All the news for Tuesday 21 January 2020
2020 Test matches BLR v CAN (W) - 1st Test
Minsk (BLR) - Senior Womens Indoor
20 Jan 2020 17:00 BLR v CAN 3 - 2
FIH Match Centre
Ireland win opener in Stellenbosch
In 2018 Ireland headed off to the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup and shocked the world as they produced a sensational run of form to make the final of the tournament. Since that tournament the Irish qualified for the Tokyo Olympic games, triumphing over Giles Bonnett’s Canada, and played 32 test matches.
They would be the perfect opposition for Robin van Ginkel’s SuperGroup South Africa as they began the next step of their preparation on the Road to Tokyo. The South Africans have been starved for Test Match hockey having played just 12 tests in the same time, but would be returning to Maties, the ground where they became champions of Africa in August last year.
The game had an added degree of excitement as firstly the two teams have been drawn in the same pool for the Olympic Games. Secondly, the new ranking system introduced by the FIH, is now live and for the first time ever a Summer Series Test match would earn ranking points. To round of the excitement the game marked Kara Botes 50th test cap for South Africa, becoming only the second South African women to earn 50 in both indoor and outdoor hockey after Kelly Reed.
The South Africans, giving Tarryn Mallet her debut, started the game well with some good possession but were unable to make their few big chances count. Quanita Bobbs arguably had the best opportunity but found her strike well saved by Elizabeth Murphy. Ireland on the other hand made the most of their big opportunity scoring a goal through Elena Tice who converted superbly from the penalty corner at a blustering Stellenbosch Hockey Stadium.
Coach Robin van Ginkel would have seen many positives from his team, but also have areas to work on ahead of their next games. Ireland will next be in action against Netherlands U21 on Tuesday, while the South Africans will take on the SA U21 Invitational Side on Wednesday.
SA Women’s Hockey Summer Series Fixtures
19 January - SA 0-1 Ireland
22 January – SA vs. SA Invitational U21
23 January – SA vs. Netherlands U21
26 January – SA vs. Ireland
28 January – SA vs. Ireland
30 January – SA vs. Germany
2 February – SA vs. Germany
4 February – SA vs. Germany
SA Hockey Association media release
World No. 1 status on the line as Australia men face Belgium
The two highest ranked men’s teams in international hockey are set to go head-to-head in Match Week 3 of the FIH Hockey Pro League, with world number one Australia welcoming second-ranked Belgium to Sydney’s Olympic Park for two matches of great interest and significance.
More information about this clash of the titans and all of this week’s double headers can be found below, with the complete match schedule available by clicking here.
Spain v Germany (M)
Where: Estadio Betero, Valencia (ESP)
When: 24 & 25 January 2019, 1100 (24 Jan) & 1300 (25 Jan) local time (GMT/UTC +1)
Summary: A silver medal at last year’s Belfius EuroHockey Championships will give Spain’s Red Sticks (FIH World Ranking: 8) every reason to believe that they can achieve truly great things in 2020, but they face a Germany (WR: 6) team that regularly get it right in Olympic years and will be determined to firmly re-establish themselves as a team to be feared. Valencia’s Estadio Betero hosted some thrilling Pro League contests in 2019, and the home fans will expect more of the same this year. Two wins for Spain will see Germany drop to seventh in the new, match-based FIH World Rankings system, while two Germany victories will result in Spain falling to ninth.
Match pages (Head-to-heads, squads* & officials*): Match 1 | Match 2
USA v Netherlands (W)
Where: Karen Shelton Stadium, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (USA)
When: 24 & 26 January 2019, 1400 local time (GMT/UTC -5)
Summary: Reigning World, European and Pro League champions the Netherlands (WR:1) – who made a fine start to their title defence with two victories against China in Changzhou – arrive in North Carolina to take on a USA (WR: 13) team now coached by former US defender Caroline Nelson-Nicols. The Dutch will be hot favourites to win both matches, but this young American team has no shortage of talent and will want to make a big impression on home soil. Two USA wins could see the hosts climb from 13th to eighth in the FIH World Rankings, although that would be a big ask against Alyson Annan’s all-conquering Oranje.
Match pages: Match 1 | Match 2
Australia v Belgium (W&M)
Where: Olympic Park, Sydney (AUS)
When: 25 & 26 January 2019
Women’s matches: 1600 (25 Jan) & 1500 (26 Jan) local time (GMT/UTC +11)
Summary: Currently sitting second in the FIH World Rankings, 2019 FIH Hockey Pro League runners-up Australia will be targeting the top of the podium in 2020, although their double-header against Belgium (WR:12) will be far from straight-forward. The Red Panthers twice defeated the Hockeyroos in last year’s competition, recording a stunning 2-1 win in Melbourne before a solitary strike from teenager Ambre Ballenghein in Antwerp completed a home and away double over their illustrious opponents. Two Belgian victories this time around would have consequences for both teams in terms of the FIH World Rankings, with the Europeans climbing to eighth and Australia dropping to fourth.
