All the news for Thursday 15 September 2011
SA hockey men take on Argentina in Randburg this weekend
THE EagleTurf South Africa versus Argentina Men’s Hockey Series kicks off on Friday night at 6.30 pm at Kaspersky Park in Randburg.
The world number 12 SA men will then meet world number 11 Argentina in the second international of the two-Test series in Randburg on Sunday at 4 pm.
South Africa come into the EagleTurf series on the back of last Sunday’s exciting 1-0 victory over arch-continental rivals Egypt in the Africa Cup Olympic Qualifier tournament final at a packed Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo.
Head coach Pablo Lombi’s Argentina squad are preparing for next month’s Pan-American Games Olympic Qualifier tournament while both the South Americans and hosts South Africa will be taking part in the November/December Champions Challenge tournament at Randburg featuring the world’s ninth to 16th-ranked countries. With the respective national teams not yet finalised for these prestigious events there is much to play for this weekend.
SA head coach Gregg Clark and the national selection panel have named a 25-man squad for the two Tests. A number of changes will have to be made for the second Test as the bulk of Clark’s first-choice players have to return to their European clubs on Saturday.
The 25-player SA line-up that will once again be captained by KZN Coastal Raiders midfielder Wade Paton in the absence of the injured Austin Smith of Western Province, features seven Kaspersky Southern Gauteng representatives, three from the Pretoria-based Northern Blues, five and six respectively from Western Province and the Durban-based Raiders with two apiece from Amathole-Border and Eastern Province.
Goalkeepers: Jacques Le Roux (WP), Brendon Botes (EP), Rassie Pieterse (Kaspersky Southern Gauteng). Defenders: Justin Reid-Ross (Northern Blues), Lloyd Madsen, Gareth Carr (both KZN Coastal Raiders), Rhett Halkett (NB), Lance Louw , Ricky West (both KSG), Andrew Cronje (WP), Peter Bailey (EP), Francois Pretorius (NB). Midfielders: Wade Paton (capt), Taine Paton, Tim Drummond (all KCR), Clinton Panther (KSG), Clive Terwin (WP), Owen Mvimbi (KSG), Grant Robertson (WP), Shaun Davenhill (KCR). Strikers: Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP), Julian Hykes (Amathole-Border), Miguel da Graca, Thornton McDade (both KSG), Geowynne Gamiet (Amathole-Border).
SA Hockey Association media release
CANgaroo Clash: Match #4 Recap
Tuesday’s match at Rutledge Field was exciting, but ultimately disappointing for Team Canada.
Australia pressed hard in the first six minutes of the match, earning six penalty corners. Canada held strong through the pressure, with Antoni Kindler making big saves to keep the score 0 – 0. Australia pressed Canada at every opportunity, making it difficult for Canada to get the ball out of their end. Gubbar Singh had several breakaway solo runs into Australia’s side, but the Aussies held strong.
After a scoreless first half, Dave Jameson opened the second half with a goal for Canada at the 32 minute mark. Australia was eager to respond and Canada remained under intense pressure for the remainder of the match. After a solid save by Kindler, the Aussies managed to tie the game off of a penalty corner drag flick with five minutes left to play. Three minutes later Australia almost scored again, but narrowly missed the far post. Australia’s unrelenting pressure finally took its toll. With only seven seconds on the clock, Australia scored. This was a very disappointing 1 – 2 loss for Team Canada.
They will look to come out strong in the final match of the CANgaroo Clash on Thursday at 7:00pm.
Find photos of the match on our Facebook Album
Australia A (2) vs. Canada (1)
DNP: D. Carter, A. Froese, R. Hildreth
Field Hockey Canada media release
Grange open their account
Grange, who finished runners-up last season, open their account in the Subway National League with a tricky home fixture against the steadily improving Grove Menzieshill at Peffermill.
"I think our squad is stronger than last year, consequently we are looking for improvement all over the pitch and aim to challenge in all competitions this season. With Colin Clarke back as coach, our target is to close the gap on Kelburne who are the side we need to finish ahead of to win the league title," said Rob Barr, Grange`s captain.
Grange have picked up a couple of players from neighbours CALA Edinburgh, under 21 international defender Fraser Sands and goalkeeper Colin Johnston along with Andrew Brogdon from English premier league side Bowdon, although he is presently sidelined with a broken finger.
Barr could not have wished for a more difficult baptism, Menzieshill finished third last season and have already held Western Wildcats to a 3-3 draw. Ironically, that was exactly the same score between the sides in the equivalent fixture last year with Cammie Fraser, Duncan Riddell and Craig Harper getting the Grange goals.
"We are very aware that Menzieshill are an effective team at the moment and had a strong campaign last season, and we certainly can`t ignore that they managed to knock over Kelburne in the process, so we will have to be at our best to win this fixture," said Barr.
Inverleith will face Greaves Clydesdale with some trepidation, the Glasgow side completed the double over them last year with 3-2 and 2-1 victories.
Coach Stephen McCurry reflected on the ups and downs of their opening fixture against CALA last week. "We played very well for 75% of the game and were three goals up, but then we lost our shape and discipline which led to us giving away two very poor goals. We have to learn from this for our next game.
"Clydesdale are a very good side who are very well coached, their league positions over the last two seasons reflects this. This should be a very close game as both sides are looking to compete at the top end of the division."
Inverleith have almost a full squad for the contest, only Phil Hall misses the occasion through suspension.
Clydesdale struggled a little against AMN Hillhead last week and finally emerged with a 3-3 draw, a result which disappointed coach Gordon Shepherd. "The back line was very young and inexperienced, the forwards had plenty of chances to win the game, and our penalty corners need to be better as we only scored two from eight.
"Inverleith will be a tougher game, they have strengths in many areas so we will need to improve, but we will be stronger than last week,"
Former VWS Dundee Wanderers` playmaker Allan Law will make his debut for the Titwood side, penalty corner expert Ciaran Crawford should return after a jaw injury and there make be places for Adam Bain and bothers John and Steven McKnight.
Western Wildcats have a potentially difficult assignment away to CALA Edinburgh, but coach Vishal Marwaha is nonetheless confident of the three points. "It is going to be a hard game, CALA showed last year that they can beat first division sides, but if we avoid giving away silly goals and take our chances, we are in with a good chance of winning the game."
Champions Kelburne should remain in pole position by seeing off AMN Hillhead. The Glasgow side are a steadily improving outfit, but could struggle to cope with the Paisley firepower. Last season Hillhead lost 5-1 in both fixtures, the Christie brothers Michael and Jonny doing most of the damage in front of goal.
The clash between Giffnock and newly promoted GHK is the most intriguing contest of the women`s Subway national league this weekend, Giffnock gave champions Grove a run for their money last week while GHK produced the shock of the day with a 2-1 win over Glynhill Kelburne.
"We did pretty well against Grove considering we did not have Kareena Marshall and only 11 players. The game could have been closer as we did have chances and gifted them the first goal, so if we tighten up on basic errors I would expect to beat GHK, but I never take anything for granted," said Rhona Simpson, Giffnock`s coach.
GHK captain Fiona Donald is delighted with the start in the top flight. "Beating Kelburne has boosted the confidence of the girls, we hope to produce the same fighting performance against Giffnock, but having played them in the pre-season we know we are in for a tough match."
After a poor showing against Milne Craig Western which culminated in a 6-0 home defeat, CALA Edinburgh can expect more hard going against a Grove Menzieshill side in search of their sixth consecutive title. Last season CALA conceded a dozen goals in the two encounters with Ali Bell, Ailsa Wyllie, Aimee Clark and Louise Carroll doing most of the damage. VWS Dundee Wanderers should pick up their second win of the season at home to Kelburne, but last week they struggled to see off Western Wildcats and had to rely on an overtime penalty corner by Julie Bryce to finally secure the points with a narrow 3-2 win.
