All the news for Thursday 14 July 2011
England go down in nine goal thriller
Not even two goals from captain Barry Middleton on the occasion of his 150th England appearance could help England on day two of The London Cup as they went down 5-4 to Korea.
On day two of the London Cup in Chiswick, hosts England took on Korea in a must win game. With both sides losing their opening matches the need to get points on the board was paramount and it was the visitors who improved most on Tuesday’s showing, running out 5- 4 winners in a tightly fought affair.
Reading’s Jonty Clarke and captain Barry Middleton both netted for England in the first half, with Nam Yong Lee scoring twice for Korea before the break. Twice more in the second half Korea came from behind as Nam Yong Lee and Jong Hyun Jang equalised goals from East Grinstead’s Mark Pearn and another from Middleton. And there was to be a sting in the tail for England when Hyo Sik You fired home a penalty corner in the final minutes to give the Koreans a memorable win.
England captain Barry Middleton challenges Korea's Hyo Sik You during The London Cup, Chiswick
Before the match, two of England’s most established players, Mark Pearn and Barry Middleton, were presented with Champagne to commemorate the milestone of reaching 150 caps. Middleton’s came in the match while Pearn won his the previous week at the Rabo Four Nations Cup.
England started well; Pearn stamping his authority on the right hand flank with two robust challenges before earning the first penalty corner of the game. Set piece specialist Richard Mantell set up the for the flick and slipped the ball from the top but a lack of communication saw the move break down and the ball drift harmlessly over the baseline.
Korea's first opportunty came as a long ball found its way through the England press. Inside the English circle Loughborough Students’ Iain Lewers was on hand to take the ball from off the stick of Nam Yong Lee as he looked certain to score.
Simon Mantell in action for England, Moon Kyu Kang in action for Korea at the London Cup, Chiswick
Soon after, exquisite skill from Simon Mantell on the left wing allowed him to jink inside over a flat stick and drive strongly into the circle before passing to Jonty Clarke who slipped the ball past the goalkeeper from a tight angle to give England the goal their early pressured deserved.
The Korean side responded strongly and created a shooting opportunity which was blocked and cleared to safety. Further Korean pressured followed but Beeston's Adam Dixon was on hand to read the situation and played the ball calmly out of defence.
From out of nowhere, another Korean aerial set up Nam Yong Lee to score the goal of tournament so far, guiding the ball on the volley over the shoulder of the advancing James Fair. But the visitors’ lead lasted all of two minutes as Barry Middleton celebrated his 150th England cap with a well taken goal, restoring the advantage.
With just over five minutes until the break, a free hit from outside the 23 metre area was played straight in by Jong Hyun Jang allowing Nam Yong Lee to score his second of the day, deflecting the ball in from the penalty spot.
After the break both sides looked to take control of the game. Five minutes in, England found the early breakthrough through Mark Pearn who turned the defender with ease at the top of the circle to fire past the helpless Korean goalkeeper Jae Hyeon Kim into the bottom corner.
Incredibly, Korea hit back again. And again it was another Nam Yong Lee deflection that did the damage to make it 3-3.
Five minutes later, Richard Alexander’s bouncing pass into the circle fell to Barry Middleton who flicked the ball into the back of the net for his second of the night to put England back in front. 4-3 more than a quarter of the match remaining.
Korea levelled again with just under quarter of an hour to play; this time from a penalty corner awarded by the umpire for Jonty Clarke's challenge outside the circle. The low hard shot of Jon Hyun Jang hit the backboard, giving the England defender on the line little chance.
As they searched for the lead once more, England's task was made all the more difficult as they were first reduced to ten men with Glen Kirkham sent to the bench before Surbiton’s James Tindall also saw yellow.
The two yellow cards proved to be a deciding factor in the game as, with both players off, Hyo Sik You scored with just three minutes remaining to hand Korea a remarkable victory.
Despite the result, Head Coach Jason Lee said, “[It was] definitely a much better performance than the first game. The players can be proud of how they played. I’m a little bit bemused as to how we didn’t win today. I think they had five shots and six went in, which is a bit of a story for us at the moment.
"I actually thought every time we scored one it was enough; I thought we'd go on to take the game.
"I think it's a performance which we can build on, compared to the first performance against Belgium, which I thought had an awful lot of limitations in how we approached it and how we actually played. I thought it was a strong performance tonight and on a normal night one I'd expect us to win."
Captain Barry Middleton added: "On the pitch it felt the same [as described by Lee]. We played to our game plan; I thought that we did things right and controlled possession. It's just those little things, those little mistakes and details that have cost us."
England’s final pool match comes against New Zealand on Friday at 8pm. The Kiwis are already through to Saturday’s final after beating Belgium. The Belgians and Koreans will meet at 5:45pm on Friday to fight it out for a place in the final alongside New Zealand. England are now guaranteed to be playing for the bronze medal against the loser of the Korea v Belgium clash.
