face a star studded Holcombe side whilst Bowdon Hightown will make the journey to Boots to try and make it to the quarter finals.
There is an interesting clash of the Conferences as North meets West as Brooklands Poynton take on Stourport.
Hampstead and Westminster, finalists two years ago and in fine fettle in their debut season in the Investec Women’s Hockey League will be hoping to grab a Premier Division scalp in the shape of Buckingham.
Free-scoring Beeston of the North Conference will take the trip to Investec Premier Division Leaders University of Birmingham who are looking a forced to be reckoned with this season.
The final tie brings its own subplot as Loughborough Students coach James Ross returns to former club Ben Rhydding to battle for a place in the last eight.
With the competition wide open, teams will be dreaming of that place at finals day with two more wins after this round doing the job of completing their Road to Lee Valley.
England Hockey Board Media release
Hard-fought triumph for PIA
LAHORE: A star-studded PIA team faced tough resistance from Lahore Customs before registering a 2-1 win in the 1st P.T. Yaqoob Memorial Hockey Tournament final in Gojra on Friday.
International player Kashif Ali converted a penalty-corner to give PIA lead in the 30th minute. Mohammad Zubair, another international, doubled the lead in the 37th minute, also on penalty-corner.
Striving to stage a comeback, Lahore Customs scored one through Sultan Ashraf in the 45th minute on penalty-corner. However, they failed to earn more success and went down fighting.
PIA’s Nasir Ali, the best goalkeeper of the tournament, received a cash prize of Rs10,000 from chief guest DCO Toba Tek Singh Ali Akbar. Best player of the tournament was Lahore Customs’ Asif, who got Rs10,000.
Several former Olympians -- Mohammad Khalid, Danish Kaleem, Shahid Ali Khan, Kamran Ashraf, Qamar Ibrahim, Mohammad Shahbaz Junior, Irfan Mahmood, Nadeem ND along with internationals Mohammad Irfan, Babar Abdullah and Khawar Javaid had their contribution in holding this event.
Kenya Police train sights on Wazalendo
By BRIAN YONGA
Kennedy Nyongesa of the national hockey team (centre) dribbles past Kenya Police players during their friendly match on October 11, 2015 at the City Park Stadium. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Kenya Police will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s premier league standings when they host Wazalendo at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.
A win for Police, who currently have 33 points, will see them move five points clear of second-placed champions Butali Sugar Warriors, who are not in action this weekend.
The law enforcers are the league’s form team, winning their last seven matches and are unbeaten since May 12. Two weeks ago, they successfully defended the Sana Cup in Mombasa to collect their second piece of silverware the season.
However, it is the league title that Police coach Kenneth Kaunda is eyeing after his team were dethroned by Warriors last season.
The tactician will welcome back five of his players led by skipper Brian Saina who were on national duty at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations-cum-2016 Olympic qualifiers in South Africa.
“The players from the national team will play some part in the game because we also don’t want them to get any injuries,” Kaunda told Nation Sport on Friday.
“Our target is to get the three points and establish a comfortable lead between us and our rivals.”
Talismanic striker Moses Cheplaiti, who has scored 12 goals this season, will lead the Police attack as he seeks to continue with his fine scoring form.
However, Wazalendo - who lie sixth in the table - have vowed not to be intimidated by the league leaders.
“We know their players very well and it will be an interesting match. We want the points just as they do and we will therefore not make it easy for them,” said Wazalendo player-cum-coach Fidelis Kimanzi.
The 2012 champions Sikh Union Nairobi will face newcomers Kenyatta University (KU) Vultures in another men’s league encounter knowing victory will move them into third place on the log.
In the women’s national league, champions Telkom Orange tackle KU Titans as they seek to consolidate their lead atop of the standings. The 17-time Kenyan champions have won all their nine matches in the league so far and are five points ahead of second-placed Sliders.
Last season’s runners up Strathmore University Scorpions will get the weekend programme underway when they take on fellow university side Daystar Falcons Saturday afternoon at City Park.
Scorpions thrashed Falcons 8-0 in the first leg and will be looking to mirror this performance as they seek to close in on Orange.
In the men’s national league, leaders Chase Sailors tackle Impala as the race for promotion gathers momentum.
FIXTURES (All matches at City Park Stadium)
Daystar v Strathmore (12pm)
Daystar v UON (2pm)
Sikh Union v KU Vultures (4pm)
Parkroad v Parklands (6pm)
USIU A v MKU (9am)
Orange v KU Titans (11am)
Chase v Impala (1pm)
Kenya Police v Wazalendo (3pm)
National Hockey Academy at Delhi's Dhyan Chand Stadium
Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: The Sports ministry on Friday announced that it will set up a National Hockey Academy at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.
