All the news for Wednesday 29 June 2011
Black Sticks grind out draw with Netherlands
First phase complete at Rabo FIH Champions Trophy
New Zealand have joined The Netherlands in Pool C (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
New Zealand produced a gritty performance to hold Olympic Champions and host nation The Netherlands to a 0-0 draw, a result which put them into the Medal round at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy in Amstelveen.
Even though there is still three rounds of matches left to play, New Zealand are now guaranteed a top four finish at an FIH Champions Trophy event for the first time in their history. However, Black Sticks coach Mark Hager will be focussed the minds of his rapidly developing young team, with the aim of achieving a podium finish at the very least.
The match itself was a very tense contest, although both sides had some chances to score what would have been a match winning goal. Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen had two very good chances to score from penalty corners, but failed to establish an advantage. Lidewij Welten and Kim Lammers also went close for The Netherlands, while the Black Sticks players Katie Glynn and Kayla Sharland had the best of the chances for the Black Sticks but could not find a way past Netherlands keeper Floortje Engels.
The result completes the first phase of the competition, with the line ups for Pools C and D now known. Pool C contains the teams that are still in with a shot of winning the title, with Argentina, Korea, Netherlands and New Zealand doing battle. The results of their matches today will count towards their standing in Pool C, with all four teams taking one point into the group as Argentina and Korea also ended with the scores level today.
Pool D will eventually decide the 5th to 8th placed teams, with Australia, China, England and Germany fighting it out. Australia currently lead that group thanks to today’s victory over Germany, who are currently bottom of the pool. England and China’s 0-0 draw earlier in the day sees them sitting mid-table with one point.
Before the match between The Netherlands and New Zealand, Dutch striker Kim Lammers was given credit for playing her 150th game, while Black Sticks stars Katie Glynn and Elizabeth Gunson were given credit for playing their 50th internationals as well as Alana Millington who was celebrating her 21st birthday.
Review 12. Netherlands vs New Zealand 0-0 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> Netherlands and New Zealand both progress to Pool C. All four teams progressing bring a draw to Pool C.
> New Zealand record their best Champions Trophy result ever by finishing in the Top 4. They were ranked fifth or sixth in all eight of their previous CT appearances.
> This marked only the second time New Zealand avoided defeat against the Dutch in CT competition after a 2002 draw at the 2002 Champions Trophy.
> The Dutch have now converted 1 of 12 penalty corners awarded at the 2011 Champions Trophy (8%).
> New Zealand have failed to convert any of their 4 penalty corners awarded at the 2011 CT, including one in this match.
> This was New Zealand’s 50th Champions Trophy match. They have now won 7, drawn 11 and lost 32.
> 29 goals have been scored in 12 CT matches so far at Amstelveen 2011. That is 2.4 goals per match, the lowest average ever in a CT edition.
Korea join Argentina in Medal Round
1-1 draw enough to qualify for Pool C
Rabo FIH Champions Trophy - Day 3 - Argentina v Korea (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
Korea and Argentina played out a 1-1 draw in the third match of the day here at the Wagener Stadium, a result which means that Korea joined the world champions as qualifiers for the medal round of the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy.
Korea went into the match knowing that anything better than a 2-0 defeat would have put them through to Pool C ahead of England, and took a huge step to achieving that feat when Park Mi Hyun scored the opener midway through the first half. However, Argentina hit back in the second period thanks to a field goal from Daniela Sruoga to make sure that they took at least a point through to the next phase of the competition.
Argentina were on top for most of the first half, but were guilty of missing some golden scoring opportunities. Delfina Merino sent a shot over the crossbar from a penalty corner situation, while a surging run from Agustina Soledad Garcia caused chaos in the Korean circle before the ball struck a post and was cleared to safety.
With Argentina dominating both possession and chances it was easy to understand why most people expected the South Americans to take the lead, but Korea had other ideas and moved ahead through Park Mi Hyun. An explosive break forward down the right saw Park sprint past Noel Barrionuevo before entering the circle and crashing a reverse stick shot past stricken Argentinean keeper Belen Succi.
Las Leonas went in search of an immediate equalizer but missed another good chance when Carla Rebecchi’s shot was deflected just wide of the target by the stick of a Korean defender.
Just before the break things went from bad to worse for Las Leonas when Mariela Scarone was shown a yellow card for a cynical challenge, earning her five minutes to cool off in the sin bin.
Argentina regrouped at half time and came out fighting in the second period, but the Koreans were equal to the triple Champions Trophy holders and denied them at every opportunity.
Eventually though, the pressure began to tell when Korea conceded two penalty corners in quick succession. The first effort was comfortably blocked before Korea keeper Moon Young Hui denied the second the second by diving to her right to block Barrionuevo’s high flick.
The equalizer came in the 57th minute when a Garcia drilled a perfect pass from midfield through to the waiting Luciana Aymar, who nudged the ball past Moon before Sruoga applied the finishing touch.
Argentina had a late penalty corner to win the game, but Moon made a solid block from the strike of Barrionuevo to earn a draw for her team.
Review 11. Argentina vs Korea 1-1 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> Argentina and Korea both progress, taking today's 1-1 draw with them to Pool C.
> Argentina fail to win their first world level match since drawing 2-2 with Germany at the 2010 CT. They had won 13 successive matches ever since: 6 at CT and 7 at World Cup.
> Korea finish in the top 4 of a Champions Trophy tournament for the first time since 1997 when they finished fourth.
> Argentina have converted 1 of 13 penalty corners awarded so far at Amstelveen 2011, but did not convert any of their 5 pc’s today.
> Korea have been awarded 12 penalty corners so far, including 3 today, but are yet to convert.
Schulz downs Germany with late strike
Australia 1-0 Germany
Australia celebrate their late winner against Germany (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
Australia have recorded their first win of the tournament by defeating Germany 1-0 courtesy of a late penalty corner flick from Jodie Schulz in the second match of Day 3 at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy.
The goal was a long time in coming, arriving in the inside the final five minutes of the match to give Australia great confidence ahead of the remainder of the tournament. Sadly for the Hockeyroos, the strike will not be enough to put them in the medal rounds due to their inferior goal difference to Germany.
For Germany, their chances of reaching the medal rounds now depend on the final match of the day between The Netherlands and New Zealand. If New Zealand lose by more than one goal Germany will qualify for Pool C and subsequently keep alive their hopes of success in the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy.
Germany were dominant for much of the first half, having 67 % of possession in their opponents half. The Hockeyroos were forced to defend three penalty corners in the first half, but were certainly not without their chances, winning three penalty corners of their own which were unsuccessful.
The Australians certainly had the better of the opportunities towards the end of the first half, with Germany keeper Yvonne Frank being called into action to keep the scores level going into the half time break.
Australia came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, putting the Germany defence under strain but unable to find the shots on goal that they were looking for. At the other end, Hockeyroos keeper Rachael Lynch pulled off a brilliant save to deny a clever deflection from Marie Mävers before the Australians wasted another penalty corner opportunity.
The first goal of the both the match and the day came inside the final five minutes when Australia finally made the most of a penalty corner opportunity. Jodie Schulz stepped up to the mark and sent a low flick towards goal, which despite the best efforts of Frank found its way into the bottom left corner.
Germany were the width of a post away from scoring an equalizer in the dying seconds of the game, but Australia held on for victory.
Review 10. Australia vs Germany 1-0 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> Australia recorded their 9th CT win over Germany in 16 CT matches against them. Only the Netherlands have beaten Germany more often in CT competition, 11 defeats from 16 matches.