Blair Hopping in action for New Zealand against Belgium at The London Cup, Chiswick
In the earlier match, Nick Wilson’s late screamer high into the net handed New Zealand all three points against Belgium. Having gone behind to Tom Boon’s early penalty corner, the Black Sticks responded before the break through Stephen Jenness and Matt L'Huillier. Boon looked to have sealed a share of the points for Belgium with a goal just six minutes from the end but Wilson’s late winner put New Zealand in pole position for a place in Saturday’s London Cup final.
See photographs from The London Cup on the 'Official England Hockey' Facebook page. And keep up to date throughout the tournament via Twitter. Follow @EnglandHockey and use the London Cup hashtag #londoncup.
Jonty Clarke 12 (F)
Barry Middleton 25,48 (F,F)
Mark Pearn 40 (F)
Nam Yong Lee 22,28,43 (F,F,F)
Jong Hyun Jang 56 (PC)
Hyo Sik You 67 (F)
The London Cup Standings
England fall flat
By Graham Wilson
ENGLAND produced the champagne but the bubbles fell flat at the London Cup in Chiswick last night when they were toppled 5-4 by Korea.
Captain Barry Middleton and Mark Pearn were presented with champagne to mark their 150th caps and both were on target after Jonty Clarke’s opener.
A hat-trick from Nam Yong Lee kept Korea in the hunt and, after Glenn Kirkham and James Tindall were sin-binned late-on, Richard Mantell’s slip allowed Hyo Sik You a winner.
England lose to Korea in London Cup despite captain Barry Middleton's double strike
By Emily Benammar
Defeated: England captain Barry Middleton scored twice but still ended up on the losing side Photo: PA
On his 150th cap England captain Barry Middleton's two goals were not enough to help his side revive their London Cup campaign as their tie with world No 6 Korea ended in a 5-4 defeat.
Following their disappointing 4-2 defeat to Belgium on Tuesday, England had everything to do to keep their hopes of a place in Saturday's final alive.
Head coach Jason Lee had described his side's performance against their European rivals as embarassing and his words clearly had an impact.
After the match Lee said: “[It was] definitely a much better performance than the first game. The players can be proud of how they played. To be honest, I’m a little bit bemused as to how we didn’t win today.”
It was end to end for much of the match but England appeared the stronger of the two sides and consistently kept themselves ahead through Middleton, Jonty Clarke and Mark Pearn.
Despite their efforts, England's fate was determined in the dying minutes when Glen Kirkham and James Tindall were both yellow carded.
Korea took advantage of their numerical advantage and a last-gasp goal secured them the win.
The result means England are out of contention for a place in the final and will instead play for the bronze medal on Saturday.
South Korea end England hopes
LONDON: England's chances of winning the London Cup ended with a 5-4 defeat by South Korea on Wednesday.
Both sides had to win after first round losses to stand a chance of making it through to the final and it was the visitors who enjoyed a narrow victory.
England saw first-half goals from Jonty Clarke and captain Barry Middleton cancelled by Lee Nam-Yong's double to ensure the teams remained all square at half-time at 2-2.
The home side forged a 4-2 lead through Mark Pearn and a second goal from Middleton yet let it slip as Lee completed his hat-trick and Jang Jong-Hyun tied the game at 4-4.
And three minutes from time South Korea's fightback was completed when You Hyo-Sik scored from a penalty corner.
"It was definitely a much better performance than the first game," said England coach Jason Lee.
"The players can be proud of how they played. To be honest, I'm a little bit bemused as to how we didn't win today."
It was the second time in as many matches though that England had squandered a two-goal lead following a 4-2 defeat by Belgium.
That loss prompted Lee to say: "We didn't score any of our corners. It was embarrassing being beaten in front of a home crowd."
Middleton added after the Belgium reverse: "We have a bad habit of not performing at home.
"That is one of the biggest tasks we are trying to resolve -- our psychiatrist should be able to help."
England's final pool match is against New Zealand on Friday. The Kiwis are already through to the final on Saturday after Nick Wilson's late strike secured a 3-2 win over Belgium.
Friday also sees Belgium up against South Korea for the other final berth.
The Times of India
Black Sticks make it two in a row
A late stunner from Nick Wilson gave New Zealand all three points in their top of the table clash with Belgium at the London Cup on Wednesday evening.
New Zealand inched closer towards a final spot on day two of the London Cup as they beat Belgium 3-2 in a hard-fought battle. The Black Sticks men defended well and won the mini-battles in both halves to secure a well-deserved victory over the Europeans.
Belgium opened the scoring in the ninth minute with Tom Boon finishing a drag flick high into the goal from a penalty corner, but Stephen Jenness levelled matters seven minutes later with some great stick work through open play. Matt L’Huillier then converted the Kiwis' first penalty corner to extend the lead three minutes before half time.
The second half saw Belgium pressing hard for the equaliser but New Zealand defended well to keep the lead until 64th minute when Tom Boon scored his second goal through a well-disguised penalty corner. Belgium were also helped by the fact that the New Zealand side were down to ten men after a yellow card awarded to captain Phil Burrowsin the 61st minute.