The Wildcats look a more organised pack this year under coach Murray Laing and could record their first points of the season.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
T&T senior hockey men end UK tour in style
T&T senior men’s hockey team ended its four-match tour of the United Kingdom with a 4-1 win over English Hockey Conference League club, Indian Gymkhana on Tuesday. It was the fourth win in six matches on the one-week tour for the “Calypso Stickmen” who were using the matches as part of their preparations for next month’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. On Saturday, the local squad which included the UK-based trio of Kwandwane Browne (Canterbury), Dillet Gilkes (Chelmsford) and goalkeeper Justin Pascal (Brunnel University), participated in a mini-tournament against Canterbury II and Horsham HC which it won. T&T coached by Bas Bruin defeated Horsham 5-0 and 5-1 in their two encounters while it drew 2-2 with Canterbury II before securing a 3-1 win in the second meeting to top the competition.
In their other matches on tour, T&T which was without the services of Browne due to injury and Gilkes, club commitments played to a 2-2 draw with Canterbury I. The locals who are expected home today, were beaten in their first match on tour last Thursday, 3-2 by First Division club, Teddington, a few hours after arriving from T&T. For that encounter, T&T was also with Browne and Gilkes due to club commitments. The local players who travelled to the T&T included Darren Cowie, Aidan De Gannes, Andrew Viera, Javon Woodward, Shaquille Daniel, Alan Henderson, Mickell Pierre, Kiel Murray, Tristan Grant, Christopher Scipio, Evan Farrel, Akim Toussaint, Karlos Stevens (GK) while Glenn “Fido” Francis served as assistant coach. The team was without the Petrotrin trio of stalwarts Atiba Whittington and Solomon Eccles due to work commitments and Dwain Quan Chan due to medical reasons.
Prior to the tour of the UK, the T&T men’s team participated at the Four-Nations Classic hosted by Field Hockey Canada where it had wins over Chile, 4-3, 4-3 and 3-1 and losses against Canada 1-9, 0-2 and 2-4. At the Pan American Games from October 20 to 19, T&T will face Chile, Canada and Barbados in Pool A while Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and USA are in Pool B. The tournament is a qualifier for next year’s London Olympics.
The Trinidad Guardian
Reynos, Olton star in Paragon hockey finals
Keturah John-Baptiste of Paragon, left, tries to steal the ball from Shandy Carib Magnolias’ Savannah De Freitas in their Girls’ Under-21 match in the Paragon Hockey Club 40th anniversary Youth (Under-21) Tournament at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook, on Saturday. The match ended 0-0. Photo: Anthony Harris
Jordan Reynos of North Gate and Elise Olton of Holy Name Convent (PoS) inspired their respective schools to first-place honours when the Paragon Hockey Club 40th anniversary Youth (Under-21) Tournament ended at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Woodbrook, on Sunday.
In the boys’ final, Reynos scored twice while Danil Trancoso added the other in a 3-2 win over Fatima, which got its goals from Tariq Marcano and Morgan Lee. Olton also netted twice to lead Holy Name past South East Port-of-Spain 2-1 in their decider. Gabrielle Thompson got the lone goal for SEPoS. Host Paragon and Queen’s Park captured the club titles in contrasting fashion.
Paragon got the better of round-robin table toppers’ Shandy Carib Magnolias 4-2 on sudden-death penalties after a 0-0 draw. Earlier on in the semifinals, Paragon also won on penalties, 3-2 over Ventures after a 1-1 draw while Magnolias whipped its second string team, Magnolias II, 3-1 led by a hat-trick from Elise Olton. In the boys’ club decider, Cade Lue Sue and Stefan Mouttet found the target for the Parkites to edge rivals Fatima 2-1. Queen’s Park won its semifinal, 3-2 over Notre Dame and Fatima crushed Malvern, 7-2 with two goals each from Quinn Clarke, Ryan Daniel and Jordan Vieira.
Paragon Youth (Under-21) Hockey:
Magnolias 3 (Elise Olton 3) vs Magnolias II 1 (Savannah De Freitas)
Paragon 1 (Falina Jack) vs Ventures 1 (Yael Jagbir) (Paragon won 3-2 on penalties )
Third place playoff:
Magnolias II 0 vs Ventures 0 —(Ventures won 2-1 on penalties)
Magnolias 0 vs Paragon 0 - Paragon won 4-2 on penalties
Fatima 7 (Quinn Clarke 2, Ryan Daniel 2, Jordan Vieira 2, Dominic Jaikaransingh) vs Malvern 2 (Tariq Marcano, Joshua De Four)
QPCC 3 (Justin Audroing, Cade Lue Sue, Keegan Dos Santos) vs Notre Dame 2 (Chad Pedro, Joshua Olton).
Third place playoff:
Malvern 2 (Teague Marcano, Tariq Marcano) vs Notre Dame 0
QPCC 2 (Cade Lue Sue, Stefan Mouttet) vs Fatima 1 (Quinn Clarke)
Holy Name 2 (Elise Olton 2) vs South East PoS 1 (Gabrielle Thompson).
North Gate 3 (Jordan Reynos 2, Daniel Trancoso) vs Fatima 2 (Tariq Marcano, Morgan Lee).
The Trinidad Guardian
EHL to trial “stick above shoulder” rule in 2011-12 season
Change designed to add "extra excitement" to Euro Hockey League
Airborne: Will the sticks be going even higher this season? (Photo: FIH / Euro Hockey League / Frank Uijlenbroek)
The Euro Hockey League has continued its reputation as the most innovative competition in world hockey by trialling yet another rule variation for the 2011-2012 season.
In the past, a number of game-changing concepts began life in the EHL before either being adopted universally or used in FIH World Level events by the International Hockey Federation. These include the two minute Green Card suspension and the “Self Pass”, which is arguably the most significant change to the sport since the removal of the offside rule two decades ago.
This season, the Euro Hockey League continues to push the boundaries by adjusting the rules regarding playing the ball above the shoulder.
Under the FIH Rules of Hockey 2011, Rule 9.7 states that “Players must not play the ball with any part of the stick when the ball is above shoulder height except that defenders are permitted to use the stick to stop or deflect a shot at goal at any height.”
The new Euro Hockey League ruling allows a player to “stop, receive and / or deflect the ball in a controlled manner in any part of the field when the ball is above the shoulder”. However, players must not play the ball dangerously or in any way that leads to dangerous situations for any player. The change is expected to add an extra element of excitement to this fantastic tournament.
A number of other adjustments to the rules and regulations have also been made to bring the tournament in line with FIH events. To see the full regulations and changes, please visit the Euro Hockey League website – www.ehlhockey.tv .
Euro Hockey League media release
Note: This rule hardly "innovative" as it was first trialed successfully several years ago in India's Indian Premier League and I suggested to the EHL that they trial it over two years ago. As far as I am concerned Long overdue as playing the ball safely above the shoulder is a skill not a danger.
Hockeyroos Oceania Cup – Olympic Qualifier Selection Trial set for Melbourne
With the 2012 London Olympics drawing closer, all Hockeyroo squad members will be looking to impress coach Adam Commens during a week-long selection trial camp held in Melbourne from September 23 – October 1.
36 athletes across the Hockeyroos national squad, development squad and junior squad will participate in the selection trial, with each player aiming to secure a spot in the Hockeyroos Oceania Cup – Olympic Qualifier squad. The Oceania Cup – Olympic Qualifier event will see the Hockeyroos take on New Zealand in a best of three series held in Hobart the following week from October 5-9.
The 36 athletes will be split into two teams and will compete in four matches against each other during the week.
Former Hockeyroo Hope Munro has been included in one of the squads. Munro retired on the eve of the 2010 World Cup due to a desire to want to spend more time with her young family. She has been training part time with the Hockeyroos over the past few months and at still only 29 years of age, could be in line to make a possible return to the Hockeyroos and give some much welcomed experience to the young team.