> Australia will finish outside the Top 4 for the third time in 18 Champions Trophy appearances. They also finished outside the top 4 at Amstelveen 2006 (5th) and Mönchengladbach 2008 (5th).
> Germany progress to Pool C if The Netherlands beat New Zealand by at least 2 goals later today.
> Australia’s penalty corner success rate at Amstelveen 2011 is now 1 for 16 (6%). They scored once from 6 PC’s awarded in this match.
> Australia scored once from 14 goal attempts today, including 12 shots on goal.
> Germany failed to convert any of their 3 PC’s today. Their PC success rate at Amstelveen has now gone down to 1 for 8 (12.5).
Zhang penalty save denies England victory over China
England 0-0 China
(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)
China goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng saved a penalty stroke from Helen Richardson in the last ten minutes of the game to deny England victory in their final Pool A match here in Amstelveen. The match finished scoreless, with the penalty stroke being by far the biggest opportunity of breaking the deadlock in a match that contained limited goal-scoring opportunities.
Although disappointed not to win the game, England still have a chance to reach the medal round although they are now relying on Argentina to defeat Korea by two clear goals in their meeting later today. China are now unable to qualify for the medal rounds.
“I’ve only taken three penalty strokes in my 12 year career” said England captain Helen Richardson in the post match press conference. “I put it up in the high left corner but it was just a good save from the goal keeper.”
England made an excellent start to the early match here in Amstelveen. Laura Unsworth went close when she fired over the crossbar before a penalty corner chance went begging.
It was a very positive start for Danny Kerry’s team, a China were soon creating opportunities for themselves in the form of penalty corners. A powerful drag-flick from Wang Mengyu was confidently beaten away by England goalkeeper Beth Storry in what was probably the Asian side’s best chance of the first period.
There was very little between the two teams for most of the opening period, something that was perhaps expected from sides that are separated by just one place in the world rankings (China - 4th / England - 5th). The distinct lack of clear goal-scoring opportunities highlighted the cautious approach from both teams, but England almost found a way through in the dying moments of half when Alex Danson burst through and forced a save from Zhang.
The deadlock was almost broken five minutes from the break when England won a penalty corner courtesy of a smart referral to the video umpire, but the attempted deflection from Helen Richardson at the right post flew just wide of the target.
China had a glorious chance to open the scoring five minutes into the second half when midfielder Song Qingling sent a defence-splitting pass through to Zhao Yudiao, but Beth Storry came off her line to deny the 2010 FIH Young Player of the Year a certain goal.
The side from Asia dominating the early stages of the second half, but Storry and her defenders held firm and worked themselves back into the game before heavy rain started to fall on the Wagener Stadium.
The biggest moment of the match arrived with seven minutes remaining in what was an incredible passage of play. England’s Alex Danson showed skill and persistence to battle her way into the circle before eventually cracking a shot towards goal only for her goal-bound effort to hit the body of a China player. Umpire Elena Eskina immediately awarded a penalty stroke for the infringement, but Zhang moved to her right to deny the high flick from Richardson to ensure that the points were shared.
Review 9. England vs China 0-0 - Rabo FIH Champions Trophy 2011
> China are out of medal competition, and now go on to play for rank 5-8.
> England only qualify for Pool C if Argentina beat Korea by at least 2 goals, later today.
> England negotiated their first goalless draw in Champions Trophy competition.
> For China this marked only their 2nd 0-0 CT match. Their fist came in 2001 against New Zealand.
> This was the first goalless match in CT competition since the 2009 CT final which saw Argentina beat Australia on penalty strokes.
> This was the first CT match in which China failed to score since a 0-1 defeat against The Netherlands in 2009.
> Helen Richardson (ENG) failed to convert the first penalty stroke awarded at the 2011 Champions Trophy.
> England’s penalty corner success rate at the 2011 CT is now 0 for 3.
> China are on 3 for 10 (30%) in terms of penalty corners.
Koreans and Kiwis into Champions Trophy last four
AMSTERDAM: South Korea and New Zealand did enough on Tuesday to qualify for the women's Champions Trophy semifinals joining Argentina and the Netherlands.
The Koreans ground out a 1-1 draw with top-ranked Argentina, who have won the last three editions, while New Zealand held the Dutch to a scoreless draw.
Korea controlled the tempo of their game throughout, Park Mi-hyun breaking through to score with a drive past experienced Argentina goalkeeper Marian Succi towards the end of the first half.
The Koreans then shut up shop knowing that a draw would be good enough to see them into the final four.
They held on almost up to the final whistle when Daniela Sruoga equalised for Las Leonas, scrambling in a rebound off the pads of Korea goalkeeper Moon Young-hui.
"The players did what I asked of them which was to get into the semifinal pool and I am satisfied with a draw against the world champions," said Korean coach Lim Heung-sin.
Argentina's coach Carlos Retegui, however, was less enthusiastic about the single-minded stonewalling tactics of the Koreans.
"By playing for a draw in the second half Korea come into the semifinal pool. We played to put on a good show but how could we when all Korea wanted to do was draw," he said.
New Zealand had the better of the first half against the Netherlands but the Black Sticks wre unable to convert any of their six shots on goal.
Netherlands changed tactics in the second half, controlled the midfield and earned two penalty corners but were unable to break the deadlock against a Kiwi team that is steadily improving.
"Everyone should be aware that New Zealand can play very well and are a threat," said Netherlands coach Max Caldas.
There was another goalless draw between England and China who both missed out on a place in the semifinal pool.
Australia were the only side to manage a victory, defeating Germany 1-0 through Jodie Schulz's low flick conversion of their sixth penalty corner late in the second half.
Germany hit the post in the last 10 seconds but veteran Natascha Keller could not reach the rebound.
"We moved the ball quickly and the players used their speed to link on angles with one another so I think today we took it to another level than previous games - we are building nicely," said Aussie coach Adam Commens.
Wednesday is a rest day in the tournament followed on by the start on Thursday of the second set of pools.
In the semifinal group, New Zealand meet South Korea and Netherlands play Argentina. The top two sides in this pool will meet in the final.
The bottom four teams will battle it out for 5th to 8th.
The Times of India
Black Sticks successfully through to top four at Champions Trophy
The Black Sticks Women have put themselves into medal contention at the Champions Trophy after a gritty defensive performance saw them draw 0-0 with The Netherlands in Amsterdam today.
The Black Sticks are now guaranteed a top four finish at an FIH Champions Trophy for the first time in their history. Both the Black Sticks and the Dutch advance from pool B, along with Argentina and Korea from pool A, into the second round of matches.
“It wasn’t the best hockey we have played in this tournament, but defensively we scrambled well in the circle and were able to shut them down. The girls are very happy, this is another step forward for us to be in the top four, it’s very exciting,” says co-captain Kayla Sharland.
The Netherlands looked threatening from the opening moments of today’s game, super skilful and quick through the midfield, the hosts created numerous opportunities to score and demonstrated why the second world ranked team is top of the pool.
But like the Kiwis had chances when they played Germany on Saturday, The Netherlands just could not convert. Black Sticks goal keeper Bianca Russell made some superb saves and was well protected by the defenders around her who were uncompromising on defence and constantly turning over ball.
“It is pleasing to be in the top four playing in the semi-finals, we know we still have a long way to go but we seem to be tracking in the right direction,” says Black Sticks coach Mark Hager.
Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen had two very good chances to score from penalty corners, but failed to establish an advantage. Lidewij Welten and Kim Lammers also went close for The Netherlands, while Black Sticks Katie Glynn and Kayla Sharland had the best of the chances for their side but could not find a way past Netherlands keeper Floortje Engels.