Match pages: Match 1 | Match 2
Men’s matches: 1830 (25 Jan) & 1730 (26 Jan) local time (GMT/UTC +11)
A clash between the top two ranked teams is always an exciting prospect, but this one comes with added spice. Should reigning World and European champions Belgium (WR:2) claim more points than the Kookaburras (WR:1) over the two matches, the Red Lions will move to the top of the FIH Hockey World Rankings. The teams met three times in the 2019 Pro League, with Australia suffering a crushing 4-1 defeat on home soil in Melbourne before claiming two crucial, Blake Govers-inspired victories in Europe. The drag-flicking striker scored both goals in his team’s 2-0 win in Antwerp, and he was at it again in the Grand Final, scoring a 29th minute penalty stroke as the Aussies triumphed 3-2 in Amsterdam to win the inaugural FIH Hockey Pro League.
Match pages: Match 1 | Match 2
To find out how you can watch the action, please visit our broadcast page by clicking here. In territories where broadcast rights agreements are not in place, fans can watch live match action from the FIH Hockey Pro League via the FIH.live global broadcast platform. To visit FIH.live, click here.
Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the event website and through FIH social media channels -Facebook,InstagramandTwitter.
Want to win tickets for an FIH Hockey Pro League match? Here’s what you have to do! Take a quick snap or record a video to capture your “best FIH Hockey Pro League moment” and post it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, using the hashtag #MyProLeagueMoment. For more info, click here.
* available 48 hours before each match
Official FIH Pro League Site
Hockeyroos and Kookaburras set for start of Pro League campaigns
The world #1 ranked Kookaburras and #2 ranked Hockeyroos will touch down in Sydney in the coming days as they prepare to launch their 2020 International Hockey Federation (FIH) Pro League seasons.
The full Kookaburras squad (27 players) will land in Sydney late this afternoon, before a 21-player Hockeyroos squad arrives 24 hours later ahead of the opening match day double headers against Belgium on Saturday (25 January 2020) at the Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre.
With Tokyo 2020 just over six months away, these FIH Pro League matches in Sydney are the final time the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will play on Australia’s east coast before the Olympics.
The final 18-player teams for the Belgium matches will be announced on Friday, with both Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin and Kookaburras boss Colin Batch eager and excited by the quality early tests that await.
“This year is a huge one and while the focus is ensuring we peak for Tokyo in July, it is important that we start our Pro League season in a positive way,” said Gaudoin.
“There are a few girls who are carrying some sore spots and minor injury niggles who will remain in Perth, but for the 21 players who are travelling to Sydney, it is a chance for them to put their best foot forward as we continue to work on the style and way we want to play.”
“The players have been training well and are really looking forward to playing in front of big home crowds in Sydney and starting the year on the right note.”
For the Kookaburras, who are the defending FIH Pro League Champions, they face their 2019 grand final opponents and world number two ranked Belgium in a genuine first up blockbuster.
The two teams have developed a fierce rivalry with the intriguing next chapter to unfold as they compete on back-to-back days.
“We have had a solid block of training since the players returned after the Christmas break and have been gradually building up towards taking on Belgium this weekend,” sad Batch.
“This is a great opportunity to have the full squad in Sydney, get some solid training under our belt and face two excellent opponents first up.”
“I know the players are really excited about competing in the Pro League again and we probably could not ask for a better opening to the competition than by playing in front of a parochial home crowd against the team that pushed us all the way last year.”
On the women’s side, Belgium proved a bogey side for the Hockeyroos last year as the Europeans won both of their Pro League encounters, before the Hockeyroos went on to finish runners-up to the Netherlands in a thrilling grand final of the inaugural edition of the competition.
The consecutive double headers against Belgium on 25/26 January will be followed by back-to-back double headers against Great Britain, again at Sydney Olympic Park.
Great Britain’s women’s team are the reigning Olympic gold medallists, while the men’s team is full of talent and can upset any team on their day.
In support of the current bushfire crisis, Hockey Australia is encouraging all patrons who attend the Sydney matches to make a gold coin donation upon entry with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
Hockey Australia and its corporate partners have also pledged to donate $500 to the Red Cross for every goal the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos score against Belgium and Great Britain.