All matches will be played at the State Netball Hockey Centre, Parkville
Monday September 26 6.30pm
Tuesday September 27 6pm
Thursday September 29 6pm
Friday September 30 6pm
Oceania Cup – Olympic Qualifier Selection Trial Teams
Madonna Blyth (QLD), Fiona Boyce (WA), Jade Close (NSW), Toni Cronk (NSW), Casey Eastham (NSW), Anna Flanagan (ACT), Hope Munro (WA), Marnie Hudson (QLD), Emily Hurtz (NSW), Kobie McGurk (WA), Jacklyn McRae (NSW), Georgia Nanscawen (VIC), Ashleigh Nelson (WA), Megan Rivers (NSW), Jodie Schulz (QLD), Jayde Taylor (WA), Jade Warrender (NSW), Kellie White (NSW)
Teneal Attard (QLD), Lily Brazel (NSW), Elizabeth Duguid (NT), Lisa Eglington (WA), Holly Evans (SA), Bianca Greenshields (SA), Kate Jenner (NSW), Stacia Joseph (VIC), Alyssa Kerr (QLD), Amy Korner (QLD), Rachael Lynch (VIC), Claire Messent (VIC), Brooke Peris (NT), Emily Smith (NSW), Elise Stacy (SA), Renee Trost (VIC), Hollie Webster (NSW)
Hockey Australia media release
Investec Women’s Hockey League to carry prize money
New title sponsorship means financial rewards on offer to successful teams in England Hockey League
There will be an added buzz as the newly sponsored Investec Women’s Hockey League season gets underway this Saturday with the announcement that nearly £10,000 prize money will be offered to the teams celebrating at the end of the season.
Thanks to the support of specialist bank and asset manager Investec, the winners and runners up of the Investec Women’s Premier Division Championship and the three Conferences, North, East and West, will each receive a share of the prize fund. It represents the first time ever that teams competing beneath the Premier Division have been offered prize money. There are additional bonuses on offer at the end of the season for the most valuable player, top goal scorer and most hospitable club in each of the four divisions.
Announcing the new prize fund, England Hockey Board Chief Executive Sally Munday said, “It is fantastic that thanks to the support of Investec we are now able to offer prize money to the country’s most successful teams. The clubs are at the forefront of hockey in England, developing players and working hard to strengthen and grow the sport.
“Having the backing of a sponsor such as Investec is a tremendous vote of confidence in our league programme and in women’s sport in England.”
In the Investec Women’s Premier Division, Champions Reading retain the strong squad that emerged victorious in a 3-2 win over Leicester in the Championship Final last season. The nucleus of the Leicester squad remains, with the addition of Josie Inverdale from Loughborough Students, as the East Midlands side looks to go a step further this season. EuroCanterbury, defeated by Reading in the Championship semi-finals, have bolstered their squad with the youthful additions of Beijing Olympian Charlotte Craddock from Cannock and Clifton’s Dilly Newton, currently training with the GB squad. The other beaten semi-finalists, Bowdon Hightown, welcome Sabrina Heesh from Cannock and from relegated neighbours Brooklands Poynton Natalie Wray, Vicki Hopkin and Sarah Hopkin. Despite recruiting Kathryn Mcgonigle from Isca University, Slough lost three players over the summer, including England and GB international Chloe Strong to Surbiton, leaving a repeat of their fifth place finish last season a seemingly tough task.
Following their brush with relegation last season, Olton & WW are rejuvenated with no fewer than ten new arrivals including Jenny Mashford and Katie Maltman from University of Birmingham and Brooklands Poynton. Their task will be to blend a new squad together. Clifton face a similar task having also been busy in their mission to improve a squad that finished in seventh. In doing so, they have added eight new players, with an average age of 21.
West Midlands neighbours Cannock, who secured their Premier Division status on goal difference last season, retain largely the same squad entering this campaign, minus Charlotte Craddock. University of Birmingham’s hopes of a place in the Championships last season were hindered by a run of five defeats in their final five games. In hoping to level out that form, this season’s notable intake of players includes Xenna Hughes from Bowdon Hightown and Rhiannon Rogers and Anna Toman from Belper. Sutton Coldfield, promoted into the top flight for the first time since relegation in the 2006/07 season, will be hoping Vicky Woolford and former GB international Jane Sixsmith lead from the front having netted 29 and 15 goals respectively during their free scoring promotion campaign.
Last season, Women’s Conference North saw Sutton Coldfield promoted having narrowly finished a point ahead of Loughborough Students. Loughborough face competition from relegated Brooklands Poynton this season and a Sunderland side that merged with Whitley Bay & Tynemouth over the summer. Liverpool Sefton and Northampton Saints rejoin the Investec Women’s Hockey League after a season absence thanks to promotion from their regional leagues.
In Investec Women’s Conference East Surbiton look like setting the pace after finishing second last season and adding four players with recent Premier Division experience and three from promotion chasing Conference teams. Sevenoaks, who finished top but missed out in the Promotion Tournament, did not rest on their laurels strengthening their squad too. Maidstone return to the Investec Women’s Hockey League in Conference East after a two season absence and are joined by Oxford Hawks, promoted from the South regional league.
Buckingham topped Women’s Conference West last season but failed to secure promotion in the playoffs; they will be hoping to mount another Conference winning campaign in 2011/12. Isca University ran Buckingham close last season and will be looking to challenge again, while Trojans have registered several new faces to help boost their plans to return to the Investec Women’s Premier Division. Gloucester City, the last of the promoted teams, join the division having finished five points clear in last season’s West regional league.
The Investec Women’s Hockey League commences on Saturday with 20 fixtures nationwide. 11 rounds of matches will be played before the winter break, with the final pre-Christmas fixtures taking place on Saturday 3 December. The season resumes on Sunday 5 February with the final round of league fixtures on 24 March, ahead of the Championship playoffs, scheduled for the weekend of 14-15 April.
Opening day fixtures of the Investec Women’s Hockey League
All ties take place on Saturday 20 September 2011 (start times)
Investec Women's Premier Division
Cannock v Slough (12:00)
Canterbury v Reading (11:45)
Clifton v Leicester (13:00)
Olton & West Warwicks v University of Birmingham (12:00)
Sutton Coldfield v Bowdon Hightown (12:00)
Investec Women's Conference North
Beeston v Whitley Bay and Tynemouth (12:00)
Brooklands Poynton v Doncaster (12:00)
Loughborough Students LHC v Springfields (12:30)
Northampton Saints v University of Durham (12:00)
Wakefield Bradford v Liverpool Sefton (12:00)
Investec Women's Conference East
Chelmsford v Harleston Magpies (14:00)
Horsham v Ipswich (13:30)
Maidstone v Old Loughtonians (12:30)
St. Albans v Oxford Hawks (13:30)
Surbiton v Sevenoaks (12:00)
Investec Women's Conference West
Barnes Hounslow Ealing v Staines (12:00)
Exe v Team Bath Buccaneers (13:00)
Gloucester City v Firebrands (12:00)
Isca University v Trojans (12:30)
Swansea v Buckingham (12:00)
England Hockey Board Media release
Looking for a winning start
The 2011 season of the Malaysian Hockey League gets underway this Saturday.
And there could not have been a more explosive start to the MHL, as the Charity Shield will see the battle between two of the early favourites for honours this season – KL Hockey Club and Tenaga Nasional.
With the cream of the crop, in the likes of bulk representation of national players in both the teams, with TNB and KLHC having nine each, the match this Saturday at the National Hockey Stadium is set to be a closely contested affair.
For not only is the bragging rights of capturing the Charity Shield at stake, but the match also offers the winning team three points, and thus a head start over the other who will then have to depend other results to be in their favour.
TNB have the edge in the opening match, simply because they have players who can turn the match around with their speed and a touch of genius.