Before the match between The Netherlands and New Zealand, Dutch striker Kim Lammers was given credit for playing her 150th game, while Black Sticks Katie Glynn and Ella Gunson were given credit for playing their 50th internationals as well as Alana Millington who was celebrating her 21st birthday.
Immediately following the game, everyone was evacuated from the stadium due to the lightning risk of a severe electrical storm that was passing by.
The conditions during the game were extremely hot and humid.
The Black Sticks play their next game against Korea at 3am Friday 1 July (NZ time) and then will play world number one side Argentina at 10.30pm Saturday 2 July (NZ time). The third and fourth play-off will be at midnight on Sunday 3 July with the final at 2.30am Monday 4 July (NZ time).
For full results from all the games at the Champions Trophy, go to http://www.fih.ch/en/competitions-144-rabo-fih-champions-trophy-women-champions
Full time: 0-0
- Netherlands and the Black Sticks both progress to Pool C. All four teams take one point each, through to the next round.
- It is the best Champions Trophy result ever for the Black Sticks - finishing in the Top 4. Previously, they have been ranked fifth or sixth in all eight of their previous Champions Trophy appearances.
- This marked only the second time the Black Sticks avoided defeat against the Dutch in Champions Trophy competition after a draw at the 2002 Champions Trophy.
- This was New Zealand’s 50th Champions Trophy match. They have now won 7, drawn 11 and lost 32.
- 29 goals have been scored in 12 Champions Trophy matches so far in this tournament. That is 2.4 goals per match, the lowest average ever in a Champions Trophy edition.
Hockey New Zealand Media release
Black Sticks into Champions Trophy top four
BOOT IT: Black Sticks goalkeeper Bianca Russell keeps Dutch player Eva de Goede at bay during their 0-0 draw at the Champions Trophy. Reuters
New Zealand are guaranteed a top-four finish at the Champions Trophy after a gritty 0-0 draw against Olympic champions the Netherlands.
The gritty Black Sticks got a result that suited from a tense game at Amstelveen which either side could have won and ensures they will record their best ever result at the elite women's hockey tournament. They have finished fifth or sixth in all eight of their previous appearances.
Both New Zealand and the world No 2 ranked Dutch advance from pool B, along with Argentina and Korea from pool A, into the second round of matches.
All four teams are in the same top-four crossover pool, with New Zealand to face Korea on Friday morning and Argentina on Sunday morning. This morning's (NZT) 0-0 result against the Dutch is carried forward into the second round.
New Zealand's cause was helped immeasurably by the previous-winless Australia's 1-0 upset of Germany, which left both those sides placed below the pool-topping Dutch and second-placed New Zealand - who had lost 1-0 to Germany earlier in the tournament and beaten Australia 3-2.
Today's display against the tournament hosts was a superb defensive one, although the Black Sticks could have won if Katie Glynn or Kayla Sharland had converted late opportunities.
However, the Dutch largely dominated possession and went close on numerous occasions and were only kept at bay by some scrambling New Zealand defence, built around some stoic goalkeeping from Bianca Russell.
Knowing that a draw or one-goal loss would get them through, the New Zealanders packed their defence tightly, allowing the Dutch attackers little breathing space.
"During my career that's the closest we've ever got to the Netherlands. The previous scores have been 7-0, 6-3," New Zealand co-captain Kayla Sharland said.
"To beat Australia for the first time in the Champions Trophy and then to draw with the Netherlands is unheard of through my career anyway."
Sharland said the need to avoid a large defeat was in the back of the players' minds but playing in temperatures much higher than for their previous two games was more of a factor for their lack of attacking opportunities.
"We still wanted to attack but the heat affected both teams. We both kind of came out quite apprehensive -- I thought the Dutch didn't really run at us and we didn't really run at them," she said.
"Because we were doing so much defensive running we probably didn't get in behind them as much as we wanted to."
The match brought up the 50th New Zealand caps for Glynn and Elizabeth Gunson while Alana Millington celebrated her 21st birthday.
It was New Zealand's 50th Champions Trophy match. They have now won seven, drawn 11 and lost 32 games at the tournament.
Australia, China, England and Germany will fight it out for fifth to eighth place over coming days.
NZ into top four of Champions Trophy
The New Zealand women's hockey team is heading into the upper heights of the sport after qualifying for the top four at the Champions Trophy tournament in the Netherlands this morning.
A 0-0 draw with the highly-ranked home team in searing heat was enough for the Black Sticks to qualify second from their pool and into the top four of the elite tournament along with the Netherlands, Korea and Argentina.
Having earlier beaten Australia 3-2, the Black Sticks came into today's game knowing they needed to avoid a two-goal defeat to qualify for the top four and they scrapped their way to a goalless draw against a team they have never beaten.
"During my career that's the closest we've ever got to the Netherlands. The previous scores have been 7-0, 6-3," New Zealand co-captain Kayla Sharland told NZPA.
"To beat Australia for the first time in the Champions Trophy and then to draw with the Netherlands is unheard of through my career anyway."
The Dutch dominated most of the match, penetrating into the goal circle 39 times compared to 11 for the Black Sticks.
But with Alana Millington, Stacey Michelsen and keeper Bianca Russell outstanding, the Netherlands had few genuine scoring opportunities.
Sharland said the need to avoid a large defeat was in the back of the players' minds but playing in temperatures much higher than for their previous two games was more of a factor for their lack of attacking opportunities.
"We still wanted to attack but the heat affected both teams. We both kind of came out quite apprehensive - I thought the Dutch didn't really run at us and we didn't really run at them," she said.
"Because we were doing so much defensive running we probably didn't get in behind them as much as we wanted to."
New Zealand had a chance to steal the match with their only penalty corner with 11 minutes to go but after a well-worked move Sharland hit the ball wide.
All teams in the last four will have one competition point. New Zealand's first game in the medal round is against Korea on Friday NZT, and then Argentina two days later.
The top two teams then play off in the final.
The New Zealand Herald
Late penalty drama means England play the waiting game
England’s Helen Richardson saw her late penalty stroke saved by China goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng as the 2010 bronze medal winners played out a 0-0 draw with the Olympic silver medalists in their final Pool A match at the Champions Trophy. The result means that England must await the outcome of Korea’s match with Argentina, which will determine whether Korea or England join Argentina in Pool C to compete for medals.
In what was an open match, England’s hard work and endeavour was evident throughout as they looked to take maximum points from the match but things did not quite fall for them. Head Coach Danny Kerry said afterwards that he was proud of the effort his team had put in, adding, “We had lots of pressure at the end of the match but we couldn’t convert that into a penalty corner or a clear opportunity. We worked hard but with the running we did and the openness of the game fatigue crept in towards the end.”
Together in the world rankings with China fourth and England fifth and together in Pool A with one point each, previous results meant both sides went looking for the victory that would give them the best chance to progress to the medal pool. In their five previous meetings at the Champions Trophy prior to the match, China had won twice and the sides had drawn twice with England winning 2-1 on home turf in Nottingham last July courtesy of goals from Helen Richardson and Charlotte Craddock.
Reading goalkeeper Beth Storry returned to the side having sat out on Sunday and clubmate Sam Quek also featured, starting on the bench, Clifton’s 20 year old forward Georgie Twigg made her first start in the tournament having come off the bench against Argentina and Korea.
A lively start saw England Leicester’s Laura Unsworth shoot over before Helen Richardson won a penalty corner but England could not take advantage. China won a penalty corner of their own shortly after but the shot from the top of the circle flew wide of Storry’s goal.