It looked as if the match was heading for a draw but Nick Wilson scored for Kiwis through open play just two minutes before the final hooter to clinch a hard-earned win. His goal was a spectacular effort high into the net, treating the Chiswick crowd to some late excitement.
Speaking after the match, Belgium coach Colin Batch later said their side needs to be more consistent in their play to be a better team. “It was disappointing to finish the way we did having fought hard to get back into the game… we have been group training for two weeks. I think we have shown some good progress. We are ahead of where we thought we should be but we know we have got a lot of work to do.”
This victory means the Black Sticks Men are now standing on the top of the league table and are favourites to enter the finals on Saturday.
Tom Boon 10,64 (PC,PC)
New Zealand 3
Stephen Jenness 17 (F)
Matt L'Huillier 32 (PC)EH
Nick Wilson 68 (F)
England Hockey Board Media release
Black Sticks Men secure spot in London Cup final
The Black Sticks Men have secured a spot in Saturday’s final of the London Cup with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Belgium at the University of Westminster Sports Grounds, in Chiswick, London on Wednesday 13 July 2011.
The Kiwis maintained their 100 per cent winning record but it was neither an easy, or pretty, affair. Goals from Stephen Jenness and Matt L’Huillier were balanced out by a brace of strikes from Belgium’s Tom Boon, before a last minute rocket from Nick Wilson secured the win for the Black Sticks.
Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod noted after yesterday’s game that his team needed to convert opportunities into goals and play hard right to the final whistle.
The opening moments of the game started with equal possession, with Black Stick Simon Child forcing a stick-save from Jeremy Gucassof in the Belgian goal after just three minutes.
But it was the Belgians who were the first to score, with Tom Boon flicking past Kyle Pontifex from a penalty corner after nine minutes.
Black Sticks midfielder, Steve Edwards was sin-binned shortly after, but it made little difference as Stephen Jenness brought the Black Sticks level after an audacious reverse-side volley under the body of Gucassof.
With three minutes left in the half, the Black Sticks doubled their lead after a low penalty corner flick from Matt L’Huillier found the backboard.
The end to end play continued in the second half, with mistraps and missed passes from both teams resulting in a string of turnovers but neither team were able to score.
The Black Sticks best opportunity to score came from Blair Hilton, but he failed to convert in front of goal. While at the other end, the left glove of Kyle Pontifex thwarted several Belgian shots.
With eight minutes left in the half, Captain Phil Burrows was dismissed after a mistimed challenge while chasing back. While he was in the sin-bin, Belgium Boon converted another penalty corner to pull them level.
With three minutes on the clock, Burrows returned to the field, and with him came sheer determination to make amends, getting involved in a flurry of Black Sticks attacks.
The rewards, and relief, came for the New Zealand captain as the ball fell loose to Nick Wilson at the top of the circle. The young striker, who looks in devastating form here in London, duly dispatched a rocket past the right ear of Gucassof to put the result beyond doubt.
“It is our first tournament for some time and I think that was evident today. You need to win at least two games in a row and we have failed to do that. It was disappointing to finish the way it did after getting back into it,” says Belgium coach Colin Batch.
Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod says poor team discipline is something that the team needs to address in the future.
“To win two out of two games is really pleasing, but it was a lot closer than we would have liked. I’m happy that we created more scoring opportunities today, but we need to work on converting these into goals,” says McLeod.
Black Sticks: 3 (Stephen Jenness, Matt L’Huillier, Nick Wilson)
Note: The London Cup is a four nations invitation hockey tournament also involving England, Korea and Belgium and being played at the University of Westminster Sports Ground in Chiswick, London. The Black Sticks complete their pool match on Saturday 16 July at 7am (NZ time) against hosts England. The final is on Sunday 17 July at 4.30am (NZ time).
Hockey New Zealand Media release
NZ into final despite discipline issues
Stephen Jenness. Photo / Getty Images
The New Zealand men's hockey team have secured a spot in the London Cup tournament final following a hard fought 3-2 win over Belgium at Chiswick, England, today.
The Black Sticks maintained their 100 percent winning record at the tournament but it was not an easy or even pretty affair.
Goals from Stephen Jenness and Matt L'Huillier were balanced out by a brace of strikes from Belgium's Tom Boon before a last minute rocket from Nick Wilson secured the result.
New Zealand coach Shane McLeod suggested his players made life difficult for themselves due to poor discipline.
Steve Edwards was sinbinned for a period in the first half as was captain Phil Burrows after the break because of a mistimed tackle.
McLeod said poor team discipline was something his team needed to address.
"To win two out of two games is really pleasing, but it was a lot closer than we would have liked," he said.
"I'm happy that we created more scoring opportunities today, but we need to work on converting these into goals."
Burrows' sinbinning came eight minutes from fulltime and in his absence Belgium took the opportunity to score from a penalty corner and level the scores at 2-2.