In goal they can depend on S. Kumar, at times virtually unbeatable. And to provide a strong defence infront of him, there is the likes of Mohd Amin Rahim, Baljit Singh and Mohd Madzli Ikmar – all of whom played crucial roles in Malaysia emerging as the bronze medalist at the recent AHF Champions Trophy in Ordos.
In midfield TNB can rely on last seasons find – Faiz Helmi Jali, while youngsters Muhammad Azammi Adabi, Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi and Faizal Saari are quite capable of breaching the tightest of defences on their day.
Then there are the wily old foxes in the likes of Mahinder Singh and M. Kaliswaran who can change the course of the match with a decisive pass of killer instinct in the semi circle.
But TNB will surely miss the services of hard running Tajol Rosli Mohammad, who has quit the scene.
In contrast, while KLHC may not have players that can match the speed of the TNB youngsters, they have a bunch of players that have tons of experience. And they are expected to utilize this in their quest to be the first team to win the double in consecutive years.
In goal KLHC will rely on Roslan Jamaluddin who seems to get better with age, and providing cover for him will be S. Shanker, Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin and Baljit Singh.
It is in the midfield that KLHC holds the edge as they have virtually the national team set up with Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah and Mohd Sukri Mutalib providing the ammunition for the KLHC strike force.
With Ismail Abu hoping to show the form he displayed at the Razak Cup in July, KLHC has a benchful of strikers that can deliver goals from every corner of the semi circle.
The likes of Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Ab Jalil, Chua Boon Huat, Azlan Misron, Mohd Fitri Saari and Kevinder Singh are more then capable of punishing any slack in defence by the TNB defenders.
All said and done, the outcome of the match could really hinge on the form of the penalty corner executioners.
KLHC have an added option to their battery this season with the inclusion of Kazamirul, who can find the mark if given the opportunity, while Razie and Baljit are the normal executioners in the penalty corner department.
And for TNB, they have Amin and Faisal, both of whom were in their element in Ordos last week.
What the coaches/managers say:
R. Vivekanandan (KLHC Coach)
It is a must win game for both teams. Though it may be a league, but there is no room for teams to drop points. We really cannot let them have the edge from the start of the season thus winning is of utmost importance to us. I will only have my full team together this evening and in reality the match on Saturday will be the first time the players are playing together as a team after the last match of the previous season.
George Koshy (KLHC Manager)
It will be a difficult league as the teams will be out for our scalp and there is no margin for error as there are only eight matches to decide the league title. Winning match and playing consistently will be the key factors in the MHL this season. We lost to them (0-2) in the opening match last year and cannot allow history to repeat itself. It will be an interesting season as the players from the national team will not be able to train with their clubs and this is something that could prove it difficult to retain both titles as so far as KLHC is concerned.
Lailin Abu Hassan (TNB Coach)
We aim to make it three consecutive wins in the Charity Shield as we won the last two editions (2009 v Sapura and 2010 v KLHC). That will set the benchmark for the team to perform in the remaining matches. There is no second chance in this season as we only get to play all the opponents once. With the national players only joining us in training tomorrow, the idea is to ensure that both set of players , the national and non nationals can gel fast and deliver the results. Dropping points is not an option or luxury that both teams can afford, thus we will play to win on Saturday.
Saturday (September 17, 2011)
1700H – Uniten v Ipoh City Hall – Stadium Tun Razak
2000H – BJSS v UNIMAP – Stadium KPM
2000H – KL Hockey Club v Tenaga Nasional – National Hockey Stadium
Sunday (September 18, 2011)
1700H – SSTMI-Thunderbolt v Uniten – Stadium KPM
1700H – Ipoh City Hall v BJSS – Stadium Sultan Azlan Shah Ipoh
1600H – Armed Forces Airod v Sapura – National Hockey Stadium
1800H – Uitm v UniKL – National Hockey Stadium
2000H – Nur Insafi Penang v Yayasan Negri Sembilan – National Hockey Stadium
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
Toe the line or face the music, warns FIH
Leandro Negre was forthright. He stated without a hint of ambiguity the perception of the FIH to the mess that hockey is in India.
“Toe the line or face the music” was the FIH President's refrain in Delhi.
The belligerence of the FIH surprises none. Even as officials were preparing to plead for a re-think on the Champions Trophy, a note that Auckland will host it was being circulated. The timing was impeccable. It silenced any debate from the Indian side.
More disturbing are the hints thrown about disaffiliation. The FIH is consciously avoiding confirmation of the Olympic qualifier sanctioned to New Delhi in March. This coupled with the threat of disaffiliation puts India under pressure.
The FIH probably does not see India anymore as the financial cow to be milked at will. The lessons coming out of the Hero Honda World Cup are compelling the FIH to re-work its strategy of enlarging the financial muscle of the federation using India as a catalyst.
A major component
The thinking in the FIH was definitely on making capital out of India. The passion for the sport, the TV ratings of the India-Pakistan opener, the incredible crowd following matching the fervour of soccer in Europe, all showed India as the major component in the FIH' s financial schemes.
Now, the irritants of red-tape and complexities in transferring funds quickly are intimidating. The FIH therefore is not hesitating to flourish the disaffiliation card and the option of taking away the Olympic qualifier.
This is a challenge. Whether the agencies fighting for governance are cohesive enough to overcome is a moot question. The cacophony of voices in the administration makes it clear that there is no meeting point.
Beyond a point, the Sports Ministry is shackled as a facilitator. The rival factions spurn every attempt at unification, buffeted by legal observations and prevarication.
The trophy triumph at Ordos in the Asian Champions Trophy has come not a day too soon. Perhaps it is a coincidence that the FIH was in Delhi when the team arrived to a warm welcome and felicitations.
The outcome should send the correct signal to the FIH that India as an entity cannot be trifled with. Disqualifying a country with a shining record of eight Olympic gold medals from playing hockey is akin to FIFA prohibiting Brazil and from playing international soccer.
Does the FIH sincerely believe it can monitor a major Olympic discipline without India in its roll?
Whatever loophole it may figure out to discipline the administration, will such a step get for it a consensus?
Hockey players, coaches, administrators and aficionados everywhere speak in one voice underlining the need for India to be back as a major force.
The issue of disaffiliation hanging like the sword of Damocles may help the FIH to keep alive a threat.
But enforcing it in the Olympic year will dent its image in the eyes of the international sports community. Will IOC countenance such a measure?
This does not imply the FIH's threat is empty. It is projected as an instrument to introduce an element of urgency in solving the problems.
Unless a unified federation is shaped quickly pin-pricks from the FIH will continue.
In the interest of the sport, which is showing signs of resurgence at Ordos, Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation cannot further delay a nuanced integration acceptable to IOA and the FIH.
Time is running out for all.
De-recognition threat looms over HI
Making its stance clear on the ‘settlement' between the two hockey bodies in India, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has sought an explanation from Hockey India (HI) as to why it should not withdraw the recognition granted to the National federation.
The FIH has been expressing its displeasure over the ‘settlement' reached between HI and Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) with the mediation of the Union Sports Ministry and has withdrawn the Champions Trophy allotted to India.
Even as Ministry sources claimed that the withdrawal of the prestigious tournament could mainly be because of withholding of FIH's ‘dues' (of $500,000) by the Reserve Bank of India, the apex hockey body on Monday made its intentions known by issuing HI a de-recognition threat.
Meanwhile, officials of the two warring factions, HI and IHF, and the Sports Ministry met here on Monday with the hope of a positive outcome prior to Sports Minister Ajay Maken's meeting with FIH president Leandro Negre here on Tuesday.
A lot will depend on how these bodies present their case before Negre as the FIH chief's interaction with Maken will be crucial as far as the future of running the sport in the country is concerned.