There was no lack of endeavour throughout the first half but clear cut chances were few and far between. Midway through, Reading’s Anna Bennett had a half chance during a scrappy moment inside the Chinese circle but the team in yellow cleared the danger before she could finish.
Moments later, China’s counter attack looked to have won a penalty corner but England successfully appealed to the video umpire, who overturned the decision to award the corner on the grounds that the ball struck an English stick, not the foot.
Five minutes from the break Helen Richardson came close at the other end but her back post deflection from a penalty corner went wide; and on the stroke of half time Alex Danson’s shot was saved by China goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng.
Despite edging the first half in shots and possession statistics, England found themselves on the back foot early in the second half and were grateful Beth Storry as she pulled off a good one-on-one save after a long ball had split the English defence. China then fired a cross through the circle before England regained possession.
In the space of five minutes China’s Li Hongxia and England’s Sam Quek were both shown green cards for bad tackles resulting in two minute suspensions for each.
Having survived the Chinese pressure and shown plenty of spirit, England found themselves with the opportunity to win the match from the penalty spot with just six minutes remaining. Excellent play between Richardson and Danson culminated in the ball striking a defender’s foot on the goal line and England were awarded the penalty stroke. Richardson stepped up but the midfielder, who was England’s top goal scorer in the 2010 Champions Trophy, saw her effort saved by Zhang, who stepped right to glove the ball away in front of her face.
England’s response to the disappointment of the penalty was to pile on the pressure, dominating the latter stages of the match but failing to convert their dominance.
England now await the outcome of Argentina v Korea. If Argentina wins by two goals or more over Korea, England will progress to Pool C from second place in Pool A on account of their superior goal difference. If Korea beats Argentina, there's a draw or Argentina wins by one goal, Korea will pip England to second and England and China will go into Pool D for fifth to eighth places.
ENGLAND 0 (0)
CHINA 0 (0)
Squad v China
England Squad for Rabo Champions Trophy, 25 June – 3 July
Name (Club) Position
Beth Storry (Reading) Goalkeeper
Crista Cullen (Leicester) Defender
Laura Unsworth (Leicester) Defender
Kate Walsh (C) (Reading) Defender
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) Defender
Helen Richardson (Reading) Midfield
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) Midfield
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) Midfield
Anna Bennett (Reading) Forward
Alex Danson (Reading) Forward
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) Forward
Sam Quek (Reading) Defender
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) Midfield
Anne Panter (Leicester) Midfield
Rebecca Herbert (Leicester) Forward
Nicola White (Slough) Forward
Did Not Play
Madeleine Hinch (Leicester) Goalkeeper
Kerry Williams (Leicester) Forward
England Hockey Board Media release
England women into Pool D
Champions Trophy phase two fixtures known
Following the conclusion of the first phase of matches at the Rabo FIH Champions Trophy, England will go forward into Pool D and contest positions five to eight, beginning with a match against Germany on Thursday.
Having drawn 0-0 with China on Tuesday morning, England required Argentina to beat Korea by at least two goals in order to leapfrog the Koreans and progress to Pool C, from which they would have been able to compete for the medals. But Korea drew 1-1 with Argentina in the final Pool A fixture and finished second to Argentina, one point ahead of England, who finished third, ahead of China by virtue of having a superior goal difference.
The results in Pool D on Tuesday, where Australia beat Germany 1-0 and New Zealand and the Netherlands drew 0-0, mean that Pools A and B have been played to completion and Pools C and D and comprised as follows.
Pool C – playing for positions 1-4.
Pool D – playing for positions 5-8
England’s first Pool D match is against Germany at 13:00 BST on Thursday, a match that will be screened live on British Eurosport 2 and on Eurosport Player at www.eurosportplayer.co.uk. England’s second Pool D fixture is against Australia at 13:30 BST on Friday. Teams carry forward their result against the team from their phase one pool into phase two. As such, England start phase two third in Pool D level on points with China, one ahead of Germany and two behind Australia.
England Hockey Board Media release
Hockeyroos bounce back to beat Germany at the Champions Trophy
The Hockeyroos have made a statement after their disappointing loss to New Zealand at the Champions Trophy, producing a great 1-0 win over world number 3 team Germany tonight in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Hockeyroos needed at least a two goal win to give themselves a chance to progress to the medal rounds and although they weren’t able to do that, this win could prove more important in the long run as it gives belief and confidence to the young Australian team.
After a frustrating loss to New Zealand on Sunday in which Australia’s defensive efforts were questionable, they responded in the best possible fashion tonight, hassling Germany throughout the match and causing several turn overs.
As has been the case all tournament, the Hockeyroos were able to put themselves in goal scoring positions on a number of occasions, but just lacked the polish to finish with a goal.
Germany started the match well, putting the Australian defence under early pressure. However thanks to the efforts of goalkeeper Rachael Lynch they were able to withstand two early penalty corner attempts.
The increased defensive efforts from the Hockeyroos was obvious, with the younger brigade including Kellie White and Georgie Parker fighting for every loss ball and applying lots of pressure.
Former young world player of the year Casey Eastham was instrumental in the midfield and almost got the Hockeyroos on the board after receiving a pass from Emily Hurtz in the circle, however the shot was well saved.
With some near goal attempts gone begging the Hockeyroos were not able to get on the scoreboard in the first half however their intent was obvious as they more than held their own against their more experienced opponents.
Pleasing coach Adam Commens, the Hockeyroos did not let up with their intensity after half time, continuing to smoother Germany and give them little room.
When Germany received a yellow card with 13 minutes to go the Hockeyroos made the most of the opportunity, with young striker Emily Hurtz really stepping up to be a focal point for Australia near goals. Australia’s best chances came from cracking shots by Hurtz and White at the top of the circle, but when both were saved it looked as though the Hockeyroos were going to once again be made the pay for not being able to convert.
However when they were awarded their 6th penalty corner of the match with only four minutes remaining, Jodie Schulz finally got Australia their much deserved first goal, scoring their first penalty corner goal of the tournament from 16 attempts.
The final minutes were frantic with Germany desperate for an equaliser but the Hockeyroos defence held firm, delivering their first win of the tournament and a huge boost of confidence for the young team.
Although fifth place is the best the Hockeyroos can now finish, there is still much to play for as the new players gain valuable and much needed experience against some of the world’s best teams.
Adam Commens said he was pleased with the team’s efforts, but identified that they need to work on converting their opportunities near goal.
“It was certainly an improved effort from last game and easily our best game to date at the tournament. They (Germany) weren’t able to really get too many dangerous shots away while we had a three or four good chances. We need to become more accurate from penalty corners and from scoring in general as we had some chances that we should have put away. But I think that will come from more experience,” said Commens.
Although the Hockeyroos can no longer win a medal, it will be equally important to their development that they build from this win and continue their form for the remainder of the Champions Trophy.
Hockeyroos 1 Germany 0 (0-0 half time)
Goals – Schulz 66m PC
Hockey Australia media release
Storms force England men's match cancellation
England's opening match of the Rabo Four Nations Cup has been postponed this evening due to the danger posed to spectators and participants from anticipated electrical storms.
England's men were due to play Germany in a re-run of the 2009 European Championships final, in the very same stadium in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, due to concerns over safety both of the competition's opening matches, including Netherlands v Pakistan, have been postponed.
The matches have been rescheduled for Saturday, replacing the classification matches. The format of the tournament will now simply be a round robin with everyone playing each other once.