He returned to the field with just 3min remaining and with him came a sheer determination to make amends as Burrows busied himself at the heart of a flurry of New Zealand attacks.
The rewards, and relief, came for Burrows when the ball fell loose to Nick Wilson at the top of the circle and the young striker duly dispatched a blast into the back of the net.
New Zealand complete their pool programme in the four-nation event against England tomorrow morning (NZT) ahead of the final on Sunday.
New Zealand 3 (Stephen Jenness, Matt L'Huillier, Nick Wilson) Belgium 2. Halftime: 2-1.
The New Zealand Herald
Black Sticks men into London Cup final
New Zealand have secured a spot in the final of the London Cup invitational four-nations hockey tournament after a late 3-2 win over Belgium in England this morning (NZT).
The seventh-ranked men's Black Sticks battled back from an early Belgium goal to lead 2-1 at halftime through goals to Stephen Jenness, who finished off a neatly worked team goal, and a strike by Matthew L'Huillier from a penalty corner just before halftime.
Belgium, ranked 13 in the world, equalised with 10 minutes remaining while New Zealand captain Phil Burrows was spending time on the sideline after a rough tackle.
But the Kiwis regained composure and scored a late winner through Nick Wilson, who lashed the ball into the top right corner.
"I was happy with the first half, I thought we played really well," Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod said this morning.
"Even in the second half I thought we created a lot of opportunities but we did have a bad patch leading into when Phil got sent off.
"We were defending a lot and having to defend quite deep, so I wasn't happy about that, but I was pleased with the way we responded after Belgium got the equaliser."
The Black Sticks' second win in two days at the University of Westminster Sports Grounds in Chiswick, London - they beat Korea 2-0 yesterday - sees them qualify for Sunday's final with a game in hand.
Sixth-ranked Korea upset the hosts 5-4 in today's other match, consigning England, at No 4 the highest ranked team of the four nations, to their second loss in two days.
Korea and Belgium will playoff for the other spot in the final on Saturday, while New Zealand's final round-robin match phase is against England, the European champions, on Saturday morning (NZT).
"We want to use England as a bit of a gauge, because England have already qualified for the London Olympics," McLeod said.
"We want to continue to play teams that are going to be at the Olympics so we can gather information and test elements of our game against them."
The final and playoff for third are both on Sunday morning (NZT).
Pietie Coetzee nominated for SA Sportswoman of the Year
by Jonathan Cook
Investec South Africa superstar Pietie Coetzee during the Champions Challenge match against India in Dublin last month. Photo: Rodrigo Jarmilla (Hockey Press)
The 2011 South African Sports Awards, presented by Sport and Recreation South Africa, has seen one of the nominations for SA Sportswoman of the Year going to the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team’s goalscoring world record breaker, Pietie Coetzee.
During the Champions Challenge international tournament in Dublin, Ireland last month, the 32-year-old superstar striker broke Russian Natella Krasnikova’s world record of 220 goals. Coetzee’s record now stands at an incredible 225 goals in 227 Test matches. The awards ceremony takes place at Sun City on August 19 and 20.
Runner up of the Jack Cheetham Memorial Awards 2010, SIlver Malele, receives his award
Silver Malele is one of the other hockey personalities to be nominated. Malele runs a community-based hockey club called Silver Stars in Diepsloot and he is a nominee in the Sport Volunteer of the Year category.
Nominated for the Sports Administrator of the Year is Pat Smith of Amathole Hockey. The East London-based province is under Smith’s management and her success also has a strong development component to it.
Finally, the SA Hockey Association has been nominated for the Sports Federation of the Year award.
SA Hockey Association media release
Germany and Belgium get better of England youngsters
Wednesday was a testing day for England's Under 18s as both sides lost on the second day of the EuroHockey Youth Nations Championships in the Netherlands.
England Under 18 girls went down 3-1 to Germany in the second match of in a wet and windy Holland on Wednesday while the Under 18 boys lost 6-0 to Belgium in trying circumstances.
England's girls battled well against their rivals, but ultimately came up short against a strong German side. Nevertheless, they earned their coach’s praise.
“The coaching team were delighted with the way in which the girls adapted to some difficult tactics in today’s game,” said Head Coach Martin Rodgers.
“We simply didn’t take enough care with the ball higher in the pitch. We now have a significant challenge preparing for a difficult game against the French team.”
Germany went ahead after just five minutes with a penalty corner from Laura Saenger who drag-flicked it home, and she was on target again shortly after half time, again with a drag-flick from a penalty corner. England pulled one back on 47 minutes, Faye Curran scoring from open play after a good piece of aerial work down the right hand side saw the ball moved to Curran who shot home from the top left of the D. But Germany made sure of the win with Lea Stockel scoring on 61 minutes after England had lost possession in midfield.
In the Under 18 boys' match, England went down to a 6-0 defeat to a strong Belgium side in their second match.
With the weather making life tough, England struggled to take control of the game and conceded their first goal after four minutes, with number two coming eight minutes later.