IHC asks RBI to stop World Cup payment to FIH
MUMBAI: Alleging breach of contract and an intended violation of the Foreign Exchange Act, the Indian Hockey Confederation (IHC) has requested Reserve Bank of India to stop payment of $500,000 by the 2010 World Hockey Cup organisers to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
IHC, claiming they had signed the original MOU for the World Cup to be held as a joint venture with FIH on November 6, 2007 before the mega event was organised in New Delhi by the Hero Honda World Cup Society, said that releasing the amount would also amount to violation of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Act 1973.
In his letter to RBI governor D Subbarao sent on Tuesday IHC's lawyer Vijendra S Jabra has claimed that IHC's MoU with FIH signed in November 2007 had also been duly executed and "is valid and subsisting till Wednesday and the same has not been terminated."
IHC, formed after merger of the men's Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) - which has since been de-recognised by the FIH - with the national women's hockey governing body, has also claimed that already Rs 7.5 crore had been paid to the FIH by World Cup organising panel's secretary Narinder Batra which was also a violation of the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act.
IHC has claimed that as per the MoU it had signed with FIH, only the title sponsorship amount belonged to the world body and the rest of the revenue, including those from sale of TV rights, belonged to the joint venture organising committee that was to have been formed.
"My client further states that the Hero Honda World cup society till date haven't audited their Accounts. My Client owns lot of money towards damages from FIH," Jabra has written to the RBI governor.
"And it is therefore requested to you to kindly stop the release of the payment of 5,00,000$ to the FIH as the same is illegal and transferring the same violates the Foreign Exchange regulation Act 1973 as there is a restriction in dealing and transferring with the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act," he has written.
"It is therefore requested to you on behalf of my clients that stern and immediate action be initiated in the above matter. It is also requested to you on behalf of my clients that if the immediate action is not taken grave prejudice and loss will be caused to my clients which cannot be compensated in the terms of money," he has concluded.
The Times of India
Nobbs has the nose for the job
Michael Nobbs could not have asked for a better start to his five-year stint as the chief coach of the Indian hockey team, as within six weeks into the job, India ended their title drought by winning the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy.
The win, Nobbs felt, was well-deserved for the team with a mix of young and experienced players. More than the combination, what surprised Nobbs was that while the younger lot played the typical, attacking Indian style hockey, the seniors played the European style, perhaps due to the influence of former coach Jose Brasa. But what delighted the former Australian international, who hails from the hub of hockey - Perth - was the enthusiasm and drive shown by the younger players.
Nobbs said the nine young players were all charged up and had a deep desire to play for the country. He said the victory was hard earned as the all the teams were good and it was remarkable that India remained undefeated and scored the maximum number of goals — 15 for with seven against.
But he has a tough job on hands, as the triumph was just the beginning of his long stint ahead. He has to tackle many things to shape the combination into a winning unit, with uniform playing styles. His immediate concern was to improve the fitness level of the players, who lacked in this area at Ordos.
“The players will have to be put through a regular training drill, to make them physically fit and agile,” Nobbs said in an exclusive chat with The Tribune.
He said the exit of Sardar Singh and Sandeep Singh had handicapped the team, particularly in the penalty-corner conversion department. “We could convert only two out of the 27 penalty corners we earned, as we had very little time to give enough practice to the other players,” he stated. But overall, he understood that the present bunch had the talent and potential for the “making of a good side”.
Though his contract will run through to the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro, his immediate concern would be to ensure that India qualify for the 2012 London Olympics. (The qualifiers are slated to be held in Delhi in February).
“If you had asked me six weeks ago whether India would qualify for the Olympic Games, I would have said ‘no’. But now I feel confident that the team can qualify for the Olympics,” Nobbs noted.
The Ordos outing helped Nobbs have a close look at the plus and minus points of the team and the kind of bench strength the team had. He said it was imperative to have at least two players for every slot, and that will be his long-term goal, when he demits office five years from now.
“At the end of the day, after I have done with coaching the India team, my dream is to see the team on an Olympic podium,” explained the articulate coach, who has been hired on a monthly salary of $10,000. He said though he reports to Hockey India secretary-general Narinder Batra, he has been getting full co-operation and support from the Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India. “I have been given a free hand,” he stressed.
Nobbs said he had a very efficient support staff in physical training expert David John, under whose supervision he hoped to mould the Indian players for the arduous campaigns ahead. He said the physical fitness programme would be executed through modern sports science methods to make the players par for the course.
Nobbs has taken charge of the team with a fresh perspective, without dwelling into the past about what his predecessor (Brasa) had done. “I have been here for only six weeks now, though I am clear in my mind what I am going to do with the team. I don’t want to inherit the problems of the past,” he said.
“Tactically however, we are not quite ready yet. The young players play the traditional Indian hockey, while the seniors are more into the European style,” explained Nobbs. But he was happy that the younger lot was “hungry to play for India”. He said his job brief also included development of young talent to improve the bench strength.
Nobbs felt it would have been good if India were in the Champions Trophy, instead of the Champions Challenge. “In the Champions Trophy, you get to play the best,” he summed up.
Wizard of oz in Quotes
If you had asked me six weeks ago whether India would qualify for the Olympic Games, I would have said ‘no’. But now I feel confident that the team can qualify for the Olympics
I have been here for only six weeks now, though I am clear in my mind what I am going to do with the team. I don’t want to inherit the problems of the past
The players will have to be put through a regular training drill, to make them physically fit and agile
Tactically however, we are not quite ready yet. The young players play the traditional Indian hockey, while the seniors are more into the European style
CT would’ve been a good build-up for Oly qualifiers: Rajpal
By Paritosh Pramanik
NAGPUR, Sept 13: HIS cell phone kept ringing since he touched the Indian shores. His friends, hockey lovers and followers congratulated him. Journalists took most of his early morning time for some exclusive quotes. But Indian hockey captain Rajpal Singh never got annoyed. Rather, he was more than happy to respond to every call.
“They all are our well wishers. How can I ignore them,” said Rajpal with a chuckle, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ from New Delhi. Rajpal and his young men defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the final to clinch the maiden Asian
Champions Trophy at Ordos in China last Sunday. The Indian team remained unbeaten in the tournament drawing three matches and winning as many to clinch the trophy. This was India’s first major championship in four years since Prabodh Tirkey had lifted the Asia Cup in Chennai in 2007.
The Indian captain was sad to know that the Champions Trophy, supposed to be held in India, has now been shifted to Auckland, New Zealand.
“It’s sad. It would have been better had it been played in India. We would have got a chance to play some of the top teams ahead of Olympic qualifiers. It would have been a good build-up. But now we will have to play as the top-seeded team at the Champions Challenge in November in South Africa. We will have to win that meet to qualify for Champions Trophy. But our main aim is to qualify for London Games and we will work much harder to achieve our goal,” said Rajpal. The Indian captain said it’s a great moment for Indian hockey as the win would give a big boost to the game.
“It’s good that we won a major title at this juncture. Indian hockey is being ridden with controversies in the recent past and we did not let that affect our game,” said Rajpal. According to Rajpal, the secret of this team’s success was the unity amongst the players. “We were united during the entire tournament. We never let the off-field controversies affect our game. We concentrated on the game at hand. It’s not our job to think about the tussle between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation,” Rajpal stated. Indian team was without experienced players like Arjun Halappa, Tushar Khandekar, Shivendra Singh who are nursing injuries. But the juniors grabbed the opportunities with both hands and Rajpal said they performed above expectation.
“Yes, the team would have been a much stronger had seniors like Shivendra, Arjun, Tushar been there. But the juniors performed exceedingly well, above expectation. “They were new but not raw. All of them had played at international level so they had the feel of playing an international tournament. But they really played well,” he said. The captain had special praise for midfielder Gurbaz Singh who was exceptional in all the matches.
“Gurbaz was player of the tournament. He was excellent in the midfield. His passes were accurate and ball trapping was unbelievable,” said the captain. Rajpal said the new penalty shoot-out rule, which was used during the final, favoured India.