England Hockey Board Media release
Ireland 2 - 1 China (Men's Hockey)
Ireland's men put in a good 2 - 1 win over China last night as they took advantage of the team's last day after the UCD 4 Nations.
Ireland's men's training will continue this week as they play 4 matches back to back against Egypt who are currently on their European Training Tour.
Irish Hockey Association media release
Scotland vying for promotion in Lille as Champions Challenge II gets underway this weekend
Scotland Men will be hoping to emulate their female counterparts' success in a world tournament when they travel to Lille, France for the FIH Champions Challenge II (2nd-10th July), where the eight participating teams will be competing for promotion to the Champions Challenge I in 2013.
Head Coach Russell Garcia can name an almost full strength squad for the forthcoming six matches, with the exception of Great Britain stars Stephen Dick and Niall Stott, who will compete for GB instead at the FIH Champions Trophy later this year, and under FIH rules, both players would become ineligible for GB in this competition if they represented the Scots in the Champions Challenge II. Inverleith's John Harris and Ross Stott of Bowdon HC also come back into the squad following the recent Celtic Cup campaign, in which the side finished second.
Olympian Graham Moodie will captain the side, whilst Mark Fulton, Michael Bremner, Michael Christie, Willie Marshall, Gareth Hall, Iain Scholefield and Alan Forsyth represent a strong contingent from Scottish champions Glynhill Hotel Kelburne. There will also be a milestone occasion for Grove Menzieshill's Gavin Byers, as he is set to claim his 50th international cap during the competition.
"Participating in the Champions Challenge II continues our preparations for a vital European tournament next month and whilst we are in Lille to compete at this tournament to the best of our abilities, increasing the level of performance rather than results is the most important thing we have in mind", said Garcia.
Scotland, currently sitting 23rd in the FIH world rankings, will play against hosts France (ranked 17th), Ireland (ranked 18th) and Russia (ranked 22nd) in Pool B of the competition. France and Ireland are familiar foes, with the national side having met them in the aforementioned Celtic Cup competition in Cardiff earlier this. The Scots lost narrowly to eventual winners Ireland 2-1, but defeated France 6-4, so will be confident of matching both teams.
Meanwhile, the other four teams contesting Pool A are Austria (ranked 21st), China (ranked 14th), Czech Republic (ranked 24th), and USA (ranked 20th). With China being the highest ranked team, and having dropped down from the FIH Champions Challenge I in 2009, they will be considered favourites to win promotion from the second tier, but Ireland and hosts France will fancy their chances after silver and bronze medals at the previous event two years ago.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has introduced an additional quarter-final stage at this year's tournament; the implication being that all teams have the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals irrespective of their performance in the pool stages and subsequent ranking in their pool. The winners of the quarter finals will then move onto the semi-finals and medal games, while the losers will continue to play for final placement in the 5th-8th places.
Further information about the FIH Champions Challenge II can be found on the FIH website.
Scotland Men: Phil Carr (Loughborough), Mark Fulton, Michael Bremner, Michael Christie, Willie Marshall, Gareth Hall, Iain Scholefield, Alan Forsyth (Glynhill Hotel Kelburne), Dan Coultas (Durham HC), Fergus Dunn (FC Barcelona), Russell Anderson (Brooklands), Graham Moodie (Edinburgh University), Kenny Bain (HDM), Wei Adams (AMN Hillhead), Ross Stott (Bowden HC), Chris Grassick (Surbition), John Harris (Inverleith), Gavin Byers (Grove Menzieshill).
Scottish Hockey Union media release
All Star Men's Hockey action in Durban
By Jon Cook
Marvin Harper of iTrainer Warriors in possession during the 3-1 win over Brothers Sport Braves at Kearsney College in Hillcrest, Durban Tuesday night. Photo: GUY ANDERSON
Justin Reid-Ross led from the front with two goals that helped the iTrainer Warriors to a 3-1 victory over the Brothers Sport Braves at Kearsney College in Hillcrest, Durban Tuesday night to keep alive the EagleTurf All Star Hockey Series ahead of Wednesday’s 6.30 pm finale at Riverside Sports Club in Durban North.
The Warriors, 2-0 down in the series looked a transformed side in this action-packed encounter with Pierre de Voux adding to the scoresheet, while Craig Haley replied for the Braves.
SA’s top 30 players are preparing for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers.
On Monday night, early goals by Taine Paton and Matt Fairweather helped the Braves to a 2-1 in a thrilling second match of the series. Both goals came inside the opening 12 minutes, while Justin Reid-Ross pulled a goal back two minutes from time.
The Braves had won the first encounter 1-0 at Riverside last week through a Haley penalty stroke.
SA Hockey Association media release
Hockey boys notch their first win on tour
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian national hockey team chalked up their first win in their playing tour of Europe when they defeated Real Club de Polo 4-2 in Barcelona on Monday.
Malaysia took the lead through Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor in the ninth minute before Hafifihafiz Hanafi scored a field goal in the 29th minute to make it 2-0.
However, a minute later Real de Polo club pulled one back through Roger Padros.
Padros was on target again in the 55th to level the score.
Three minutes later, Malaysia regained the lead with a reserve stick attempt by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin before Azammi Adabi sealed victory with a field goal just before the end of the match.
The Star of Malaysia
New hockey coach to be named soon, may join camp in Bangalore
NEW DELHI: The toss-up will be between a refined, vibrant version of the classical 5-3-2-1 formation that India employed during their reign at the top and the solid European efficiency as India zero in on their next chief hockey coach.
The new coach will be finalised in a day or two and he may possibly join the team at the camp in Bangalore beginning July 1 but before that both Sports Authority of India and the Union sports ministry will have to come to a consensus about what India need in the next five years, what they stand to get from the new coach and at what cost.
SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma said the term of the coach would be until the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. This is the first time a coach, foreign or desi, is being allowed the luxury of time. That, obviously, is a result of the introspection and the brainstorming sessions the ministry has had with SAI and Hockey India in the recent months. The Champions Trophy in December this year and the Olympic qualifiers in February 2012 too will be of importance but what has also been emphasized is the system that the coach will have to put in place at the grassroots.
"The term of the coach will be till 2016 Olympics. There will be performance-based incentive and the performance will be reviewed after every event," Verma told reporters here after three candidates for the post made their presentations to a committee comprising SAI and Hockey India (HI) officials at the SAI centre.
Dutch hockey guru Roelant Oltmans, twice Olympic and World Cup champion Jacques Brinkman and former Australian centre half Michael Nobbs are in the running for the job after they were shortlisted by a hockey development committee headed by former skipper Pargat Singh.
It will be India's fourth foreign coach after German Gerhard Peter Rach (2004), Australian veteran Ric Charlesworth (2008) and Spain's Jose Brasa (2009-10).
"The three coaches made their presentations today and we have zeroed in on one of the three candidates. We will be sending the recommendation to the government and the announcement will be made in a couple of days," said Verma.
Although Verma refused to disclose the remuneration, he hinted that the new coach will be paid slightly more than the last coach, Brasa. The sports ministry has raised the monthly remuneration for foreign coaches from $5000 to $7500 in the lead up to the 2012 London Games.
Oltmans said his past experience as the coach of Pakistan national team will hold him in good stead with the Indian team. "I am aware that India is targeting an Olympic berth. But to put Indian hockey back on track, a long-term programme is needed. Only with consistent performance, Indian hockey can move upwards. The players, coaches, officials, all have to work in tandem. And having worked with the Pakistani team, I am aware of the Asian style of hockey," he said.