The FIH Pro League is ‘hockey at it’s best’ and the next two weekends at Sydney Olympic Park are certain to be testament of that.
Furthermore, the men’s FIH Pro League trophy, which the Kookaburras won last year, will be in Sydney this week as it undertakes a global tour to all of the competing nations.
Tickets for the matches are available now through Ticketek. Australia’s FIH Pro League matches will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and Kayo.
For more details on the FIH Pro League, visit https://www.fihproleague.com/
Hockeyroos travelling squad – Sydney FIH Pro League matches
|Name (Number)||Date of Birth||Hometown, State||Hockey One Team||Caps (Goals)|
|Jocelyn Bartram (gk) (19)||4/05/1993||Albury, NSW||NSW Pride||48 (0)|
|Edwina Bone (13)||24/04/1988||Orange, NSW||Canberra Chill||197 (4)|
|Emily Chalker (26)||28/07/1992||Crookwell, NSW||NSW Pride||235 (82)|
|Jane Claxton (18)||26/10/1992||Adelaide, SA||Adelaide Fire||177 (18)|
|Kalindi Commerford (23)||18/11/1994||Ulladulla, ACT||Canberra Chill||45 (7)|
|Greta Hayes (12)||17/10/1996||Sydney, NSW||NSW Pride||6 (0)|
|Kate Jenner (22)||5/05/1990||Mudgee, NSW||NSW Pride||122 (1)|
|Jodie Kenny (7)||18/08/1987||Wamuran, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||229 (111)|
|Stephanie Kershaw (14)||19/04/1995||Townsville, QLD||–||59 (6)|
|Amy Lawton (4)||19/01/2002||Emerald, VIC||HC Melbourne||10 (3)|
|Rachael Lynch (gk) (27)||2/07/1986||Warrandyte, VIC||HC Melbourne||220 (0)|
|Rosie Malone (2)||8/01/1998||Burleigh, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||46 (10)|
|Karri McMahon (11)||27/02/1992||Berri, SA||Adelaide Fire||147 (10)|
|Gabi Nance (16)||29/07/1994||Adelaide, SA||Adelaide Fire||70 (7)|
|Kaitlin Nobbs (15)||24/09/1997||Newington, NSW||NSW Pride||76 (4)|
|Brooke Peris (3)||16/01/1993||Darwin, NT||Canberra Chill||167 (26)|
|Grace Stewart (30)||24/04/1997||Gerringong, NSW||NSW Pride||81 (24)|
|Renee Taylor (21)||28/09/1996||Everton Park, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||77 (8)|
|Sophie Taylor (1)||12/09/1995||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||31 (1)|
|Ashlee Wells (gk) (5)||1/08/1989||Morwell, VIC||Adelaide Fire||119 (0)|
|Georgia Wilson (8)||20/05/1996||Mahogany Creek,WA||Perth Thundersticks||33 (0)|
Kookaburras squad – Sydney FIH Pro League matches
|Name (Number)||Date of Birth||Hometown, State||Hockey One Team||Caps (Goals)|
|Jacob Anderson (9)||22/03/1997||Mackay, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||19 (8)|
|Daniel Beale (23)||12/02/1993||Brisbane, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||171 (28)|
|Josh Beltz (10)||24/04/1995||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||39 (3)|
|Tim Brand (29)||29/11/1998||Chatswood, NSW||NSW Pride||34 (15)|
|Andrew Charter (gk) (30)||30/03/1987||Canberra, ACT||Canberra Chill||177 (0)|
|Tom Craig (2)||3/09/1995||Lane Cove, NSW||NSW Pride||97 (27)|
|Matthew Dawson (6)||7/04/1994||Killarney Vale, NSW||NSW Pride||132 (12)|
|Johan Durst (gk) (8)||18/03/1991||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||3 (0)|
|Nathan Ephraums (7)||9/06/1999||Keysborough, VIC||HC Melbourne||–|
|Blake Govers (13)||6/07/1996||Wollongong, NSW||NSW Pride||97 (83)|
|Jake Harvie (4)||5/03/1998||Dardanup, WA||Perth Thundersticks||64 (3)|
|Jeremy Hayward (32)||3/03/1993||Darwin, NT||Tassie Tigers||149 (62)|
|Tim Howard (16)||23/06/1996||Wakerley, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||54 (1)|
|Tyler Lovell (gk) (24)||23/05/1987||Perth, WA||Perth Thundersticks||141 (0)|
|Kurt Lovett (18)||15/01/1997||Parkes, NSW||NSW Pride||–|
|Trent Mitton (25)||26/11/1990||Perth, WA||Perth Thundersticks||168 (75)|
|Eddie Ockenden (11)||3/04/1987||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||358 (70)|
|Flynn Ogilvie (22)||17/09/1993||Wollongong, NSW||NSW Pride||103 (21)|
|Lachlan Sharp (1)||2/07/1997||Lithgow, NSW||NSW Pride||42 (8)|
|Josh Simmonds (15)||4/10/1995||Melbourne, VIC||HC Melbourne||15 (0)|
|Matthew Swann (20)||16/05/1989||Mackay, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||198 (7)|
|Jack Welch (21)||26/10/1997||Hobart, TAS||Tassie Tigers||8 (2)|
|Corey Weyer (3)||28/03/1996||Biggera Waters, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||38 (3)|
|Jacob Whetton (12)||16/06/1991||Brisbane, QLD||Brisbane Blaze||197 (64)|