Earlier, the shots were taken from a fixed spot but according to changed rules, the tie-breaker involves the striker starting with the ball from outside the 23-yard circle and have to beat rival goal-keeper to score within eight seconds.
“We had used this method a few year back during the Premier Hockey League (PHL) so we had a fair bit of idea about that. You can say the new rule has helped us more. But yes we practised it during this tournament also,” informed the Indian forward.
What the Papers Say Today - Stick2Hockey.com
Players unhappy with HI 'reception'
CHANDIGARH: The felicitation party for the hockey stars on Tuesday night may not have had much worth remembering, but its portents were not good either.
The insult for Asian champions began right from the moment the Indian team landed at the airport. It started with the bus. "The look of the bus peeved players no end. But more was to follow," said an official accompanying them.
The players reached the hotel to learn that Hockey India had booked fewer rooms than required. "We were kept waiting for more than two hours at the reception. The lack of rooms meant players had nowhere to go," a player said.
"The party had just started when Rajpal came to me and conveyed players' resentment and refused to accept Rs 25,000 as reward money," said an official accompanying the team.
National camp co-ordinator Sukhvir Grewal, who had been travelling with the team, also admitted that there was a sea change in the morale of the team once it reached India.
"Be it Hockey India or sports ministry, nobody is really bothered about players. A young team which played out of its skin to win a major tournament does not deserve such shabby treatment. After so many hiccups, there was a slight glimmer of hope but officials made sure no such good thing happened in the sport. There are people in the management who are capable of turning a positive into negative," he said.
Meanwhile, Punjab deputy chief minister and Hockey Punjab president Sukhbir Singh Badal did not let an opportunity of one-upmanship go as he announced Rs 25 lakh for each member of the squad. In a press release, he congratulated the "national heroes for bringing this rare honour to a nation starved of sporting glory".
The Times of India
Ministry announces Rs.15 lac for each ACT Gold winners
New Delhi: Union Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Ajay Maken, took up the matter of supposedly meager amount of Rs.25000 each being given to the Hockey Team by the Hockey India (HI). Shri Narendra Batra, Secretary General, HI informed that the HI is not in a financial position to grant more reward money. He requested the Government of India to consider granting reward money to players under a special Scheme.
After discussion with the officials, it was decided that the Sports Ministry will give an award of Rs.1.5 Lakh each to the 17 Members of the Hockey Team that won Asian Championship Trophy at Ordos, China.
Later on, while briefing the media, the Minister also informed that the Government had being giving awards under the Scheme titled “Special awards medal winner in international sports events”. Under the Scheme, the Government had given cash awards worth Rs.33.89 crore in 2010-11, Rs. 5.50 crore in 2009-10 and Rs. 8.75 crore in during 2008-09.
The Minister also pointed out that during the past six months, the Ministry had, in the discharge its normal functions, spent Rs.7.81 crore on the preparation of Hockey Team for various events. Of this amount, Rs.5.97 crore were spent on National Coaching Camps, Rs.1.75 crore on Foreign Exposer trips and Rs.8.5 lakh on Foreign Experts.
Sukhbir Badal announces Rs.25 lac to ACT Goldies
Punjab Deputy Chief Minster-cum-Sports Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today announced a cash award of Rs.25 lakh to the Indian hockey team which lifted the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating arch rivals Pakistan 4-2 on penalties in the final in Ordos (China) last Sunday.
In a statement, Sukhbir Badal, who is also Hockey Punjab president, congratulated the "national heroes for bringing this rare honour to a nation starved of sporting glory. We are indeed very proud of our boys who toiled day and night to win back glory in hockey, the traditional Indian sport. I am all the more proud because seven members of the champions team belong to Punjab."
Sukhbir Badal also lashed out at the Government of India for "ridiculing and humiliating the hockey heroes by announcing a petty award of Rs 25,000 which has been justifiably turned down by the victorious boys. If the Centre did not know how to honour the national heroes who turned back formidable challenges in the international arena, the least it could have done was to just let the boys go home without insulting them. We will take care of them. They are our national heroes," said Sukhbir Badal.
The Deputy Chief Minister also said that the Punjab Government has initiated concrete steps to boost hockey which is our national game. "We have set up state-of-the-art seven new hockey stadia in the state with all modern facilities for training-cum-competitions. Last year, the Punjab Government had hosted a four-nation hockey tournament in which the major hockey powers took part. We propose to take it further from there and organize another international hockey tournament this year."
Article Courtesy: Balbir Singh
After uproar, govt announces Rs 1.5 lakh award for victorious hockey team
To calm infuriated players who rejected Hockey India's paltry prize of Rs 25,000 for winning the Asian Champions Trophy, an embarrassed Sports Minister, Ajay Maken, clarified on Wednesday that there was already a scheme in place by which each player would get Rs 1.5 lakh each.
Maken said: “Today, I have called all of you to clarify a small thing that I think has unnecessarily snowballed into a big controversy. There is a government scheme of the Sports Ministry, which provides for cash awards to various medal winners in international events. And this scheme is in existence even before I took over as Sports Minister. And, a number of times in Parliament, I have made a mention of this scheme," Maken told media persons here.
Maken said the government has distributed Rs 48.14 crore in cash awards to different players who have won gold, silver or bronze in international events through this scheme
“And this 48.14 crore rupees does not include cricket,” he added.
Maken said there are four different categories under this scheme on the basis of which cash awards are given to different players
“The first is Asian and Commonwealth Games, then the Olympic Games, World Championship and the fourth one is Asian and Commonwealth Championship. Our hockey team, which has made all of us proud after winning the Asian Championship, falls under the fourth category,” said Maken.
Maken said the Indian hockey team has already won Rs 1.5 lakh each under this scheme.
“And for all these categories, we have different sets of awards. Like for the Olympic Games, an individual winning a gold medal gets Rs 50 lakh, and a team winning a gold medal gets Rs 25 lakh for each player. Similarly for Asian and Commonwealth Games, an individual winning a gold medal gets Rs 20 lakh, and anyone in the team gets Rs 10 lakh. Similarly for the World Championship, the individual gold medallist gets Rs 10 lakh and team individuals get Rs 5 lakh when the team wins,” Maken said.
The government of Punjab had earlier in the day announced a cash award of Rs 25 lakh for members of the victorious Indian hockey team.
The Indian hockey team had earlier rejected Hockey India's cash reward, saying the paltry amount was not proper recognition of their achievement.
The players were offered the reward during a felicitation ceremony at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium last evening, but they outrightly rejected it. The team felt insulted on being offered the meagre cash reward.
India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in the Asian Champions Trophy finals on Sunday in Ordos, China.
In a tight corner after the victorious Indian hockey team rejected it's cash reward, Hockey India requested Sports Minister Ajay Maken to “announce a suitable reward” for the national side's triumph in the Asian Champions Trophy.
The national body's secretary general Narinder Batra requested Maken to intervene.
“Hockey India had announced cash reward of Rs 25,000 for each player and official of the hockey team which won the first Asian Champions Trophy. The players have refused to accept this amount as they find it very little in relation to their performance,” Batra wrote in his letter to Maken.
“We approach your ministry through your Hon'ble goodself and request the ministry to announce a suitable reward for the players and officials which will help in motivating and build up the morale of the team.
“We very humbly request for favourable consideration of our request,” he added.
HI's reward came in for sharp criticism from all quarters, with present and former players terming the gesture as “unacceptable and shocking”.
'That's insult, not a reward'
A day after the victorious men's hockey team trashed the "paltry amount" offered by Hockey India to the Asian Champions Trophy-winning squad, hockey greats lashed out at the federation, saying, if they didn't have enough money in their coffers, they should not have announced it. Ashok
Kumar, the son of legendary hockey player, Dhyan Chand, said, "This is shameful. If you don't have enough funds, you shouldn't announce incentives. Hockey is an expensive sport. Even a good pair of playing shoes costs upwards of Rs 5000. The reward should be commensurate with the financial needs of the players," he said. Ministry steps in
On a day when the federations threw its hands up, saying it could not afford more than Rs 25000 as reward to each player, the sports ministry calmed down frayed tempers, announcing Rs 1.5 lakh to each member and the Punjab government chipped in with a purse of Rs 25 lakh.