Belgium had added a third before the break, and they added further goals in the second half.
England will be looking to step up several gears when they take on Spain in their final group game on Thursday (13:05 BST).
England Hockey Board Media release
Peterson hat-trick sends Scotland into Euro semi-finals
A hat-trick by Greaves Clydesdale striker Ben Peterson was the catalyst in Scotland`s 5-1 defeat of Ukraine in the final pool match of the EuroHockey U18 Championship II in Cernusco, Italy.
This result keeps the dream of promotion very much alive, with both the Scots youngsters and Austria from the pool having now qualified for Friday`s crucial semi-finals.
With the injuries, illness and suspensions behind them, and first choice goalkeeper Blair Fotheringham returned to his normal role after a game at centre forward against the Austrians on Tuesday, the Scots entered the fray with almost a full squad available.
After a fairly even opening period, Scotland`s best chance fell to Ross McIntyre but his effort was stopped by the goalkeeper. It was then Ukraine who took an unexpected lead through Andriy Koshelenko, as he road two tackles and slotted the ball past Fotheringham.
Scotland retaliated in style with a quick double from Peterson; the first came from a long ball out of defence, and the Clydesdale striker rounded a defender a sent a fierce shot into the bottom corner. Duncan Riddell created the opening for the second and Peterson scored with a rebound off the goalkeeper after his initial shot had been saved.
After Johnathon Roy, Craig Falconer and Peter Baldwin had all missed good chances to increase Scotland`s lead early in the second half, it was left to Peterson to seal the result with his hat-trick goal. Again Riddell was the provider, McIntyre`s initial shot was saved and the Peterson did the rest.
A minute later CALA`s Corey Hastings used his phenomenal pace to outstrip two defenders and notched the fourth with a shot into the bottom corner. With the contest well and truly over, the Scots youngsters added the luxury of a late fifth goal, Hasting`s first effort was blocked and McIntyre followed up with a fierce reverse stick shot.
Meanwhile, in Utrecht, Scotland's U18W girls lost out 3-1 to Ireland with a game against the powerful Dutch to follow in the final pool match.
The Scots were caught early on which allowed the Irish to steal a two goal lead in the opening six minutes. The girls retaliated and pulled one back with a penalty corner strike by Grange`s Kike Lawal.
The Scots pressed for the elusive equaliser after the interval, the best chances falling to Jenny Morris and Kirsty Hill but the Irish goalkeeper was up to the task.
In an attempt to salvage a point, the Scots were caught upfield and the Irish scored a third in the final 30 seconds.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Day 2 EuroHockey Youth Nations
U18 GIRLS IRELAND 3-1 SCOTLAND (2-1 HT)
Ireland (Kate Froeling 2m, 10m (op), Emily Beattie 65m
Ireland took an early lead in the 2nd minute Kate Froeling from an error by the Scottish goal keeper finished well. A great counter attack by Ireland in the 10th minute saw Ireland doubled their advantage again it was Froeling finishing for her and Ireland's second goal. It was end to end with Scotland pressing high but Ireland getting the better of the circle entries. In the 27th minute Scotland scored from a PC that deflected in off an Irish stick. At half time the score remained 2-1 to Ireland with Scotland on top but Ireland looking dangerous on the counter.
In the 37th minute a great save by Irish Keeper Holmes kept Ireland in the lead. Both teams were reduced to ten early in the second half but Ireland were in control with the pace of the Irish forwards causing Scotland problems. The Irish girls soaked up pressure but late in the game Emily Beatty restored Ireland's two goal advantage with 5 minutes on the clock.
Ireland play Belgium tomorrow at 5pm with the winners progressing to the semi-final with Holland.
U18 BOYS IRELAND 4-1 RUSSIA (3-1 HT)
Ireland (Ian Sloan 1m, 14m, 18m and Jamie Wright 65m)
Ireland off to a flyer with a goal in the 1st minute from a pc converted by Ian Sloan and in the 14th minute from another penalty corner Sloan made it 2-0. It only took Captain Sloan another 4 minutes to get his hat trick when he scored with a reverse stick shot leaving the keeper with no chance. Russia got 1 back just before half time from a deflected PC.
Ireland sealed victory with the only goal of the second half with a classy reverse stick shot by Jamie Wright.
Ireland play Germany tomorrow at 3pm Irish Time with the winners progressing with Holland to the semi-finals
Irish Hockey Association media release
Three-day selection trials begin at SAI
The National hockey camp at the Sports Authority of India’s South Centre hit the business end on Wednesday with Hockey India selectors kick-starting the three-day trials.
Hockey India selectors BP Govinda, Balbir Singh and AB Subbaiah will streamline the 90-odd probables to 48 by Friday evening following which the camp is expected to get a lot more intense.
Nearly 60 players -- mostly juniors and second tier players -- were divided into four teams and clashed against each other in the two matches, with the selectors -- accompanied by government observer and former Indian captain Dilip Tirkey -- keeping a keen eye on the proceedings.