|Tom Wickham (5)||26/05/1990||Morgan, SA||Perth Thundersticks||48 (20)|
|Dylan Wotherspoon (26)||9/04/1993||Murwillumbah, NSW||Brisbane Blaze||86 (30)|
|Aran Zalewski (17)||21/03/1991||Margaret River, WA||Perth Thundersticks||183 (23)|
FIH Pro League 2020 matches – Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Saturday 25 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (4:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (6:30pm local)
Sunday 26 January
Hockeyroos v Belgium (3:00pm local)
Kookaburras v Belgium (5:30pm local)
Saturday 1 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (4:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (6:30pm local)
Sunday 2 February
Kookaburras v Great Britain (3:00pm local)
Hockeyroos v Great Britain (5:30pm local)
Click here for a full list of the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras FIH Pro League 2020 fixtures.
Hockey Australia media release
Need to improve one-on-one tackling: Reid
Indian men’s hockey coach Graham Reid with the team members. file
Indian men’s hockey team chief coach Graham Reid feels his wards need to improve their “one-on-one” tackling and 3D skills ahead of their FIH Pro League ties against Belgium and Australia.
The Indian team made a dream debut at the FIH Pro League, beating world No. 3 Netherlands 5-2 in the first tie of the double-header. The hosts then came from two goals down to beat the Dutch 3-1 in the penalty shootout after the second game ended 3-3 in regulation time. “The good thing was we struggled to win this (second) match, and sometimes, it’s good to struggle for a win because you learn a lot. Also it is a proof that if we apply ourselves and use some aggressiveness, we can bounce back,” Reid said. “I still feel our one-on-one tackling can improve and we have also been working on three dimensional skills to beat players in short space. This can help create penalty corners and when you have a world-class dragflick battery, we can definitely make use of this,” he added.
Dragflicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who scored a goal yesterday, said the team has matured a lot in the last two years. “There is definitely a change in attitude on how we approach a game even when we are down,” he said.
Get to Know the US FIH Hockey Pro League Venue, Karen Shelton Stadium
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – January 20, 2020 – There are just four days until the U.S. Women’s National Team’s first FIH Hockey Pro League game of the 2020 season! Before No. 13 USA takes the pitch for their opener against No. 1 The Netherlands, get to know the venue, Karen Shelton Stadium.
New in August 2018, the state-of-the-art facility includes chair-back-seating for 900 fans, with additional standing-room space for a total capacity of 1,000. The playing area includes a massive video board, European-soccer inspired benches and a three-level press box. The Polytan field is top-of-the-line and is a rarity among collegiate fields in being FIH-certified, attesting that it meets the high standards required for international competition. The accompanying team building provides more than 10,000 square feet of space and includes home and visitor locker rooms, a team meeting room/theater, coaches’ office, sports medicine room and an area for team meals and functions.
USFHA media release
#MyProLeagueMoment: Share your best FIH Hockey Pro League moments and win tickets for an FIH Hockey Pro League match!
Want to win tickets for an FIH Hockey Pro League match? Here’s what you have to do: take a quick snap or record a video to capture your “best FIH Hockey Pro League moment” and post it on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, using the hashtag #MyProLeagueMoment. The best images will be shared on our platforms and lucky winners will even get the chance to get 2 tickets for an FIH Hockey Pro League match in 2020!
Under the campaign #MyProLeagueMoment, FIH aims to give an opportunity to fans to showcase some of their best moments from the FIH Hockey Pro League by sharing videos or photos.
You can share your FIH Hockey Pro League best moments from any part of the world. You can participate to this campaign from the stadium or even from your home by sharing some of the best moments from the match to any special preparation (posters, collections, etc) for the matches.