But HI found itself at the receiving end of hockey veterans' barbs. Former skipper Pargat Singh said that it was an insult to the players. "The issue was mishandled. Such a meager reward should not have been given at a public function...better not to give money than to give such a meager amount," he opined.
Indian hockey players reject disappointing cash reward
NEW DELHI: The Indian hockey team refused to accept a cash reward worth Rs 25, 000 which was awarded to them by the Sports Ministry after winning the Asian Champions Trophy.
Sports Minister Ajay Maken had announced a reward of Rs 25,000 each during the felicitation ceremony of the Indian hockey team.
However, Maken tweeted this morning that Rs 25000 cash award was not announced by the government but was offered by Hockey India. Minister said the government spends all money on training, coaching & foreign exposure.
After rejecting the cash reward, captain Rajpal Singh told ZeeNews that his team was disappointed by the ‘hollow claims of the Sports Minister’ to revive the national sport.
“The minister did not come true to our expectations, the money should be better not just for motivation of current players but for future generations who would like to take up the national sport,” Rajpal said.
India beat arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 in Asian Champions Trophy final.
Maken supports players in rejecting paltry HI reward
NEW DELHI: Sports minister Ajay Maken on Wednesday threw his weight behind the Indian hockey players in the cash reward controversy, saying that offering Rs 25,000 each for winning Asian Champions Trophy was an "insult" to them as the amount was too meagre.
Maken said the players were right in not accepting the paltry sum and Hockey India should have consulted the ministry before announcing the reward.
"Players were right in not accepting the money. It was a natural reaction and I think any player would have refused to take an amount of Rs 25,000. It was an insult to them," Maken told reporters.
"I felt if HI had consulted with us before giving the players only Rs 25,000 each then we would have asked them to merge that 25,000 with government's 1.5 lakh and make it a lumpsum amount before handing it over to them," he said.
Maken made it clear that the victorious hockey team members would get Rs 1.5 lakh each under the government of India scheme.
"I want to clarify there is a government scheme which provides cash awards to medal winners in international events. Under that scheme, all 17 hockey players who were a part of the Asian Champions Trophy are eligible to get the amount of Rs 1.5 lakh each," said Maken.
He also informed that even the coach and other support staff would get some money.
"Under this scheme even the support staff and the coach will also get rewards. The coach gets the 50 per cent of the total amount of the cash award (of a player)."
The minister said the cheques would be prepared in a day or two and handed them over to the players.
"If the hockey team is to win the next World Cup the reward money would be Rs 5 lakh each, and if it can win the Olympics then the reward is Rs 25 lakh each. And it is only the central government, which is going to give this to them," he said.
Maken said that he did not announce the government scheme as it was already in the public domain.
"We haven't announced it earlier, it is already in the public domain. I have mentioned about this scheme time and again in the Parliament. I did not think it was proper to announce it as the government is not giving out this money in the form of charity but because the players deserve it and it is their right to get this money. They would got rewards under the scheme in any case," he said.
He further said that in the past three years, the sports ministry, under this scheme, have distributed Rs 48.14 crore as cash rewards to different players in various sporting disciplines, which did not include cricket.
"In the past three years, we have given out 48.14 crore as cash awards to different players. It does not include cricket, So minus cricket, all the other sports have received this amount. This is not the first time that we are giving such awards, we have done that in the past also," he said.
After the hockey players rejected HI's offer, Punjab government quickly made it a point to announce a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh to the team, but Maken termed it as a case of "one upmanship".
"Yes, I agree what all these state governments are doing by announcing hefty amounts for the team is a case of one upmanship. I am not going to judge whether state governments have actually translated their announcements into action but as far as we are concerned we have actually given the cash awards to the deserving players," he said.
"One oneupmanship in such cases should be avoided. I would request the state governments to come forward and not only announce but give cash rewards. But please do not go in for one oneupmanship. These players deserve the rewards and they should get it," said the minister.
The Times of India
Humbled Hockey - Money muddle mists over bigger targets
While the Asian Champions Trophy win was a relief for the beleaguered Hockey India, it has shot itself in the foot with its incentive plan. The players too would be better served to seek greater success rather than make issues out of such pittance.
Just as one begins to venture a thought that things may get better for Indian hockey, comes one more fiasco, to add to the many that have plagued the sport. The Asian Champions Trophy win was rightly feted and welcomed as a boost to the sagging form, image and morale of hockey, till the time that the prize money issue showed its ugly head.
Hockey India’s offer of Rs. 25,000 each to the players of the winning team, subsequently rejected by them, was an apt reflection of how things have been with the game - the intentions are honest but the quantum is pitiable. It may well be that HI isn’t in a financial position to make the offer any larger, but surely there wasn’t any need to parade the fact in public.
What emerged was some rather hasty damage-control action the Sports Ministry and additional attempts towards making brownie points from the issue by others. Right in the middle of the International Hockey Federation chief Leandro Negre’s Delhi trip.
So even as the sums offered swelled, the feeling that the sport and those who play it are taken a little bit for granted cannot be dismissed altogether. While the players have the zeal and desire to do well, hockey, like any other sport, needs financial sustenance. And if the body in question doesn’t have the wherewithal to make generous offerings, it would probably be prudent not to make any attempts towards that at all.
Invariably, comparisons are drawn with cricket. These, at best, are naïve. Cricket doesn’t depend on Government grants for providing financial incentives to players - one big reason why BCCI isn’t too keen on having any kind of Government control.
That the players rejected the offer and also accused all and sundry about how shabbily they are treated may have some merit, but boosting the image of the sport is not the sole responsibility of Hockey India or the Sports Ministry. The players are the face of the sport, and while there may well be justifiable support for them in the media, even they could have handled this with a little more maturity - maybe a quiet word of protest to HI or the Ministry instead of the big stories everywhere.
This is not the first time that the players and Hockey India have been at odds over payments. The players had gone on strike in January 2010, just a few days before the World Cup, protesting against the non-payment of bonus money. Even the women players followed suit shortly thereafter. While the money was quickly reimbursed, one would imagine that some lessons would have been learned there. Evidently not.
Hockey needs encouragement and Rs 25,000 isn’t exactly a bonanza, especially when we realise that winning a trophy in that sport is as rare as snow in Indian summers. But given the fact that India still is well short of big achievements - the Olympic qualifiers are still to be played and a slot for the London Games to be reserved - it would be prudent to focus on those issues.
For, regardless of what other trophies are won, that is the one that matters. The same media, so sympathetic and supportive of all the players now, will be out on a witch hunt if the team fails to achieve that objective. These minor distractions, amounting to $525 per head, aren’t really needed right now.
‘Players should be paid match fee'
M.M. Somaya feels that the time is ripe for India's hockey players to be paid a match fee between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1 lakh and bonuses for wins.
The three-time Olympian, member of the Indian team that won the gold medal at Moscow in 1980 and former India captain, said: “They play many internationals in a year and they should be financially secure. India's international hockey players cannot be equated with those playing for college teams. There's a lot of pride in playing for the country. If the officials in the national federation cannot raise money, they don't deserve to be there. If the federation has credibility, Corporate India will support hockey in a big way,'' said Somaya.
Somaya, General Manager (Brand and Public Relations) with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), said that the results and win at Ordos by the Rajpal Singh-led Indian team, coached by Australian Michael Nobbs, has to be rated as very good.