Brinkman, who once trained under Oltmans, said the Indian team has to work hard to bridge the gap between top teams. "We have got about 200 days left for qualifying. We have to train really hard. But don't forget their technical skills. They can be a surprise element in London Olympics. I will try to refine them mentally and physically," he said.
Nobbs, who was the first to make the presentation, also advocated a long-term programme for Indian hockey. "India has got potential. It needs a system to be created and needs a long-term programme. I will try be bring India back to number one," said Nobbs.
The Times of India
Oltmans is the best bet
“I think it is an interesting job to get India where it belongs — the top.” This is the sentiment expressed by the Dutch legend, Ties Kruize, in an e-mail exchange on the appointment of a foreign hockey coach.
This observation mirrors the concerns of stalwarts across the globe over the decadence of our hockey structure for decades. Many are unable to fathom why this malaise of poor administration and inept coaching cannot be cured by pragmatic orientation.
Media speculation here ranged from Germany's Paul Lissek, Australia's Barry Dancer, Micheal Nobbs, Dutchmen Roelant Oltmans and Jacques Brinkmann as possible choices.
All the candidates have impeccable credentials. But measured in terms of achievement in the absence of Dancer and Lissek — both are unavailable — the choice falls on Oltmans. A household name in the Netherlands, nay, across the hockey playing nations, Oltmans had led the talented Dutch teams on parade in the World Cup, Olympic Games and Champions Trophy Championships. More importantly, Oltmans' love for Indian hockey is genuine.
He came all the way to Poznan in 1993 to witness the Indian team in action at the World Cup qualifier. Not long after, he flew from Kuala Lumpur after the Champions Trophy for the India-Pakistan Test at Karachi.
“How can I not come here when I know India and Pakistan are playing a Test,” he told this writer. The Dutchman's dream of coaching in the sub-continent came true when Pakistan hired Oltmans. But the stint was not exactly successful. He left somewhat disillusioned.
Several top coaches had the desire to handle the Indian national teams. Since the Eighties when Horst Wein reiterated in more than one forum on India's need for a new orientation on artificial pitches, quite a handful of them — Paul Lissek included — were keen on coaching in India. To say a foreign coach possesses the magic wand to transform India's fortunes is absurd.
None will be prepared to give such a guarantee. But a shrewd tactician like Oltmans can inject an element of variety.
It is gathered that Brinkmann, an outstanding mid-fielder, will be used for a short stint perhaps up to the Olympics, and Oltmans for a longer period. Such delineation remains to be worked out once the process of selection is complete.
Those lining up for the post are presumed to have acquired sufficient background on the working conditions peculiar to the sub-continent.
The work culture is different and often exasperating. Jose Brasa has had enough of that during his tenure.
Whoever finally gets the nod is advised to put every requirement in black and white.
With the national camp set to start at Bangalore on July 1, the issue of identifying a foreign coach cannot be deferred for long.
India set to get new foreign coach
The quest for a foreign coach for the Indian hockey team headed towards a positive conclusion with three candidates appearing for the interviews conducted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India (HI) here on Tuesday.
Reputed Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans, former Dutch star Jacques Brinkman and Australian Olympian Michael Nobbs went through the interview process and made their presentations.
The SAI Director General, Desh Deepak Verma, told mediapersons that they had zeroed in on one candidate and the name would be forwarded to the Sports Ministry.
“It will be finalised in a day or two,” he said. The intention of the Ministry to revive the National game was obvious. In a significant departure from the way foreign coaches were appointed in the country, the Ministry had agreed to give the new hockey coach a longer term and a better pay package.
Mr. Verma said that the new coach would have a tenure of seven years – till the 2016 Olympics – and his salary would be more than that of the last foreign coach (Jose Brasa).
“The performance of the coach will be assessed after every tournament and there is also the provision for incentives if the team does well,” said Mr. Verma.
“Money was never an issue. We have been assured to get the best and not worry about the financial aspect,” said HI secretary general Narinder Kumar Batra. The Government wants the coach to take over as soon as possible.
Nobbs, according to sources, was the front-runner since Australia had a strong system of coaching the coaches. The first to make his presentation, Nobbs said, for him, it was payback time. “I have learnt hockey in Australia from Indian coaches and I want to give something back to India...Hopefully, we can achieve something good for Indian hockey.”
When asked whether India would be able to qualify for London Olympics, Nobbs observed, “They would love to qualify for Olympics. But we should not think of short term goals. It would be difficult in such a short time. Hope, we can take Indian hockey back to number one position.”
The emphasis on the new coach would be to set up a mechanism to groom coaches. A member on the interview panel said, “We don't want short term goals because you achieve little when in a hurry. We want the new coach to carry his work down to the grass root levels. All coaches will follow the system that the new coach sets because we want consistency and uniformity.
“The coach will hold seminars on coaching and talk tactics. All this will allow us to produce a group of coaches who can take the effort forward five years down the line.”
Oltmans also emphasised on long-term planning and youth development.
“I understand qualifying for London Olympics is important. But more important is to perform with consistency and for that long-term preparation is required.
Participation is not important, winning is important.” The Dutchman was more concerned about the weaknesses than which style of hockey India should play.
For Brinkman, who won the 1996 Atlanta Olympics gold and the 1998 Utrecht World Cup under Oltmans, it was about fine-tuning things.
“India plays attractive hockey. India has good quality players and they have the technical strength. It is a matter of refining a few things,” he said.
All the three candidates discussed their term, payment and other issues in a cordial manner.
Oltmans is learnt to have asked for a provision of four-member support staff while Nobbs has indicated just one physical trainer apart from the assistant coaches on need basis. Brinkman wanted to make a decision later since he would need clearance from his national Olympic body where he is contracted as a High Performance Director until 2012.
The coaches have been assured a larger and final say in selection matters but the initial responsibility of picking the squad would lie with the selection committee.
For the camp starting in Bangalore on July 1, former international S. S. Grewal has been appointed the in-charge. He will also be the co-ordinator once the foreign coach takes over.
Oltmans front-runner to get India hockey coach's job
NEW DELHI: The search for a foreign coach for Indian men's hockey team is all but over with Dutchman Roelant Oltmans emerging as the front-runner to take over the job for a five-year term.
Oltmans name emerged as the favourite after he appeared for an interview before the Sports Authority of India and Hockey India officials along with other two candidates - twice Olympic and world champion Jacques Brinkman of Netherlands and former Australian Olympian Michael Jack Nobbs.
Later talking to the media, SAI Director General Desh Deepak Verma said that they have identified a candidate out of the three for the high-profile job and will now send their recommendation to the Sports Ministry for approval.
"We had a meeting with 3 people - 2 from Netherlands and one from Australia - who presented their case before us. After discussions we have zeroed in on one candidate and will now sent the recommendation to the ministry," Verma said at the SAI office on Tuesday.
"The new coach will be given a contract till 2016 Olympics because we now have to think about long-term associations."
Although the new coach will be provided a long-term contact, his performance will be evaluated after every international outing.
"But after every international tournament we will assess his performance," the SAI DG said.
Asked about the remuneration of the new foreign coach, Verma said, "It would be slightly expensive than the last foreign coach but I guess we can afford that for Indian hockey.
"In addition his contract will also have provision for incentives if we qualify for the (2012 London) Olympics," he said.
Apart from the SAI DG, the meeting was also attended by HI secretary general Narinder Batra, former skipper and HI Developmenet Committee chairman Pargat Singh, who shortlisted the candidates, HI Executive Director Anupam Ghulati among others.
India has been looking for a foreign coach since Spaniard Jose Brasa's contract expired after the Asian Games last year.