The decision was taken during the 46th governing body meeting of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) that the hockey academy "will be managed by a High Performance Technical Director and High Performance Coaches along with scientific and technical support staff".
It will cater to 40 players each among boys and girls. The National Academy will be supported by designated satellite centres which will include the SAI Regional Centres at Sonepat, Kolkata, Bangalore, Gandhinagar and Bhopal.
Other Centres belonging to State Governments or other entities will also be selected in traditional hockey playing state such as Jharkhand and Odisha. While the National Academy will look at 16-18 year age group. The lower age groups will be looked after by the satellite centres and different sports hostels run by State Governments as well as private academies.
Among other decisions, a partnership between SAI and Glenmark Aquatic Foundation (GAF) -- a Trust floated by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited) was approved. Under this arrangement, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has committed to invest about Rs. 10 crore in running a talent identification and development programme for young swimmers over a period of five years.
The programme will be run at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Swimming Pool Complex (SPMSPC), Talkatora here.
Apart from the above, the governing body approved opening of a SAI centre at Vidyadhar Nagar Stadium in Jaipur; a Centre of Excellence in Archery (compound event) at SAI Regional Centre, Sonepat; and an Athletic Centre for Siddis in Karwar District in Karnataka.
The Times of India
Why national academy is a welcome step?
The announcement of setting up of National Hockey Academy at National Stadium in Delhi, coming as it is after the previous one that generated players of repute in trove has been put in limbo after 2010 Commonwealth Games, is a welcome step.
It seems Paradise is not lost for the National Stadium.
The Air India SAI National Hockey Academy, which produced stars such stars as Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur, Probhjot Singh etc functioned from the same premise for about two decades before wound up due to 2010 Commonwealth Games stadium renovation. It was then a residential academy.
Shortly after Air India entered the final of the Junior Nationals in 1992, the excited Air India mooted a proposal to set up National Academy. It was set up the same year after selecting players from across India at National Stadium in New Delhi. The stadium then had just single synthetic turf, and two grass grounds. P.Raphel was the first Technical Director of the Academy. He was succeeded by Ajay Kumar Bansal, who was till recently chief hockey coach of NIS Patiala.Raphael is settled in Singapore.
A decade after Air India Academy, Punjab National Bank came out with its own Academy which was also stationed at the same premise till 2008.
For any visitor, there will always players on the turf unlike the present, due to these two residential academies.
National stadium is a vast sprawling campus, modernized for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The World Cup was held as a run up to the CWG.
For the CWG, three turfs were laid, which offered scope for more time for more players.
Then about one hundred rooms were also built on three sides of the stadium. These rooms can easily accommodate 200-250 players at any given point of time. But alas, since last 5 years none of these rooms were opened due to lethargic bureaucracy and avoidable delays.
Now that the National Academy is being set up there, it is hoped that these rooms will be utilized to accommodate 40 boys and 40 girls, and slowly the number might increase. The capacity expansions is all the more heartening.
There is hardly any Academy for girls so for in India. The proposed National Academy will have 40 girls too. This can partly solve the perennial problem of lack of quality players for the national duty. This is a giant step for women hockey.
Besides opening up of unutilized created infrastructure (rooms etc), the Academy will see better utilization of turf too.
The proposal appears sound what with scientific support and High Performance Coaches etc. However, caution has to be exercised as Govt schemes lose steam midway after fanfare opening spell.
Proper selection process is a must followed by extensive exposure competitions. National stadium for many reasons is a lost paradise insofar as creating players, that too after Air India Academy had to be shifted for renovation purpose.
The Academy can now bring back good olden days of National stadium.
Rani Rampal inspiring Indian women at Shahbad Academy
Rani Rampal has inspired many young women whilst playing for India
When India women line up for their first match at the 2016 Rio Olympics, they will be making history.
In the 36 years that women’s hockey has been included in the Olympics, India has never qualified. The team took part in the inaugural event in 1980, which was an invitation event, but at every edition since, they have failed to qualify.
India’s qualification route this time round, came via the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-Finals. The team ranked 13th in the world beat Japan 1-0, securing fifth spot in that competition and a place in Rio and history.
The goal scorer on that occasion, and on so many other occasions, was Rani Rampal, India’s 21-year-old goal-scoring machine.
Rampal’s story perhaps highlights why India women’s hockey team has been in the shadows for so long, and why it is now emerging onto the international stage.
The player entered the Shahbad Hockey Academy as a fragile and unbalanced seven-year-old. The coach, Baldev Singh told her in no uncertain terms that he had no hope of turning her into a hockey player. “You can’t play,” he said. “You can’t even run properly.”