Some ideas for your posts:
- Videos/photos of watching the matches with your friends and family (in the stadium or on TV)
- Posts wishing your favourite team luck for the matches
- Videos/photos with your favourite athletes
- Videos/photos of fans who saw matches live in the stadium
FIH tags: FIH_Hockey (Twitter) / FIHockey (Instagram and Facebook)
Don't wait to share your best FIH Hockey Pro League moments!The Terms and Conditions are available here
Official FIH Pro League Site
Huge crowds savour German success in Euro indoors
Germany won their four men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships title in five editions as they delighted over 10,000 fans over three days of action in Berlin.
The indoor Honamas took revenge with a 6-3 success over Austria, avenging their final defeat from the 2018 World Cup with Rot-Weiss Köln’s Thies Ole Prinz winning the player of the tournament.
Austria’s goalkeeper Mateusz Szymczyk – from SV Arminen – received the award for best goalkeeper while Austria’s Michael Körper (Harvestehuder HTC) and the Netherlands’ Boris Burkhardt (AH&BC Amsterdam) were joint top scorers.
German coach Valentin Altenburg said of the success: “This title is an incredible joint effort by the whole hockey family because without them, you can’t do it. The national association, volunteers and full-time officials have contributed to this.
“Indoor hockey, as we saw again today, is an incredibly attractive sport that we should pay more attention to if possible. And if this was supposed to be a B-team, I would now only like to train B-teams!”
His captain Paul Dösch added: “It was an unforgettable experience here in Berlin in front of a sold-out Halle and becoming European champion. It was great fun playing in front of this audience, warming up and scoring goals.”
In the final in front of 3,500 fans, Austria got off to a great start, netting inside 30 seconds via Körper from a corner. Dösch hit the crossbar soon after but Prinz was fouled soon to earn a stroke with the skipper scoring from the spot.
Shortly before the end of the first quarter, Raphael Hartkopf took a yellow card but Germany survived the out-numbered without harm. The Germans went in front in the second quarter when UHC Hamburg team mates Jan Philipp Rabente and Philip Schmid combined to put the Honamas in front for the first time.
Prinz stretched the lead out to 3-1 in the second half but Körper cut the gap with his second of the game, leaving it poised at 3-2 with the final quarter to play.
There, Germany finally took control with Hartkopf and Dösch building a 5-2 advantage. Fabian Unterkicher kept life in the game with eight minutes left but Uhlenhorst Mülheim’s Jan Schiffer got a killer sixth goal for a 6-3 success.
The Netherlands, meanwhile, beat Russia 11-3 in the bronze medal match with Burkhardt scoring four times with two goals each from Jochem Bakker and Nicki Leijs.
Euro Hockey League media release
Hockey hub Odisha out of nationals for non-compliance
When Hockey India asked affiliates to provide player information online to be allowed entry into major domestic tournaments, it saw a way to goad state units to get organised. However, it has discovered the task is beyond many affiliates.
Odisha, whose capital is effectively the world hockey hub and the government pumps in hundreds of crores for sports promotion, will be a prominent absentee from the upcoming senior national (A division) championships in men and women. Hockey Odisha officials did not register details of players like date of birth and medical certificate (to track fitness) before the deadline (Dec 31 for men, Jan 8 for women) in the federation’s member unit (MU) portal.
The HI directive went out in September. Odisha in particular will feel left out as the state has produced many India stalwarts. The government spent R82 crore for the 2018 men’s World Cup held in Bhubaneswar. It will again host the 2023 World Cup. The government has announced R630 crore to renovate infrastructure and develop Rourkela and Bhubaneswar, tournament venues, into smart cities.
Ten state units have been barred from the national championships for not submitting the online entry form. Non-compliant units have been relegated from permanent members to associate bodies. Despite many attempts, Odisha secretary-sports, Vishal Dev, could not be reached for his views.
Hockey Odisha secretary, Pratap Satapathy, acknowledged it was a setback for the game’s development in the state. Nationals have become an important route for players to gain the attention of selectors since the Hockey India League was stopped in 2017.
HI president, Mohd Mustaque Ahmad, said state units were sent several reminders to submit the new entry forms. “We had dedicated staff in the office to help out state units,” he said. “It’s mandatory to send entry through the MU portal only. This is being done to streamline the system and all the registered players will get ID number too.”
Odisha men’s team is clubbed in A division. The tournament runs from January 23 to February 2 in Jhansi. In the last national held in Gwalior, Odisha lost to Karnataka 2-3 and failed to reach the quarterfinals.