HI then handed the reins to national coach Harendra Singh for last month's Azlan Shah Cup last month but he failed to produce desired results in the tournament.
With the national camp slated to start in Bangalore from July 1, the administrators of the game are desperate to sort out the coach's issue within a day or two.
"All the coaches are employed so we have told them to get back to us in a day or two," Pargat said.
While Oltmans is the High Performance Director of the Netherlands Olympic Committee, Brinkman has his own company and is also involved in club coaching.
Pargat said whoever is appointed, the foreign coach will have to work extensively to develop a strong and healthy coaching system in the country.
"We will have to have a system in place. We discussed about our Indian mechanism and what pattern India needs to follow with all the candidates.
"The coach needs to develop a long-term system in the country," he said.
Oltmans also seemed optimistic about his chances but said instead of thinking about short-term goals, India need to focus on long-term objectives.
"I made my presentation and focussed on areas which I think are important for the future of Indian hockey. I want India to be one of the best in the world but that is a long-term process. (Qualifying for the) Olympics is important but in the long run consistency is what matters," said the 57-year-old, who guided Holland to gold medals in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and 1998 Utrecht World Cup.
"Participation is not important what is important is winning. To make India a potent force in world hockey again we need a development programme. Talent is there but it will take time and everyone should understand that," Oltmans said.
He also said that his association with Pakistan team will definitely help him but made it clear that he won't accept a short-term contract.
"I explained (to the panel) how important it is to have a long-term programme say for 6-8 years. A short contract is not acceptable to me," said Oltmans, who coached Pakistan in 2003-04.
He also said that if selected for the assignment he will speak to his predessor Brasa to get a first-hand knowledge about the working conditions in India.
Apart from Oltmans, the other two candidates - Nobbs and Brinkman - also seemed hopeful about their prospects.
Both Nobbs and Brinkman said if given a chance they will like to bring back the past glory of Indian hockey.
"My presentation was good, interesting and very co-operative. Hopefully, we can achieve something good for Indian hockey. Hope, we can take Indian hockey back to the number one position," Nobbs said.
Asked about the tough task of making India qualify for the London Olympics if he becomes the coach, the Australian said, "They (India) would love to qualify for the Olympics but it would be difficult in such a short-time."
Brinkman, however, was of the view that qualifying for the London Olympics is difficult but not impossible.
"It is difficult but the gap between international teams is very small. It needs hard work but there is possibility because there is still 200 days left," said the twice Olympic (1996, 2000) and World Cup (1990, 1998) gold medalist.
"Don't forget the technical abilities of India, it is their strength. You never know India can be a surprise element of 2012 (Olympics)," added Brinkman.
The Times of India
Indian hockey’s foreign coach: It’s between Oltmans & Nobbs
Uthra G Chaturvedi
The Day Two deliberations to pick India’s hockey coach saw the list of contenders shrinking from three to two. With the least experienced of the contenders — Jacques Brinkman — out of contention by the time the jury broke their huddle at noon, the race now happens to be between Dutchman Roelant Oltmans and Aussie Michael Nobbs.
Though, later in the evening, one of the panelist — Sport Authority of India DG Desh Deepak Verma — said that they had zeroed in on the coach but his fellow decision-makers were of the view that the final call will be taken by the Sports Ministry. “We had three candidates and have zeroed in on one name. We will now forward that to the ministry,” Verma said.
Though, others in the jury — HI secretary general Narinder Batra, executive director Anupam Ghulati, selection panel members SS Grewal, Jagbir Singh, Pargat Singh, government observers Dilip Tirkey and Harbinder Singh — said that both Nobbs and Oltmans were still in contention.
Those in the know say that, though, Oltmans was the first choice, but in case the ministry didn’t agree to the Dutchman’s demands, Nobbs would get the nod. “There is no questioning Oltmans’ credentials but he has a set of demands. He wants to bring his family here and wants to bring to India his support staff. Plus money is always a factor,” a source said. Another panel member admitted that while Nobbs’ presentation was impressive, his lack of experience at the top level was a concern. “We want the best for Indian hockey. Nobbs wants to replicate the entire Australian system here and he needs time for that,” he said.
Meanwhile, Verma informed that the coach will be contracted till 2016 Olympics. “We are looking at a long-term association with incentives promised for Olympic qualification. At the same time, the performance will also be reviewed after every major event,” he said.
“I made my presentation and focused on areas which I think are important for the future of Indian hockey. I want India to be one of the best in the world but that is a long-term process. (Qualifying for the) Olympics is important but in the long run a consistent performance is what matters.
“For the past few years there has been participation but only participation is not important; what is important is winning. To make India a potent force in world hockey again we need a long-term development programme. But what we have to make everyone understand including the officials and the media and the fans and the players is that it will take time.
“Having been Pakistan coach will definitely be helpful because it will help me understand the psyche better. But we have to accept that there is nothing called a style of play; what matters is the consistency and the results. And I am sorry, if anyone thinks India can go back to the top with a 5-3-2 system of attacking play they are mistaken.”
“My presentation was good, interesting and very co-operative. Hopefully, we can achieve something good for Indian hockey. Hope we can take Indian hockey back to the number one position. They (India) would love to qualify for the 2012 Olympics but it would be difficult in such a short-time.”
It's between Nobbs & Oltmans
Who would the new coach be? Former Australian centre-half Michael Nobbs, who is known for his work at the grassroots in his country and the structure that he promised to replicate in India? Or Holland's Roelant Oltmans, whose golden run with the Dutch national team in the 1990s, saw them rule the international hockey sphere?
Of the three who presented their views to top SAI officials, Dutchman Jacques Brinkman would come a poor third, according to sources.
Nobbs' thrust was on India's traditional strength - the 5-3-2-1 formation which the players grow up with. He pinpointed India's, till date, futile dabbling with the European system of play and compared it with the way the Aussies used the 5-3-2-1 to their advantage as also the manner in which they tweaked it to make their game that much more vibrant and result-oriented. He would work on a similar template in India, right from the grassroots, as it would be easy for both the teacher and the taught.
Oltmans too talked about installing a structure, one that would stand the test of time. But then, his accent reflected the European way of thinking, one which places a heavy premium on structure, setpieces and efficiency. If appointed, Oltmans preferred to bring in his own support staff to occupy a few crucial positions in the team.
The Times of India
Aussie Nobbs likely to get India coach job
Michael Jack Nobbs of Australia is likely to take over the reigns of the country's men's hockey team after Hockey India's (HI) selection panel decided to recommend his name to the Sports Ministry on Tuesday. Olympian Nobbs was one of the three candidates, who gave a presentation to the HI and Sports
Authority of India (SAI) officials about their plans for Indian hockey here on Tuesday. The other two were Dutch stars Roelant Oltmans and Jacques Brinkman.
After a day-long deliberations, SAI director general Desh Deepak Verma confirmed that they had zeroed in on one candidate but declined to divulge any more details.
"We have spotted one coach. His name will be recommended to ministry for approval," he said, adding that the appointment will be made with the long-term focus on the 2016 Olympics.
However, a member of the HI Panel confirmed to Hindustan Times that Nobbs name will be recommended to the ministry.
The clinching factor for Nobbs was the higher remuneration demanded by the Dutch stars. The Sports Ministry has put an upper limit of $7500 for foreign coaches.
Apart from financial constraint, availability was another issue that diluted the chances of two Dutch experts, said the source.
"The foreign coach should be able to devote some time to oversee the country's youth development programmes too," he said.
"Since there is no organised structure in the country, apart from guiding the senior, the foreign expert should be able to monitor the development programme in the country.