Singh’s rejection was compounded by her parent’s attitude at the time. “Everyone told us we would regret giving her so much liberty. They said ‘now she has started wearing shorts, soon you will see how she brings dishonour to your family’”.
Rampal proved both Singh and her parents wrong. At 14 she was playing for the national team; in the Hockey World League Round One in 2009 she was India’s top scorer, setting her team on route to qualification for Rio; in 2010 she was in the FIH All Stars Team of the Year and in 2013 she led India to a bronze medal at the Women’s Junior World Cup.
Perhaps the highlight of her career so far came when she scored the goal in the HWL Semi-Finals earlier this year that saw India beat Japan and finally put them in the frame for qualification for Rio.
There is no question that women’s hockey in India is still light years behind the men’s game in terms of sponsorship, funding, media coverage and general interest.
The players in the national squad are given employment in public sector companies – Rampal worked for Indian Railways for five years and has just been offered a post as assistant coach by the Sports Authority of India – but as the striker says: “Just my shoes cost 10,000 rupees”, (she is paid 12,000 rupees a month).
Indian sports commentator Prem Panicker says that much of the problem is a lack of a structure at the lower levels of the game, without this, the talented young girls will not have a pathway to follow. But this is where the Shahbad Academy is leading the change.
The town of Shahbad is a rural area rapidly transforming into an urban sprawl, but the Academy is what sets it apart from hundreds of other towns across India. In total, 45 women from this area have played or are playing for the national squads.
Every morning, before school, girls and boys from miles away will turn up for training sessions. Parents are moving to the area to give their children the best chance of making it as a hockey player.
“Relocating our base was a huge risk, but looking at Ritu Rani, Rani Rampal, I keep dreaming about how I might see my daughter right up there,” says the mother of one aspiring 11-year-old.
With both the men and the women on the plane to Rio; with the Hockey World League Finals in Raipur later this month; with the men’s Junior World Cup taking place in India in 2016 and the women very likely to do well in the women’s Junior World Cup in Chile; hockey’s national governing body, Hockey India, has a tremendous opportunity to engage with the next generation, male and female.
Could this be the time that India women’s hockey takes some giant steps towards centre stage?
DII: Weekend College Games
With post-season conference tournaments taking place, USA Field Hockey is highlighting each conference in Division I, II and III.
DIVISION II CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS:
Stonehill (defending tournament champions)
Southern New Hampshire
Friday, November 6 - Semifinals
4:00 p.m. EST No. 1 Adelphi vs. No. 4 Stonehill (at Adelphi)
7:00 p.m. EST No. 2 Assumption vs. No. 3 Merrimack (at Assumption)
Sunday, November 8 - Final
1:00 p.m. EST Semifinal Winners
Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC)
The championships will be hosted by East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. West Chester is the PSAC defending Tournament Champions.
Friday, November 6 - Semifinals
11:00 a.m. EST No. 2 Millersville vs. No. 6 Bloomsburg
1:30 p.m. EST No. 5 West Chester vs. No. 1 East Stroudsburg
Sunday, November 7 - Final
1:00 p.m. EST No. 2/No. 6 Winner vs. No. 5/No. 1 Winner
Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC)
Limestone are the defending ECAC Tournament Champions. The tournament will take place at Trager Stadium at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
Friday, November 6 - Semifinals
3:55 p.m. EST No. 2 Lindenwood vs. No. 3 Bellarmine
6:00 p.m. EST No. 1 Limestone vs. No. 4 Newberry
Sunday, November 8 - Final
2:30 p.m. EST No. 2/No. 3 Winner vs. No.1/No. 4 Winner
12:00 p.m. EST Consolation Game
USFHA media release
Kuala Lumpur in MHC-1MAS-Milo hockey final
By Percy D'Cruz
MALACCA: High-riding Kuala Lumpur qualified for the girls’ final of the MHC-1MAS-Milo National Under-14 hockey championships.
The City side finished top of Group Y with two wins – including a 5-0 pasting of hosts Malacca at the Bukit Serendit City Council Stadium.
Kirandeep Kaur scored a brace (20th, 64th) while Hasya Syahida Saifuddin (17th), Nur Syaza Aqifah Safawi (30th) and Nur Aishah Mohammed (48th) added a goal each.
In the opening match, Kuala Lumpur defeated Sabah 2-0.
Only the winners of the two three-team groups qualify for the final.
Kuala Lumpur are likely to face Selangor in the final on Sunday.
Selangor are the frontrunners to qualify from Group X after they thrashed Penang 5-2 in the opening game on Thursday.
Singapore are also in contention, having edged Penang 2-1 in their opening game. Selangor and Singapore will fight it out in the last game on Saturday.
The Star of Malaysia