The women’s team is also in A division, matches for which start on January 30 in Kollam, Kerala. In the 2019 nationals, Odisha women lost to Karnataka 0-3 in the opening match and didn’t progress to the knockouts. Hockey Bhopal and Hockey Gangpur-Odisha are also out of women’s A division national championship for not sending entries.
Hockey Jammu and Kashmir, Assam Hockey, Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Hockey Coorg, Hockey Mizoram, Hockey Madhya Bharat and Tripura Hockey are those barred from women’s B division. This tournament starts in Kollam on January 23.
On January 15, HI in a communication to the 10 state units informed them of their suspension for not complying with instructions. The letter said units relegated to associate membership will be reverted to permanent status once they comply with the directive and submit details on the MU portal for the remaining tournaments.
HI also plans to disaffiliate associate members if they fail to complete requirements without further delay. The junior group matches start from April. A similar entry pattern will be followed and states failing to comply with the criteria will not be allowed to play in the nationals.
Satapathy said a majority of players come from tribal areas and weren’t able to give details like age proof and education certificate, which was the main reason Odisha Hockey could not send the online entry for nationals before deadline. “We never had any basic training to fill entry forms online,” he said.
Ahmad, however, wasn’t convinced. “Four months is enough time to send the entries,” he said.
Satapathy said the suspension was unfortunate and Odisha players have lost a chance to showcase their mettle. “Those not participating in the nationals this time will have to wait for the next competition,” he said.
Rupak Debroy, secretary of Tripura Hockey, said he wasn’t aware the state women’s team will not be able to play in the nationals. “Sending the team is the prerogative of the selection committee, not the secretary.” Debashish Gouda, secretary of Hockey Gangpur-Odisha, admitted his office couldn’t fill the forms but argued that HI should have given state units training to fill the forms.
Hockey Bhopal secretary, Olympian Syed Jalaluddin, admits HI had given four months to send the entries but argues it wasn’t enough as the players come from humble background. “In such a scenario, it takes time to get the necessary paper work done. There should be a gradual change to the new system,” he said over phone from Bhopal.
The 1984 Olympian said it’s a challenging task to run hockey at state level as there are no funds to run an office set-up. “It’s difficult to manage the office work,” he added.
On Bhopal being kept out of the nationals, he said: “It’s a big loss to hockey. The players will suffer. This is not the best way to run hockey.”
A double bureaucratic bungle that punishes the players and not the wayward inept administrators
Raph Robeson, 16, credits Maddie Hinch for goalkeeper award
Award winner Raph Robeson with John Hurst, left, and Mark Hager, GB women's coach
As a young goalkeeper with previously limited coaching and no hockey history in her family, Raph Robeson looks back at the Surrey County under-12 trials as the turning point of her burgeoning career.
She recalls a conversation her mother had with a parent of three goalkeepers, who suggested buying a coaching DVD made by John Hurst, the former GB women's team manager and long-serving coach.
When Robeson's mother searched for it online she found it out of stock and soon contacted Hurst. While working out who would pay for postage, she asked Hurst what she could do to help a young goalkeeper. Hurst, part of the coaching staff at the Rio Olympics, suggested Maddie Hinch, who worked on and off with Robeson until the GB No.1 travelled to Brazil for her history-making feats.
Robeson hasn't looked back. Still only 16, she is part of the England under-18 women's squad and is into her second senior season with Wimbledon 2s, who play in the Investec Conference East. Last week, she was awarded the Hockey Writers' Club under-18 youth award, which Hinch also won back in 2006.
"To see Maddie's name on there was fantastic and maybe if I keep on putting in the hard work I can follow in her footsteps," said Robeson. Hinch was also one of the first to congratulate her on social media. "Keep doing what you're doing and you will go a long way," she wrote.
For her first forays into being taught the art of goalkeeping, Robeson was left starry-eyed. "Maddie taught me the basic techniques, helped my smothering and diving, and as a young goalkeeper it was awesome as I hadn't had much coaching before then," she said.
Maddie Hinch (pictured) has been an inspiration for Raph Robeson Credit: Julian Andrews
"I know lots of kids who look up to her and want to get into goalkeeping after what she's done. She is an inspirational role model. I remember watching the Olympic final and Maddie being a key role in that. It's so great to see so many successful women's teams out there now on the back of Team GB's win."
Robeson was on a table with Hurst at the awards' lunch in London last Wednesday, where she also revealed a busy life off the pitch. Studying for A Levels in politics, history and economics next summer, she has completed two official cross channel swim relays with her school, Wellington College, and raised £8,000 for charity. She said: "We did one hour in the water, five hours out and everyone did three hours and 8km each. Six of us were in the team, it was a lot of training and so worth it."