“The selection trials will wrap up by Friday,” said Hockey India Executive Director Anupam Gulati.
“The intention is to reduce the number to 48. We could have five or six sessions and the players will be judged on various factors.
“The core group of 48 will then continue to train at Sports Authority of India while the remaining will fly back to their respective homes.
“We are planning to have a development team as well but their training venue and schedule is yet to be decided. We have the Junior Nationals coming up in August at Ranchi where some of them will be competing for their respective states.”
The trials were also watched by new coach Michael Nobbs, exercise physiologist David John and assistant coaches SS Grewal, Baljit Singh Saini, Clarence Lobo, Jugraj Singh, Mohd Riaz and BJ Cariappa.
The camp kicked off in the first week of this month.
Five seniors to skip hockey selection trials
BANGALORE: Injuries and indisposition prevented five seniors, including Sardar Singh, from taking part in the three-day selection trials which began at the Sports Authority of India, South Centre on Wednesday.
Sardar was conspicuous by his absence, having been hospitalised for urinary tract infection. The star midfielder, who has already missed around six days of hockey action owing fever and chills, should recover in a few days, it is learnt.
Also out were Arjun Halappa (groin injury), Tushar Khandker and Dharamvir Singh (ankle) and Vikram Pillay (knee). According to team sources, they will take a few weeks to get back into action.
The opening day of the trials saw the juniors play in the morning while the seniors were divided into two teams for a session in the evening. The trials were witnessed by selectors Col Balbir Singh, AB Subbaiah, BP Govinda and government observer Dilip Tirkey along with chief coach Michael Nobbs.
The number will be reduced to 48 as per government directives for preparation of teams for the London Olympics. The rest of the probables will leave Bangalore, said Hockey India executive director Anupam Gulati. "The juniors among them will figure in the Jharkhand Nationals in July-August and the others will await a call for the development camp," he added.
The juniors too have a crucial phase ahead. A fresh bunch will be picked from the Nationals for a camp as they head towards a six-nation tournament in Johor Bahru in December. This is in preparation for the Junior World Cup to be hosted by India in 2013.
The Times of India
Juginder thrilled with Rupinder's prospects
THE THINK-TANK: David John (physio), Jugraj Singh (drag-flick coach) and Baljit Singh Saini (assistant coach) keep a close watch on the players at the hockey camp. Photo: K. Murali Kumar, The Hindu
Although circumstances robbed him of a potentially glorious career, Jugraj Singh does not appear unduly weighed down by what-could-have-beens. India's penalty-corner coach seems, instead, reasonably at ease with the state of things.
The latest member of staff to arrive at the National hockey camp at the Sports Authority of India here, the 28-year-old spoke to the press on Tuesday, discussing his role in the group and expressing thrill at young protégé Rupinder Pal Singh's prospects.
“I had a chat with [Michael] Nobbs in the morning,” he said. “First of all, we have to decide how many flickers we're going to have in the next camp…probably four or five. In this camp, we had eight flickers. Obviously Sandeep [Singh] is there, and the recent find is Rupinder Pal. I've been working with him for the last one year; he's pretty good. He's shown a lot of improvement. (V.R.) Raghunath is also there. There are a few new boys like Karanpal and Harpreet.”
Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal emerged top-scorer at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in May, with the 20-year-old's performances one of few bright spots in India's campaign that ended with the team finishing sixth.
“I was sitting outside and watching the movements of the other goalkeeper,” Jugraj said.
“Before every short corner, I just asked him to come to me. I told him what to do. We used good variations and we used some direct flicks. The helpful thing was accuracy — he pushed wherever I asked him to. The main things are accuracy, strength and anticipation. He's definitely a good student.”
Accuracy, Jugraj admitted, was where focus lay. “We've been lacking in accuracy. They (the team's drag-flickers) have good power but they have to anticipate where they should push the ball — what the position of the goalkeeper is and which the easiest pass to score is.”
With head coach Michael Nobbs' emphasis on multi-skilled players, Jugraj said there would also be attention on training them as defenders.
“We've been lacking in that zone for the last two-three years. Now, we've worked on Rupinder Pal. He was very good in defence (at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup) and in three matches he got the best player award.”
A tinge of disappointment notwithstanding, Jugraj expressed satisfaction with his assignment. “If I hadn't been injured in the accident, I would have been playing here. That is a different story. With the grace of God, I've got a second chance to serve my country. I'm quite happy.”
With members of the National Selection Committee in attendance, the first day of trials at the National hockey camp commenced at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus on Wednesday.
The three-day selection trials process will see the current group of 88 whittled down to 48. Under the eyes of selectors B.P. Govinda, Col. Balbir Singh and A.B. Subbaiah, Hockey India Executive Director, Anupam Ghulati, and Government advisor Dilip Tirkey, the first set of 30-minute matches was held.
With the more-established players excluded from the trials for the moment, the overspill from the 48 will enter the development squad.