"At this point of time we don't have a result oriented system at the grassroots level. Lack of proper feeding is gradually depleting the senior.
Hence, laying solid foundation is one of the priorities," said the member on condition of anonymity.
With next preparatory camp around the corner, it is not known whether Nobbs would join the camp right away or would take some time.
Grewal in, Harendra goes out
The panel also decided to give more powers to Sukhvir Grehwal, who is HI head of director coaching and ease out current chief coach Harendra Singh.
Here after, Grewal will also be responsible for coordinating with the foreign coach.
Baljit Singh asked to join national hockey camp
NEW DELHI: Two years after he suffered a career-threatening eye injury in a freak incident, goalkeeper Baljit Singh has been asked to join the national hockey camp starting in Bangalore from July 1.
Baljit has got a letter from Hockey India to join the national camp to select players for international tournaments, including the Champions Trophy in December.
"I am very happy to have been called for the camp. I have completely recovered from the eye injury. The couple of tournaments I have played in the domestic circuit have given my enough confidence. I hope I get the chance to do well for the country and for myself," Baljit said on Tuesday.
Asked about the current impasse between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation over the merger issue, Baljit said it would be better for the players also if the two federations form a unified body.
"For a player, it does not matter under whose banner he is playing, HI or IHF. For us, we want to play as many international matches as possible," he said.
"In a way, it will be good if HI and IHF are merged. In that case players will not have to face pressure," he said.
In a severe blow to his career, Baljit had suffered a serious injury to his right eye during a training session at a national camp in Pune in 2009.
He was operated upon at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for what in medical terms is described as Corneoscloral Perforation of the eye.
He was then referred for treatment at a reputed hospital in United States where he had further surgery. The government had borne the initial medical expenses, including that of his treatment in the US.
Baljit was struck in the eye during golf ball practice session with goalkeeping coach Romeo James to improve his reflexes. According to the doctors, the rupture had damaged the retina, cornea and lens of his eye because of the direct trauma suffered due to that incident.
The Times of India
Baljit Singh back in India camp
By Tushar Dutt
After hard work of almost 14 months, goalkeeper Baljit Singh has made his way back to the Indian hockey team. He has been included in the Indian camp after two years.
Baljit confirmed to DNA about his selection the camp. “Today, I got a call from my team manager (Indian Oil) and he told me that I have been selected for the camp. I have got a letter from Hockey India and I am happy that my hard work has been recognised,” said Baljit.
Two years back, India’s No 1 goalkeeper Baljit was preparing for the championships in Europe and the FIH World Cup in a camp in Pune. He was practising ’keeping with a golf ball when it hit his right eye and he almost lost his vision in that accident. After the accident, Baljit had to keep away from the field for over 10 months. He was sent toUS for treatment and after a series of surgeries, vision of his right eye improved.
“I hit the field in April last year and since then, I have been playing in domestic tournaments. As far as my vision is concerned, I can say that I can play hockey and do my job well.
After the injury, it has been my dream to make my place in the camp and now it has come true. I will try to secure a berth in the team,” he said.
“The selectors have included him in the list of probables for the Indian team. In all, there are 91 players, who have been shortlisted for the camp and I think there are eight to 10 goalkeepers among them,” said Hockey India media advisor Anupam Ghulati. “The camp will start on July 1 in Bangalore,” he added.
When asked if Baljit will be included in the team if he performs well, Ghulati said it will be the selectors who will take a call on that.
“I think any player, who has been included in the camp, stands a chance to be in the team. But it will be the selectors, who will take a call on that. They will take any decision on the selection. I feel if he does well, the selectors are there to take care of that,” said Ghulati.
Inspired by braveheart Banks, Baljit eyes India spot
Inspired by former India cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and England goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who made a comeback after losing vision in the right eye in 1972 and was voted the best goalkeeper of the North American Soccer League in 1977, Baljit Singh is eyeing the national jersey again.
The goalkeeper has been called for the national camp after an eye injury forced him out in July 2009. Since the freak mishap, Baljit went out of contention and it was only last year that he made a comeback to the domestic circuit.
"When I was in the US for surgery, the doctor inspired me with Gordon Banks' example and it is motivation that's got me back. For the last seven-eight months, I have been trying hard to regain my spot in the national squad, and I am happy at the call. My next target is to be in the team," said Baljit, who injured his right eye when a golf ball sneaked through the helmet visor during a camp in Pune.
Baljit's vision in the right eye is restricted to seeing the shadow of an object at a distance of around 15 yards, but it is enough to make him the team's dependable man under the bar.
"Out of the last five major domestic tournaments I've played, my team (Indian Oil) has won three tournaments and I have been adjudged the best goalkeeper in two. My injury is no more hurdle," he said.
Baljit played a crucial role in Punjab's National Games triumph in February, and it was on the basis of this performance that he was considered for the camp. Even chairman of the selection committee, Col Balbir Singh, who was the team manager for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, made a strong recommendation for Baljit in his post-tournament report.
"To keep Adrian D'Souza and Bharat Chetri on their toes, Baljit, who has recovered and gave a sterling performance in the National Games, be included in the forthcoming camp," Balbir said in his report.
Baljit's only request is that if he performs well in the camp, his eyesight shouldn't be considered a hurdle.
U-18 team show satisfactory in Asia Cup: Bajwa
By Mohammad Yaqoob
LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) will not make any change in the team management of the national Under-18 team despite their failure to defend the title in the recently held Junior Asia Cup in Singapore.
Pakistan lost to South Korea in the semi-final and later grabbed the third position after beating Singapore 6-0.
PHF secretary Asif Bajwa, who arrived here from Singapore on Monday, said though the current team could not defend the title, the team management (Rana Mujahid as manager, Danish Kaleem, Ahmad Alam, Anjum Saeed as coaches) would complete their term till the Under-21 Asia Cup next year, which will also be the qualifiers for the next Junior World Cup.
Bajwa said the boys are talented and there is nothing to worry about the results of the tournament. However, he said the players needed more experience to convert the opportunities into goals in the future games.
Against Korea, Bajwa said, the team muffled no less than six chances, including open sitters, when the rival goalkeeper had also been beaten. “The forwards failed to connect the ball into the cage on a bad day for Pakistan and the players must work on improving the goal scoring skills.”
Bajwa said he had showed his concern before the Asian Hockey Federation for including very weak teams in the qualifiers and even India did not feature in the event. He said Pakistan lost just one match (semi-final) but apart from that, the team played high-class game against all the opponents.
Thunderstorm has hair-raising effect for girls
By Vaimoana Tapaleao
Thunder, lightning and a synthetic sports pitch combined tonight to produce hair-raising results for two girls.
The storm passed over a hockey practice session at Auckland Grammar at about 6pm and when lightning spiked nearby, the static effect lifted the girls' hair towards the sky.
Weather expert and MetService forecaster Ian Millar said various elements resulted in the children's hair standing up, including that they were standing on a synthetic material.
"The reason for lightning is that you get a big separation of electric charges between the top and the base of these big towering clouds.
"And that voltage difference can be detected at ground level," Mr Millar said.
"You could probably do something similar if you rubbed a plastic comb with a synthetic material ... and if you hold it just above your hair, it will raise it," he said.
One spectator said that parents standing on the sideline could see the girls' hair reach for the sky.
"The parent next to me said: 'Gosh that lightning was low'. And the next thing is these two girls are standing there with all the hair - long hair - totally up."
None of the youngsters were hurt.
The thunder and lightning had been forecast in and around the Auckland region tonight and it was not expected to continue through to Wednesday.
The New Zealand Herald