Robeson has also trained with England Hockey to be a Level 1 umpire, active as a coach with Wimbledon's junior goalkeeper programme and is a young carer for her critically ill father, Spencer, a former Saracens rugby player. She has also set up a website with her mother to help goalkeepers. "It's not perfect yet but the idea behind fieldhockeygoalies.com is to create a community and connect with clubs," she admitted. "From personal experience, it's hard to sometimes find a club where you know you will get a game every weekend. For training and development that's so important."
As she looks towards securing an England squad place at the under-18 European Championships this summer, Robeson is more than aware of the wellbeing risks associated with players at elite level - she has kept up with Hinch's journey after she took a year out of the GB programme - and especially those on the development path.
She added: "It's so important for people to focus on that, with the youth aspect as well. It is difficult to balance everything these days and the mental health side can be difficult."
Swain signals bright future
There was success for another England under-18 athlete when Claudia Swain picked up the Hockey Writers' Club under-16 junior award at the Royal Yacht Club. Swain was on the same table as Sophie Bray, the runaway winner of the Investec women's senior player of the year award. The former GB forward told Swain that when she won the youth award in 2007, she also took her parents and grandparents to the awards. There is further symmetry, given Swain is also a forward and, according to her Repton coach Martin Jones, "one of the most exciting prospects that I have coached."
Lloyd’s Leinster final double has Railway on track; Fox thrilled for Euro indoor debut
Railway Union’s Leinster indoor league winning side
Lily Lloyd’s perfectly placed double saw Railway Union retain the Leinster women’s indoor league as they withstood Muckross’s late rush in the final at St Columba’s.
She opened the scoring when Orla Fox picked her out on the edge of the circle, spun and shot early. The two players were involved in the next goal, too, with Lloyd finding the overlapping Fox on the right boards.
Her shot was saved high but dropped perfectly to Lloyd who – while the Muckross defence delayed – breached a tackle and got off an early push that made it into the bottom corner.
Trailing 2-0 at half-time, Muckross had the upper hand after half-time but Sophie Barnwell saw her penalty stroke effort saved by Carolyn Crampton.
Railway skipper Holly Jenkinson had earlier saved off the line while Lloyd was denied a hat trick by the width of a post, leaving the tie in the balance.
Charlie Flavin did get them on the scoreboard when she picked up Sarah McAuley’s poke through, flicking beyond Crampton, but they could not find a further threat and Railway prevailed once more.
“Delighted to retain the Leinster cup,” Fox said following the victory. “It was very tight and Muckross are a very structured team because they are coached by Rob Abbott. He has been doing a lot of work with them and they really progressed as the tournament went on. It got very close at 2-1.”
The club are now looking forward to playing in the National Indoor Trophy in a fortnight’s time at the Kingfisher Hall in Galway. After that, they will go on to play in Europe – as 2019 national champs – in Portugal in the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge.
For Fox, though, her first port of call will be to captain the Irish women’s team at the EuroHockey Indoor Championship III in Bratislava in what will be the country’s first indoor Euros since 1990.
“It’s fantastic to have indoor reintroduced at international level,” she told The Hook. “We started trials all the way back in October. We had about 30 or 40 athletes who were interested in representing their country which is fantastic to see. From that, selections were made and a good bit of training over Christmas and January.
“I jumped at the chance. Why wouldn’t I want to experience it at another level and experience what it is like internationally? It is predominantly well known in Eastern Europe and so you get a chance to see something very different. It can also only add to your [outdoor] game.”
Ireland will play hosts Portugal on Friday morning at 10am in the first of six games. They will also play Spain, Finland, Denmark, Slovakia and Slovenia with the top two from the group earning promotion.
The appetite has been sated by the pre-Christmas tour to South Africa.
“It was fantastic to experience that environment; with the PSi tournament, they have thousands of kids involved from such an early age and it’s a much bigger sport. It has shown us what we can aspire to and can grow the game into being from the grass roots level.
“In the velodrome, there was up a couple of thousand kids cheering and shouting, the music blaring and all that. First time experience for me!”
As part of that tournament, Fox became the first player to come through the Botanic youth ranks to play a senior international tie, marking it as a special moment for the Glasnevin club.
She made the move in her late teens, first to Pembroke and then on to Railway where she was introduced to indoor for the first time. It was something she took to quickly.
“Because I am a defender, maybe I am used to being quite low to the ground. It can suit some players style of play more than others; some forwards are that bit more upright in comparison. There are different techniques and hopefully I have picked up a few bits and pieces!”