The surface at the SAI, however, remains a cause of some concern, and there is a possibility that some portion of the trials will be held on the premises of the Madras Engineering Group, a venue the camp had moved to, for two days, last week.
Rupinder is India's future hockey star, says Jugraj
BANGALORE: Rupinder Pal Singh is India's next hockey star. These prophetic words tripped out of Jugraj Singh's tongue on Wednesday. Much like he was with his missiles from the top of the circle, the former drag-flicker is bound to be bang on this time too.
At 27, Jugraj looks more like the dasher who stormed the bigger bastions of hockey till a road accident cruelly put an end to his career in 2003. He doesn't regret that, instead he finds his reflection in Rupinder, who he feels has improved dramatically in the past one year to emerge the top-scorer at the last Azlan Shah Cup.
"What works for Rupinder is his accuracy and variations. He listens to a coach and carries out every instruction that he is given. Strength and anticipation of the goalkeeper and defenders' movements are his other merits. He will be the star of the future," Jugraj said.
Listing out the other plus points in the 20-year-old Rupinder, Jugraj said: "He is good at defending penalty corners. His anticipation is good as he rushes at the ball. What you need is a keen eye which tracks the ball till the last moment. I had it and I find that Rupinder too has it. India conceded very few goals in penalty corners in the entire Azlan Shah tournament."
Jugraj, who reached Bangalore only on Tuesday, had a discussion with chief coach Michael Nobbs on the number of drag-flickers for the next camp. "We have eight now and most probably, as the number of probables is cut to around 30 we will need four."
Listing out the drawbacks of India's drag-flickers, Jugraj said: "They lack in accuracy. They have good power but they should know where to put the ball. I am working on that. I got good results at Azlan Shah Cup and aim to do better. Also, we have work on their field play too. Rupinder Pal has improved as a defender. He won the best player award in three matches. We will be working on the others too."
A self-taught drag-flicker, Jugraj put to good use the tips he received from his penalty corner experts from around the world.
"Baljit Singh Dhillon was the first to tell me how to go about it when we met in Jalandhar. Then (former India coach) Cedric D'Souza chipped in. I saw videos of Dutch great Bram Lomas and later met him at the 2001 Azlan Shah. In recent times, I have got a lot of inputs from Lomans, Jorge Lombi, Troy Elder, Taeke Taekema and Sohail Abbas."
Does he regret that he had to give up playing early?
"It was unfortunate I met with an accident. But by the grace of God, I got a second chance to serve my country. I am happy with the assignment. My age too is an advantage as I relate to the players and understand them better. They also share their problems with me," he said.
The Times of India
Nobbs confident of restoring past glory
Indian hockey will have its glory back within the next two years, according to newly-appointed Australian coach Michael Nobbs. “Though I am yet to analyse the potential of the players since I’ve been at the camp for only three days, I am confident of bringing back the glory of Indian hockey within the next couple of years,” Nobbs said at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Southern Centre, where 90 players are undergoing a two-month long coaching in preparation for international matches.
Nobbs said the right analysis was needed but that would take time. The players’ list would be pruned to 48 over the next two days.
“I will get a chance to study the players’ potential after selection and then chalk out programmes to prepare them for international matches. Now it is very difficult to comment with so many players,” he added.
Replying to a question, Nobbs said players who were not selected would also undergo a year-long training.
“My aim is to have at least three teams, so that in case of injury or any other reason, the talent from other teams can be drawn to fill the gap.”
On penalty corners, Nobbs said: “Penalty corners can win a game and hence cannot be ignored. We need at least four players who are sure of converting them (corners) into goals.”
On the dope controversy, Nobbs said the players would be educated on the dangers of taking drugs and would be subjected to tests at random.
“The team should be a mix of experience and youth so that the experienced players can guide the youth,” he added. Nobbs, during his five-year stint, will also train regional coaches.
On the Olympics berth, he said: “I have only seven months. I can’t assure anything. The next international match is in China in September and I will concentrate on preparing the team for it.”
PAU’s astroturf to dress up in blue & pink
Punjab Agricultural University’s (PAU) Olympian Prithpal Singh Hockey Stadium is set to deck up in blue and pink — the astroturf, which has been crying out for repairs and a makeover, is finally getting ready for a facelift. It will shed its green cover for a trendy blue and pink turf resembling the ones coming up in London, which is preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
“This turf is the first of its kind in the country. We have distributed work among four companies to repair six stadiums across the country. This stadium at PAU is being readied for the four-nation hockey tournament, which will begin on September 22. India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Argentina will participate in the meet. The stadium will be ready by August 30,” said Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
The state government will spend around Rs 3.70 crore on renovating the stadium, which involves works like creating canopies for the existing seats, creating three more stairs for seats, renovation of the toilet block, installing floodlights and setting up the new astroturf. The floodlights will be installed by General Electricals, said a source.
The astroturf was laid in PAU way back in 2001 at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore. However, due to lack of funds, it had been in dire need of repairs. In 2003, the then PAU vice-chancellor Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh decided to name the stadium after Olympian Prithiapl Singh, who was shot dead in May 1988 owing to student groupism. At the time of his murder, Singh was the director of PAU students’ welfare body.