“After a long time good tidings has come from the hockey front. That the young team without several seasoned and star players (Sardara Singh, Sandeep Singh, Tushar Khandekar, Prabjhot Singh, Shivendra Singh, Arjun Halappa and Adrian D'Souza), did not lose a match and won the tournament shows that they are something special. It's good also for the fact that Nobbs has begun well with a win.''
While applauding the young Indian team's splendid effort in China, Somaya added that the team should carry the same confidence against Australia and European teams.
“We play with tremendous confidence against Asian teams, but not against Australia and European teams. India won the Asia Cup in Chennai in late 2007, but did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. This should not happen again.
“The team should play with confidence and out-think formidable teams. How India takes it (confidence from the win in Ordos) forward is important.''
Somaya sees coach Nobbs as an experienced and balanced person. “I saw him first in 1984 at Los Angeles. He's a fine man and was part and parcel of a successful Australian team. He's played enough hockey and has sufficient knowledge to understand modern hockey and strategy. It's been a good start for him too,'' said Somaya.
Additional reporting on Cash furore
There is extensive coverage of the Cash furore in the Indian media far to numerous to carry all of the stories. Please read the individual sites if you wish to read more. Click on the word Go to get to the specific sports pages.
Go - The Times of India, 10+ stories
Go - The Hindu, 5+ stories
Go - What the Papers Say Today - Stick2Hockey.com
From humble background to spotlight: Story of other Yuvraj
Asian Champions Trophy winning hockey team player Yuvraj Walmiki is welcomed by supporters in Mumbai on Wednesday, Sept 14, 2011.
He is the Yuvraj of Indian hockey but unlike his much better known cricketing counterpart, Yuvraj Walmiki’s life wasn’t exactly a bed of roses before the Asian Champions Trophy happened.
From living in a shanty in Marine Lines without electricity all his life to becoming the next big thing in Indian hockey, it has been an arduous journey for the youngster.
The 21-year-old’s home in the compound of Niranjan Housing Society, wore a festive look today with several welcome back placards and was flooded with a throng of visitors - relatives, friends, mediapersons, well-wishers and curious onlookers.
Back home to a hero’s welcome at the domestic airport here this morning after starring in India’s triumph over arch- rivals Pakistan in the Asian Champion’s Trophy final, Yuvraj, whose roots lie in Aligarh district of Uttar Pradesh, was felicitated by the two estranged Thackeray cousins Uddhav and Raj, who champion the cause of ‘Marathi Manoos’
“Everyone has problems. But it is how you handle them that is important. I have never let these affect me when I stepped on the hockey ground. Many people have helped me at various stages,” he told reporters.
He was quick to recall the contributions of his friend Boon D’Souza, who introduced him to hockey, ‘Bawa sir’, who coached him since his early days, and former India skipper Dhanraj Pillay, who after discovering his potential got him a contract with Air India in 2007.
Yuvraj Walmiki: From slum to stardom
By Mihir Vasavda
Perhaps this is what dreams are made of. A starry-eyed boy from the Mumbai slums with nothing but bucket-loads of self-confidence and a stick to wield his magic, hoping to don the national colours and score in a final.
Yuvraj Walmiki was nine then. And now, 12 years later, his dream has come true.
“It’s scary,” he says sheepishly. “I always dreamt of something like this…you know, scoring in the final, against Pakistan and a welcome such as this. Today, when it has come true, it gives me goose bumps.”
Walmiki’s story is the kind that could inspire Danny Boyle to direct yet another blockbuster. Much like the protagonist in the Slumdog Millionaire, Walmiki grew up, with his brothers and sisters, in a 200sq feet shanty without electricity or a permanent roof. His ‘house’, at a corner of a residential building, was a few kilometres away from the Mahindra hockey stadium.
However, all that seems to be a thing of past now as Walmiki, on Wednesday, hit the jackpot. He was rewarded Rs10 lakh by the state government for his spectacular debut in the national side apart from loads of other incentives announced by other political parties.
“It doesn’t surprise me. Yuvraj was born to be a star. This is just the beginning,” says his first coach Merzaban Patel, affectionately called Bawa.
“His main strength is his mental toughness and the self-confidence he exudes. You could see that when he took the penalty stroke against Pakistan. He didn’t panic, and what’s impressive is that he took the hit reverse. You need courage to do that,” Bawa adds.
Walmiki first came to Bawa when he was nine but got his big break when domestic giants Air India’s manager Vernon Lobo and Peter Saldhana offered him a contract when he was 17. Since then, he has been mentored by the likes of Dhanraj Pillay, Joaquim Carvalho and Gavin Ferreira.
“I got to play along side quite a few big names and it helped improve my game. Signing for Air India was the turning point of my career,” he says.
Walmiki is the first player from the city to represent the country since Adrian D’Souza in 2004. Having scored three goals, including the crucial third strike in the tie-break against Pakistan in the final, his debut series has been quite memorable.
“He is a very intelligent player. He has played in the domestic leagues of Germany for the last two years and that experience has helped him,” Bawa says.
Walmiki, though, is cautious. After a enjoying his first day in the public glare, Walmiki knows he has to ensure that he doesn’t lose focus. “There’s a lot more to achieve. But this gives me further motivation to work hard. This is just the beginning of a long journey,” he says.
Uddhav Thackeray felicitates hockey player Yuvraj Valmiki
Mumbai boy Yuvraj Valmiki, who is fast emerging as a sensation in Indian hockey, today met Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra.
The 21-year-old was later felicitated by the party executive president Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aditya.
"We will do whatever we can for Valmiki. I will not tell you right now what we are doing. Our work will only speak," Uddhav told reporters.
Valmiki catapulted to fame when he smashed the penalty against Pakistan to give India a crucial 3-1 lead in the Asian Champions Trophy finals in China.
He also came down heavily on the Central government accusing it of discriminating between the hockey players and cricketers.
"On one side cricketers are getting awards in lakhs of rupees while pieces are thrown to the hockey players," Uddhav added.
Pakistani fans happy with hockey team despite loss to India
The Pakistan hockey team may have lost to its arch-rivals India in Asian Hockey Championship final but most of the Pakistani people and hockey officials here are satisfied with the team's impressive performance.
Pakistani hockey fans and team manager expressed their satisfaction with the young team's performance.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was criticised for resting some senior players and inducting junior players for the tournament.
Before the team's departure to China for the mega event, many sports analysts criticized the PHF's decision. However, the team's performance silenced all the critics.
"We were really unlucky, we were in control during field game in the final but somehow failed to score in shoot-out," team manager Khawaja Junaid was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Junaid, an Olympian, said that even reaching the final with a young team was a major achievement as Pakistan tried out several youngsters, and this decision will help Pakistan to prepare a best team for the London Olympics.
By winning three matches, losing one and drawing one, the Pakistan team got ten points before playing the final match against India on Sunday in Ordos, China.
Muhammad Imran, a hockey fan from capital Islamabad, said that though the team lost in the end, he was happy as the team's improvement was excellent.
The Pakistan team was warmly welcomed by the officials and hockey fans when they arrived at the international airport in the country's southern port city of Karachi.
Callum McLeod completes cycle across the Pyrenees to support youth internationals
Callum McLeod, Performance Manager completed his cycle across the Pyrenees to raise funds for the Scotland youth internationals programmes. A slight change of plan added about 70 miles on to the route as he and friend Robbie Wilson started the cycle from Bordeaux down to the Pyrenees and finished in Gerona, after covering 520 miles and climbing over 13000 metres.
The first full day was particularly strenuous as the temperature was 40 degrees and they covered 120 miles, and that was before a mountain was climbed.
Callum commented that "the first full day of cycling was extremely difficult and at times we both felt extremely tired, however once we began to climb the mountains through France and into Spain the temperatures were very pleasant with little wind which made for ideal conditions. Physically and mentally it was very challenging and the fact that many people had sponsored me to do this for the youth players kept me going through the six days."
Scottish Hockey Union media release