With the Sandymount club, she enjoyed her first European club experience in Bratislava, winning gold at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge I.
At the same venue as 2011, Fox is keen for that to be an omen and give an idea of how to approach this week’s competition.
“It was one of our first experiences of European competition and some of the skills from players of nations you wouldn’t expect to be good outdoors; they played so much indoor that their skill level ability to read and play the game was something that took us a game or two to get used to.
“This week is very much an unknown but that could work in our favour. It is our first tournament back and teams won’t know anything about us. Really, really looking forward to what we can do because there are some really talented players in the team and hopefully we can push and do well.”
Leinster Indoor League
Semi-finals: Railway Union 4 North Kildare 0; UCD 5 Muckross 5, Muckross win shoot-out 3-2
Final: Railway Union 2 (L Lloyd 2) Muckross 1 (C Flavin)
First women’s indoor semis spots booked while others still up for grabs
Dundee Wanderers and Clydesdale Western have topped their respective pools and booked a place in the Scottish women’s indoor National League 1 semi-finals, but the other spots are still up for grabs with one pool game still to play.
Dundee Wanderers opened the day with a comfortable 4-0 win over second placed Watsonians. Becky Ward opened the scoring for the champions, Heather Howie grabbed a couple while the other came from Amy Snelle.
That was followed by a 12-0 win over Grange, Snelle was top striker with four, Vikki Bunce got a hat-trick while Ruth Blaikie notched a couple.
Edinburgh University started their day with a 4-1 win over Grange, although now level on points with Watsonians the latter have a single goal advantage. Just on the interval Sophie Pettigree gave the students a single goal lead. Further goals were added to the tally in the second half through a double from Ella Watt and another by Pettigree, Izzy Tanner got a consolation for Grange.
Watsonians and Edinburgh University then fought out a 1-1 draw which has left both sides on seven points. The first half was goalless, but Jika Nyrenna put the students ahead after the interval only for Ellie Macfarlane to level for Watsonians, and that was all the scoring.
Clydesdale Western continue to dominate pool B but it took a narrow 2-1 victory over Inverleith to secure the three points. Clydesdale were two up at the interval through Fran Lonergan and Bronwyn Shields. No further goals were added to the tally in the second half although Inverleith did pull one back.
Clydesdale followed up with another narrow win over Hillhead, although at one point it looked like it might go the other way. Hillhead took a 2-1 lead into the interval, Wendy Andrews got both while Clydesdale`s Kayleigh Justice also found the net. However, the effort by Hillhead was stifled with second half strikes by Holly Steiger and Marjery Justice to secure the three points.
At the other end of the pool Grove Menzieshill and Hillhead fought out a 1-1 draw. Wendy Andrews opened for Hillhead in only two minutes, but Grove Menzieshill replied from the spot. And that was the end of the scoring.
Then Grove Menzieshill picked up another point when they fought out a rather bizarre 5-5 draw with Inverleith. The Edinburgh side seemed to be cruising it with a 5-1 lead in the second half, Sarah McKay was top scorer with four with Sarah Jamieson getting the other. But back came Grove Menzieshill, Caira Fogerty had scored in the first half, then Sam Sangster got a hat-trick of set pieces and Katie Stott was also on target for a spirited 5-5 draw.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Greensharks striker moves to Butali
By AGNES MAKHANDIA
In this file photo, Clayson Luvanda (left) of Strathmore University Gladiators and Allan Odongo of Parklands in action during their Kenya Hockey Union Premier League match at City Park Stadium on April 2, 2017. Luvanda has joined Butali Sugar Warriors from Greensharks ahead of the 2020 season. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Forward Clayson Luvanda has joined champions Butali Sugar Warriors from Greensharks ahead of this year's Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League set to start in March.
Luvanda, who was part of the national team that featured in Olympic Games qualifiers last August in South Africa, was at Sharks last season having crossed over from Strathmore in 2019.
Greensharks coach Ben Owaga, while acknowledging that the departure of the player was a big blow, he is the least worried.
Owaga said they have other options in Chris Wokila, who was feted the top scorer last season, to fill the position.
“We are not in the business of standing in the way of any player who wants to move. Players come and go and it’s all about growth and the competition of the sport. Luvanda is an excellent player and Butali are lucky to have him. We wish him well,” said the tactician.
“We will be seeking for an improved performance this season. We have played second fiddle to our opponents- (Butali, Police) for quite some time now and I hope this season things will be different. But all in all, I expect a competitive and entertaining season.”