He was adjudged the best world fullback in the 1964 Olympics held in Rome and had represented India in three Olympics. In the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico, Singh captained the Indian hockey team and was the top scorer in all the Olympics in which he participated. He was known as the world’s best short corner specialist.
Hanif satisfied with hockey team’s progress
KARACHI: Chief selector Hanif Khan has said that the Pakistan hockey team is showing good progress for the upcoming Champions Trophy and is likely to do well in next year’s London Olympics also.
“The team’s European trip is a training tour, so we should not be too bothered about the results,” Olympian Khan said in an interview on Tuesday.
“We are more concerned about forming a nucleus of players for the Champions Trophy and then focus on the 2012 Olympics.
“There is definitely a marked improvement in the team compared to the past but we still need to lift our performance to get in better reckoning,” he added.
“By playing against German, Dutch, England and Belgian teams, our boys are learning a lot and should benefit in a big way from the experience.”
Khan disclosed that the selectors have marked a pool of 20-25 players and will soon be holding a meeting with chief coach and manager of the team upon their return to finalise the team for the Champions Trophy.
“There will be no compromise on fitness or form,” the ex-forward of the national team maintained.
“The selectors are fully aware that some senior players have been with the team since the 2000 Sydney Olympics and we are keeping a close eye on their performance,” he noted. “If we need any replacements we will decide about them in consultation with the coach and manager.”
Jackie Kintzer’s reaction time is immaculate.
She blocks, she dives and she saves without hesitation.
With her Canon EOS 5D camera in focus, she blocks the groom from sneaking a peek of his bride, dives to get the right angle for a group shot and with a snap of her shutter, saves the brief moment of tenderness as a single tear mindlessly trails down the father’s cheek.
She is use to having her skills on the line.
Usually that line is coated white on weathered turf and she is sporting beat-up kickers, a helmet and a chest protector. But it makes no difference to Kintzer - different line, same pressure.
For years, Kintzer has been chasing dreams that fit within the frame of a photo and a cage. In 2010, the Robesonia, Pennsylvania native earned her spot on the Women’s USA National Team as a goaltender. While training with the National Team is a main priority, Kintzer does not neglect her love of photography - carrying her camera to all of the USAFH events.
“It's fun having your teammates refer to you as the team photographer,” Kintzer says. “Every time we travel there's at least one person who doesn't bring their camera along because I am there taking pictures of everything. I love being able to catch moments of what we do and how we live on film to share with the rest of the world.”
Kintzer’s desire to express her creativity followed her through college – achieving a degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting from the University of North Carolina in 2010. Although she found field hockey in 7th grade and later discovered her passion for photography in college, Kintzer holds both to the utmost importance.
The summer months have been spent preparing for Pan American Games and the Olympics. What room is left on Kintzer’s calendar is spent capturing special events. Many of her first clients have heavy hockey credentials - either former coaches or National teammates.
“My first big event was Keli Smith’s wedding in the summer of 2010,” Kintzer says. “I was more than thrilled that she asked me to photograph her wedding. Shortly thereafter I decided to start my own photography business, deciding that I wanted take pictures for people full-time.”
In April 2011. Kintzer’s photography skills were called on again when she took fellow teammate Kayla Bashore-Smedley's wedding photos. In addition, Kintzer was sought after to photograph her former UNC assistant coach Grant Fulton’s wedding in July of this year.
Though her hours are filled with field hockey and editing photos, pursuing a photography career while training is no hassle. Kintzer is able to create her own schedule, working on pictures from home or wherever the team travels, while still training and playing field hockey full-time. She is able to challenge herself on and off the field by both taking shots and saving shots.
Goalies have a unique seat on the field; they are able to see everything. Kintzer carries this mentality off the turf and tries shooting from interesting perspectives.
“I love seizing the moment with what I am offered by my surroundings, not trying to force things that are not there,” Kintzer says. “I am a sucker for soft lighting, sun spots, and high contrasting black and whites. I love when photos look old-fashioned, but still having a crispness to them. Unique angles and vantage points are my specialty.”
It is on a rare occasion Kintzer is in front of the camera rather than behind. A particularly favorite instance of being caught on film comes from her college years. Kintzer is captured on the pitch in mid celebration dancing with fellow UNC teammates. Tears are flowing from her eyes after winning the 2009 National Championship.
“It's amazing how one image can bring back such incredible and wonderful feelings,” Kintzer says.
After a long run with the National Team, Kintzer hopes to support herself independently through her own photography company. She wants to continue taking photos of weddings, engagements, and other special events. Kintzer also has an interest in taking her hobby worldwide with travel photos.
Whether through the lens of a camera or through the bars of a helmet, she has her eyes clearly focused on the future.
Check out more of Jackie Kintzer’s work at: http://jkintzer.smugmug.com
USFHA media release